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The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1996

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446602744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446602747
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (875 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 the Hardcover edition.


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

Customer Reviews

I think it will make sense to women, but guys just don't get it.
Even worse than pursuing The Rules when dating, you're still supposed to play hard to get once you land the guy, and even when married!
Groovy Vegan
This book was recommended to me to read by a friend who is now married.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

307 of 329 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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84 of 94 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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492 of 572 people found the following review helpful By LittleDee on July 11, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Rules" keeps returning like a bad hot dog. I'm embarrassed to admit that, against my judgment and ethics, I can't quite seem to dismiss it altogether. It's like watching somebody pick their nose at a stoplight -- you know you *should* ignore it -- you *want* to ignore it -- but somehow, you can't help yourself.
"The Rules", for those fortunate enough to have avoided the book until now, is an instruction manual telling how women can/should trick alpha males into marriage through withdrawal and manipulation.
Besides the book's cruel, self-esteem-undermining premise -- that the reader is worthless without a man; and moreover, that it requires complete falsification of her looks, mind, personality, and spirit to make her even marginally acceptable...
Besides the paradoxical hollowness of "success" with a false self -- you lose even if you "win", because it's not *you* who succeeds, it's the façade...
Besides the likelihood that persistent coldness, while screening out the uninterested, would also screen *in* the neurotic Don Juan who wants whatever he doesn't have until the instant he gets it, or even outright stalkers and psychos...
Besides how simplistic, morally corrupt, and insulting to *both* genders the book is...
Besides how abominably, sub-literately written it is...
Why does this book provoke such extreme reactions in everyone with a shred of intelligence, integrity, and/or self-esteem? Why is it like a stone in your shoe -- irritating as all get-out, yet impossible to ignore -- rather than simply irritating as all get-out?
Is it the obnoxious, infomercial scamminess and inflated promises?
-- "Sound too good to be true? We were skeptical at first, too.
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