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red background with the words “Keep Calm and Follow the Rules”
Nina Collins
March 8, 2021

Let's Debate The Rules

Date with dignity, don’t be desperate, believe in love!

Weed Out the Assholes (Cheaters, Players, Addicts, Time Wasters).

Below is a sometimes verbatim, sometimes paraphrased list of the "new secrets for dating" as laid out by experts Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider in their latest book, Not Your Mother’s Rules. I read their book so you don’t have to, and so that we could debate the merits as a community.

Personally, I have to admit to agreeing to much of what Fein & Schneider recommend, although I’ve indicated with an asterisk (*) and commentary where I wanted to vomit.

Note: this is frighteningly heteronormative.

  1. Be a Creature Unlike Any Other - date with dignity, don’t be desperate, believe in love! Never put yourself down, never try too hard, don’t be possessive or needy.
  2. *Look Like a Creature Unlike Any Other — men love long, light hair. Don’t go gray! Chill on the make-up, get rid of the facial hair, wear heels and hoop earrings if you can stand it. “Look hot, not slutty. Show some skin.”
  3. Don’t Talk to or Text a Guy First — as antiquated as that sounds, I think it’s right. The last thing you want is an ambivalent guy, or a guy who’s just going along with things because he’s flattered. Men are programmed to pursue, and if they don’t, they just aren’t interested. Don’t text him after the first date either!
  4. Don’t Ask Guys Out by Text, FB, G-chat, or Any Other Way — same as above.
  5. Don’t Sit or Stand Next to a Guy First or Flirt With Him First — same as above.
  6. Wait At Least Four Hours to Answer a Guy’s First Text and a Minimum of 30 Minutes Thereafter — same idea again; make him pursue you, make him wait. The only man you want is one who really wants you.
  7. TTYL: Always End Everything First — Get Out of There! — same idea.
  8. Don’t Answer Texts or Anything Else After Midnight — same idea. Don’t seem desperate.
  9. Rarely Write on His Wall — generally chill out on his social media. Never friend him first, take time accepting his friend request, be cautious regarding your relationship status, don’t share too much. Don’t friend his friends & family first.
  10. Stay Away From His FB Profile — same as above. You have better things to do.
  11. Don’t Email a Guy First and Make it Brief — are you getting the concept?
  12. Make Yourself Invisible and Other Ways To Get Out Of Instant Messaging — You are busy.
  13. *Don’t Talk Too Much in The First Few Weeks — Jesus, this one got me. But the idea is, don’t bare your soul. He may not be the one, so don’t waste too much energy.
  14. Don’t Just Hang Out or See Him 24/7 — same as above. You have other options, you have a life, he is not the only game in town. Act like it.
  15. In a Long Distance Relationship: Let Him Suggest Visits or Facetime/Skype — if he can’t get away to see you, neither can you.
  16. Don’t Lose Friends Because You’re So Obsessed With a Guy — balance in all things is crucial, and if you are so distracted that you become a bad friend, it’s a sign that you are trying too hard.
  17. Meet His Friends Before He Meets Yours — again, you’re not desperate. Let him initiate these next steps.
  18. Don’t Write to a Guy First, Don’t Wink! — didn’t we already cover this one?
  19. Don’t Pay For Dinner or Buy His Love in Any Way — again, trying too hard. If a guy can’t pay for dinner, you don’t want him anyway.
  20. Don’t Choose a College or a Job or Relocate for a Guy — your life comes first! YOU come first.
  21. Don’t Get Wasted on Dates; Don’t Say or Do Anything You’ll Regret — needless to say, not a good look.
  22. Buyer Beware — Weed Out the Assholes (Cheaters, Players, Addicts, Time Wasters). Guys who cancel more than once, guys who break up with you once for any reason, guys who “just want to be friends,” guys who don’t follow through, guys who are extra work from day one. Guys who talk about other women, alcoholics, guys who get weirdly jealous, guys who don’t ask you out for Saturday night, guys who don’t commit. Next!
  23. Don’t Be Self-Destructive By Dating Married, Unavailable, Mixed-Message Guys — if you do this, it’s on you. Go to therapy and figure out why.
  24. Stop Dating a Guy Who Cancels More Than Once — as above. Not worth your time. He will disappoint.
  25. Don’t Sext or Send a Guy Anything You Wouldn’t Want Him to Have After You Break Up — pretty obvious.
  26. Don’t Accept Booty Calls or Meaningless Hookups — Use a Vibrator Instead. You might think it’s empowering to just have sex because you want to, but it usually feels bad in the end.
  27. Wait Before Sleeping With a Guy — same as above.
  28. *Don’t Put on the Freshman 15 — (wtf?!) this just offended me. Stupid rule. Weigh what you want to weigh.
  29. Wait For a Guy To Follow You First on Twitter and Rarely Return Tweets — already covered. Don’t be too eager.
  30. Don’t Date Indefinitely Without Commitment! — if you want a relationship, be clear about that and don’t dawdle.
  31. Don’t Talk About The Rules — it’s not that sexy to let them know you read a handbook on how to snag a guy...

If you do want to read the full book, get it here.

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