The Rules

The Rules

refimprove=June 2008
npov=June 2008
Infobox Book
name = The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = Ellen Fein Sherrie Schneider
illustrator =
cover_artist =
country = USA
language = English
series =
subject = Relationships, Dating
genre = Self-help
publisher = Grand Central Publishing, (Warner Books)
pub_date = 1995-02-14
english_pub_date =
media_type = Print
pages = 192
isbn = 0-446-51813-1
oclc =
preceded_by =
followed_by = The Rules II: More Rules to Live and Love By

"The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right" is a best-selling 1995 book co-authored by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider.cite news | url= | date=1996-06-07 | accessdate=2008-06-08 | title=So Many Rules, So Little Time | work=The New York Times | last=Gerston | first=Jill | quote=it will appear as the No.1 paperback on the New York Times best-seller list for advice, how-to and miscellaneous books]

The book's basic theme is that, in order to attract and marry the man of her dreams, a woman should play hard to get.cite journal | title=Playing hard to get is still the best way to get married, 'The Rules' book says - book 'The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right' by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider | url= | journal=Jet | accessdate=2008-06-08 | date=1996-10-21 | publisher=Johnson Publishing] The authors promise happy relationships and happy marriages to the readers who follow their 35 specific rules. A woman who follows "the rules" is called a Rules Girl. The underlying philosophy is that women should not aggressively pursue men, but ought to get the men to pursue them.

The book was followed in 1997 by "The Rules II: More Rules to Live and Love By".


The book generated much discussion upon its release. Some considered the book to be useful and motivational, while others described it as outdatedcite news | url=,9171,985233,00.html | date=1996-09-30 | last=Gleick | first=Elizabeth | title=Playing Hard To Get | work=Time Magazine | accessdate=2008-06-08 | quote="This is pretty old-fashioned stuff," says Brown, editor of Cosmopolitan] and antifeministcite journal | journal=Library Journal | date=2001-05-15 | url= | title=The Rules for Marriage: Time-Tested Secrets for Making Your Marriage Work.(Review) | quote=When it first came out, The Rules (1996) was attacked for being anti-feminist | accessdate=2008-06-08] , or a how-to guide that teaches women to play games and manipulate men.cite news | last=Razer | first=Helen | url= | title=The perky pursuit of Mr Right | accessdate=2008-06-08 | date=2004-01-15 | work=The Age | quote=The Rules is a set of tricks and gimmicks and it's about acting in a false way to attract men] Others noted that Fein was an accountant and Schneider a freelance journalist, without any professional qualification in the subject matter.cite news | last=Witchel | first=Alex | title=COUNTERINTELLIGENCE; 'Rules' Books Sell Millions, But Mr. Right Takes a Hike | work=The New York Times | date=2001-05-06 | accessdate=2008-06-08 | url= | quote=Though the publisher is moving full speed ahead with a first printing ... Ms. Fein ... has filed for a legal separation from her husband of 16 years] The authors admitted they were not professionals in an appearance on NBC's The Today Show. They have countered criticism over their credentials by citing the results of followers from their practical knowledge.

In 2001 the followup book "The Rules for Marriage: Time-Tested Secrets for Making Your Marriage Work" was released in the midst of Fein's legal separation from her husband.

The Rules

The Rules are predicated on the author's thesis that men are thrillseekers engaged by a hunting instinct. While they seem mostly about "playing hard to get", they are also about training men, like for example rule 7. This seems more into changing his behaviour, than anything else. [ [ Book Review: The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right ] ] Rs|date=June 2008Some of the Rules seem strongly culturally biased. For example, in Scandinavia, Germany and the Netherlands, women would generally feel that following rule 4 (not paying for the date) and 12 (expecting gifts) are putting her in debt with the man. Some women in these cultures might even consider following these rules tantamount to prostitution, and believe that costs for the first two or three dates should surely be split, so as not to create unwanted expectations. This stands in contrasts to other cultures as in North America and southern Europe, where women might expect the man to pay for her.Fact|date=June 2008

* 01: Be a “Creature” Unlike Any Other
* 02: Don't Talk to a Man First (and Don't Ask Him to Dance)
* 03: Don't Stare at Men or Talk Too Much
* 04: Don't Meet Him Halfway or Go Dutch on a Date
* 05: Don't Call Him & Rarely Return His Calls
* 06: Always End Phone Calls and dates First
* 07: Don't Accept a Saturday Night Date after Wednesday
* 08: Fill Up Your Time before the Date
* 09: How to Act on Dates 1,2, & 3 End the date first especially if you like him.
* 10: How to Act on Dates 4 through Commitment Time
* 11: Always end the date first
* 12: Stop Dating Him if He Doesn't Buy You a Romantic Gift for Your Birthday or Valentine's Day
* 13: Don’t See Him More than Once or Twice a Week
* 14: No More than Casual Kissing on the First Date
* 15: Don't Rush into Sex & Other Rules for Intimacy
* 16: Don't Tell Him What to Do
* 17: Let Him Take the Lead
* 18: Don't Expect a Man to Change or Try to Change Him
* 19: Don’t Open Up Too Fast
* 20: Be Honest but Mysterious
* 21: Accentuate the Positive & Other Rules for Personal Ads
* 22: Don’t Live with a Man (or Leave Your Things in His Apartment)
* 23: Don't Date a Married Man
* 24: Slowly Involve Him in Your Family & Other Rules for Women with Children
* 25: Practice, Practice, Practice! (or, Getting Good at The Rules)
* 26: Even if You're Engaged or Married, You Still Need The Rules
* 27: Do The Rules, Even when Your Friends & Parents Think It's Nuts
* 28: Be Smart and Other Rules for Dating in High School
* 29: Take Care of Yourself and Other Rules for Dating in College
* 30: NEXT! & Other Rules for Dealing with Rejection
* 31: Don't Discuss The Rules with Your Therapist.
* 32: Rules May Be Pulled Out of Thin Air If the Situation Requires
* 33: Do The Rules and You’ll Live Happily Ever After!
* 34: Love Only Those Who Love You
* 35: Be Easy to Live With


*cite book | first=Ellen | last=Fein | coauthors=Schneider, Sherrie | year=1995 | title=The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right | publisher=Warner Books | id=ISBN 0-446-51813-1

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