The Rules | A Single Girl’s Reinterpretation

The Single Diaries Decodes The Rules Dating Wisdom

The Rules Decoded


A few weeks ago we posed the question, have you ever heard of or read The Rules? The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right was published in 1995 by Ellen Fein and Sherries Schneider, a dynamic duo with the guise that they had this whole dating thing figured out. The golden rule upon which their dating bible was built is the simple premise that men must be the aggressors in a relationship. The Rules is essentially a 35-point action plan to carry this out. Fast forward almost 20 years and The Rules may feel a bit archaic.

With guidelines such as “Don’t Talk to a Man First” and “Don’t  Talk Too Much,” The Rules seems a far cry from the Lean In culture today’s Single Girl has embraced. With good cause, women are being prompted more than ever to be more aggressive in claiming ownership over the course of their lives. Want to be CEO of a big company one day? Fight your way to the top! Want to marry the man of your dreams? Buy the ring and ask him yourself! The message is coming across loud and clear: “the rules” are changing.

With all of that said, The Rules continues to survive even in a Sheryl Sandberg world. In addition to having been a best-selling book at the time of release, the authors spawn new versions of The Rules every few years and continue to find themselves attracting publicity. This had me wondering, is there something about The Rules that defies the test of time? As crazy as they might initially seem, do they actually work?’

Having read the book myself, my short answer to the question is “Yes, I believe in The Rules.” BUT (of course there’s a but), I also believe they only work so much as today’s Single Girl is able to pass them through the filter of the present realities. The key is to be smart about The Rules and to reapply them in a way that makes sense. To give you a better sense of what I mean, I’ve taken 15 of The Rules suggestions and decoded them into a set of practical guidelines that I believe actually make sense for our Tinder, Twitter, Insta, Chatting worlds. Read on for The Single Diaries take on The Rules.



Read the book? What do you think about this reinterpretation? Haven’t read the book? Agree or disagree? Let us know what you think!


Superbly Single,


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