Rule #5 Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls

This rule falls squarely under the “don’t chase men” premise. If he’s not calling you, he’s not that interested. Don’t call him to talk or to ask him out.

If you make things really easy for a guy, you’re never going to know if you’re with someone who really cares about you, or if he’s with you because he’s too lazy or apathetic to seek a mate. Better to be alone than in a relationship like that.

He has to learn that if he doesn’t ask you out when he sees you he might not reach you on the phone so soon and not see you for a week or two. It’s not that you’re impossible to get, you’re just hard to get. Remember, you’re very busy with activities and other dates and you make plans ahead of time. But don’t reprimand him for not calling sooner by saying, “If you had called earlier…” Just say, “Really, I’d love to, but I can’t”.

(He’ll figure out he’ll have to call sooner.)

You’re not supposed to call men after dates that went well, either. Don’t call “just to see how he’s doing” or with some other silly excuse. If he likes you, he’ll call again for a date. If not, his loss.

Edited: I’m getting a lot of the same comments complaining about the manipulative aspect of this advice, with which I concur. Check the comments section before posting. Thanks!


Filed under Book Reviews, Dating, Female dignity, Men, The Rules

47 responses to “Rule #5 Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls

  1. John

    I agree that men should bear all the risks and call, but I don’t follow the rarely return his calls bit. It seems rude. Care to explain?

    • Anna

      I agree that it’s rude. I think it’s because of crap advice like that that The Rules gets the bad rap it does about manipulating men.

      Still, at its core, it’s about keeping some mystery at the beginning of the dating relationship, so as long as the behavior isn’t completely rude, I don’t see why calls that are just about chatting have to be returned right away – especially if the woman really is busy. In this age of cell phones and text messaging and gchat, too much non-face-to-face communication right at the beginning may be a bit much.

  2. John

    Okay, I agree with you that calls don’t have to be returned immediately. That is different from just rudely ignoring someone as part of some game. I’m in agreement with you that the convenience of electronic communication often lends itself to too much communication. Ideally, I’d prefer to stick to face to face conversations as much as possible, then phone calls, letters, emails, etc, but I’ve discovered that with how common electronic communication has become, women’s expectations have shifted with these less personal modes becoming the norm. I do have my preferences, but I generally try to gauge what the woman’s expectations are.

  3. Yeah, I agree with the “don’t cold-call him” part but not the “don’t return his calls” part; say he’s trying to coordinate a date activity you’ve already agreed to, or something like that, where he needs information from you; not calling back to give him the necessary info. is just rude. This is indeed a case where “The Rules” is way too simplistic.

  4. Will’s correct, if you try to be too tight with rules that someone else goes by, you’ll end up having to crack open your own shell.

  5. Just stopped by from Haley’s Halo. I’m going to be blunt: this is incredibly bad advice and the attitude of entitled adolescents, not capable adults. Men are not simply female-validation devices whose life purpose is to pursue a woman over and over until she decides to say yes.

    “If he likes you, he’ll call again for a date. If not, his loss.”

    I don’t understand how he’s supposed to get a second date if you don’t return his call…?

    A woman who doesn’t return my call (esp if it’s about something pertinent, like a plan we’re making) is one who is showing me great disrespect and one I stop seeing. I’ve done this multiple times before, sometimes to the woman’s confusion who later wanted to know what happened. Dear, you rejected me by blowing me off, and I found someone else to spend my time with.

    “If you make things really easy for a guy, you’re never going to know if you’re with someone who really cares about you”

    This goes both ways – the man needs signals from the woman that she cares and isn’t simply using him for attention and free meals. A woman who shows she wants to defer all risk and effort to the man is one I don’t think I can trust to pull her weight in a relationship, let alone a marriage.

    The Rules is the fleshed-out tome of a cartoonish, Victorian concept of white-knighting courtship that never actually existed. In polite societies where courtship has reigned, the expected efforts of the man to pursue has always been mirrored by furious, if not desperate, efforts by the female clan (mothers, sisters, friends) to locate proper matches and signal to the man that his efforts will be rewarded.

