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Customer Review

340 of 365 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to catch *certain* men, but not others, December 3, 2002
By 
This review is from: The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right (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.
The bit about a "romantic gift" I have issue with because everyone's idea of romantic is different. I always hated it when guys got me a single red rose or something stereotyped because it showed they didn't know what I really liked. On the other hand, the most romantic gifts I've gotten were: from one, books about cats and psychology (interests of mine); from another, a stuffed Linux penguin, a computer game and a science fiction magazine.
The *letter* of The Rules however is what I had the most issue with.
It assumes all people are basically the same.
In my experience, the sweetest, most wonderful men in my life were the shy and emotionally available ones who had made themselves available for friendship, but had not approached me in a 'Dating' style format as is outlined in "The Rules". According to "The Rules" I should ditch these men because they didn't make the first move.
"Romantic" is also in the eye of the beholder. For those of you versed in Kiersey/Myers-Briggs terminology, I agree with the guy way back, who commented that "The Rules" may apply to ESFJ women trying to snare ESTJ or ESTP men - these are the extraverted, sensate, everyday people that constitute 90% of us, from construction workers to corporate lawyers. I agree there.
I'm an INTP/INFP, and also an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and have in recent years exclusively dated people like me - i.e., my fellow geeks. Favorite meeting places for me, and the people I like to date, are generally not going to be the "meat-market" venues suggested by The Rules. Actually I tried to do that scene for years, and found I was meeting -- sensate, extraverted guys I had nothing in common with, both as a bookworm and as an introvert.
In short --
If your dating style is to go after alpa-male types, and go to meat-market venues, then yes, follow The Rules and follow ALL of them. This is an EXCELLENT guide as to how to date alpha male corporate lawyer types while avoiding the players who invariably know at least half of the rules (but will bail if you play ALL of them). A good book to pair this with would be "Men who can't love".
If you like those shy, intellectual kind of guys, or guys with a more developed feminine side, and you don't go to meat-markets --
AVOID this book. Better guides to dating would be:
"Intellectual Foreplay" by Eve Eschner Hogan and Steven Hogan
"The Highly Sensitive Person in Love" by Dr. Elaine Aron
"if The Buddha Dated" by Charlotte Kasl.
"How to love a Nice Guy" by Judy Kuriansky.
"The Rules" works for 90% of men. If that's what you go for - then by all means. I have a friend I desparately wish would read this book, because she keeps getting taken in by exactly the kind of guys who need "The Rules" done on them.
HOWEVER - if you are interested in that other 10%, generally a quieter, more sensitive and cerebral kind of person -- don't be afraid to admit that.
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Showing 1-10 of 14 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 4, 2010 4:45:19 PM PDT
I. Truemper says:
What a great review. Still so relevant.

Posted on Jun 8, 2010 10:01:57 AM PDT
Shane S. says:
I agree with most of your post. Except, the only reason that I like The Rules is because I do only date shy intellectual guys. Those are the guys who hinge the relationship on deep emotional intimacy and then often end up slacking off in the mundane aspects of the relationship.

I think that if you use the rules that talk about creating boundaries and not being so available/accommodating with shy intellectual guys then you will create a relationship where HSP guys can't JUST rely on deep emotional conversations for love but they have to put in other efforts as well (helping with chores, planning daily errands or dates etc).

I haven't tried this on an HSP guy yet but I am tired of letting HSP guys spend all day reading, talking, creating music, and telling me they are too overwhelmed to help with the mundane necessities of having a life together. I think this book is great for teaching women to only date men who put in 50% of relationship effort. Don't rely on emotional intimacy alone, make sure he is willing to work as hard as you are to create a life together...

But The Rules do make me uncomfortable with it's remedial sexism and phoniness.

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 3:47:07 PM PDT
Very good review.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 8, 2010 12:07:18 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2010 11:59:56 AM PST
Akemi says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Apr 24, 2011 7:46:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 24, 2011 7:46:41 PM PDT
C. Tran says:
This review is confused. It starts out complaining that the book overgeneralizes men, then ultimately generalizes men by claiming The Rules work for 90% of them. It also keeps trying to find different ways of saying the same thing over and over again, like it was put together from bits and pieces of other reviews.

Posted on Dec 9, 2012 7:39:28 PM PST
D. Saha says:
I am an ENTP/INTP and I loved your suggestions, thanks! (ENTP according to the Myers-Briggs psychology test for those wondering what the acronym refers to. I highly recommend taking the quiz for free online, it will help you understand & improve your relationships and interactions).

Anyhow, my friend/acquaintance who dates the typical alpha-male said I have to get The Rules. But the kinds of guys she has relationships with are not scholarly, they're the kind that buy girls lots of stuff in my opinion. Also the guy moved on after 6 months.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 25, 2013 8:39:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 25, 2013 8:42:06 AM PDT
I agree, S. Solon. Handpicking some rules (making him chase and not committing before he is 100% marriageable) from here is very helpful. The "live with/commit to a guy before marriage just to see" method works terribly- the divorce rate of women who tried this is higher than the average! When both people have the character, integrity, and work ethic to be in a relationship, you know it's right. Encourage him to step up to the plate beforehand and stop wasting time on pointless relationships. Your time has value.

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 8:49:35 AM PDT
J. Davis says:
I like the idea about whether the rules work for all personality types. I am an INFJ and get hurt really easily so I like the rules since I am in dire need of psychic protection. I wish I had been more warned about players early on and have fallen into their trap more times than I care to admit. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... Rereading the rules on occasion reminds me that not everyone has the same ethical standards of honesty.
INFJs also tend to give a LOT to each friend so if you date an extrovert or a thinker they may not do exactly the same work for the relationship you do. It is important to acknowledge that and set your own limits.

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 2:14:13 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 5, 2014 2:32:40 PM PST
lulu says:
you comment saved my life. I am dating this intellectual kind of guy in his final year of doctoral study, it's going well but I am worried that I break so many rules (for example, we would meet at the library in the afternoon, I would suggest a date to the movie or concert and he is very happy, and we meet on weeknights, and I sometimes call and text him first), but when I see your comments I feel so much better! personality type does matter, and where do you meet the person matters too. The rules talks so much about how to behave in a bar, but I just don't go to bars and I don't trust people whom I meet in bars period! so the population is not very applicable to me! thank you so much! I will definitely look at the books you recommend!
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