Tag Archives: Steve Harvey

How Do You Know?

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The Shoop Shoop Song by Betty Everett was a number 1 hit back in 1964 which claimed:

“If you want to know if he loves you so, its in his kiss.”

Though I am fairly unsure if you can tell if someone loves you by a kiss, I do agree with Betty that they way to discern a person’s feelings for you is through their actions rather than their words.  I am fairly sure that I have written on this subject before so I apologize to those of you dear readers who find this a repeat subject matter but this post has been burbling in my brain and must be written or I might mentally explode.

A few years ago I became completely enamored with a man who had a considerable command of the English language. After a few months of spending time together he used his words to woo me and won my heart as surely as Cyrano won the heart of Roxanne. . His professions of my beauty, wit and charm soothed my battered post-divorce ego while his expressions of undying love hypnotized me into utter stupidity. He formulated a verbal roofee which I cheerfully swallowed. In fact I became so punch-drunk with love, I flat out ignored how he was acting.  I even made excuses for his behavior to my friends who could clearly see the reality of the situation. Of course, after a year-and-a-half, to no one’s surprise except my own, shortly after sharing his feelings of commitment towards me, the relationship became slightly less geographically convenient and he rather nonchalantly dumped me.  I was devastated while he seemed to move on with ease.  I share this embarrassing story because the scenario is all too common and if I had simply paid attention to this man’s behavior rather than his words, I could have avoided a huge heartache.

In his book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey makes the point that a man who is truly interested in a woman is naturally driven to do three things:

Profess,

Protect,

and

Provide.

Harvey observes that if a man is seriously interested in a woman he will want to profess his feelings for you.  I will venture to stretch this statement to include women and say that a person who is genuinely interested in another person will want to profess their feelings.  In any case,  the message is that the action of wanting to share this special person or at least tell everyone about them and how fabulous they are is inherent to genuine affection. So if somebody really likes you and has a plan to keep you around for the long run, they are going to make an effort to introduce you to their family, friends and co-workers. In 18 months, this man, I will call him Wordsmith Duane, introduced me to only one of his friends and just two of his family members – hardly the action of a person so madly in love as he claimed to be. The concept of professing his admiration, devotion and love of me to others was absent from his agenda. If we ran into someone he knew while we were out he would leave me standing there without introducing me.

It is logical that when you love someone or are at least thinking of them as long-term relationship material you will want to protect them form harm. Harvey claims this is a primal main function of the human male but I argue that women are similar in this behavior.  Note that parents are programmed to love their offspring and do all matter of things to ensure children’s survival to adulthood otherwise there would be no such things as baby monitors, car seats and bike helmets. At any rate, I have a food allergy to something that is often concealed in foods and though not a death threat has an unpleasant affect on my body resulting in misery for those around me. Wordsmith Duane failed to remember that I had this allergy and even up to the last few days of our relationship, would thoughtlessly offer this type of  food to me.  If he were genuinely concerned for my welfare he would have taken a conscious mental note of my health issue and would have not offered me this food and may have evolved to the place of asking about it at restaurants before I did.  He would have been keen to protect me in order to keep me around longer.

Then there is the providing part.  Men and women traditionally provide differently for their long-term mates and most men in my age range still tend to think in terms of providing financially for a woman. So, in our culture, if a man is comfortable paying for some things other than some dinners out, it is a sign that he is thinking about providing for you in his future. I am talking about investing in things that bring you together like a class you are both interested in or buying you a gift simply because it will bring you joy like a signed copy of your favorite book, a scarf you admired in a shop window when you were out somewhere together or picking up an umbrella when an unexpected down poor occurs (this may fall under the protection column as well).  Wordsmith Duane only paid for things he could figure out a way write off on his taxes.  In the 18 months we spent together in a “romantic” relationship he… Hah, I was just thinking about the things he bought me like flowers when I was sick and a box of chocolates for my birthday and just realized he probably wrote those off as well – I actually fail to recall one single item he gave me that didn’t come from his office as a vendor gift or that wasn’t a tax write-off. That is a bitter pill to swallow at this moment- Agh. But  you get the idea, this man was far from financially invested in our relationship.  I mean, really people, if you are treated like a business expense  then you are engaged in business not a romance.

