Reviewed by Lee Sinclair
What Steve Harvey reveals about men is no big surprise. Most women already know quite a bit about men, sometimes more than we’d like. So the content of the book is not what I’d call groundbreaking material. But what did surprise me is how thought-provoking the book is. Even more surprising is what a difference it makes hearing this information from a man—one who is laying it on the line and bluntly saying, this is who we are, this is how we’re going to behave in a relationship, and this is why we do it. It just sounds different when it’s a man instead of a woman who’s describing what men are like. Especially when it’s done in a rational and reasonable way, without being judgmental or defensive.
We may not like everything he says; we may wish men could be different from the way they are; we may think some things are unfair. But what we like or wish or think does not change the reality of what is. Steve Harvey tells us the truth of “what is” when it comes to men and how they see things. And it’s up to us to understand and use the information he provides—not so we can control or manipulate men, but so we can develop a strong relationship that fulfills the needs of both people in it.
The book covers a lot. Harvey talks about dating and how men view different types of women, what men are looking for at different stages of their lives, and how to get beyond the surface to the real guy underneath. He also addresses how to make the relationship work after you’ve found and married the man of your dreams because “happily ever after” is work.
Men define themselves by 3 things: who he is (his title), what he does (his job), and how much he makes (his reward for his efforts) “…and if any one of those things is missing, he will be much too busy trying to find it to focus on you.” This applies to men before and after they’re married.
If a man loves a woman, he will do 3 things: he will provide for her, protect her, and profess his love. Keep in mind, that unless he has clear guidelines from the woman he loves, he will do these 3 things in whatever form he thinks is the right way, which will frequently not coincide with what the woman thinks is the right way.
And what men want from a relationship is 3 things: loyalty, support, and sex. Harvey does emphatically state that men do know the difference between sex and a relationship, and he advises that if you want a relationship, don’t jump into bed with a man. A man who is genuinely interested in you will not dump you just because you’re not easy.
What he said about nagging was particularly interesting. Most men don’t nag because it doesn’t work, at least not very well. Although a person can be nagged into doing something, nagging never brings out the best in a person and usually brings out the worst. Women do know that, but we still nag sometimes. Which makes men smarter than us, in that respect. But maybe we would stop if we could see it from the man’s perspective, if we understood just how damaging nagging is.
This book is a generalization about men, of course, but still worth reading, whether you’re in a relationship or not, looking for one or not. In fact, what we need is a similar book written by a woman about how men can “find, keep, and understand” a woman. Perhaps then we could combine the information in the two books to create better relationships and even reduce the divorce rate.