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Rules, rules, rules
April 21, 2006 9:39 AM   Subscribe

What are "The Rules" for guys?

For better or for worse, the girls were given their own but, gentlemen, what are the hard and fast dating / relationship rules you have learned over the years? And go easy on the wisecracks here. Ladies, in the interests of equality and better advice, feel free to throw in any rules us men should know.

(If this is too ChatFilter then delete - I am, however, specifically looking for rules, hopefully positive ones, to replace my own, rather negative, ones)
posted by brautigan to Human Relations (51 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ugh. their own...
posted by brautigan at 9:41 AM on April 21, 2006


Don't sleep with anyone who has more problems than you do.
posted by matkline at 9:45 AM on April 21, 2006 [3 favorites]



Don't sleep with anyone who has more problems than you do.


This will come off wise-cracky, but this rule should sometimes be bent for crazy girl sex. Don't knock it til you try it.
posted by poppo at 9:50 AM on April 21, 2006


Don't sleep with anyone who has more problems than you do.

If this applies to both sides, there isn't that much choice left one would think ...
posted by koenie at 9:50 AM on April 21, 2006


If "in spite of" enters any description you have of her, move on. You're not a hero for tolerating the things you don't like about her.
posted by kcm at 9:51 AM on April 21, 2006


1) If they're nuts, if they suck, if they play games, dump them and move on.

2) If they don't also follow rule #1, dump them and move on.

3) Your sanity comes before anything else. Yes, even before your dick.

4) Be excellent to each other.

Follow those four rules and relationships are a no-brainer.

Sadly, these rules are too difficult for 99.9999% of the population.

/11 years and still happy
posted by bondcliff at 9:52 AM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Once you feel contempt, even fleetingly, it's all over. Cut your losses.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:10 AM on April 21, 2006 [3 favorites]


If she has a lot of nameless friends (nameless to you, that is—"That was my friend on the phone," "I had lunch with my friend today," etc.) don't let her dump you first.
posted by emelenjr at 10:12 AM on April 21, 2006 [3 favorites]


Don't date other people's girlfriends/wives.
posted by Thistledown at 10:15 AM on April 21, 2006


Maintenance is directly proportional to makeup.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:18 AM on April 21, 2006 [7 favorites]


1...He who smelt it dealt it.
2...He who denied it supplied it.
I believe Matkline is paraphrasing Nelson Algren's "Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own."
posted by horsewithnoname at 10:19 AM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


The "hopeless romantic" thrives on hopelessness. There is no hope for you.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:22 AM on April 21, 2006 [3 favorites]


I always thought "the rules" for guys was all those speed seduction sites. They seem both creepy yet honest.
posted by GuyZero at 10:26 AM on April 21, 2006


All the advice above is practical *and* useful.

THE RULES is far from practical. It's how to sublimate yourself in order to snag a "great" mate, no matter the emotional and spiritual toll.

So in that vein:
-- Buy an expensive watch/car/condo
-- Get a "Queer Eye" style fashion makeover
-- Encourage her to talk all about herself and only add in little snippets of emotion to support her stories about herself
-- Kiss up to her snotty girlfriends, even the bitchy ones
-- Lie and say you love romantic comedies
-- Buy her gifts frequently -- flashy and expensive
-- Send flowers to her work to thank her

Please note: This will only result in getting the kind of girls who read "The Rules".

For a girl with any substance or depth, you might just have to live your life doing lots of interesting things and run into someone who likes the same stuff as you do.

If you mean, THE RULES to just get laid, then this book is stunningly accurate, if evil.
posted by Gucky at 10:30 AM on April 21, 2006 [3 favorites]


I remember a while back a male response to The Rules which was called The Code. Don't remember if it was something online or in a magazine, but one its tenets was
posted by Rash at 10:33 AM on April 21, 2006


Maintenance is directly proportional to makeup.

Not necessarily true, in my experience, although it seems like a valid rule of thumb.
posted by Rash at 10:38 AM on April 21, 2006


I dislike The Rules, but here are some of the ones that have been told to me.

1: eye contact, not eye-to-chest contact
2: learn the difference between showing positive physical attraction and creepy physical attraction.
3: listen honestly, and get honestly interesed in what they have to say.
4: "Nice guys" who bitch about not getting dates are not quite as nice as they think they are. (Pushy, clingy and smothering come up.)
5: Your girlfriend is not your mom. She is also not your shink.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:44 AM on April 21, 2006


This is really more Rules for Both, but hopefully it will be of use; before my wife and i started dating, i had come out of a couple of really crappy relationships. As a result i developed three rules that she and i agreed to before we commited to our relationship.

1.) Don't lie
2.) Don't cheat
3.) If i've done something wrong you have tell me, otherwise you aren't allowed to get angry about it.