Other indications that this guy’s brain was somewhere other than in a relationship with me were:

  • A tendency to repeat the same conversations.  I don’t mean subjects we were debating like legalization of abortion or how to cook the perfect hamburger, I mean repeated actual monologues and would tell me about something we did together like see a movie without recalling that I was there.
  • After 18 months of serious dating, he didn’t  know my middle name.
  • He didn’t read my blog- either of them.  Now if you had a practical handbook on a person  you were genuinely interested in or at least a window into that person’s likes and dislikes, you would read it, right?
  • I was constantly making excuses for his lame -ass behavior like “He is so busy,” or “He is super stressed by his work, family, or ingrown toenail….or whatever.”  But worst of all was the, “Oh, but he tells me how important I am to him and how much he loves me so I must just be making to much out of this behavior.” I was being ridiculously disrespectful to myself.

What should happen when a person is seriously interested in you and thinking about the long term?  They want to introduce you to family, friends and co-workers. He /She will invite you to social events with his friends or co-workers and make sure you all have a chance to get to know each other a little.  He/She will include you in family gatherings and chat you up to  familial elders and close relatives. That person will be eager to protect you by driving responsibly and making sure you have what you need to be comfortable. They wi

So heed my words dating people (or better yet, follow my wiser example of noticing actions), you can drink in the compliments and other nice words but when it comes to really understanding how someone feels about you it’s in their actions.

For a complimentary post click here.

To hear the Shoop Shoop Song click here.

To hear Whitney Houston’s immortal, How Will I Know click here.

 

Whitney Houston asks, "How will I know?" in her 1985 music video

Whitney Houston asks, “How will I know?” in her 1985 music video

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Setting Standards from the Beginning

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Goddess Power

Goddess Power

So I met this man.  What else is new, right?  Those of you who have been reading for a while know that it is normal for me to meet men, it is just abnormal for me to like them after a date or two.  But I like a lot about this man mostly that he seems devoted to his family and has a similar outlook regarding spirituality and how to live life – some really important and apparently rare to find qualities.  Anyway, I am catching myself thinking about him throughout the day which means I am starting to like him which traditionally means that I am about to sacrifice my goddess power to a mere mortal man.

But not this time.

Although this guy seems great and I like him and all and other women would bend over backwards for him (and some have, I am sure, because he is good looking, nice, and has worked hard and been successful so that now, at age 50 he can relax a little and not work so hard and anyone who has tried to find a sane, nice, fiscally comfortable person to date in the middle of life understands how utterly RARE all of the qualities are in one person), I refuse to set my self up for later misery by letting him get away with treating me the least bit shabbily. Twice in five days he has said he would call within a certain time frame and failed to do so not contacting me for more than 24 hours after each incident. This is a problem for me – A BIG problem.

Because I am searching for a long term mate, a partner with which to navigate life,  it is imperative that any candidate possess traits and demonstrates habits that are conducive to creating a happy day-to-day existence.  Showing respect for my time and practicing good communication skills including communicating information at an agreed upon time is one of those important habits  that contributes to the achievement of daily harmonious co-habitation.  If I fail to convey that standard now, then I am cheating myself and this man.  I am giving him the green light to treat me differently than the way I desire, require and deserve.

According to Steve Harvey, men want directions in how to treat you and if you give them up front, when you first meet, then the man can decided if he is willing to adhere to your standards or not before anyone’s time is wasted and emotions are at risk.  Harvey writes:

“Men are very simple, logical people; if you tell us what you like and what you don’t like, we’ll do anything we can to make sure we live up to your expectations, particularly if we’re interested in forging a relationship with you. … But really, we’re not programmed to figure it out.  It really makes us quite happy when you lay out your requirements for us. And we need you to do it up front, so we can decide if we’re up for the challenge – not two weeks into the relationship, not two months after we’ve had sex, not two hers after we’ve said “I do” in front of the preacher and our respective families and friends.  Heck, we’ll take them while you’re standing at the bar, sipping on the peach martini we just bought you, so long as you’re laying them out.  Because now you’ve given us a road map for how to conduct ourselves, especially if we’re truly interested in a relationship with you.”

