Over lunch at work a few weeks ago, we discussed the classic dating book The Rules. More than two million copies were sold in 27 languages during its heyday. To see how it holds up, we grabbed an old document and discovered some pretty shocking advice…
A friend of the authors knew a woman who had “more marriage proposals than shoes,” The Rules boast as if the only thing more coveted than footwear in several marriage proposals. Melanie’s grandmother, who remains with me, was a woman who liked to play “hard to get.” Grandma’s words took several generations to reach two enterprising ears before 1995. In a book called The Rules, they compiled it to spark cultural debates and give women 35 more mandates to think about.
Below are some of its most beautiful gems, with commentary:
How exactly does this work? Is it like acting like a unicorn? Is it like being a narwhal? The book continues, “Being a creature unlike any other is an attitude of confidence and radiance that permeates every part of your being.”. Your smile (you light up the room), the way you pause between sentences (you don’t speak continuously out of nervousness), the way you look (slowly, never stare), and the way you walk (briskly, with your shoulders back) show how attentive you are.).”. Oh, I see now, just like Miss America.
Hold on. What’s that? How come I haven’t been invited to any of these dances?
Women are usually picked up at their apartments or offices by men (real men) unless they’re from the internet and don’t want them to know where you live. It is my experience that men insisting their dates meet them halfway, or worse, on their turf, end up turning out to be turds.” I agree that schlepping all over creation is not a great way to start a relationship. I have also realized how funny the word “turd” is.
Being ignored is a fun experience for people. You set yourself up for a lifetime of open and honest communication by making them feel good about you.
You know that feeling when, after seventeen minutes of holding music, you finally get through to a big company – a bank, an airline, your health insurance provider – only to be disconnected immediately? This makes men go bonkers.
The book tells us that you will name the children before he says hello if you’re like us. Men can smell your unfulfilled desires, it advises. It is possible to utter “silly things” while daydreaming, such as the dreaded M-word (marriage). “On the first three dates, you have to show up, relax, and pretend that you are an actress playing a cameo role in a movie.”
Keep your career triumphs from overpowering him. Try to let him shine!” You told me just now that I am a unique being. Do I not shine?
Usually, a man will gift a toaster oven if he wants to marry you, not a toaster. Truth: If my date presented me with a toaster oven, it would be the clearest sign that he didn’t know me, didn’t know the size of my (nonexistent) apartment kitchen, and had an odd fondness for toasted foods. However! Someone might be thrilled to receive a toaster oven as a gift. There are far more essential things in life than whether someone gives you jewelry. Among the five love languages, “receiving gifts” is only one.
“Men are drawn to the mystery! The chapter declares. You should put away this book in the first rate of your loft before he showed up.. Make sure any self-help books are out of sight. Make sure to display interesting and popular nonfiction or fiction books. Don’t let him see your grungy bathrobes or other things.” Hide any soiled items in the closet.”
“Set a wedding date before you move in.” Otherwise, if you do something like floss, he’ll realize you’re human.
Hear! A warning sign. The book warns that the Rules will appear dishonest and manipulative to some therapists. Rather than keeping your feelings of love or hurt inside, they will encourage you to be open, vulnerable, and honest in your relationship. It’s called being healthy. And I would also promote it for what it’s worth.
Women are encouraged to be pleasant… all the time in the final rule. Having worked so hard to get what you want, now you must work to get what you want. I don’t know about you, but any sentence containing the words “must work” makes me want to do the opposite. I recommend being yourself instead. Also, be considerate of those around you.
We are told. “If you follow the rules, you will be happy.”. It may be the roadmap you’re looking for if a fairy tale is your end goal. Make up your own damn rules if you want a new kind of romance, one that is full of growth and surprises and true to you. It might even become a book! It might even become a bestseller!
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