Is He Thinking About Sex or Does He Want to Date?

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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Does he want to date you, or is he thinking about sex only? How can you weed out the men who just want to have fun from the ones who are looking for commitment?

In his book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, Steve Harvey aims to give advice to women so they can avoid walking into a relationship with the wrong expectations. According to Harvey, if he approaches you, he wants something from you.

Keep reading to learn how to tell the difference between a man who just wants to kick it and a man who wants commitment.

Yes, He Is Thinking About Sex

The information and advice in this article are from Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. In this article, you’ll learn what Harvey has to say about the inner workings of men’s behavior to give you an advantage over their games. 

Harvey says that the first thing you need to know is what it means when a man approaches you. Have no doubt that your thoughts and his thoughts in that moment are vastly different. You’re likely wondering who this man is and what his life is like. He’s thinking about sex, what he’ll have to do to make that happen, and whether you’re someone he’ll just “kick it” with or consider for a long-term partnership. This knowledge will help you avoid walking into a relationship with expectations you can’t possibly achieve. 

How Much Is Your Love Worth?

When a man approaches you at a bar, church, grocery store, or a party, he has a plan. Men have no interest in idle chit-chat. If he’s talking to you, he wants something from you. And nine times out of ten, what he wants is sex. 

His assessment of whether sex is a possibility starts immediately. Every question or comment is geared to decipher whether or not you’re willing to sleep with him. If he feels like there’s a chance, he’ll try to determine what it’s going to cost him emotionally, monetarily, and physically to accomplish this task. You need to understand this because it’s easy to be fooled into thinking a man is genuinely interested in how you’re doing when he walks up and says, “How are you?” He’s not interested in what you do, where you live, or what your hobbies are. He’s thinking about sex, and he wants to know how to get it.

When a man considers the price tag for sex, he’s wondering the following:

  • Will you require his time, meaning will you want to date and become emotionally attached first? 
  • Will you require respect, meaning will you want to be treated as an equal and receive gestures that show how much he cares?
  • Will you require his attention, meaning will you want him to have long talks about your feelings and receive phone calls during the week?

For men looking for something more than sex, these terms may be worth the effort to eventually get to physical intimacy. And if a man can see you’re worth the effort, he’ll do what he needs to do. But many men are not looking for a large investment. They want to have fun and go on their way. You won’t be able to tell the difference right away, but you can skew the odds in your favor by being up front with your terms. 

You now know what to expect when a man approaches you, so don’t get caught in the trap of thinking a particular man is different. Even if something real happens, the catalyst is always the same. But you can weed out the ones who just want fun by making it clear what you expect if he wants to eventually be lying next to you in bed. 

These terms are important because if you don’t communicate what you require from a man, he’ll do whatever benefits him. He’ll take liberties with your time, call you when he wants, and make little effort to show you the respect you deserve. 

Kickin’ It vs. Commitment

You may be thinking, “I don’t need a commitment to have sex,” and that’s your prerogative. There’s no shame in wanting to have fun with a man without getting involved with him. But if you do want commitment, you need to make sure you’re on the same page. Even if a man follows your requirements, he may still be on a different path than yours in the relationship. 

There are two ways that men think about women they’re sleeping with. They either see them as women to kick it with or someone they could marry. When a man is kicking it with a woman, he may still behave like a boyfriend. He will go to your mother’s for Easter, take you to movies, and do nice things for you to an extent. But he sees no future with you, and there is an expiration date, which is usually when someone better comes along, or you’ve asked for more from him.

When a man walks up to you with a smile on his face, be clear about your price for intimacy and force him to show his hand. When he does, you can decide to stay or walk away and find someone who can give you what you want. 

Is He Thinking About Sex or Does He Want to Date?

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Here's what you'll find in our full Act Like A Lady Think Like A Man summary:

  • 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

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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