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The New Rules: dating manual is back with new game-playing guidelines for the digital era


Dating manual The Rules by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider tried to guide a generation of 90s feminists back to the old-fashioned courting ways of the 1950s.

And now they’re back in the form of The New Rules – this time with Rules for Facebook, texting and more.

The authors who told you not to talk to a man first and not to talk too much are back with another helping of severe Rules for the digital age.

Marketed as the “time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right”, the controversial bestseller, first published in 1995, polarized opinion.

While Elle magazine described it as “one of the best self-help books of all time”, Jezebel called it “sexist garbage”.

The success of The Rules seems to be hit and miss, too.

They didn’t work for Blake Lively.

Image source Public Domain Pictures

Back in August 2011 she was rumored to have turned to the cult dating manual to hook Leonardo DiCaprio.

Not calling him, making him jealous and acting “busy” are just some of the commandments in the 1995 book that Blake Lively reportedly heeded to win Leonardo DiCaprio over.

A friend of Blake Lively’s told Now Magazine: “Blake loves dating book The Rules and has been following it to the letter.

“She knew Leo could have any girl he wanted and she figured she had to stand out from the crowd.”

The relationship fizzled, however, and the couple split after five months of dating.

For happily married Beyoncé, however, The Rules seem to have worked wonders.

Quoted on the back of their first book, the singer says: “It has worked for me.”

The authors say there are now even more ways to “unwittingly mess up your dating life”.

With the emergence texting, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, BBM, iPhones and online dating, Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider have added extra tips and chapters to guide Rules women through this type of communication and how to stick to The Rules.

Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider reinforce the principle that men thrive on being the aggressor and appreciate a woman who sets boundaries.

But critics say they are outdated, sexist, anti-feminist – and that they confuse and mislead men.

Rules Girls, say Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider are “savvy women who know how to return texts and emails to a man without seeming desperate, how to maintain a cool Facebook profile without giving away too much and how to spot cheaters and players, and avoid them like the plague”.

The Rules mainly preach the notion that women should play hard to get in order to get their Mr. Right.


  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.”

Source: therulesbook.com