One of the original Kings of Comedy, Steve Harvey is the host of one of the most popular radio shows in the country, The Steve Harvey Morning Show. His first book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, is shooting to the top of the best-seller lists, and Oprah says she loves everything it has to say!
Steve says this book has a special meaning for him. "This is the first project that I didn't do for money," he says. "Other than my foundation—mentoring programs—everything I do is for money. I tell jokes for a check; I'm on TV for a check. ... But this [book] right here I did purely to empower women."
In his book, Steve says the way a man introduces you gives good insight into the status of your relationship. If a man introduces you as a friend or says your name with no title at all, Steve says you have nothing. "We're very protective. We mark our territory. If a man loves you...he's willing to profess it. He'll give you a title after a while. You're going to be his lady, his woman, his fiancée, his wife, his baby's mama, something," he says. "If he's introducing you after six months, 'This is...Oprah,' you should be standing there going, 'This is going nowhere.'"
Man with a Plan
Another thing women need to understand, according to Steve, is that every man has a plan. "Men don't come up to you to just talk. We come up to you with a plan," he says. "We're looking across the room at you, and we don't care about your hopes and dreams. We don't care about what your future holds. We saw something we wanted."
When a man approaches a woman, Steve says, he already knows what we wants from her, but he doesn't know what it will cost. "How much time do you want from me? What your standards? What are your requirements? Because we'll rise to the occasion no matter how high you set the bar if we want to," he says. "The problem is, women have stopped setting the bar high."
Though a woman might want many things from a man, Steve says men only need three things: support, loyalty and sex. Or as Steve calls it, "the cookie." "We've got to have your support. Whatever adventure we're out on, whatever pursuit in life, we need your support. Then we need your loyalty. That's your love. We've got to know that you belong to us," he says. "And we've got to have a cookie. Everybody likes cookies. That's the thing about a cookie. I like oatmeal raisin...but if you've got vanilla cream, I'll eat that too."
In Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve tells the story of his father-in-law's first introduction to one of Steve's daughter's boyfriends. "[My 26-year-old daughter] was dating this guy who was about 30. He had been over to the house about four, five times. And my father-in-law was visiting from Memphis," Steve says. "He's in the kitchen and he's eating and [my daughter's] boyfriend is in there, and [my father-in-law] goes: 'So, son, sit down. Tell me, what's your plan for my granddaughter?'" After plenty of hemming and hawing, Steve says the boyfriend finally said that the two were just "kickin' it."
Steve was pretty confident his daughter didn't have the same interpretation of the relationship, he says. "I said: 'Cool. Let's bring my daughter in there. Let's inform her that she's just being kicked...let's see if that's what she wants to do," he says. "They broke up the next day."
Steve says men are like fishermen— but women are actually the ones looking for a good catch. You won't be able to find one, though, until you up your standards. "You've got sports fishermen, and you've got guys out there fishing to eat. You've got guys that are fishing to keep the fish, and you've got guys that are fishing to catch them, unhook them and throw them back," Steve says. "You've got to determine along the way which one of the fish you're going to be."
Without ironclad standards, Steve says you'll always end up back in the dating pool. "You've got to quit lowering your standards," he says. "Set your requirements up front so when a guy hooks you, he has to know this is business."
And don't let the man set the pace of the relationship—Steve says it's always the woman who has total control. "With all that power, why do you suddenly relinquish this power just because you want a guy to accept you? That's stupid," he says. "Say: 'Look, if you want to be with me, this is what you got to do. This is what it takes to get to me.'"
When Should You Sleep with Your New Boyfriend?
As an auto plant worker, Steve says he had to wait 90 days to receive benefits—and says the same probation period should apply to dating. "In 90 days they checked me out. They determined if I was easy to work with, if I got along well with others, if I showed up when I said I was going to show up, if I was worthy."
Women, Steve says, hold the greatest benefit of all—the cookie—so there's no reason to give it away until you know your man deserves it. "Slow down, ladies," Steve says. "Look, you cannot run us off."
So what if you don't want to wait 90 days? Steve says if you change the probation period, you do so at your own risk. "You all keep changing the rules. And men are aware of the fact that you are changing the rules. We're aware of the fact that you act desperate. We're aware of the fact that you think there's a good shortage of good men out there," he says.
"We play on all of that. ... We created the term 'gold digger' so you won't ask us for nothing. We created the term 'nagging' so you can quit badgering us. These are terms that we created so you can require less of us."
Steve says four little words can strike fear and dread into any man: We need to talk. "You just drove a nail in his forehead," Steve says.
Men are fixers, not talkers, Steve says, so it's better to get to the point. "When you say, 'We need to talk,' we put up the barriers," he says. "I tell ladies, just sit down and strike up a conversation."
Turn Off the Text
Social networking websites and text messages can be a great way to keep in touch with friends, but Steve says it's not the best way to date. "You have nothing if you're texting a guy in a relationship," he says. "We can text six women a minute. We can text it and push 'reply all.' I mean, since we're lying, we might as well lie to everybody."
If you want the relationship to be more, take it face-to-face. "Women talk about [how] chivalry's dead. Chivalry's not dead—it's just not required anymore," he says. "You've got to get a guy in your face. Look in his eyes. ... God has given you all this incredible thing called intuition. You've got to use that."
You know you've got a keeper when your man wants to make sure you're always safe, Steve says. Every man wants to protect his woman, and Steve says this instinct kicks in when his wife, Marjorie, scuba dives. "I can't go home without her. We've got seven kids between us," Steve says. "They need their mother. I'm not a good mother at all."
Although Marjorie is a certified diver, Steve isn't a swimmer. "I have a security guy who can swim," he says. "So [he puts] on the snorkeling gear and when she goes down, I tell him, 'You swim over and just keep an eye on my wife.'"
Steve also has instructions for everyone else on the boat. "I told all the dive masters on the boat: 'If she does not come out of that water in 30 minutes, everybody in the water. Everybody. We're doing a dive search right here,'" he says. "I don't care if nobody [else] on the boat goes home. She goes home."