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Lanie's Articles  |   Essays From M.H Borden

Yin/Yang Part one

I am a huge library user, so it was interesting to me that only one book on my want- to -read list has taken months to be available and it wasn’t “War and Peace,” trust me. No, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” gets the prize for hardest to get my hands on.

Clearly understanding how men think, as a man sees it, is high on the want-to-knows of single women.

Steve Harvey, the author, is the host of the widely syndicated Steve Harvey Morning Show, which has more than seven million listeners. Who knew?

Since most dating books seem to be written by women, I thought it might be a good idea to see what Steve Harvey, a male “expert” on the subject has to say.

Interestingly Mr. Harvey seems to agree with many social scientists (many of whom are women) that men, compared to women, are simple creatures. I remember an old Dave Barry joke where he reminds women not to be upset when they ask a man what he is thinking, if he answers: "nothing.” Barry thought it was probably the truth, unless the guy was thinking about the size of his golf cleats.

Of course, into my Doubting-Thomas mind comes images of Shakespeare, Dickens, Faulkner, Hawthorne etc. etc. and I do have to wonder about “simple.” They seem to be thinking a lot more than I am, in a far deeper way.

But when it comes to relationships, Harvey claims, men are pretty simple. When you ask a woman what kind of love she wants from a man, it might sound something like this:
“I want him to be humble and smart, fun and romantic, sensitive and gentle. I want him to look me in the eyes and tell me that I’m beautiful and that I complete him. I want him to be vulnerable enough to cry when he is hurting, who will introduce me to his mother with a smile on his face…who loves children and animals, is willing to change diapers and wash dishes.” Sounds like a personal ad?

Steve Harvey maintains that there is nothing to compare with a woman’s love -- nothing on the planet can compare to a woman’s love. Men love, he argues, but not quite in that way. Your beloved might not stoke your hair and wipe your brow when you have a sniffle. Men in fact love in a simpler way.

I started to read this section aloud to a client I was meeting, a recent widow. She said her husband, was, indeed, just like that description, just like the man women dream of. Even when hiking, she said, her husband would run a bit ahead, get his exercise and come back and join her, ever thoughtful and ever wanting to be with her.

So I guess my answer would be, perhaps they often- maybe -most men- maybe- love more simply but beware of generalities.

There is apparently research to support that women having women as friends is more important to their health and longevity than a husband or grandchildren, and no doubt that is because of the way women do love and relate.

Still, as most of us know who have been around the block a little, there are many men who will rise to the extreme level of women’s nutty expectations and many women who will , as I have heard from several men clients, do the darndest things, like abandon them and their children, or go off with their best friend. Men who write poems and pine from love and rub tired feet and women who don’t want to talk about their feelings.

Harvey then moves on to ways men do show love when they love you, and what you should look for.

Your guy professes to one and all that you are his something or other and not his friend Susie-Q or , worst of all, introduce you, beware, as just Susie-Q. My husband and I struggled in the beginning, I remember, as to what exactly we should call each other: girlfriend/boyfriend didn’t exactly match our middle-age realities, and “partner” sounded too much like business. But at least we were talking about it and did want to profess “ownership aka relationship” of some kind. Whereas some coupled-off friends of ours have struggled for years and he still introduces her by her name. So maybe there is some truth in this one.
Provide for you. Whether monetarily or through “sweat equity” he will try to take care of you and your needs. In our friends’ case above, the man in the relationship is still tallying up who spent what on what, after nine years together. Not good. I have heard some research to support that in terms of money, it is usually a good idea if the man makes more than the woman, though again, in this new world, that is a total generality. I know my ex-husband and current husband would be delighted if I made a lot of money—but who knows, maybe it wouldn’t work out the way they think. But I guess one should watch out if the boyfriend isn’t providing in some way, because according to what Mr. Harvey says, a real man wants to feel needed and that means taking care of a woman as he is able to.
. Protect you from anything that will hurt or harm you. Personally it touches me that my husband is determined to show me every safety feature on my car, even when I am yawning from boredom.

Okay—only on page 35. Stay tuned for more ying/yang!
Can I renew this book?

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