Do You Follow ‘The Rules?’


The Rules

Women as the aggressors A no–no or a sure–go?

by Samantha “Sam”  Foster

I recently re-read a book that I’d first heard of years ago through a friend called The Rules, written by renowned dating coaches, Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider. It was rumored when Carolyn Bessette nabbed the dashing John F. Kennedy, Jr. that she used some of The Rules when first dating the proverbial bachelor.

I won’t go through all of the rules (which have in fact changed over the years due to technology, online dating, etc.), but the general gist of the original book is that women are to be creatures of mystery, and in the whole grand scheme of things, it is the men that should be doing the pursuing—not the other way around. In the day and age where women are more forward though, do “The Rules” still apply?

You can see it everywhere—21st century females are given the “go-ahead” in not waiting on a guy to make the first move. In current pop culture, women are as aggressive in the pursuit of love as men—and it seems to be a trend even in younger ages. My niece is almost 15, and from what I hear of her peers, they are as forward—or more so—than boys when it comes to flirting (I am so glad Facebook and cell phones weren’t around when I was young.)

But does this new trend fly like a G-6? A male coworker of mine recently met a girl who is being the aggressor. She texts him multiple times a day—day after day —to ask when they’re hanging out again. What are his plans for the weekend? They should “chill together” if he is free. My God, if the authors of “The Rules” met this 20-something chick they would put her in a corner after slapping her hand with a ruler! According to them, if a man wants you, he will sure as hell let you know—you won’t have to pursue. And, they add, a woman shouldn’t pursue, as it shows that she is too “available” and too willing to be with him too quickly.

I must admit that I myself have been the aggressor many times in my dating years. I’m a strong personality, so it is hard to keep my feelings at bay. I don’t like games, and if I’m interested, you’re going to know it and not have to figure it out (I sound like a dude!). I will lay it all on the table, and I will not leave anything to the guy’s imagination. I always thought I was doing right by that approach, however, I am now starting to re–think my former philosophy. Being the aggressor in love has not proved successful for me—at all—and more importantly, I normally end up feeling like the bottom of one’s shoe. Perhaps I should follow more of “The Rules” and, as my friend April says, “Be the flame to which the moths are attracted.”

Perhaps, when it just comes down to it, there are no rules when it’s really right. Maybe when two people hit it off, neither party can do anything to push off the other—it’s just meant to be. Until then though, you and I should adhere to at least one of “The Rules,” simply because it is a fantastic frame of mind—be a creature unlike any other.

Cause honey, you—and I—are just that. But perhaps it is best we let the men figure that on their own—and without us prompting them with incessant texts, emails, Facebook posts and calls. Mr. Right will know you are a catch—with or without the rules

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