Excerpt: Steve Harvey's 'Straight Talk, No Chaser'


I'll be honest. I did not see this coming. When I set out to write my first book, I did it only intending to share with women who send in questions to the "Strawberry Letter" segment of my radio program and show up to my comedy shows nodding in agreement about my observations on love and relationships, a no-holds-barred guide to understanding what men think about love, sex, dating, and marriage. My sole hope was that it would help women get beyond the myths, stereotypes, and general chatter that puts a stranglehold on the way they conduct themselves in relationships with us; my intention was to inform them about who we really are and what it takes to win in love with us when playing the "dating game."

My intentions were pure: I care deeply about these things because I am a husband, a son, a radio personality who speaks to millions of women daily via my radio show, and, most important of all, the father of four girls—beautiful young women who deserve good men who will love them, respect them, and treat them the way they want to be loved, respected, and treated.

What I found, though, was that Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man simply wasn't enough. As I hosted relationship seminars across the country, I discovered that no matter how thoroughly I thought I'd explained what motivates men, women still had innumerable questions about why we men act and react the way we do in various romantic situations. If I told a group of women that men are driven solely by what they do for a living, how much they make, and who they are, women wanted to know why stability is more important to men than falling in love. If I said men show their love by providing for, professing to, and protecting their significant other, my audience wanted to know why men can't love the way women love—by leading with their hearts. For every question I answered in the chapter, "Quick Answers to the Questions You've Always Wanted to Ask"—from "What do men find sexy?" and "Do you mind if your woman doesn't work?" to "Are men okay with their women having male friends?" and "Is getting on his mom's side important? "—there were fifty more topics I hadn't addressed.

There was also quite a bit of dissension. Some questioned why I counseled women to hold off sleeping with a man for at least 90 days while she investigated his intentions. Some argued that if they dared institute standards and requirements and tell men up front they were looking for serious relationships, they would run off guys who might be interested in them; others questioned whether I, a twice-divorced comedian, am qualified to give advice to women on how to have a long-term successful relationship.

All of these questions, observations, reservations, and demands for clarification and more answers reminded me that women are absolutely the most inquisitive creatures God has created; and no matter how many ways I explain something to my wife, my daughters, my female friends and colleagues, and especially my Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man readers, women are simply going to want to hear the answers more ways than my first book had to offer, and no matter how often I or any other man says they should maybe think and act a little differently in their dealings with men, they're hesitant.

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