They may seem kinda simple and dumb, but we've been together for over a decade with relatively few serious fights because of them.
posted by quin at 10:46 AM on April 21, 2006 [9 favorites]


The Rules was designed to get you married, quickly, because apparently that is every single woman's mail goal in life.

The equivalent for guys is probably more or less the spam I just received, called "Top Ten Mistakes Men Make with Women":

1. Don't be too much of a "nice guy"
2. Don't try to "convince her to like you"
3. Don't look to her for approval or permission
4. Don't try to "buy" her affection with food and gifts
5. Don't share "how you feel" too early in the relationship with her
6. You have to "get" how attraction works for women
7. Don't think it takes money and looks
8. Don't give away all of your power to women
9. Know EXACTLY what to do in each type of situation with women
10. Get HELP (which is the "buy our junk" pitch)

Most of it's bunk, based on stereotypes, but it will probably get you what you want, if what you want is to "DRAMATICALLY increase your success with women 100%" That's really all The Rules was promising, too. Just tricks to fake self-confidence, respect, and interest for people who can't figure it out on their own.
posted by occhiblu at 10:48 AM on April 21, 2006 [2 favorites]


Heh. Main goal, not mail goal. I have many other mail goals.
posted by occhiblu at 10:49 AM on April 21, 2006


All the rules are here.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:52 AM on April 21, 2006


"Nice guys" who bitch about not getting dates are not quite as nice as they think they are.

Agreed. "Boring" and "passive" come to my mind.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:08 AM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


occhiblu: I don't think that a lot of those are bunk. It seems that they boil down to The Rule that has always helped me:

Be yourself.
posted by drstein at 11:12 AM on April 21, 2006


1...He who smelt it dealt it.
2...He who denied it supplied it.


3...He who said the rhyme, did the crime.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:14 AM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


4...He who responded spawned it.
posted by horsewithnoname at 11:43 AM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


"What do you think?" is gold.
"What are you thinking?" is poison.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:52 AM on April 21, 2006 [4 favorites]


Whoever rules the fuck fucks the rules.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:03 PM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yes, but if everyone just followed "be yourself, have self-confidence, be respectful, and be interested," the self-help industry would probably collapse. That was more my point -- the effect they're trying to achieve in not really a bad one, it's just that if you need 100 pages of instruction on tricks to make it *look* like you're all of the above, then... you're not.
posted by occhiblu at 12:03 PM on April 21, 2006


1.) Don't lie
2.) Don't cheat
3.) If i've done something wrong you have tell me, otherwise you aren't allowed to get angry about it.


... A-f'ing-men! Rules that have lead to 10+ years of a great relationship (and almost 3 years of marriage) without much "drama" if any.
I also want to second (or third or fourth... lost track) not sticking around in a relationship with someone who has more baggage than you. Don't think you can fix someone. You can't. I've known a number of guys who took way too long to realize that.
posted by srw12 at 12:18 PM on April 21, 2006


4...He who responded spawned it.

5...Okay, fine. I had a burrito for lunch.

Next time, Horse! Nexxt ttiiimmmeeeee!!!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:19 PM on April 21, 2006


hehe wait, I've been 'being myself' for years to no avail. I think that 'be yourself' should be amended to read 'be yourself but with a nicer car' or something.
posted by ZackTM at 12:22 PM on April 21, 2006


Nobody goes home with the bartender.
posted by Caviar at 12:39 PM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


My man rules:

1) No whining.

2) Suck it up and take it.

3) What would Charlton Heston do?

I landed a total babe, so this works.
posted by Scoo at 12:54 PM on April 21, 2006 [2 favorites]


It totally depends on your purpose? Getting laid? Long term relationship?

I think women have really bought into that "He's just not that into you" phenomenon

I haven't read it personally - never needed to because I haven't had any doubts about my relationship, however have had plenty of friends that have.

I think the principles were don't give a man the time of day if :
-He doesn't call when he says he will.
-He makes excuses and cancels a date
-You have any question in your mind about his intentions.
etc.
posted by delladlux at 12:54 PM on April 21, 2006


Previously, on AskMe.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 2:36 PM on April 21, 2006


You can't fuck the crazy out of her.
posted by NortonDC at 4:00 PM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


  1. You must learn to eliminate your desire...If you're out with this girl and even thinking about getting laid, you're finished, cuz women can smell an agenda like shit on a shoe.
  2. And this takes us to the second rule of Being Steve: You have to do something excellent in her presence, thus demonstrating your sexual worthiness.
  3. And that takes us to Part III of the Tao of Steve, okay? Alright, after you've eliminated your desire, and after you've been excellent in her presence, then you must retreat...The basic principle: We pursue that which retreats from us.

posted by kirkaracha at 4:20 PM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


The rule that keeps me quite happily single at the moment:

"No matter how attractive she looks, some guy somewhere is tired of putting up with her shit."

