This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man" by Steve Harvey. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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Why do men find dating an independent woman so difficult? What are some things an independent woman can do to make sure her man still feels needed?
In his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey talks about the difficulties of dating an independent woman. Harvey explains that most men don’t mind if a woman makes more than him or is successful, as long as he still feels needed in some ways.
Keep reading to learn what Steve Harvey has to say about dating an independent woman.
You Can Be Independent and Still Let Him Be a Man
You are a strong, capable, and independent woman. You have your own money, car, home, and 401(k). You can handle your job, life, and children without batting an eyelash. You’ve climbed the ladder of success and happily stayed perched at the top. In a sense, you are remarkable and have figured out how to take care of yourself. This is wonderful and admirable everywhere except in your relationship because dating an independent woman can be difficult for a man.
In today’s society, strong, independent women are championed, and rightfully so. But if you want to find a man who will stay with you for the long term, Harvey says, you need to give an inch when it comes to your independence and let him be a man.
Another part of the game plan for men is never to let women see how much they need them. Men act tough and pretend like a woman’s love is not important. But everything men do is to impress women, and if you’re able to protect and provide for yourself, a man doesn’t understand where he fits into your world.
Understand that a man doesn’t mind if you have money, a home, and everything else you need to be a strong, independent woman. What he cares about is being able to act like a man in your relationship. If your man can’t show his love the three ways he knows how, he won’t feel like a man and will move on.
Your Independence Can’t Be Bigger Than Your Relationship
Men aren’t intimidated by strong women, or at least not all men. Most men were raised by strong women. They know who’s really in charge in the household. They know women make all the decisions for their families, control the money regardless of who makes more, and will always need to be right in an argument if peace is to be had. None of this bothers men, but they still want to feel needed.
Don’t flaunt your power and independence. You need to allow your man to keep the delusion that he’s in control and is needed to make the tough decisions, pay the bills, and have a voice. If you can’t do this, you won’t have a man in your life for long.
Don’t shame your man for not having everything handled in his life or making less money than you. A man in a relationship with a woman who is more successful already feels vulnerable. He doesn’t need you to make him feel worse. He still needs to feel like he brings something to the table by way of providing for and protecting you and your family. And you have the power to help him feel that way.
Let Your Man Be Your Man
You don’t need to dampen your success, give up your house, car, job, or independence to keep a man. You just need to take a step back at the right times so your man can feel useful.
You might be able to move the dresser across the room by yourself, but let your man move the dresser and thank him for helping. You can open a door or pull out a chair by yourself, but why not let your man do it? You can afford to pay for dinner, but if your man can afford it too, let him pay for you. You can fix things around the house, but your man wants to fix things around the house. It’s his job, and if you take it away, what does he have left?
Make him feel appreciated for all the ways he supports your life, and he will feel like a king and work hard to keep you happy.
Here are some ideas for how you can play the role of the woman for your man:
- Give him ideas, not commands. For example, tell him what you like to eat, not where you are going to eat.
- Let him drive, even if you’re in your car.
- Allow him to pick up the check.
- Hold fast to your 90-day rule and make him earn his worth as your man.
- Ask him to take out the trash or mow the lawn.
- Cook him a special “thank you” dinner for all he’s done for you.
- Reward his efforts with some lingerie every now and then.
Relationships are about compromise. You might think this behavior is demeaning or childish, but if you follow these tips, your man will feel strong and purposeful, which will serve your partnership well.
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- How to navigate the adult dating scene
- What men need, how they think, and how they behave when it comes to relationships
- How women can gain an advantage and find the right man to fulfill their desires