Steve Harvey, host of one of the most popular radio shows in the country, The Steve Harvey Morning Show, and author of best selling book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, has a lot of advice for women in the dating pool. A guest on Oprah last March, Harvey says this book holds special meaning for him because, aside from his charity work, he wrote this book purely to empower women.
With the holidays right around the corner and all the parties, gatherings and outings to meet new people, it’s the perfect time for you ladies to brush up on your dating skills. And if you’re already dating someone, holiday time is the best time to find out if your sweetie is here to stay or if it’s time for someone new.
Introductions say it all. In his book, Harvey 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, Harvey 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 [Jen] …,' you should be standing there going, 'This is going nowhere.'"
Men have an agenda. According to Harvey, another thing women need to understand 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, Harvey says, he already knows what he 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, Harvey says men only need three things: support, loyalty and sex. Or as Harvey 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 his book, Harvey tells the story of his father-in-law's first introduction to one of Harvey'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," Harvey 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, Harvey says the boyfriend finally said that the two were just "kickin' it."
Harvey 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."
Set your standards high. Without ironclad standards, Harvey 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."
Set the pace of the relationship. Don't let the man set the pace of the relationship—Harvey 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.'"
As an auto plant worker, Harvey 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, Harvey 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."
Nix Facebook and text messages when it comes to dating. Social networking websites and text messages can be a great way to keep in touch with friends, but Harvey 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, Harvey says. Every man wants to protect his woman.
Visit www.thedatingdiva.net for more dating advice and to subscribe to our free dating newsletter with dating tips, Q&As and videos delivered to your inbox weekly!