This article originally appeared on ManWifeAndDog.com
My husband and I went to see the new movie "Think Like A Man" over the weekend, and let me just go ahead and say, we did enjoy it. It was funny, smart, and way more realistic than we expected it to be. Now, that said, it was still a movie... not real life. We must always remember, there is a difference, so the "lessons" the film is dishing out should be taken with a grain of salt.
I'll admit that I didn't read Steve Harvey's best seller "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man" when it first came out; not because I'm a hater, but rather because I'd already met a good man by then and wasn't totally sold on the idea that I needed to read the book to keep him around. I read it a few years later, mostly out of curiosity. I'd heard so many women swear they'd "turned the tables" on the men in their lives by using a rule from Harvey's playbook, so you know I had to see what all the fuss was about. I was impressed with the empowerment behind much of his advice, I'll admit. But, I wasn't convinced enough to walk around preaching Harvey's sermons to the masses. Why? My reason is simple: I didn't have to "man up" to meet a good man who respected me, cherished me, and was willing to put in the effort required to earn my love and trust.
When I met my future husband, I didn't approach dating thinking like I thought he did (as Harvey recommends), I thought like me because that's all I knew how to do and I wanted to be true to myself and date within my comfort zone. The book (and the movie) will tell you that thinking a step ahead of the guy you want to be with will get you to the relationship you want faster, or filter out the losers.
Maybe... but that's not always the case. Not every man is a conniving genius who strategically plans out every play or pass he makes at you. If you believe that, I think you're giving some men too much credit. Yes, there are plenty of jerks, dogs, and deadbeats out there trying to get your "cookies," and faking interest, affection, and in extreme cases even love, just to score them. But then there are the decent men out there who ask you out because they want to get to know you better, not because they're testing out a pickup line. The ones who want to be intimate because they genuinely find you attractive and feel it's okay to make a move; not because they think that's all you're good for. The ones who don't give a shit how successful or beautiful you are if you're ugly on the inside. The ones who think a woman who throws her rules and standards in a man's face before he can even get the check on a first date are more man than they could ever be and pretty scary.
Call me crazy, but based on my own personal experiences with love and dating, I do believe that for every three manipulating men out there, there is one who's keeping it real with you. So, I ask, why not play it straight with that guy? If you're playing mind games before you two have even gotten into each others' heads, you're not starting off a relationship on the right foot. When you meet a man, the question isn't, "What is his angle?"; it's does he have one at all? Keep an open mind here and the answers might surprise you. After it occurred to me that I was actually falling for my husband, what was most refreshing about being with him was the realization that I didn't have to try manipulate his actions to fit my needs or play mind games to get him to say the things I needed to hear -- he just did. True, no man is perfect, but finding one who's giving you the real him and enjoying the real you is a great thing.
Think about it, ladies. That's all I'm asking. If you're into a guy and you're in the "dating phase", ask yourself one (or all) of these questions: Am I judging him based on what's in front of me or what I think I know? Am I searching for faults or are they really there? Does he expect me to be anything other than what I am? Do I have to change me to change him? That's not thinking like a woman or a man; that's thinking like someone who wants to fall in love for real and for all the right reasons. That's a unisex skill we can all hone.
Married? In a serious relationship? Did you have to "think like a man" to get the commitment and love you wanted from him?