~Friday, May 10, 2013

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man

When I got dumped by Valdosta, the lovely and wonderful Tex in the City put together a care package for me with love from Texas. I still think about this gesture at least once a week. This is a woman I have never met, although we do share a mutual friend in real life, and she did one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me in my life.

The care package consisted of:

  • A blank diary, "to write all of your blog posts that are too personal to publish."
  • A pair of fabric handcuffs. "Wear them when you need to feel powerful," she told me. "Just one will do."
  • A book of great love letters "to keep the hope alive."
  • Scented pheromone perfumes. "I swear to God these work."
  • A copy of daily affirmations from my favorite self-help book, Co-Dependent No More. I have since passed this on to my mother who needed it after her divorce, who then passed it on to her co-worker's adult son, also going through a divorce.
  • A copy of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
I'm not sure how Steve Harvey transitioned from stand-up comedian to love guru, but this book was a #1 New York Times bestseller. He tells women to not hate the player, but to hate the game, because we decide how we get to be treated. He advises women to ask interview-like questions on the first date. He refers to sex as "the cookie," which is instantly annoying.

But he gave one piece of advice that I have found to be irrefutably correct: men are driven by three things: who they are, what they do, and how much they make. "These three things make up the basic DNA of manhood—the three accomplishments every man must achieve before he feels like he's truly fulfilled his destiny as a man. And until he's achieved his goal in those three areas, the man you're dating, committed to, or married to will be too busy to focus on you."

I don't know if "busy" is the word I'd use. "Busy" is an optimistic word, like he's pounding the pavement actively trying to achieve these goals. I've dated my share who weren't. "Distracted" seems more accurate.

If men don't know who they are, which is very tied up in what they do and how much they make, they do not have room in their minds or hearts for you. A quick history:
  • S: Drug addict. I was not drugs. And every penny he made (and stole from me) went to drugs. At no point did he plan for any future with me.
  • Christopher: Unemployed for 2-1/2 years before we reconnected and then for another year while we were together. He was incapable of loving someone else when he didn't like who he was: a waste of space and a black hole of resources.
  • There were countless other one-date wonders who generally seemed lost in life. The Musician comes to mind. So does Jack.
  • I was lost in life for several years, but I wasn't cognitive enough to sort myself out first. I think these men were the same. I don't think it's a conscious decision.
I had a friend who had a dating criterion of only dating men who have made a major purchase in life: whether it be house or car or appliance. I thought she was a genius when I learned of it. It means that the man is stable enough to organize his money to buy something big. It indirectly follows Steve Harvey's rule.

For this reason alone, I'd recommend Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. Leave a comment if you would like my copy. It will be sent with love from Texas. And now from Georgia.


Anonymous said...

I sorta agree with the making a big purchase thing except I know guys who are total douchers and buy cars they can't afford (totally irresponsible) to perpetuate the lifestyle of just trying to get laid.

Anonymous said...

this makes so much sense! But I agree with obx, sometimes the purchase is to continue the getting laid cycle which seems to be the common theme in YVR.

maybe I should read this book.

Danielle said...

When he refers to sex as "the cookie" it is really really annoying, but I do like the approach he makes overall. I have the book on kindle, and I enjoyed it.

The guys sorting out their life before they can commit makes sense as well, since men seem to have the inability to multi task.

However, how he suddenly became a dating 101 guy from a comedian, you got me. I guess because his woman put him straight? Mmmhmm.

Bathwater said...

Hey I can multi-task! I'm not sure this works with every age group. I have just learned how to juggle my credit enough to buy things.

LMW said...

I find this absolutely fascinating.

I'm the breadwinner of my house, my husband is a stay at home dad. I wonder how this theory works for gender role reversals.

Eleni Zoe said...

Finally! I've been unable to leave any comments for the longest time ever.

Firstly, congratualtions! I was certain I tweeted at you but now I think I went to tweet and got distracted. So belated congratulations.

Secondly, I think that maybe instead of dating I should be focusing on those three things you mentioned. I don't know, it just kind of struck a chord with me.


Anonymous said...

When I started reading your blog I think I was single...then I was in a relationship for 16ish months that resulted in us unofficially living together, in my apartment (he was "officially" living at his parents house, but only when we would go there for the weekend) and this fall we broke up. So while I wouldn't have asked for this book last year, now I will leave a comment and hope I win the book. I want to make a smart choice in the next man I date. I really hope I date a man and not another "guy" or "boy" but we'll see what actually happens.

Liz said...

You know, that kind of makes sense about looking for a dude that has made a big life purchase if only for stability.

Also, congrats on the engagement. It's really encouraging to see someone with a similar dating past end up with a guy who treats her well. :)

Tiffany said...

I love this advice and would really like a copy of this book!


Anonymous said...

Me! Me! Me! I know I would love to read this book. Hopefully make a better choice for myself. And if I don't get it (because I realise random number generators never work in my favour and I never win anything), I will actually buy this book! :)

Anonymous said...

I'd love to read this book, and God knows I need it . :)

Anonymous said...

@OBX-cars totally don't count for a big purchase. Everyone needs a car to get to and from...on the other hand, it's easy to get by without a nice couch, washer and dryer, house/condo...


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