The New Rules is the dating bible for the digital generation from the multi-million-copy-selling authors of The Rules. To give you an impartial glimpse into living life by the Rules in the book we challenged a group of anonymous women to live by The New Rules and document their results.
Which of The New Rules did you follow and why?
Most of them – the ones I didn’t follow weren’t relevant over the time period.
• Rule 1: Be a Creature Unlike Any Other
• Rule 2: Look Like a Creature Unlike Any Other
• Rule 3: Don’t Talk to or Text a Guy First
• Rule 4: Don’t Ask Guys Out by Text, Facebook, Instant Messenger, or Any Other Way
• Rule 6: Wait at Least Four Hours to Answer a Guy’s First Text and a Minimum of 30 Minutes Thereafter
• Rule 7: TTYL: Always End Everything First— Get Out of There!
• Rule 8: Don’t Answer Texts or Anything Else after Midnight
• Rule 18: Don’t Write to Guys First, Ignore Winks, and Other Rules for Online Dating
How long did you follow The New Rules?
About three months.
What were the benefits of following The New Rules?
One real benefit of reading The New Rules, even if you don’t immediately apply the advice to your life, is that it forces you to examine your attitude towards relationships, what you want out of them and what you can be doing differently to make them happen. In this weird paradoxical age of the individual, of constant availability, and of the increasingly casual and short-lived fling, it is definitely something we should all be doing.
On the dating front, being A Creature Unlike Any Other both mentally and aesthetically has also been really effective – I took good care of my appearance anyway, but it is really intriguing to note the difference things like wearing your hair down, and snapping on some earrings (admittedly mine were not gold hoops) can make. The Rules around not communicating with prospective beaus first or responding to empty attention seeking behaviour have also been eye-openers too. I had a guy who would only send me one word text messages .e.g. ‘Hi’ and emoticons until I started responding in kind and another who was all about the thousand word emails until I started sending out one-liners. It’s actually quite humorous how effective this can be in weeding out timewasters and provoking more effort from the genuinely interested.
What was the most surprising thing you learned from reading and following The New Rules?
Firstly that a lot of men really do think and react in the ways outlined in the book.
Secondly that most of the advice espoused actually promotes female empowerment. As the authors say in the prologue, there are many women out there to whom ‘Rules-y’ behaviour comes naturally. The New Rules simply offers an accessible way for ‘the rest of us’ to cultivate that same sense of self-worth and entitlement, elevating our own expectations, creating clear boundaries and translating that sense of self into how we present ourselves to and expect to be treated by others. You don’t have to agree with the authors’ ideas of biological gender imperatives to see the logic in that.
Will you stick to The New Rules?
Absolutely — what I’ve been doing up until now clearly hasn’t been working, so although I’m not necessarily desperate to be in a relationship right now, and have no interest in getting married any time soon, I can see the sense in treating yourself well in the pursuit of relationships and in demanding you be treated like a princess. Of course I want the hubbie and 2.4 kids at some point and Rome wasn’t built in a day (apparently it took about 500 years!) so I’m willing to have faith in the process and hope for the best.
I know it is sort of against The New Rules, but I’ve already started leaving copies of the book in strategic places to be discovered by particular family members and good friends…