    • Anna

      Hi there. If you had peeked at the comments you would see my criticism of the more childish aspects of this advice. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Zola

    there are no rules. Just follow your instinct, you know that it will never lead you to wrong way. Sometimes your heart is deceitful, so do not let your heart to lead you.

  7. Tiffany

    I think you all are missing the point. the rule is to RARELY return his call. Not, NEVER return his call. If he’s calling about a date, or needs to reschedule, this is a RARE instance when you SHOULD call him back and leave a message. If it’s about nonsense, ‘how have you been?’ or ‘just wanted to say hello.’ I wouldn’t bother. The purpose of her communication with him is to land a date where he can gain more info about her in person.

  8. Tiffany

    Ladies, most men will NEVER EVER admit it, but once a woman starts calling a man regularly, or regularly “returns his calls”, slowly he will put in less and less effort to call/plan/pursue her. And why should he? She is doing the work for him! He sits back, puts his feet up, and allows you to do the work for him all the while he is pursuing other women (in case things don’t pan out with you!) Eventually he will lose interest or focus more of this attention on someone else who poses more of a challenge. Maybe this is not true of ALL men, but it is true of MOST. Don’t be fooled!

    • Woody

      Personally you have the wrong idea. If a girl calls me back, I feel that my efforts are paying off! And if she calls me (I would agree not regularly, unless we are in a relationship) I feel that she cares, and I can float on air. I also understand that girls like to talk and therefore if a guy calls them socially, they enjoy this “nonesense” communication (that’s coming from girls by the way).

      Coming from a guy there is nothing more frustrating than a girl playing really hard to get! When she doesn’t return my calls and makes me pull all the weight to get dating started, as you are suggesting, then I’m not interested. I want a girl who isn’t afraid to communicate, and makes clear where stands (and says no when she doen’t want to talk to me, rather than just ignoring me); not one who just hide in the shadows expecting Prince Charming to fight off all mystery with a flick of his wrist.

      • Tiffany

        Hi Woody!
        Thanks for responding so respectfully to my comment. Your tone reveals you to be a true gentleman. However, a woman is entitled to disagree.

        It is my belief (and the basic premise of “The Rules”) that men should pursue women. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in equal rights, equal pay, etc., but in the area of romantic relationships, it is always better when a man leads. In a “Rules” relationship, you (the man) select the woman you desire most. You hunt and pursue (call/plan/pay for dates on a timetable convenient for you). You get to initiate exclusivity (GF/BF titles and terms of the relationship) and ultimately, decide whether you will propose marriage. If we (women) allow you (men) to lead is this way, we are better able to distinguish between men who really want us and those who don’t.

        One of the biggest problems I have seen is with women who pursue men (in any capacity). I have seen them suffer major and sometime irreversible losses in self-esteem and self-worth. Calling men who don’t want to talk, initiating plans for dates that men either blow off or expect her to pay for, treating a man like a boyfriend when he does not want to be exclusive, and on and on, ad nauseum. Ladies, again, if a man is not pursuing you, he doesn’t WANT you. He may entertain your advances for fun and to pass the time, but he will NEVER EVER move mountains for you (as a man will certainly do when he is head-over-heels in love). And he’ll drop you the minute he meets a woman he wants to purse…unless he’s a “juggler”.

        • Tiffany

          The last thing I wanted to talk about, related to your comment, Woody, was boundaries. Often times, men think that because they call a woman (a virtual stranger) that they are entitled to a call back. I want to make this very perfectly clear. YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO ANYTHING!

