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Bending The Rules

It may not be politically correct of me (and it won’t make me popular), but you should know that I’m a Rules girl.

If you’re not familiar with the popular but exceedingly sneered-upon franchise, The Rules has alternately been called a Dating Bible for single women and an antiquated philosophy that sends the sexes right back to the Stone Age.

At its heart, The Rules is about letting men do the chasing.

Which, we actually know they are biologically hardwired to do. Have been for millions of years.

Really, we can’t do anything about changing that just yet – until our synapses evolve to catch up with our modern take on the world.

I don’t see anything wrong with this – it doesn’t mean that women are less than men, or that men are better than women. Or event that women are better than men.

The way I see it, men and women are perfectly equal, but wired differently. It’s just science.

Among the most sacred of the rules are: Don’t Call Him (Let him call you); Don’t Accept a Saturday Night Date After Wednesday (You’re far too busy and important for that) and Be Honest but Mysterious (He doesn’t need to know everything about you by the end of the first date).

As with all sacred tomes, The Rules are open to interpretation. You can see it as oppressive and redundant, or you can look at it as a playbook for dating, making the most of your strengths.

Of course, being a thoroughly modern woman – and one with little willpower – when I was single, if I was interested in a guy I couldn’t help but try and bend The Rules a little.

Then again, rules (even dating ones) are made to be broken. Or at least bent.

The Rules clearly say Don’t Accept Last Minute Date.

Rather than making plans one Friday night, I turned down friends thinking a guy I was seeing would eventually get around to asking me to hang out, as we had been spending consecutive Fridays together.

Friday night rolled around and he never called. I dressed up, clutching my phone by my side and waiting for it to ring (pathetic, right?). It never did.

Action was needed. I called him, fibbing that my friend had cancelled on me last minute and I was all dressed up with nowhere to go.

That was okay, right? The equivalent of a parking ticket when it comes to infringement of the immutable dating laws. At most, the dating gods would have tutted at me and given me a slap on the wrist.

Be aware, most of The Rules come with a big BUT clause attached.

Don’t Call Him First, but do let him know you’re interested. Interpreting this rule to mean you should be an ice queen won’t do you any good. He needs to know you’re interested. Initiating contact every once in awhile will do no harm.

No More Than Casual Kissing on the First Date, but if the sparks are really flying then having sex is not going to be a dealbreaker. For those women who have slept with a man on the first date and then never heard from him again, you didn’t do anything wrong. If he liked you, he would call, sex or not. Having sex with him didn’t make him run away – really, he should be polite enough to say no if the offer is on the table but he knows he won’t be calling again… but again, that would involve willpower that might be beyond some people.

Be a Creature Unlike Any Other, but don’t be snooty about it. This rule is designed to increase your self-confidence. You don’t need a man. And you especially don’t need to be with someone you don’t mesh with just for the sake of being part of a couple. Man or woman, that’s the number one rule of dating. You don’t chase people who don’t want you. You’re not desperate or grovelling. You are enough, just the way you are.

And once you realise that, you’ll be able to make up your own Rules.

Have you read The Rules? Are there any you’ve broken?

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


2 comments for “Bending The Rules

  1. Posted by Denis | May 23, 2013, 1:45 pm

    Don’t ever tell a guy that “you’re far too busy and important”

    Emma sent me this statement via email when we had just started flirting and I almost threw the laptop through the window! Only after I had called her and bitten her head off! Nawww!

  2. Posted by Emma | May 23, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Yes, if the guy you’re flirting with has no sense of humour, I can see how this would be a problem.

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