By Salem Lorot
I have finished reading a book titled 'Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment' by Steve Harvey. OK, for a man, it is a bit strange that I read the book considering that it was dedicated to “all women”. But I got drawn by the title and my curiosity to acquire some “insider information” on what Steve had to say to women. And it paid off dividends.
In particular, there is a chapter the authors called “Sports Fish Vs. Keepers: How men distinguish between the Marrying types and the Playthings”.
Steve Harvey, at page 70 writes:
man fishes for two reasons: he’s either sport fishing or fishing to eat, which means he’s either going to try to catch the biggest fish he can, take a picture of it, admire it with his buddies and toss it back to sea, or he’s going to take that fish on home, scale it, fillet it, toss it in some cornmeal, fry it up, and put it on his plate. This, I think, is a great analogy for how men seek out women.
Harvey describes the sports fish as one who doesn’t have any rules, requirements, respect for herself, or guidelines, and men can pick up her scent a mile away. And what are her characteristics?
“She’s the party girl who takes a sip of her Long Island iced tea or a shot of her Patrón, then announces to her suitor that she just wants to “date and see how it goes,”
“She’s the conservatively dressed woman at the office who is a master at networking, but clueless about how to approach men.”
“She has no plans for any ongoing relationships, is not expecting anything in particular from a man, and sets absolutely not nary one condition or restriction on anyone standing before her—she makes it very clear that she’s just along for whatever is getting ready to happen. For sure, as soon as she lets a man know through words and action that he can treat her just any old kind of way, he will do just that. Men will stand in line to sign up for that, believe me.”
In stark contrast of the sports fish, the keeper is the exact opposite.
“[She] never gives in easily, and the standards/requirements start the moment you open your mouth.”
“…See, she understands her power and wields it like a samurai sword. She commands—not demands—respect, just by the way she carries herself.”
“You can walk up to her and give her your best game, and while she may be impressed by what you say, that’s no guarantee that she’s going to let the conversation go any further, much less give you her phone number and agree to give you some of her valuable
“Men automatically know from the moment she opens her mouth that if they want her, they’ll have to get in line with her standards and requirements, or keep it moving because she’s done with the games and isn’t interested in playing.”
“But she will also send all the signals that she is capable of being loyal to a man and taking good care of him, appreciative of what he’s bringing to the relationship, and ready for love—true, long-lasting love.”
The Author makes elaborate distinguishing features of a keeper and a sports fish.
1. A woman who commands respect is a keeper; a woman who lets men get away with disrespecting her is a throwback.
2. A woman who is dressed appropriately—has her goodies reasonably covered, but is still sexy, is a keeper; a woman who is scantily clad and dripping sex is a throwback.
3. A woman who won’t let you feel all over her body while you’re dancing is a keeper; a woman who drops it like it’s hot and puts on a dance floor performance that would make video vixen Karrine Steffans blush is a throwback.
4. A woman who takes a man’s number but doesn’t give him her own is a keeper; a woman who hands out her home, work, and cell phone numbers and e-mail and home addresses to a man who’s done nothing more than buy her a drink and ask how he can reach her is a throwback.
5. A woman who can hold a respectful, respectable conversation with a man and his mother is a keeper; a woman who shudders at the prospect of having to talk to the matriarch of a man’s family is a throwback.
6. A woman who can adapt to any situation thrown at her—she can hold her own at the PTA meeting, in the boardroom, in a restaurant, at a sporting event— is a keeper; a woman who can’t put together a coherent sentence or makes it clear she has no interest in doing so is a throwback.
7. A woman who knows she wants to be married and raise a family and lets a man know this up front is a keeper; a woman who doesn’t have a plan for her relationship life beyond next weekend is a throwback.
8. A woman whom we can introduce to our friends and family is a keeper; a woman we don’t even bother introducing to our friends or family is a throwback.
9. A woman who smiles and takes care of herself and is generally happy with her life is a keeper; a woman who doesn’t take care of herself and is sour all the time, has an attitude wider than all the ocean, and doesn’t hesitate to lay somebody out for the slightest transgression is a throwback.
10. A woman who shows her appreciation for all that you do for her is a keeper; a woman who acts like nothing you do can make her happy is a throwback.
11. A woman who is loyal is a keeper; a woman who always has her eye out for the next best thing is a throwback.
12. A woman who understands that a man validates his manhood by who he is, what he does, and how much he makes, and who knows how to finesse her relationship so that her man feels like he’s handling his business is a keeper; a woman who wields her paycheck and influence like a sword and belittles his career and financial contributions is a throwback.
Steve Harvey has broken down everything for us. So you see, I benefited a lot from reading the book after all. Please don’t whisper to Steve that I read the book. This is just between me and you.
Salem Lorot is a lawyer currently pursuing a post-graduate diploma in law. He is a published poet with a running blog, echoes of the hills, a writer and an avid reader. He has written extensively on a wide range of issues on law and society. He is a connoisseur of the music in East Africa, fashion, cuisine and his regular staple is the entertainment industry with the manifold twists and turns. His interests are informed by themes of social justice and interactions with diverse groups in Kenya.
Photo Credits: Why Did I Get Married