This is sound advice for everyone.  How can we possibly find someone we can go through life with if we fail to share the roadmap of our standards and values OR fail to get their roadmap.

In my previous dating life, I never wanted to rock the boat.  I would put up with all kinds of crap, particularly if a sexual relationship had started, to keep the relationship in tact out of fear or laziness (what a bother to have to find someone else to have sex with, right?).  Then later after I felt like things were comfortable and it was time to move into a more serious commitment I would start to map out the parameters or became super resentful and blamed the man for being stupid.  I now recognize that I was the one being stupid.  No wonder I ended up with badly behaving men!  If I had mapped out my standards for treatment up front (or even taken the time to understood what they were) the losers would have taken off long before I had become emotional/physically attached and the goods ones might have stuck around rather than quitting the dumb game I was playing early on in search of someone who had their personal act better put together.

Part of this issue was my own low self-esteem at the time but another part of the problem is how I was raised.  I remember my authority figures squashing my attempts to express my needs  by telling me to stop complaining rather than teaching me better language  or training me to suppress any undesirable emotions like anger, resentment, fear or jealousy because they were not “nice”, saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  In Southern homes of the time,  young ladies were trained that your guests (read anyone who is not family) ruled and you responded to their every whim with compliance and never gave criticism or set a boundary.  You were supposed to be pretty and compliant. Entire generations of women were trained to be doormats.  Southern literature is full of depictions of these women like Stella and Blanche from “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Every Southerner knows the description of the little lady who, “Tells you to go to hell in a way that you thought she was paying you a compliment”.  This type of suppression is a twisted disease that has been passed down from generation to generation and hopefully in my lineage stops with me.

So this time with this guy I put it on the line, up front, confidently and boldly. I left him a message politely but firmly describing my annoyance and how I expect to be communicated with from this second on. Maybe his phone died but there are other ways to get messages to people nowadays.  He can either work within the parameters of my standards or take a hike because respect for myself far outweighs need for a person in my life who treats me disrespectfully.

Thanks, Steve Harvey.  We will see if this guy is sport fishing or looking for a keeper very soon.  His reaction to my message will speak volumes.

And

We will see if he is worth investing my precious time in pursuing a relationship or not.

A new attempt at writing a personal ad

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If you have been following Dating By Committee you are probably familiar with my  match.com experiences (and have a full understanding why I am not on any online dating sites).

BUT…

Steve Harvey’s advice on setting standards up front to weed out the throw back men from the keepers has inspired me to maybe, just maybe, try it again.

This time instead of writing some lovely romantic narrative on what I like and how fabulous I am, I will write up something much more frank.

It could look like an Audition notice and read something like this:

AUDITION NOTICE

Seeking adult male  to take on the permanent role of  SUPERMAN  in a long running improvisational production entitled, RESPECT THE GODDESS.

Men seeking this once-in-a-lifetime, plumb role should be 40 + years of age (or  really mature if under 40) , enjoy children, have established careers that they enjoy, positive attitudes, a clear life plan, comfortable with improvisation and  be in good mental and physical health.

Auditionees should be able to jump into an established ongoing production with one adult actress who plays multiple roles (Writer/Mother/ Lover/Goddess),one adult male (college aged son who drops in occasionally) and one young female (tween-aged girl) with the rare visit from Stella the hilarious yet aging Bull Terrier.  Other cast members include: Family who live out-of-town, a parcel of fun/interesting Friends from varying nationalities and backgrounds,  the school fundraising committee, writing colleagues, the Quaker Friends a host of artists of varying mediums, some yogis/yoginis and 2 former actors who lost the privilege of playing this role.

The actor cast will be required to provide some cast meals so you should be able to cook or pay for healthy take-out or restaurants and be able to clean or afford to hire a cleaning service.

Dancing is a plus.

WARNING: Nudity will be required IF you are cast (The Director reserves the right to review serious candidates at her discretion).

