Steve Harvey: Thanks, but No Thanks

I don’t want to offend. I know he has a huge following of loyal fans, but the truth is that I feel some type of way about taking advice from Steve Harvey. It’s not really personal, but he is one of the few so-called relationship experts out there who has multiple divorces under his belt. Yes, he’s married now, but let’s be real. As a single woman, do I want his opinion on how I should go about building and sustaining a healthy, loving relationship? Maybe if he makes it to his golden anniversary this time around, I’ll change my tune.

One could argue that he’s speaking from experience. So, maybe his failed marriages have taught him how to make relationships work. However, from what I’ve read of his books and from what I’ve heard him preach, his shtick is more about telling single sistahs what to do to get a man than it is about instructing couples on how to maintain healthy relationships.

I know what you’re thinking. “Girl, you quote Hill Harper all the time, and he ain’t even got one marriage to his name!” True. However, there are at least two significant differences between Hill and Harvey: (1) Hill is the type of guy I might date. He’s attractive. He’s intelligent. He’s single. So, I care a little bit more about his POV; although, I still read his books with the side eye. (2) Hill’s book, “The Conversation,” included lots of other men’s opinions. He didn’t attempt to speak for every man.

However, let me get back to the point. When you’re single, you always have people offering unsolicited advice. Everyone who has somebody – and even those who don’t – think they have it figured out. They know why you’re single and what you can do to “fix” it. Few seem to just accept what you have: you haven’t met the right person yet.

So, you learn to decipher the good advice from the bad. For this SIS, the relationship status of the person and his or her romantic history help determine whether I bother listening. If you’re in what I consider a healthy, long-lasting relationship, I may take heed to what you’re saying. If you’re a man or woman who cheats on your significant other, constantly complains to me about your spouse or has only been with your partner for one or two years, then you fall into another category.

That’s where Harvey is. He’s in that category of counselors whose romantic situation makes me skeptical of what he has to say.

That’s not to suggest there are no tidbits of wisdom in his words; however, as a friend of mine put it, those things he writes that have you nodding in agreement are often just plain common sense.

Whether you’re on Team Harvey or not, I won’t judge. I have friends who’ve found his advice helpful, and he claims that many readers who took it to heart are now in happy relationships.

So, I won’t begrudge him that success (even though I question whether he’s exploiting the lonely black women out there by using their situations to line his pockets). If he’s helping women find happiness, then more power to him.

However, when I have questions about dating and relationships, I think I’ll turn to happily-married couples who’ve stood the test of time for advice.

The truth is that anyone can offer advice – and this blog is proof – but this SIS suggests we make sure to be a little selective about whose tips we follow.

Oh, and watch my interview with Steve. That’s me with the microphone!


14 Responses to “Steve Harvey: Thanks, but No Thanks”

  1. 1 K. Weezy
    January 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I will say that I feel like he is exploiting the “single black female who is too wrapped up in her work and her perception of a perfect relationship that she is miserable as a result” to make money. From listening to him, I side-eye his life constantly. It makes it harder for me to really want to sit down and read his book. Some may need it because they lack common sense or the “wisdom” which the book could provide but I’d go to my parents who’ve been together for 31 years and counting over Mr. Hightower.

  2. 2 Nicolette
    January 23, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I genereally like Steve Harvey he is what I consider part of the “Grown and Sexy” group. I think young men should listen to what he has to say and really learn from him because he speaks from his experiences. I recently listened to his morning show and I happend to catch the Strawberry Letter. It is not my favorite part of the show but I listend anyway. The letter was read and the caller was live on the air. The caller said that he was a 45 year old man who was happily married. He described his wife as wonderfull, attractive, attentive a really great woman who kept herself up and was supportive yada, yada, yada. His problem was that he felt like there was something more out there and he didn’t know why had these feelings or what to do with them. Steve listened and made his usual comdedic comments, then he went on to give his advice. Advice that made me shake my head in complete agreement. He told this brother that he knew exactly what he was talking about and could completly relate. Steve said that he grew up with married parents and so he knew that was what he was supposed to do -get married. He said that he knew he had a cut off point, meaning that there is a time in your life where you get serious about life and stop all of the foolishness (running through women, hanging out at the club, etc, etc)and get serious about things and think about what you want for your life. Steve told the guy that no one tells young men about having this cut off point, no one stops them and asks them to think about thier future and what they eventually want to have in life. He also told this man to pray. Pray about this desire because if his wife is doing everything she is supposed to do then there is no reason to lose everything because of some fantasy. He needed to seek God and ask for help to get him through this and ask him to help him to appreciate and see what he has. Nephew Tommy chimed in and also mentioned that the caller had to think about his boys and what kind of example that would be for them if he stepped out on his wife when she was a model wife. I thought Steve’s answer was very mature and you could tell that he has definately learned from his experiences. I think his next book should be one for young men about having that cut off point and what they need to do to be mature responsible men. I think the difference with Steve and this marriage is that he is making it GOD centered. I know he is not perfect and I don’t always agree with what he says I do feel like he is very insightful and has a lot to share especially with men about manhood. Sorry so long I had time to kill lol!

