By Donna Hodge
Dr. Ian Smith is at it again. The number one best-selling author of The Fat Smash Diet, The Extreme Fat Smash Diet, and Happy, has already successfully given us the quintessential primer on health and nutrition, and then went a step further by helping us understand the tenets of how we can live a happier life.
Now he has come full circle, for the ladies, in his latest book, titled The Truth About Men: The Secret Side of the Opposite Sex.
In true Dr. Ian form, he tells it like it is. There is no sugar coating. The good doctor is “in the house!” So, sit back and be ready to take a few bitter pills. This is good sage advice. For some it will be new, for others, some good reminders. You may not like how they sound or “taste” but you’ll thank him in the morning.
“I found that a lot of women were asking me about relationships,” Dr. Smith begins. “They were asking me ‘why my man was saying something and doing something.’
“In the midst of giving nutritional advice, and dispensing this ad hoc relationship advice, some of the women emailed me and said, ‘Dr. Ian this makes so much sense now.’ There are a lot of women who want the straight truth.”
At the advice and insistence of his friends and his own nature to help people, Dr. Ian has published another fact-filled, straight to the heart, no holds barred guide to understanding the “truth about men.”
You ask, what makes this topic so hot now any more than before? Well, Dr. Smith attributes two important things, one – social media has truly changed the landscape of dating and marriage and the numbers for marriage aren’t that great.
“Social media has made the world much smaller and it has made the competition much more fierce,” he analyzes. “On Facebook and Twitter, you can find a mate anywhere. You can live in Wyoming and find a mate in New York City.
“So, the idea that men and women are in competition with those who attend the local clubs, attend the local networking event or the local gala, those days are over.
“The competition is much greater because the world is much smaller. And because the access is much greater and the way that people are getting into relationships with online dating, it makes a whole world of difference.”
Smith transitions to the second reason stating, “The other reason is, if you look at the numbers for marriage, the numbers aren’t that great. Half of all couples get divorced and you look at the number of available men to women, those numbers – typically in urbane areas are not great for women.
“I think that over the past 30 years, you have seen a change of the landscape in terms of social media standpoint and from the standpoint of the numerical side and the statistical side of it.”
So, do men and women understand that this change is happening?
“Men understand it a little better than women. Women need to be a little more aggressive and not be afraid to make the next move,” he said. “Years ago a woman never made the first move. It was considered unladylike. Women feel that being too aggressive early on in the relationship shows that they don’t have values.”
He adds, “I try to explain to my female friends who are single that in this day and age, that landscape has changed. You have to understand that if you are out there competing and trying to find Mr. Right, that there are a lot of women out there who have no problems at all inviting a man for a drink or dinner or a cup of coffee. And you need to start doing the same.
“If you always take the approach that you want to be laid back, there are certain consequences and risks of being laid back, while others are out there networking, meeting people and having a good time.”
Do you think that the war between the roses has gone sour?
Dr. Ian says that communication is a big problem – everything from men texting too much and women not liking that men are texting too much, to not wanting to make a phone call or show up in person.
“Men DO NOT do a good job of communicating to women what they really think,” Smith adamantly maintains. “Men do a great job inside the locker room of talking to each other, or at the end of the bar, talking about things that they like and don’t like – or what they want in a relationship.
“But when it comes to saying it to women, some men feel awkward and sometimes it’s uncomfortable, sometimes they feel inadequate and so they clam up and they don’t truly say what’s on their mind. They may hint at it, but they don’t say what’s on their mind.
“The flip side of it is, women want men to be mind readers and men are horrific mind readers. If there is something that you want to be said or done, and it is important to you, do not gamble with him being able to read your mind. You need to say it very clearly and directly so that he knows what you are saying and you can go from there.”
The Truth About Men: The Secret Side of the Opposite Sex is a letter to women. This is the thought that is going inside the minds of men. It may be tough to hear, but it’s the truth.
Smith often quotes things shared by his elders. One, from his grandfather is, Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
“Women have to understand that some men think like this, and they have to be adept at weeding out those men who are truly trying to get some free milk, versus those who are really trying to be in a serious, committed relationship and partnership,” says Dr. Smith.
He imparts some sage advice: A leopard never changes its spots – no matter how old it gets.
“Some women tend to think that they can take a diamond in the rough, even though he may have some sharp edges that they can smooth and round those edges off – and make him palatable,” he explains.
“The thing is, don’t take on men as a rehab project. I am not saying you have to agree on everything – he may not meet your total criteria – but don’t take on someone who is truly a rehab project. Nothing changes the core essence of a person’s being and sometimes you have to move on.”
Smith argues that women are missing the true simplicity of men and don’t understand that a man’s desires are extremely transparent and basic – fulfilling those basic needs can go a long way to making him happy and agreeable in a relationship.
“Men like their toys: cars, boats, watches, sports tickets, and games,” he says. “They are very appealing to us from a very young age. Allowing us to enjoy them and not ridicule us about it is the way to go. Chastising us makes us resentful over something that is really basic.”
Smith goes on to remind women that men are not big talkers and that women like to work through issues while men are problem solvers. Men are very physical creatures. Men can very easily compartmentalize their physical desires for women and can do that without attaching any emotions.
He says, “Women tend to have a great emotional attachment to the physical intimacy and a lot of guys don’t have that. It doesn’t mean that that they are not emotional, it doesn’t mean that the act isn’t important and it doesn’t mean that they don’t love someone.”
He adds that men have abilities to compartmentalize things in their lives. Sometimes it’s a physical interaction between a man and a woman. From the man’s perspective, it’s not about the emotionality, it’s about the physical act. That doesn’t demean it and that is not to say that men aren’t capable of loving, it’s just this is how men are.
So what are the big takeaways in this book?
- Many men want to be able to better show their emotions with their woman, but because men are expected to be the tough providers, they are less likely to bare the softness of their souls.
- Men don’t always want to be in control, despite popular opinion. Men actually want true partnerships where control is shared.
- Men want women to show some aggression in the relationship. This doesn’t mean that women need to go to an extreme, but being willing to step forward some of the time is something that men respect and desire in the modern age of dating and marriage.
- Good spacing in a relationship is key. Having your own set of friends and sometimes doing things apart is critical to nourishing a healthy relationship.
- Making ultimatums when it comes to marriage or affixing a title to the relationship is not the best way to go. There’s a way to have these important conversations so that everyone is on the same page and so that you arrive at the decision together.
Dr. Ian Smith has taken this discussion on tour. For more information, visit the website truthaboutmentour.com.