          Ladies, from the point that a man (a complete stranger) asks you for your number until the time he intitiates a talk about exclusivity, he should hold very little emotional stock/value in your life to warrant you treating him more special than any other male acquaintance in your life. Let’s think about this. This man has made you no promises for the future and holds no commitments to you at this point (not even to see only you) therefore, you owe him nothing! Not even a return call! This is what it means to establish healthy boundaries. You don’t give more weight to a dating relationship than it’s worthand value in the larger context of your life. You don’t treat a man like you would a boyfriend when he isn’t your boyfriend. It’s his right and his choice to drop you at any given moment for someone else he likes better, and in my opinion, he wouldn’t owe you a phone call or a even post-it note. His NOT calling and NOT planning anymore dates says it all. He’s NOT interested. MOVE ON! Hopefully, you’ve been dating other men all along and will continue to do so until one asks to be exclusive! Rules’ girls understand that this concept of having personal boundaries (which so many people do not have nowadays) is the key to not losing “yourself” in every whirlwind romance that blows your way.

      • Tiffany

        But back to your comment, Woody. It may seem (in the beginning) that her calling you back means your efforts are paying off, but ultimately once you know you’ve “got her”, she’s hooked, in love, and not going anywhere, you WILL stop putting in as much effort as you initially did to win her (this is usually where the man’s motivation starts to slow/if not fizzle and the woman starts doing any and everything to keep the relationship going). This is why the rules advocates “rarely return[ing] his calls.” It keeps you on your toes and her out of taking on the role of aggressor and hunting you down!

        Now, I do agree with you on one thing. I’ve never met a woman who didn’t like to talk. Myself included. But too much calling back to talk can be dangerous for you (men) too if you’re not careful. In my pre-rules days, I had a suitor talk me to death over the phone. I’d wait for a pause that never came and eventually had to start dodging his calls. He was a nice enough guy, but the fire fizzled on my end because I started seeing him as one of my girlfriends instead of someone I wanted to make out with. Gentleman, if you want to talk “nonsense”, do it when we’re out on a actual date, not over the phone.

        Also Woody,
        If you’re ever out with a Rules’ girl, don’t use her calling you as an indicator of interest. Use her saying “yes” to giving you her number and “yes” to going out on a date with you as indicators she is interested. The same goes for “yes” to being exclusive and “yes” to marriage. This is how you know we WANT/LOVE you. We say “yes!” If she says shes “busy” on a night when you’d like to take her out, don’t take it personally, just ask her out for another night and give her some advance notice.

      • Woody, you’re on the right track.

        Even Tiffany agrees that “once you know you’ve “got her”, she’s hooked, in love, and not going anywhere, you WILL stop putting in as much effort as you initially did to win her (this is usually where the man’s motivation starts to slow/if not fizzle and the woman starts doing any and everything to keep the relationship going)”

        Which is precisely why you should do it!

        And any woman who plays silly mind games, like being hard to get, instead, is indeed unworthy of your pursuit; move on.

        • Tiffany

          “Which is precisely why you should do it!” says Will S. to Woody.

          Which is precisely why women should follow The Rules and NOT pursue men. EVER. Thanks for confirming this to be true, Will, in case any woman should doubt. Good luck to you all, in dating and in love!

          • Tiffany

            Another great resource for Rules girls or women on the fence about The Rules. Check out Vanessa’s “Platinum Girl Celebrity Blog.” It breaks down The Rules and applies them to real-life relationships. HILARIOUS and true! Hope this is helpful!

          • You’re quite right, Tiffany, that women shouldn’t pursue men, ever, and should instead let men pursue them. (Though they can and should drop hints, if a particular man tickles their fancy.)

            But overplaying being ‘hard to get’, and following such other, extreme parts of The Rules, will not only weed out the “players”, but also the good men. Men don’t like ‘head games’ and drama.

            • Tiffany

              Will, we have finally achieved some common ground. Women should not pursue men. I agree with you on this point 100%. However, I find that some of your statements are contradictory. On the one hand, you state emphatically that women should not pursue men. Then you say that a woman who follows The Rules (which is entirely about not pursuing men) aren’t worthy of being pursued.