The lucky actor cast  will receive the following benefits:

  • love
  • loyalty
  • support
  • intelligent conversation
  • a well managed home
  • a willing traveling partner
  • tickets to cultural events
  • lots of laughs mixed in with the regular stuff
  • an amusing insider’s view of the creative process
  • special attention from a sought after goddess
If interested: send a resume and a brief description of why you think you should be considered for this role.
So what do you think? Anything I should add, delete or otherwise?

 

 

 

 

 

Why Men Cheat

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Four in the last 10 days.  If you have been following this blog you know what the number 4 means in relationship to the number of married men that I feel are crossing boundaries (three described in a recent post and now one more).  No details needed.  The point is that I have, up until now, been absolutely perplexed by this phenomenon of married or otherwise attached men approaching other women.

Enter Comedian and Author, Steve Harvey and his book, ACT LIKE A LADY, THINK LIKE A MAN. His chapter, aptly titled, Why Men Cheat, explains in simple terms the answer (drum roll)- Because They Can.  He goes in to the reasons why and the various roles in the cheating scenario.  That plus hearing what feels like  100 men relate their tales of marital woe,  rebuffing what feels like an equal number of would be cheaters and listening to dozens of women’s stories who have either  been cheated on, cheated on someone or both, I think I get it now.

If you are waiting for me to share my revelations in this post, you will be disappointed. Perhaps another day.

But I will say this:

I have changed my perspective from disgust or flattery (depending on my mood) to mild amusement when married men approach me after reading this book.  Men are just programmed   to populate the planet and mix up as many gene pools as possible in doing so and sex is not necessarily an emotional experience.  That is just plain different than how women are programmed.  They don’t mean to be smarmy or rude.  They simply want to see what they can get.

Granted, I speak in general terms.  I understand that there are different kinds of cheaters and varying circumstances.  What Harvey’s book has taught me is that most men (single or attached)  start out with the idea of just getting sex from a woman and that if I look at all males from that perspective I can control the outcome.  If I can accept that it is just what they do, I can defuse the importance of it and take it for what it is- not a compliment or a slight- just what is.

I have also discovered that if I calmly call a man on the carpet rather than getting all uptight and offended or scared that his mate will hate me for standing there when the man made his advance, he will just laugh about it and brush it off as nothing- which is exactly what it is to him- NOTHING- a try at his luck.

All I have to do to be appropriate is rebuff his advances.

Please know, ladies, that these guys will L-I-E their faces off to get what they want so you have to be very careful.  Harvey offers up a 90 day rule for “giving up the cookie” – excellent advice that I totally support.

That way you can avoid situations like the one Delanie Moore, Author of I am Divorced Not Dead

 

, found herself in when she made out with a man she had just met and then discovered  a few days later he was married.  Harvey’s 90 day rule gives you the chance to discover whether or not a man is interested in you as long term potential or just sex.  (There is more to it than just waiting 90 days but it is a good guideline with which to start.)

Click here to read Delanie’s story – it is a really good example of the lengths a man will go to lure an unsuspecting woman into having sex.

Remember also that this advice is geared towards women seeking a long term committed relationship rather than  simply some fun.There is a place for that too but I strongly suggest that you stick with single men for that as well. It makes everyone’s life far less complicated.

Anyone have any good stories to tell along these topics?

The 80/20 rule- dating advice

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Pareto’s principle or the 80/20 rule is often used in business and economics to determine efficiency and to make decisions.  You have probably heard or read it used in terms of wealth distribution ( 20% of the population owns 80% or the wealth or 20% or the population pays 80% of collected taxes – not the same 20% by the way) . But Christian Carter has finally written something that makes sense to me.  He is using Pareto’s principle to describe the ratio of good available men to all men.  (To learn a little about Pareto’s rule click here)

In a recent email he writes:

Out of a random sample of 100 handsome guys, you’d probably find that only 20 of them (or so) are:

– Single

– Emotionally stable and at least semi-mature

– Able to carry on an interesting conversation

– Open to a relationship, should the right woman come along

– Not a player, or looking for just “fun”

This is just an estimate from my own personal experience, but I think you get the point.

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HOOORAAAAHH!  Now I get  why there are seemingly so few great men out there.  I have been frustrated, as I am sure many single women in their “middle-age”are also, because I failed to realize I was looking for something so rare.

