ESPN's Stephen A. Smith says he's not only an expert on sports—he's an authority on love, romance and the male mind! Gayle talks to Stephen about what men are really thinking when it comes to relationships.
Gayle wants to know if men and women can have a platonic relationship without taking it to the next level. "Only if that man is not attracted to that woman," Stephen says. "If that man finds that woman attractive, trust me, if he is in the friendship zone, it is by accident or it's by her—she pushed him there. He has absolutely no problem whatsoever not being her friend."
Gayle says she thinks it's hard for some men to be honest with the women they're dating. Stephen says that more often than not, men are truthful about what they want, but women think they can change their man's mind or opinion. "The problem doesn't lie with him if he's told you where he stood and he's clear about where he's coming from," Stephen says. "The fact that you are convinced that you can change him is not his problem—that is your problem."
When men do lie, Stephen says it's because they're expecting backlash, and do not want to hear it. "You can't put a man in a position where he is fearful of telling the truth because your idealistic perspective is what's going to dominate him," he says. "He deals in the real. You deal in the ideal—that is an automatic conflict."
Stephen also says it's safe for women to assume that most men pursue women, at least initially, because they are physically attracted to them and want to become intimate with them. In fact, he says there are only two types of men—those who are open about wanting sex, and those who just conceal their desires better. "You covet what you see," Stephen says. "Men are physical creatures."
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, December 11, 2013