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The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider

The book is made up of 35 rules to follow for "catching a husband."

  1. Be a "Creature Unlike Any Other"

  2. Don't talk to a man first (and don't ask him to dance)

  3. Don't stare at men or talk too much

  4. Don't meet him halfway or go dutch on a date

  5. Don't call him and rarely return his calls

  6. Always end phone calls first

  7. Don't accept a Saturday night date after Wednesday

  8. Fill up your time before the date

  9. How to act on dates 1, 2, and 3

  10. How to act on dates 4 through Commitment Time

  11. Always end the date first

  12. Stop dating him if he doesn't buy you a romantic gift for your birthday or valentine's day

  13. don't see him more than once or twice a week

  14. No more than casual kissing on the first date

  15. Don't rush into sex and other rules for intimacy

  16. Don't tell him what to do

  17. Let him take the lead

  18. Don't expect a man to change or try to change him

  19. Don't open up too fast

  20. Be honest, but mysterious

  21. Accentuate the positive and other rules for personal ads

  22. Don't live with a man (or leave your things in his apartment)

  23. Don't date a married man

  24. Slowly involve him in your family and other rules for women with children

  25. Practice, practice, practice! (or, getting good at the rules)

  26. Even if you're engaged or married, you still need the rules

  27. Do the rules, even when your friends and parents think it's nuts

  28. Be smart and other rules for dating in high school

  29. Take care of yourself and other rules for dating in college

  30. Next! and other rules for dealing with rejection

  31. Don't discuss the rules with your therapist

  32. Don't break the rules

  33. Do the rules and you'll live happily ever after!

  34. Love only those who love you

  35. Be easy to live with

This book is terrifying. Why? Cause it threatens to change the reader's entire way of dealing with people--friends, lovers, everyone. Although most of these rules are ridiculous, there are a few that, I think, are good. I would say that Rule 18: "Don't expect a man to change or try to change him" is actually really good, as well as Rule 16: "Don't tell him what to do" and Rule 35: "Be easy to live with". Other than these rules, however, I would say there could be little gleanings of good hidden in others--but is it really worth looking? An interesting book if only because it forces you to admit how superficial relationships can be. A quote that really sums up the kind of women who use this book:

"It's natural to want to fly off the handle every time something goes wrong in the love kingdom--we all have fantasies of marital bliss. But you must try to be serene and unselfish, or you won't be a happy princess."

enough said
A follow-up to karrenlouise's write-up above. In case you didn't read that, I'll mention the topic here.

There is a series of "self-help" books called The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr Right, The Rules II and the forthcoming Rules III: Time-tested Secrets for Making your Marriage Work, by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider.

These books encourage women to behave according to the courtship rituals of the 1950's.

The last in the series has as its basic premise "it is easier to stay married than get married".

Ellen Fein has always pointed to her own successful marriage (to a pharmacist) as proof of her pudding.

Well, Ellen Fein and Paul Feingertz, her husband of sixteen years, are getting divorced. Heh.

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