This past weekend, I went to see the hilarious movie, “Think Like A Man.” I recommend it to everyone and especially people in relationships. There is some good advice, but I have the feeling that it won’t land on everyone. The movie is about three couples and it highlights the games that people play in relationships. The women read Steve Harvey‘s book, “Act Like A Lady, Think like a Man,” and follow his relationship advice in an attempt to make their men more invested in their relationships. The men find out about it and read the book to use it against the women. As you can imagine, it creates some issues.
I’ve read Steve Harvey’s book and I think that it is a great book. In conversation with people who haven’t read the book, I often defend it. It’s not a rule book. It really isn’t even about manipulation, in my opinion. I look at the book as information. It is informing women about how men actually think and it empowers women to make a decision on how they want to be treated in a relationship. After the men found out that the women were using the book, they complained that they had to protect themselves. The truth is that the book is leveling the playing field. In dating, most men manipulate women to get what they want without giving her what she wants. It’s not all men, only the immature ones. Women have a tendency to believe that what a man says is truly what he means. That is not always the case. Women want to believe it and so they do, then ten years go by and you wonder why he hasn’t followed through on anything he said. But, the reality is that you can’t blame him. You have to blame yourself.
Mastin Kipp of The Daily Love says that you “date at the level of your self-esteem.” I was so resistant to this idea. I didn’t want to believe that I had anything to do with the problems in the relationship, but I realize now that accepting it means that you are playing a large role in the problems. In criminal law, the accessory gets the same sentence as the person that actually committed the crime. In a relationship, you are an accessory if you allow things to happen that you don’t like nor agree with. It’s the level of your own self-esteem and self-worth that decides how much you will put up with. The book reminds women that we are worth everything and a man should want to do everything for us and with us. If he cares more about himself than he does about you, he is not the man for you. It doesn’t mean that he is a bad guy, he’s just not the man for you. If you love oranges but aren’t too fond of apples, would you keep eating an apple hoping that it will turn into an orange? It sounds silly doesn’t it, but we do it. That goes for men and women. Woman can be manipulative and calculating as well.
“Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, and don’t put up with people that are reckless with yours.” Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
The sign of a relationship worth having is when the other person honors and protects your feelings, makes you feel secure, and shares your goals and morals. But, you have to decide what you want and are willing to deal with because no relationship is perfect. No one can change you and you can’t change anyone else. The most you have in a relationship is influence, it is up to the other person if they want to make personal changes. You have a right to say what you can’t deal with. The person has the choice of whether to change it. If they don’t want to make the changes necessary to make the relationship work, you have the right to find someone who already possesses the quality you desire. A relationship is a partnership. No one person can run everything.
Think Like a Man has the potential to open a dialogue between men and women, if they can see themselves in the situations. If not, it has the potential to make you really think about what you want from your relationship. You attract what you seek. If you find yourself in a relationship that constantly makes you cry, you have to figure out your worth and your self-esteem. Love doesn’t have to hurt. It should be fulfilling and add to your life. But, it also requires being very brave. You have to have to courage to say what you want or be willing to walk away from what you don’t want. You also have to believe that the person that will love you is out there. He might be in a bad relationship too that is helping him prepare to be a better mate for you. Bad relationships are designed to teach us what we don’t want so we can recognize what we do want when it walks in the door.