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Up For Discussion: The Rules – Time Tested Secrets For Capturing The Heart Of Mr Right

October 15th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Confession time (since you seem to like my confessions): when I was a teenager I was just obsessed with boys.  I talked with my girlfriends about them – and little else, lived my life constantly in anticipation of the next disco, wrote horrific lists in my diary like*…

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I am totally in lurve with:

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1.  Paul (but he is going out with Jane)

2.  Martin (if he was a bit taller)

3.  David (and I think he might like me!)…

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Jules 4 David 4 eva!

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*artists’ impression only – names have been changed!

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…and tried out this calculation more than I practised my quadratic equations.  Which means that although I cannot tell you the basics of Pythagoras’ Theorum, I can still see that the hubby and I have a pretty good score on the ol’ love calculator.  

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Brides Up North Wedding Blog: The Love Calculator

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Is it wrong that I am actually quite chuffed?

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*EDIT: it actually turns out that my maths is so bad that I can’t even perform a love calculation properly.  Kids: 0 + 2 does not equal 4.  Looks like its 46% for us – FAIL!

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The thing was, until the age of about 15 when I suddenly shot up about 2ft, grew my hair and, lets say, developed in other areas, the boys just weren’t so obsessed with me.  Whilst my friends netted the cool guys, I was always left twiddling my thumbs by the dance floor.  So, when I came across this weighty tome, boy, was I excited…

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The Rules – By Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider – Time Tested Secrets For Capturing The Heart Of Mr Right.

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The Rules

Image from Amazon, where you can still buy The Rules

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I bought this book at the airport on holiday with my parents (wrong I know), hidden in amongst all the Sweet Valley High and Judy Blume, and devoured it.  I could probably still recite bits of it now – and have done over the years to my poor friends when in the midst of a dating crisis.  I am probably breaking a million Rules by even telling you about this now.  I hope the World doesn’t implode. 

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When researching this blog post, I was surprised to find that The Rules propaganda machine is still churning, and is now a multi million dollar empire with loads of offshoot titles, dating coaches, an official website and all sorts of other stuff! 

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Even then, I could see that some of it was tongue in cheek (or even if it wasn’t meant to be tongue in cheek – downright ridiculous) I mean, who expects their boyfriend to pay for everything?  I could also see that some of it was a little out dated and was never going to work in reality.  “Don’t tell him what to do”? – pah!

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However, I could also see that some of it made sense.  In essence, The Rules is all about playing hard to get.  And so I did.  And it worked. 

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In a nutshell, these are the main Rules (each rule is a chapter of the book that explains how to put that Rule into practice)…

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  1. 1  Be a “Creature” Unlike Any Other
  2. 2  Don’t Talk to a Man First (and Don’t Ask Him to Dance)
  3. 3  Don’t Stare at Men or Talk Too Much
  4. 4  Don’t Meet Him Halfway or Go Dutch on a Date
  5. 5  Don’t Call Him & Rarely Return His Calls
  6. 6  Always End Phone Calls and dates First
  7. 7  Don’t Accept a Saturday Night Date after Wednesday.
  8. 8  Fill Up Your Time before the Date
  9. 9  ALWAYS end the date first
  10. 10 Stop Dating Him if He Doesn’t Buy You a Romantic Gift for Your Birthday or Valentine’s Day
  11. 11 Don’t See Him More than Once or Twice a Week
  12. 12 No More than Casual Kissing on the First Date
  13. 13 Don’t Rush into Sex, Wait at Least Three Dates
  14. 14 Don’t Tell Him What to Do
  15. 15 Let Him Take the Lead
  16. 16 Don’t Expect a Man to Change or Try to Change Him
  17. 17 Don’t Open Up Too Fast
  18. 18 Be Honest but Mysterious
  19. 19 Don’t Live with a Man (or Leave Your Things in His Apartment)
  20. 20 Don’t Date a Married Man
  21. 21 Do The Rules, Even when Your Friends & Parents Think It’s Nuts
  22. 22 Don’t Discuss The Rules with Your Therapist.
  23. 23 Don’t Break The Rules!
  24. 24 Love Only Those Who Love You
  25. 25 Be Easy to Live With

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See what I mean about some of them being ridiculous, and others, actually not so much

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The main message resonated with me.  The boys I liked never had time for me, whereas those I ignored?  Putty in my hands.  So, the teenage me – ever up for a real life boyfriend to call my own – picked and chose the ones I liked, and put them into practice.

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And yes, they did work.  On shallow teenage boys.  I played hard to get and won my man.  But ah, there’s the rub, the minute my guard was down and I showed some affection – my beau’s own affection waned.  It may have been The Rules, but it wasn’t real love.  Not that I was particularly bothered.  I had a whole list of targets, remember?!

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When I eventually grew up (still a Rules girl) and met my husband (for the third time lucky – we had a few false starts), naturally most of The Rules went out of the window.  Only accept a Saturday date after Wednesday? Err… what if you haven’t left each other’s side since day one?!

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So what to think?  Is the million dollar empire that The Rules has built complete poppycock, or is there truth in the process?  I’m sitting on the fence for now, as I can’t help wondering if those few false starts with my husband (where I essentially didn’t return his calls, stare at him or ask him to dance), was me doing The Rules on him after all.

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So, lets open up some discussion here! 

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Have you ever played by The Rules?

Do The Rules work?

Is The Rules an out-dated concept or is there a place for it in modern romance?

Is The Rules anti-feminist or do they give women more power in dating?

Is using The Rules deceptive, or is all fair in love and war?

Do you even care?

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I’d love to hear your views – don’t be shy – please leave a comment below to start the debate.

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  – Images © 2011 as credited

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comments

  • October 15, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Julia, I had to do this for me and James, and whilst doing it wondered if yours were right! 2+0 = 4 😉 and worked you out at 46% but if it makes it any better James and I are onyl 51% *laughs* when lifge was just THIS simple! x

  • October 15, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    I told you my maths was bad! Oh my god. We are doomed.

  • October 15, 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    You lived my teenage life! I will also add though the rules worked on me too, I wanted what I couldn’t have and ran a mile from thoses that were interested or were nice, or called when they said they would… having said that after a false start with my hubby because he was just too damn nice and interested I stopped running :-)

    How do you do the love calculator again I’m intrigued 😉 xxx

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about the author

Julia Braime
Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…

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