  3. January 24, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I completely agree with you. I feel like this is just one of those things of him being a celebrity and finding another way to make money. He tried it out and he got some good feedback with it so his agents were probably like, now you’re a relationship expert; let’s roll with it! It’s just like these reality shows where people are being tagged as talented musicians (ex: Kim from ATL Real Housewives), hosts, whatever and it’s really only because they have a name in Hollywood; you have to question whether or not they really do have talent or experience. Anyway, I’m not trying to throw out any “hate-orade” but Steve Harvey’s voice annoys me and he’s really not that funny so I would be the last one to listen to him speak about anything – just sayin’. lol

  4. January 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I myself have blogged about people like Steve Harvey taking financial advantage of black women. If I want marriage advise, I’m going to go to someone who has been married for a awhile and not married 3 times. The only thing he can give advice on is how to get it wrong….smh

  5. January 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    I am with you all the way. Don’t talk to me about relationships or marriage, if you aren’t in a healthy situation yourself. Two lost people wont be found.

  6. 6 SistahEsq
    January 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I have no words for Steve Harvey. I completely agree with this post.

  7. January 25, 2011 at 5:40 am

    I don’t know if I’d take advice from Steve on relationships, but if I’m in a miserable relationship, he is definitely the go-to-guy when I need a good laugh.

  8. January 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Well said! I’ve had the same view. The brother been married 3 times and the next one was always the jump off while he was still married to the current one.

  9. January 27, 2011 at 11:06 am

    I have, from time to time, considered Steve Harvey’s multiple marriages. I’m just glad, as Nicolette mentioned, Harvey’s new marriage is truly God centered. The quote below, exemplifies Steve’s journey. He does, from time to time, give some pretty good advice. Most of what Steve says is common sense, but we don’t mull over the “what to dos, whys, and how comes” on our daily commute or while eating a bowl of ice cream with answers. We just ask the questions. I think that’s what his most recent book attempts to do, answer. As with any self help book, we have to take what applies to us and dispose what’s not.

    At the heart of it all, we just have to love God and love ourselves more than the desire to be coupled with someone. In the end, we’re all going to be single at the gate. No one will be able to speak for us but Jesus.

    FROM A FACEBOOK POST: “Isn’t it ironic how good judgment comes from experience, but experience usually comes from bad judgment.” This is the very reason why I DON’T believe that people who failed at something can’t teach others how to succeed at that very thing. You learn the most lessons on succeeding through FAILURES.

  10. 10 Denice
    January 28, 2011 at 12:10 am

    It is absolutely refreshing to read this because I have felt the exact same way about Steve Harvey for a long time! It gets under my skin that he made the cover of January’s Essence under the guise of being a “relationship expert.” I never have, or will I ever consider him a relationship expert.

    I often compare his books to Hill Harper’s The Conversation. I appreciate The Conversation because it isn’t about what black women should do to get a man, it’s about what black women AND men should be doing to create and maintain long, loving and fulfilling relationships.

    Quite frankly, I’m tired of being told there’s something wrong with single black women and we aren’t doing the right things to get a man. I would love for some experts to start talking about black men and why they are single as well.

  11. February 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    This is a great post, and oh so true. Sometimes I am highly annoyed while listening to Steve Harvey because he puts all the responsibility on a woman to hold a relationship together. It would be nice if he wrote a book for men titled “Act like a Man” so he can teach men to step up their game when trying to win a woman over. I assume he doesn’t feel like talking to men will make him money, but exploiting single women is just wrong.

  12. 12 nise
    April 24, 2011 at 12:49 am

    i agree. For one thing we are too obsessed with what celebs have to say, as if they are the only ones who see the world for what it really is. We buy their books, follow them on twitter, And watch their shows hopeing that they will give us an idea of how we can be as perfect as them. Newsflash! Their lives are in just as much disorder as any one of us.

  13. August 31, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I agree, Steve could never give me advice on sustaining a relationship. I have been in a relationship for over 30 years and we are the best of friends, who make each of laugh constantly, enjoy our child and grandchildren. We have had arguments and some down and dirty fights, but we have weathered those terrible storms and came out okay. Steve, you couldn’t even go to counseling to save none of your marriages, what a joke!!!

  14. January 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.
    I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

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