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The Rules: How to Capture the Heart of Mr Right Paperback – July 24, 1995
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The notorious dating handbook bought by millions of women is women's answer to THE GAME. Refreshingly blunt, astonishingly effective, and at times hilarious, THE RULES will show women who is a keeper and how to get 'a ring on it', if that is what they want. The Rules is infamous for telling women how to play hard-to-get: it has garnered more press attention than any relationship book. Should you really turn down any weekend date if he doesn't ask you before Wednesday? According to the Rules authors, Yes! By following THE RULES, the authors claim that you start treating yourself with respect and dignity -- and demanding that men do likewise. Love may be blind, but Rules girls are not stupid! How does he act in the relationship? Is he cheap on dates? Is he critical of you? Remember, the Rules are not about marrying the first man you are attracted to who calls you by Wednesday for Saturday night and buys you flowers. It's about marrying your own personal Mr. Right -- a man whom you love and whose character you admire and can live with.
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Over a decade of doing the RULES (and sometimes not) has taught me that the techniques work too well in that you will attract men who don't deserve your attention AS WELL AS men who do. You see, the RULES works because it feeds on the male ego's attraction to competition and "winning". So yes- you will attract more men and get more attention, but this will not only include attention from the great guy who finds you interesting and intriging, it also includes the shmuck who's always up for a challenge and due to a hurt ego or repressed self esteem issues, needs to prove to himself that he can succeed at getting someone who's somewhat unnattainable. The difference is that when the great guy "catches" you he knows he's lucky to have caught you and wants to keep you all to himself. When the shmuck thinks he has caught you however, he feels he has proven to himself that he's cool and therefore no longer needs you. He didn't want you... He wanted what you represented. The winning trophy. Meanwhile all the other girls who were pining for him overtly, but he wouldn't pay any attention to them because after all - they definitely wanted him- end up being saved the trouble of knowing him in the first place. This happened to me a couple of times using the Rules. It actually ended up ok, because once I figured out what they were doing I began using the rules to manipulate them into giving me lots of money. You'd be AMAZED how easily it works just using what this book teaches you. A guy will do ANYTHING to prove to himself he's still got IT!! Even give you everything he has!! Since they didn't have a problem manipulating me into wasting my precious time I had NO problem manipulating them while dating other guys. But that's just me. Is that what YOU want? Probably not. And the truth is that while my anger made me feel justified at the time, I really am not proud of it now. What's interesting is that the techniques in the book are wonderful gifts for the nice guys, but end up only mere manipulation devices when used w/ the wrong guys. Only those with plenty of RULES experience would really understand what I mean by that, but basically when you follow the RULES the nice guy (the one you want) is attracted to an 'essance' of you that is coming through loud and clear while you live your life the way you want. Mr. Wrong is only attracted to the mere challenge and to the idea of "winning" you so before you know it he actually becomes like a puppet and you all of a sudden find yourself holding the strings while he dances for your approval in the hopes of his false trophy. The book delivers, but a book called "The List" is a good companion for it and perhaps in fact a step above it if you're looking to get married.
Why I like this book:
1. Regardless of the critisism the book recieves for being Anti-feminist, it's in reality the most pro-feminist book I've ever encountered.
2. It teaches women not to pay much attention to men. It says you shouldn't even pay them enough attention to call them. Live your life- only better than before. Take care of your body, Do well in school, Be as happy as you can be, join groups, have fun on the weekends, work for that promotion- Oh, and there are these creatures called 'men' walking around and when you do these things they're going to notice you and want to talk to you and spend time with you.. You can if you want to. If you bought this book you probably do want to, but the point is to go about your day like you don't care whether they call or not. If you do care pretend that you don't, because the truth is, you shouldn't care anyway. After all, don't you have a promotion to go after? If he doesn't call, forget about him cause you have your own thing to do anyway. Someone else will call and then you get to choose whether he's worth your time or not. That ladies, is what this book is REALLY about. Those that think otherwise are too bitter to see it in the right light. And even those that hate it and have TRIED it will tell you it works. The only question is to what cost?
In my experience, The RULES are a great guide for women who want to date. It basically tells you in more detail to give yourself everything you deserve (healthy lifestyle, rich personal and profesional life, etc..) and the men will follow. It tells you not to divulge your life story in the first few dates (good advice. He hasn't EARNED the PRIVILAGE of knowing your personal shi* at that point yet.) And to not be exclusive to any one guy until you have a ring on your finger which is a pretty Pro-feminist idea considering it's pretty much what guys have been doing for centuries...and often even WITH a ring already on their fingers. The book says, that no boyfriend is worth your all your time- only a HUSBAND is. Every other guy is roadkill in your life path just there to help you have a good time. Pretty empowering for women actually. Like I said before though, it works a little too well as the techniques will attract Mr. Right AND some MR. Wrongs that want to know they got the girl that's 'hard to get' and pad themselves on the back for "winning". It's a good buy and it'll keep you busy on Friday nights, but for those of you that are really looking to get a ring on your finger I highly recommend you check out "The List".
P.S. I DON'T recommend "The List" for women who aren't 1000% sure they want to get married and settle down as soon as possible. This is because it has requirements like dropping any guy that doesn't call you within 24 hrs of meeting, etc...I think that's a great idea to go by if you're done playing games and want to start a family asap, but it's extreme if you're not positive that's what you want yet. If you're still in the dating mood I'd stick with The Rules.
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. We SHOULD keep our own lives, our own interests, keep ourselves feeling valued with or without a guy. We SHOULD keep our distance emotionally until after we're sure instead of turning a boyfriend into a pro bono therapist...or we turn ourselves into wrecks over a short-term relationship.
So kudos to this book. As of right now, I'm testing out the Rules (or at least my version of them--I'm not a husband hunter, I just want a fulfilling relationship if I'm going to have one) with two different prospective guys. Even if it doesn't work out with either of them, I know to avoid bad behaviors that this book pointed out I had, and I'm hoping it makes me a better potential girlfriend.
I am skeptical of self-help books in general but this one is just useless. You don't need to take anyone's advice with guys. Just go with your gut, have your own life, and don't be desperate. Who needs a book for that?