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The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right Hardcover – February, 1997

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Hardcover, February, 1997
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Popular Author: Eric Greitens
A Navy SEAL, Rhodes Scholar, boxing champion, and humanitarian leader, and author of New York Times best-seller The Heart and the Fist.

Editorial Reviews Review

An unexpected bestseller, this self-help book for women who want to hook a man seems to have struck a chord with desperate American women. Fein and Schneider, whose main credentials seem to be that they are married, lay out the rules to be followed for successfully snagging a dream hunk. And these rules are hard as cast-iron--Rule Five: Don't Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls. The idea is to return to pre-feminist mind games, exploiting the male hunting urge by playing hard to get. The result seems unliberating--Rule Seventeen: Let Him Take the Lead--but it seems to be capturing female minds. Rules Girls are eyeing the phone with steely resolve, and Rules seminars are springing up nationwide. Curious bachelors have been observed studying The Rules, some frowning, others with the supercilious smile of the hunter. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.


The Rules is not just a book; it's a movement. -- Time, Elizabeth Gleick --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; Deluxe edition (February 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446522910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446522915
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (869 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,837,804 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Don't return a guy's call?
Janice Ruiz
I don't believe in playing games with men, but I do believe playing hard to get is what gets a man to respect you and be challenged by you so he remains interested.
My take on this book, a lot of rules are just crap.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

306 of 327 people found the following review helpful By Spiderling on December 3, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm very glad The Rules came out.
After finding "The Rules" I gained an insight into the game that *certain* types of men expected me to play, and were themselves playing.
However as I was trying to do the Rules, I realized that "The Rules" just don't work on some people, and that doesn't make it a bad relationship or a bad situation -- it just means that these people don't follow the same male/female roles.
I agree with Dr. Tracy Cabot, and the previous reviewer who mentioned Kiersey/Myers-Briggs persoality typing, in that "The Rules" fail to take into account individual sensitivity. In short, it's a good description of some people... but not of others.
Despite its flaws, I find "The Rules" is a good guide for survival out in the dating world. I can see how this book has its merits. It is a very useful guide to how to set your own limits, and not get taken advantage of.
I don't think it has universal applicability, and I think you need to exercise some critical thinking about each rule.
The basic spirit of "The Rules" is don't get with anyone who doesn't already like *you*, don't make yourself totally available with your time, make them do their share of the work, and don't let them - too early in the game - think they've 'won you' before you've actually set up a committed relationship.
This is great advice for *anyone*. This is especially great advice for those "nice guys" out there who can't get women to like them as anything more than friends. Basically the message is... "don't let them win the race before they've actually crossed the finish line." Don't give your all to someone who hasn't given their all.
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149 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Jo Montana on July 8, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After yet ANOTHER time of starting out a potential relationship with the guy being totally infatuated with me and then ending it within a few months, I read this book.

All this time I have wondered why on Earth guys started out thinking I was this interesting, intriguing, wonderful, irreplaceable woman then did a total 180, and here this book lined it all up for me. I started out being myself--sassy, feisty, interesting me--and as I turned towards liking a guy, I'd completely lose myself in the relationship, which would cause him to lose interest in me. I wasn't me anymore, I was doormat shell of a me.

I was able to identify actual moments in this last relationship where his interest in me started slipping--and it was all stuff that I was doing that the Rules warn against.

Granted, this book does not have ALL the answers--for example, I would imagine that you can only tell someone so many times that "I have plans" or "I'm so busy" without giving a single detail as to what you're doing before they think you're a liar or a manipulative cow. The book doesn't go into what to say when they ask "Doing what?". And it doesn't cover cell phones/text messaging/social networking stuff.

But a lot of it is teaching women to be courteous to themselves and their friends. We shouldn't break plans with friends or avoid making weekend plans in the hopes that the guy will call last minute. We shouldn't sit by the phone waiting to pick up after half a ring. We SHOULD resist the temptation to find excuses to call, and the temptation to bend over backwards for him without getting the same treatment in return. We SHOULD expect romantic and thoughtful gifts--measured by effort, not by cost--from someone who loves us.
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79 of 88 people found the following review helpful By LatinaView on August 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading Rules I, II, and III, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of these books is to draw an even greater rift between men and women. Some of the advice is excellent (letting him pay for dates, having one's own life, etc.) But I have many objections. First of all, these women have not even been married long enough (Ellen Fein's divorcing) to say The Rules are *guaranteed* to work. I was uncomfortable with the the bossy, know-it-all attitude of the authors, and their blatant lack of consistency as they wrote the second and third books.
One frightening piece of advice in the third book (which are rules for marriage) advises women on sex. They tell the story of a wife who complained to them her husband wanted sex every single day of the month, literally. Well, they said that when it comes to sex, THE MAN RULES IN THAT AREA--PERIOD. I was shocked. It didn't make a difference to them if the wife was exhausted because of kids or work, she should give him all the sex he wants--EVEN if it kills her. Just how is a woman supposed to enjoy sex if she's not in the mood? Isn't it obvious this poor woman is not the one who needs advice, but the husband, who has no consideration for her body? I can't imagine what would happen if that poor woman went away for a week...
A *major* theme of the series is to conceal from one's partner any distress, sadness or problems. Some men aren't adept at seeing a woman in distress, but what kind of man is that, if he can't--even on occasion--let his woman cry into his chest? It only means that he is looking for a Fairy Princess floating on a cloud who has no other concern except which flowers she will pick today. That kind of man is NOT a man at all and isn't worth dealing with. Yet, the authors encourage women to cater to that type.
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