Posts Tagged ‘Steve Harvey

22
Jan
11

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!

16
Jun
10

Handing Out a ‘Cheating’ Pass

I was having a discussion with a married friend about Steve Harvey and his advice for single women. While it’s my opinion that a lot of his suggestions for the SIS are self-serving (or at least blatantly biased toward the male perspective), she felt his common theme was empowering for the ladies. What she took away from his words of wisdom was basically hold suitors up to your standards ‘cause they’ll only do what you allow them to do.

Whether that was Harvey’s main point or not, I think it’s concrete advice. However, it seems when it comes to monogamy and fidelity, a lot of women have completely thrown up their hands and given guys a pass. Instead of expecting a significant other to be faithful, they’ve accepted the belief that men are too primal to be with just one woman.

During Oscar season, talk-show host, Mo’Nique, announced that if her husband cheated on her it would not be a deal breaker. Not long after, R&B artist Erykah Badu shared pretty much the same sentiment.

Badu: “I want [men] to be happy and the more I see how the male of the species behaves, the more I understand, and the less I blame him.”

I’ve never been married, but I can imagine that if I were wed to a man for 20-something years, and he confessed a one-time indiscretion to me, I might be inclined to try to work things out, as opposed to end the union. Maybe.

However, this SIS thinks it’s a slippery slope when women begin excusing men’s cheating and accepting it as part of their nature. Isn’t that the exact lack of accountability Harvey – and my married friend – warned against?

I suppose there are people out there who are genuinely comfortable with open relationships. However, from Erykah’s quote, I detected a hint of acquiescence.

I don’t blame men for trying to sell this philosophy. Few would deny that men’s appetite for various women is generally greater than that of women’s for a bunch of dudes, but I wonder why women are so eager to accept this from men who are in supposedly committed relationships.

I think the “biology” excuse is an insult to men. They’re able to control themselves. They urinate outside because they can, not because they have to. I think women should challenge fellas to commit when they’re ready to stay faithful to their partners. Even if these ladies are unsure about it, I’m pretty positive Mo’Nique, Erykah and the rest of us deserve that.




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