I love that Christian includes “able to carry on an interesting conversation” on his list of qualities.  I have found this especially to be true (with the exception of a very interesting and eloquent man I have been communicating with lately.)   What I love about the “conversation” attribute is that if a man fails to intrigue me with words he hasn’t got a chance regardless of his status or qualities. I know the misery of being with someone who has a limited capacity for thinking and expression.  You know what I mean,  A person with this issue might repeat themselves, the same stories, the same jokes, phrases and responses to adnauseum as if they are in a mental and lingual holding pattern for ever.  Like the man who made a funny comment about the way I said the word, “phone”. (Occasionally, my native Southern accent makes its way into my word pronunciation.  Sometime I pronounce the word phone with a very long “O” sound so that PhOne becomes Phowne. It is very cute when it happens, I am sure.) It was funny the first time he said it.  I showed  that he was paying attention to me and what I was saying, that he found something  charming about me.  The second through fifth time he said it, it was sort of an inside joke- an attempt at creating intimacy, perhaps.  By the 20th time it was annoying and I asked him to stop.  By the 30th time it was a demonstration of mental calcification on his part, a lack of creativity (couldn’t he move on from that joke and create another?) and a lack of respect for my wishes. Or they simply lack a decent command of the language.  I thought, “Good god, am I going to have to hear this for the rest of my life?” and I decided, “Nope.” and ended the relationship. Of course that was not all that was problematic in the relationship. The “phone” thing was merely a symbol of some bigger issues. OR there is the man who uses too many slang and/or curse words in his speech.  I mean, just get a little more creative, will you? But I digress.

In my experience it is not that there is a dirth of single men that is the problem but meeting all of Christian’s criteria that is the main issue. But Christian also says that it is not  the quality of men out there that is important.  He claims it is how women interact with them that counts.

Here is where Christian sort of offers some useful advice for once.  Read what he writes later in the same email quoted above:

THE POWER OF BELIEF IN YOUR LOVE LIFE

So what do you think could happen if you yourself suspended your disbelief that there weren’t many great men out there…

And instead you lived your life with the generosity that only comes from an open heart who’s willing to seek out the best in people?

How do you think men would respond if you were that woman who believed that every man you start talking to could be interesting, SINGLE, and that he’s probably a great guy?

And how do you think men would FEEL around you if they didn’t see that you looked at them suspiciously as though they might be like some of the other men who weren’t acting so great?

There’s an old principle that stands true in the world of advertising…

It basically says that out of 100 people reading your ad or seeing your commercial, maybe ONE of them is that someone who would buy your product. The rest will tune your message out even if it’s a great message.

Which means, if you try and talk to the 100 people in your ad, you’ll fail to grab that 1 real genuine buyers attention.

To put it another way: “Don’t worry about the DOGS, concentrate on selling the FOXES.”

It’s great metaphor I borrowed from a smart writer I know named Gary Halbert.

The point is…talk to the men you meet AS IF they’re single, open, interesting, and wonderful.

And then don’t worry about the ones who don’t turn out to actually BE single, open, interesting, available, and wonderful.

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I really like that Christian says to just go out there with your good attitude, your heart open and chat up every man you meet with reckless abandon. I think I have been doing this all my life . But what Christian fails to mention here is that when you put yourself wholeheartedly out there and treat every man like he’s wonderful and available you may attract the attention of some serious psychos who can be difficult to shake (I will be starting my “stalker” novel this month) or enjoy the wrath of an insecure girlfriend or jealous wife or two (not a fun experience to be reamed up the butt by a woman who feels you are a threat because you treated “her man”  (I hate this term because it Implies ownership – might indicate the real problem right there) like he was single.)

I agree with Christian that you should be comfortable, open and confident when talking to men – all men, single or otherwise.  But I invite you to keep that radar of intuition up while you are enjoying some good conversations.

A fun book to read regarding weeding out the looser/player/undeserving guys from the keepers is Steve Harvey’s “Act Like A Lady, Think Like a Man“.  His 5 questions are super smart and his writing style is spritely and clear.

So Sistahs get on out there, put on your confidence, raise that radar and chat up some guys.

Let me know what happens.