Once in a while, a book comes along that slaps you upside the head and wakes you up. You realize you’ve been living in a dream world and conducting yourself in a way that doesn’t lead to love. I believe Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man is such a book.

It’s not so much that he reveals things women didn’t already know. He simply confirms what we know on a gut level but were too afraid to act on. Having a man remind us that our instincts have been right all along now gives us the confidence to finally do the right thing when it comes to men.

The first thing that struck me about the book was the phrase: He’s either planning with you or playing with you. That’s like an arrow through the heart. Women subconsciously know it’s true, but hope that their guy is different.

How do men distinguish between the women to play with or plan with? A woman men play with “doesn’t have any rules, requirements, respect for herself … and sets absolutely not one condition or restriction … she makes it very clear that she’s just along for whatever … as soon as she lets a man know he can treat her any old kind of way, he will do just that.

A woman men plan with “never gives in easily, and the standards/requirements start from the moment you open your mouth … She understands her power … She commands – not demands – respect, just by the way she carries herself … Men automatically know they will have to get in line with her standards and requirements or keep it moving because she is done with games.”

It’s you who determines which type of woman you are by your words and actions.

Harvey tells us what his wife said to him when they were dating, and she found out he was more interested in playing than planning.

She said, “It’s clear to me you’re happy to be single and available, and that’s cool. I’m not mad. I still like you. You go on and do your thing, and I’m gonna go on and do mine and wait for someone who wants the same thing I do.”

That’s when he realized she was the one he wanted and the other women didn’t mean anything.

He also reveals the little known secret that if a guy is into you, you’re not going to scare him away. Too many women have sacrificed their standards with the fear that the men will run away.

He says that men “create terms to keep you at bay, so we can get what we want out of the deal. We created ‘nagging,’ ‘run me off,’ ‘gold digger.’ No woman said, ‘I’m a gold digger.’ We labeled you that so we can get what we want from you without you getting anything from us. Now we’ve got women saying, ‘I can pay for my own dinner.’”

Men are wired to want to provide for their women. Being a provider is at the very core of manhood. A man who cares about you will not want you to pay for your own dinner. He will feel insulted that you would even think about it.

Somewhere along the way women have forgotten that guys need to feel needed. The reason they work so hard to make something of themselves is so that they can impress women.

Harvey says, “We men will do anything humanly possible to impress you so that, we can be with you. You’re the driving force behind why we wake up every day.”

What about chivalry, is it dead? The author doesn’t believe it is.

“Chivalry is not dead. It’s just not required anymore. You gotta have standards to make chivalry come to you.”

Finally, Harvey says, “A real woman can bring out the best in a man. We need to meet a real woman in order to bring out our best qualities.”

Are you willing to be a real woman, or will you continue to be a little girl?

Write to Lucia at theartoflove.net.

Read an excerpt from Lucia’s Lessons of Love at lessonsoflove.net.

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Remember: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.