Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man is Steve Harvey’s book to teach women how men think. And how to use that knowledge to secure a man, a happy relationship and a wedding ring.
It has some deep and key insights that no other similar books have.
- Bullet Summary
- Full Summary
- PART ONE: The Mind-Set of a Man
- 1. What Drives Men
- 2. Our Love Isn’t Like Your Love
- 3. The Three Things Every Man Needs
- 4. Talking Differences
- PART TWO: Why Men Do What They Do
- 5. First Things First
- 6. Sports Fish VS Keepers
- 7. Mama’s Boys
- 8. Why Men Cheat
- PART THREE: The Playbook
- 9. Get Some Standards
- 10. The Five Key Question Every
- 11. The Ninety Days Rule
- 12. Let Him Meet The Kids
- 13. Strong, Independent -and Lonely- Women
- 14. How To Get The Ring
- 15. Answer to Question You’ve Always Wanted to Ask
- Real Life Applications
- Men show love with Professing (introducing you as official), Protecting and Providing
- Men need your support, loyalty and sex
- Set your requirements, demands and needs early on
Steve Harvey says men are simple and they all think in a similar way. Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man is a playbook of sort.
PART ONE: The Mind-Set of a Man
1. What Drives Men
Steve Harvey says men are simple. No where he’s currently at, there are three things that builds his identity and self esteem:
- Who he is (his title)
- What he does (how he gets the title)
- The reward he gets (how much he makes)
A man must achieve a minimum in those three areas to feel he’s fulfilling his duties as a man. Before he figures out how to achieve his minimum goals in those areas he will be too busy to focus on you (and on family & relationships).
2. Our Love Isn’t Like Your Love
Harvey says men and women love differently. Women profess their love many times a day and will probably expect their men do the same.
But men love in three ways instead, which the author dubs the “3 Ps”:
He will tell everyone you are his woman and he will introduce you with an official title. Conversely, if he doesn’t take you out and you haven’t seen his family and friends, you’re not there to stay.
The more a man can provide, the more he feels like a man. If he can’t provide, he doesn’t feel like a man.
That’s one of the reasons, Steve says, that poor men run away from their father duties: to escape their feelings of inadequacy (Tony Robbins says his father ran away when strangers donated his family food for Thanksgiving, giving support to Harvey’s theory).
Providing is not only monetary, but it’s also about helping fixing things, moving stuff or solving problems. And that’s why you need to make him feel like he’s providing for you (later chapter).
When a man loves you, he will defend you and stand up for you. He will defend you physically, from people who are disrespecting you and by doing things he deems too dangerous for you.
3. The Three Things Every Man Needs
Steve Harvey says a man needs three things:
- Loyal Support
Love means to make him feel like he’s special, like he’s a king.
Loyal support means that you will stand by his side no matter what happens.
Sex, well, Steve says men can only go a month without it. And if you start rationing out sex, he’ll be looking for it elsewhere.
When a woman doesn’t provide for these three things, the relationship is doomed.
4. Talking Differences
Steve Harvey says men are about purpose-driven talk and solutions (read also Men Are From Mars Women From Venus for more on gender differences in relationships).
Men rarely open up like women do but they like fixing stuff for you.
PART TWO: Why Men Do What They Do
5. First Things First
Harvey says again that men are simple, and if they come to talk to you, they like you. When he comes, he has two things in mind:
- If you will sleep with him
- And if so, how much effort it will take
Now that you know, he says, let him know what’s your price so that you won’t waste any time.
6. Sports Fish VS Keepers
Steve Harvey says men divide women among women good for a night, and women good for long term (this is the Madonna/Whore dichotomy, check The Moral Animal for more)
The key though, says Harvey, is that it’s you who decides if you’re disposable or if you’re a keeper. Check the book to see how!
And here’s how to recognize if he’s looking for something serious or for quick fun:
- He picks up the bill (VS asking to split)
- Keeps his his word and shows up on time
- Introduces his friends
- Happy to meet your kids
7. Mama’s Boys
Does your boyfriend puts his mother above you? Check the book on why that happens.
8. Why Men Cheat
Harvey says that men can have sex without emotions. Which means he can love you and still cheat for the simple act of sex.
PART THREE: The Playbook
9. Get Some Standards
The author says men like women with standards, but warns you this does not mean you get on a man’s face telling him what he must and must not do. You need some tact and some good presentation for your requirements (indeed high initial demands are a sign of low quality).
He explains the good way to do it and the bad way. It’s quite good, read it on the book.
10. The Five Key Question Every
Steve proposes you find out 5 things about him early on:
- Long Term Plans: and how they fit into who he is, what he does, how much he makes
- Short Terms Actions: is he acting on his plans?
- Relationships: with his mother and God. How he feels about family and children
- What He Thinks About You: you want details and examples (or he’s not thinking long term)
- How He Feels About You: you want to see deep feeling (missing you, feels great with you, loves you..)
One and two tells you if he’s ready for something long term. Number 3 tells you if he wants something long term. Questions 4 and 5 come after you have been knowing him for a while.
These questions by themselves will also cause him to start seeing you in a different, and better light.
11. The Ninety Days Rule
This is relating to sex, and you can imagine what it means.
My Note: This is a very common concept among women’s dating advise books. I think 90 days is a bit too long, check my article on why you shouldn’t let him wait for sex.
12. Let Him Meet The Kids
13. Strong, Independent -and Lonely- Women
Harvey says that when a woman says she doesn’t need no men, men cannot provide and protect, and they feel useless. And he gives a few tips about what you should do instead. Check the book for the tips.
14. How To Get The Ring
Harvey says the only reason why he is able to stall marriage is because she hasn’t required him to set the date.
15. Answer to Question You’ve Always Wanted to Ask
The last chapter is for questions and answer. I invite you to get the book to read it.
Real Life Applications
Let Him Take The Lead
He will feel more like a man and he will like you more.
Fix Your House
Your house is a reflection of who you are.
Steve Harvey purports to speak for all men. For example, he writes: “I cannot tell you the fulfillment we have in knowing that we’ve secured your time (…) it’s all the affirmation we need“. But that’s not how I feel. My feelings are that Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man is:
Tailored Towards Providers Men
This book is tailored towards men who want (and need) to provide for their women. Not all men are like that. Some men want women who are more equals and who can work for themselves.
You don’t need to take my word for it: the most up-voted bad review on Amazon is exactly from that type of man.
Sherry Argov address this cohort of men in Why Men Love Bitches.
To prove that sleeping with him before 90 days is a bad idea Harvey asks where are all the men you’ve slept with before 90 days. But that’s an inductive fallacy and doesn’t prove anything. Most sexual relationships don’t last for ever, whether you slept with him after 900 days or 900 seconds..
I listed a lot of cons there because, well, I believe they are valid point.
But don’t get me wrong, Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man has some genius content.
Particularly useful are the concepts that:
- A man needs a minimum level of achievement before he can fully give himself to relationships;
- Many men need to feel they provide and protect their woman.
That’s true and Harvey is the only one of all the women’s dating books I read to stress that.
I also liked and fully agree with the fact that a woman should make it clear, early but in a tactful way, what her final goals are (marriage or kids). And she should have a timeline.
That goes against what some others authors said, but not putting your needs and demands early is, in my opinion, too big of a risk.
Act Like a Lady!
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