Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Are you a Rules girl?

I’ve always been impatient. Whether it’s waiting for an egg to boil or for a guy to text me back. But impatience doesn’t bode well if you’re playing by The Rules and waiting for someone to ask you out.

If you’re not familiar with The Rules it’s supposed to be the ultimate dating book for women. Written by two Americans back in the mid 90’s it made women all over the world stampede to the book shops in their attempt to bag Mr Right. Primarily based on playing hard to get - it teaches women in 35 steps, how to go from date material to wife material.

The Rule’s main theme – just like the book He’s not that into you is if he doesn’t ask you out then he’s not worth dating. And some of my friends swear by it.

But I’m not so sure. Not because I don’t believe most of it to be true, but just because sometimes men can be a bit stupid, shy or just downright lazy.

A guy from my gym has been exchanging glances with me for a little over two years! He’s cute, but every time I so much as get 10 metres from him he seems to quicken his pace and vanish. At first it was quite funny, but now it’s slightly irritating – I mean if he likes me then why not just get some balls and talk to me.

And of course it’s great to be asked out, but like us men probably find the whole situation a little daunting too. I knew there was something between me and a potential date recently – but it took numerous text messages and a blatant ‘yes I quite like you’ message in big flashing lights for him to even contemplate asking me out!

Which is why sometimes it’s a real breath of fresh air when someone does actually ask you. So I was quite impressed the other week when a guy I'd met only five minutes previously said out of the blue: “Can I have your number?” There was no beating around the bush, no “I might see you around” and definitely no three hour long conversation before a date materialised.

So maybe The Rules do work. But if you’re playing by the rules does it mean you can’t even approach men? A friend who follows The Rules right down to the last full stop recoiled in horror when I mentioned a flirting seminar I might attend, “A rules girl would never approach a man,” she gasped. But what if he was drop dead gorgeous? What if he didn’t see you and what if he was ‘the one’? Would you just let him go? …just because a book told you to play it cool.

Undoubtedly the rule I love the most is: ‘If he doesn’t call, then he’s not interested. Period.’ We’ve all been there – making excuses for a guy who hasn’t called or text. My dumbest excuse recently, after many unanswered texts, was that the guy I was dating didn’t have the ability to text on his phone - as my sister looked on frowning at my stupidity I knew I was just lying to myself!

Then there are the rules I’m not so keen on. Because there’s playing hard to get then there’s being stupid. The Rules state that a guy who wants to date you on the weekend must ask you out by Wednesday. Sorry, but why? Are you really going to turn down a hot date with him if he asks you out on Thursday? Fair enough if you’re his Saturday evening ‘last resort’ call giving you ten minutes to get ready, but most likely wouldn’t we just be kicking ourselves for turning down a perfectly good date?

Even if The Rules seems like too much hard work and you think game playing isn’t for you – we have to admit that there’s always a certain amount of rules and game playing we live by without even thinking about it. Like the last time we waited for at least a few hours to text him back, or how we painfully waited for him to phone first – just to prove that our life doesn’t revolve around him.

So although slightly old fashioned, the basis of what The Rules implies is true. If he’s not asking you out, whether you think he likes you or not – then can he really be that into you? But whether you decide to play it out rule by rule until you catch a winner, I suppose, is up to you.


  1. I like THE RULES. I really do, but I find them somewhat hard to stick to. Even though the book was published in 1996 we're STILL talking about it. Even though the authors have since divorced their husbands, it's still relevant to single women.

    I'm not sure that THE RULES work totally for me. I agree with 80% of it. When it came down to meeting my boyfriend there was no game playing. He's not the type of guy to do that.

    He was, however, very respectful and behaved (unbeknownst to him) like the perfect Rules Boy should.

    He called when he said he would. He asked me out a week in advance. He was the perfect gentleman.

    We're now living together. A big No No for THE RULES. We'll see how it goes.

  2. Great blog post. I'm not a fan of the rule system myself. Like you said some men are just shy and/or stupid. I think it's really important for a woman to just be independent and go for it too, after all life is way too short.
    I recently told someone I had a crush on them the feeling wasn't mutual but you know what I felt much better for doing it.
    But then again, it's a catch 22 because what woman doesn't want a man to woo her and give a bit of a chase?

  3. Ooh tricky one this. I can't stand game-playing, and the whole notion that a woman has to wait for a man to ask her out (and then pretend she's washing her hair if he dares ask her two days before said date) seems a tad 1950s. I reckon if it feels right, then do it.
    But that said, I've asked guys out before, when I was a teenager, and they (albeit in nice ways, rather than laughing in my face) said no.
    I'm in a dilemma at the mo over Uni Boy anyway. I figure he must know I like him, as no man can be that stupid. The reason I don't want to ask him out in this instance is that we're friends, and to be blunt I think he'd say no.
    Then I remember him saying something about being shy and think well, what if??
    A Rules Girl would have given up on him long, long ago...

  4. I am almost finished reading He's Just Not That into You and whilst I can agree with most of it, nothing is ever 100% cut and dried. Am I fooling myself when I think that the man I am interested in is different to the rest? That he is being respectful of my situation? Because to think otherwise is to accept that he is a game player, a tease and not a very nice person. And I like to think my judgement is better than that.

    Treat 'em mean to keep 'em keen? Yes, up to a point, don't spill your heart out too soon. But deliberately play hard to get even when he is pursuing you? Who loses out there? Both of you, I suspect.

  5. ok, so I am SO not a rules girl. First of all I cant do something in 3 steps let alone 35.... and, if I hadn't made the first move with my last interest, I wouldn't have had 7 great years with him....
    Although, having said all that, not having the ability to text.... I might have to remember that one ;)
    PS - what happened to waffle breakfast boy?

  6. I laughed out loud, a very witty post. I think The Rules don't work, as men think they have to seem uninterested too so when will people ever get together...? Very Jane Austin.

    My first visit here, will be back. Helena

  7. if guys and girls both followed the rules life wouldnt be any fun, one of us has to break them... after we get a number traditionally we are supposed to wait 3 days to call you, but if we do that you may have gone and found someone who has gone new age and calls after two... too many rules. good post.

  8. I quit playing stupid and got the balls to venture out and date like a real woman.

    Let him ask me out, let me suggest the place, let him take me home, have great sex and wish him a good night.

    there- done!



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