When I no longer care about this phrase, I'll start dating again.
posted by tkolar at 5:48 PM on April 21, 2006


I love that movie Kirkaracha!!

My rules are simple

don't lie about anything that matters, and don't expect more out than you put in.
posted by Megafly at 5:49 PM on April 21, 2006


Remember, a man marries a woman for who she is, a woman marries a man for what she can make him. That's the main rule you have to deal with.
posted by TheRaven at 6:07 PM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


According to this thread the male equivalent is called The Game.

But are you asking for actual good advice, or for the boy version of a manipulative guide for snaring a mate?
posted by mdn at 6:16 PM on April 21, 2006


I think the question on your objective. The rules change depending on what you want... a happy life? ... a relatively happy relationship? ... a one night stand? ... to be perceived as an extremely desirable person by others of opposite sex? ... to get married?

Lots of folks have listed good resources for all kinds of rules, but the real question is what you want and your situation.

As a woman, I've read "The Rules" (and the idea that there are rules at all is so appealing - you act like x and you get the highly desired y), but I have never been able to stomach actually acting on the rules, and things like it because they are so far off my own personality and style. I always just figure that I may do a poor job of "playing the game", but what I really want is someone who has as little interest in game playing as I do. And if that's a rule, well, there you go.
posted by zia at 6:38 PM on April 21, 2006


oops meant to say:
I think the question depends on your objective.
posted by zia at 6:41 PM on April 21, 2006


Ask her out to dinner/coffee/a drink/a movie.

At the end of the date, offer to pay.

If she accepts, she's probably interested in you.

Otherwise, make one more offer to pay.

If she accepts this time, she was trying to be polite before.

Otherwise, she's not interested in you.
posted by A dead Quaker at 8:46 PM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


If she accepts, she's probably interested in you.... Otherwise, she's not interested in you.

this may be the code in some circles but don't count on it, either way. Some people think whoever invited should pay whether things are getting interesting or not ("hey, at least I got a free meal out of it"). some people think that so long as women have jobs, it is insulting for them get 'treated' to things as if they were children. some people think whoever has a higher income should pay, or that if someone offers it's nice to accept a gift, or a dozen other possible philosophies of dinner payment.

it's such a dumb complication: but it's propogated by the "what does it mean if she allows/resists your paying?" mindset. Rely on body language, interaction, and actual communication, not coded clues.
posted by mdn at 9:03 PM on April 21, 2006


watch carefully her relationship with her father ... a woman who despises her father, even if she's got good reason to, may end up despising you
posted by pyramid termite at 9:36 PM on April 21, 2006


The Rules for men (and women) are that there are no hard and fast rules. Everyone is willing to bend them for the right person.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:51 PM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Some advice:

1. If you're interested, it's up to you--as the guy--to make the first move.

2. Consider dating more than one person at the same time. (I'm assuming that the pace of dating is relatively slow, that physical intimacy doesn't happen very quickly.)

3. If you're interested in marriage, make a decision after dating for a year. If after a year you're still not sure whether she's the one, then she's not, and you'll just be wasting your time (and hers).

For general dating advice, I'd recommend If I'm So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single?

For breakup advice, I'd recommend How to Dump a Guy: A Coward's Manual.
posted by russilwvong at 11:02 PM on April 21, 2006


watch carefully her relationship with her father ... a woman who despises her father, even if she's got good reason to, may end up despising you

That is a sound piece of advice. I kind of wish my Dad had been given it....

Short of echoing already proffered advice any more, I'd be watchful of feigned interest. If a date couldn't give a shit about your interest in collecting baseball cards/soduku/pre 1975 funk music/whatever, best they tell rather than string you along.

Dishonesty sucks. Dishonesty from the get go is a no no.
posted by davehat at 1:43 AM on April 22, 2006


The 10 Percent / 100 Percent Rule

If she seems to be crazy 10 percent of the time, she is 100 percent crazy and is not a valid choice for dating and/or relationships.

Many men will overlook signs of deep-seated neuroses, for various reasons (e.g. the sex is good, she laughs at your jokes, your mom/friends like her, she's got a great ass).

You need to attune yourself to these warning signs. Observe the 10 Percent / 100 Percent Rule. If you catch yourself thinking things like, "She's sure is quirky," or "What the fuck was that all about?", you need to get out, fast.
posted by frogan at 3:45 AM on April 22, 2006 [5 favorites]


Don't date any girl who follows The Rules?

Seriously though, I think the best advice is to not assume girls think or expect or want anything in terms of commitment or a relationship or whatever just by virtue of their gender.
posted by SoftRain at 1:04 PM on April 22, 2006


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