Review of “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”

act-like-a-ladyAct Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment

Generally, I like relationship books written by men for women explaining how men think and operate. Too many of us have difficulty fathoming how differently men function than women.

The book is divided into 3 sections:

  • The mind-set of a man
  • Why men do what they do
  • The playbook: How to win the game

In the first section he discusses what drives men. He boils it down to 3 things: profess, provide and protect.

  • Profess means he tells you and the world that you are his woman, his one-and-only, his lady — whatever term feels right to him. It’s key that he not only tell you, but he tells others. My experience is it’s easy for a man to tell you what you want to hear (e.g., “You’re perfect for me,” “You’re the one for me,”) but never say a word to anyone else about you. Steve says that if you’ve been going out for a while and your guy introduces you as “my friend” or by only your name, no descriptor, he’s not thinking of you as a keeper.
  • Provide means not only financially, but providing for you in whatever ways you need to be taken care of. He’ll make sure you have food, shelter and transportation at the least. Steve says a man will forgo buying things for himself if his family needs something.
  • Protect not only means to ensure your safety, but he’ll protect your reputation and dignity from others who try to malign you.

When I thought about the most prominent men in my past, nearly none of them professed, provided nor protected me. Some did one or two, but I’ve had no experience with one who did all three, at least not beyond perfunctorily. Does this mean I happened to have men in my life — both chosen and by blood — who were missing these important 3-p genes? Or they were just clueless of these things? I think instead that Steve is describing emotionally mature, grounded men who want to have a stable relationship and family life and understand the importance of doing their part to bring this about. I have yet to be blessed with a man like that.

Steve says that one of the biggest reasons women don’t get men to behave the way they want if because women don’t 1) have clear standards, and 2) let their standards be known. We can’t be nagging or demanding about what we want that he’s not providing or that will drive a man away. But we have to be adamant about how we want to be treated and what we expect.

Here’s a simple example: you want your man to open your car door for you and he just walks to his side. You should stand there until he comes around and opens it for you. You can’t berate him with, “Fool, where were you born? In a barn? Didn’t your mother teach you how to treat a lady?” Instead you simply smile when he sees his indiscretion and thank him as he runs around to your side and opens your door and you slide into the seat.

Steve says we learn to settle for less than we want because we think he should know or we don’t want to nag. He says men are simple creatures and a man wants to please his woman, but either doesn’t know what she wants or forgets quickly if not reminded. So he gets away with doing less and less of what makes her happy and she gets more and more resentful and frustrated.

When dating, waiting at least ninety days before having sex is a big part of Steve’s philosophy. He equates it to a job’s probation period, an analogy I’ve heard others use. On the job you have to show you have earned the right to keep your job and get benefits. You have to show up on time, work diligently, produce results, show you can get along with others, and often take initiative. He says it’s the same in a relationship — a man needs to show he is worthy of a woman’s intimacy before he gets the benefits. He says it also weeds out the men who are just looking for a romp in the hay and those who are serious about exploring a relationship. I think he’s right.

There are other sections on 5 questions a woman must ask any man she’s dating, the 3 things men need, why men cheat, and what strong, independent women need to do to be more appealing to men.

One of the parts I really like is that he encourages us to really take a stand for our dignity, self-esteem and goals and stop putting up with men’s disrespectful, immature and bad behavior. It’s a tough love tome. It’s true that many of us (all of us?), even strong women, have put up with bad behaviors far too many times.

This is a quick read, often funny, often insightful, sometimes reminding the reader of common sense that is not always common practice.


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7 responses to “Review of “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man””

  1. dating Avatar

    Act like a lady and think like a man is really nice book .people should read it.

  2. Anna Avatar

    Well said DG. I agree with your thoughts on Steve’s book. At first read I was a bit put off by what I perceived was a very non-feminist book but the more I read and digested the more I realised it is very much in favor of true feminism, allowing us to be ladies and also equals with men. Somehow I think the feminist age of the 1960’s did not do us women as many favors as we like to think. Steve is right when he says men are genetically programmed to profess, provide and protect. I see that now in my own son who has been raised by me alone, as my husband died 8 years ago. My son shows good signs of becoming the man I know his Dad was. He is 18 and I have asked him to read my copy of Steve’s book. Since going back into the dating scene 3 years ago, I have met more than my fair share of immature game-players and am glad that I am holding out for a man who will give me the 3-P’s. If he doesnt arrive, well…….I just know I now have my high standards well and truly intact.

  3. sylvia hubbard Avatar

    I went in reading the book knowing that Steve was not a professional relationship coach so I was prepared for the “funny feeling” I’d get when he spoke about triflities (if that’s a word) of women.

    What I loved was that not only was I given a deep insight to a man who’s been through it more than a couple of times but just a man looking for a woman without all the drama without all the trifilities and whom he can love and be love. I also was entertained by Steve’s humor and enjoyed the journey from the first to last page.

    I highly recommend this book to others.

  4. *Juliette* Avatar

    Great Review DG! I also spoke of that book in my blog here:

    You nailed it when you said “Steve is describing emotionally mature, grounded men who want to have a stable relationship and family life and understand the importance of doing their part to bring this about.” Let’s all make sure the next man in our lives is one of these by following his advice.

  5. nysharon Avatar

    I plan to pick up this book. I did think however that a man may be emotionally secure and mature however not display those 3 P’s because you are not the right woman for him, or he is not that interested enough.
    Just a diff twist.

  6. Funny Avatar

    As the mother of two self made men I have to say that Mr. Harvey hit it on the nail about the 3 Ps and women need to understand them to be happy in a long lasting relationship, not necessarily monogamus.
    After of years of seeing my children interact with ladies I have my own battle scars, support them emotionally, all these scars showed us that times have change tremendously and Mr. Harvey ‘s advise will likely apply 100% if it was 1950s. Men now days want nothing to do with providing all when women demand equality, this America land of opportunities, we are all equals. Why would any man will want to waste their time on proving they are worth it to another human being? A weakling.
    Mr. Harvey stick to comedy. Just hit me, the book is a Joke.

  7. Jessica Avatar

    This book was a reality check for me. It is so straight to the point and so true. I had made me reconsider my actions and set even higher standards. I had come to the conclusion that there is a special man for every woman in this world. We do need to take into consideration that loneliness plays a big role in our lives, but it is much better to wait for the right and royal treatment, rather than settle for the pieces…