Happiness in Love

Do We Need To Revisit The Rules?

By Laura Schreffler

Let’s take this story for what it is, m’kay? And by that I mean a segue into a discussion, not that I actually believe this ‘and a source says’ hogwash. Or do I? Because maybe — just maybe — there really is something to this whole playing by the book thing…

Blake Lively is the least likely person on the planet to utilize the antiquated ‘how to get a guy’ guide, The Rules (and when does she find the time to read, anyway?). She’s gorgeous, leggy, confident and sultry — one of those girls that you’d love to hate, if only she weren’t so darn nice. The U.K.’s Now magazine says that this super secure 23-year-old actually employed said book, published in 1995 by authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, to snare Leonardo DiCaprio into her honey trap.

Blake & Leo

To be honest, I’d be more inclined to say that she used sex as a weapon — and that she’s really, really good at it. I mean, look who the guy has dated in the past: Gisele Bundchen and Bar Refaeli. Including Blake, all have sky-high pins, blue eyes and blonde hair. ‘Nuff said. Homeboy has a type, and it’s called ‘perfection.’

A ‘friend’ of the Gossip Girl starlet said that she utilized certain elements of the book to speed up the courtship process. For example, she made him jealous, refused to call him, acted ‘busy’ — and reportedly even made him finish his long-lived, on-again, off-again relationship with Bar before she’d even consider dating him. Now that is some kind of power.

Do you buy it? Check out the authors’ top ten dating commandments and let’s discuss.

TOP TEN RULES TO BAG A MAN

#1 Be a creature unlike any other

Possess a sense of confidence and radiance that permeates your being from head to toe

#2 Go to parties and events even if you don’t feel like it

You won’t meet Mr Right sitting at home

#3 It’s a fantasy relationship unless a man asks you out

If he never asks you out, he’s not interested

#4 In an office romance, do not email him back unless it is business related

You never know who has access to your emails

#5 In a long-distance relationship, he must visit you three times before you visit him

It’s the equivalent of three dates, so no sex or sleep-overs either

#6 When placing a personal ad online, wait for men to respond to you

Men should always pursue women first

#7 If he does not call, he is not interested

Bottom line

#8 Don’t date a man for over two years

You’ve already spent more than a year waiting for him to propose; do you have another year to wait?

#9 Observe his behavior so you don’t end up with Mr. Wrong

Is he cheap? Or overly critical?

#10 Keep doing the rules even when things are slow

Take care of yourself, take a bubble bath and build up your soul with positive slogans like ‘I am a beautiful woman. I am enough.’

I hate to say this, but many of these so-called ‘rules’ make sense. You shouldn’t pursue or be the aggressor. As the Man Whisperer, a.k.a. Ms. Donna Sozio, taught me, a guy’s stress levels actually decrease if he’s chasing you, or putting in more than a minimal amount of effort. If you find yourself playing the guy role, sorry Charlie, but it isn’t going to work.

Don’t believe me? I had this conversation with a good forty plus male friends. They all argued they’d actually prefer for a woman to pursue them, because they were sick of putting in the work. When I had them actually think about that (albeit a difficult thing for most men to do on the fly) they agreed that if a girl went after them, it would just be too easy; they wouldn’t value her or the relationship.

This office romance email refusal thing is smart for one reason and one reason only: many companies have policies against inter-office relationships. They also monitor your email. That said, you probably want to be careful if you’re having an at-work tryst.

Observing his behavior is very, very smart on the authors part’. Sometimes we fall head over heels for a guy and aren’t sure why. Well, here are the reasons: we’ve either a) slept with him b) want to fix him or c) refuse to see him as he really is. We call the latter affliction ‘rose-colored glasses’ or ‘beer goggles.’

I’m not all that sure that the three-visit long-distance rule is cool and this whole ‘creature unlike any other’ business is just nonsense. We’re not things, we’re women…and we’re flawed, fabulous, footloose and fancy-free.

The Rules may not all be correct, and they may be very, very, very anti-feminist at times, but you know what? They work. Those of you who aren’t abiding by some form of The Rules aren’t playing the game at all. And when I say you’re not playing the game, I mean you’re not putting yourself out there at all. You may end up like Miss Haversham if you’re not careful.

Unfortunately, there is some degree of game-playing involved when it comes to romance. Do I want it to be this way? Heck no. I hate playing games. Personally, I believe honesty and truth and mutual respect is the way we should live our love lives. But will that work for you? Sure…if you want to end up old, alone and half-eaten by an Alsatian.

But at the end of the day, you need to do whatever it is that’s right for you. If you’re happier not playing those little mind games, refuse to play. You just might a like-minded individual who’ll play along at not playing at all.

How’s this for a rule? Do whatever makes you happy — and don’t regret it.

 

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About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of LoveTrekker.com — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out http://lovetrekker.com & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.