              Also, I’m not sure what you mean by “dropping hints”, but, if a man walks over to me at a party to initiate conversation, I would engage him. I smile, I laugh, and am pleasant, I just don’t go overboard. I don’t overshare (because I have boundaries) or talk for more than a few minutes with any one guy and I certainly don’t initiate anything. Simply put, I follow his lead (assuming I’m interested anyway). If he asks for my number and I want to give it, I do. But he always does the work. He seeks me out, chats me up and asks for the digits. In my opinion, if he doesn’t do these things, he’s either not interested or doesn’t have enough self-confidence (too insecure)to ask for what he wants (which will show up in other negative ways later on in a relationship). Either way, I’m definitely not interested.

              About The Rules weeding out “good” men, I disagree completely. I have NEVER seen The Rules weed out a highly motivated man who has identified the woman he desires and must have. These are the men I want pursuing me and The Rules helps to ensure that. In my own experience and those of my Rules-y friends, men who truly want a woman do everything under the sun to win her heart and to earn a spot in her life. He’s not turned off if she doesnt call during the dating phase because he has already assumed that responsibility. He could care less if she doesnt chatter away with him for hours on the phone so long as she picks up when he calls and says “yes” to the dates he’s planning. She is just that incredible and worth all of the effort!

              Call me naive, but this forum is the only place where I have encountered men so unwilling to work for what they want. We (women) have truly spoiled them rotten that THEY (who desire to have us) expect, no, DEMAND, to be met halfway. It’s truly mind boggling….

              • Tiffany

                I agree that some women can go overboard with playing hard-to-get and I have no problem acknowledging that this is not discussed in the book. However, the women I know, that follow The Rules are doing so because they at one point or another either lacked proper relationship boundaries or wanted a more motivated cohort of men pursuing them for relationships. I think the majority of women using this book aren’t using these methods to HURT men, but to 1) not waste time on “relationships” that won’t go anywhere 2) weed out undesirables (whatever that may be for that particular woman) and therefore give time and attention only to men they want 4) (in extreme cases where the woman has been living under a rock) to stop bad behavior that chases the men they want away. How could this ever be perceived as a bad thing?

              • What I mean, as regards dropping hints, is, for example, if a woman meets a man in a setting where she gets to know him socially, such as a bowling club or a photography class or a church group (whatever), and decides she is attracted to him, she can give him a hint of that, then wait for him to decide to act on that and ask her out. What I’m saying, is that just because men should be the initiators, doesn’t mean that if a woman finds herself attracted to a particular man who hasn’t yet initiated, doesn’t mean she can’t do anything whatsoever; a positive sign from her that she might be receptive, were he to pursue her, might be the motivation he needs to (a) notice her and (b) act on that.

                I didn’t slam The Rules completely, BTW; you will notice I was referring to the more extreme parts of them; perhaps I have misunderstood them, but if one takes certain parts of them ultra-literally, there can be problems; as I mentioned in my very first comment:

                Yeah, I agree with the “don’t cold-call him” part but not the “don’t return his calls” part; say he’s trying to coordinate a date activity you’ve already agreed to, or something like that, where he needs information from you; not calling back to give him the necessary info. is just rude. This is indeed a case where “The Rules” is way too simplistic.

                Now, maybe the authors didn’t mean “don’t return his call, after he’s left a message on your answering machine because he couldn’t get hold of you, trying to ask you out; or, if you’ve agreed to go out, to establish time / place / transportation arrangements, etc.”, but that wasn’t clear.

                I think the general thrust of The Rules is positive enough, in terms of encouraging women not to waste time on guys who aren’t interested in them enough to initiate. I guess I question the idea of making rigid ‘Rules’ about things, rather than general guidelines and principles to follow, but with some possible elasticity, depending on the particulars of a given situation. I also approach dating women in the same ways myself; I don’t think that men should have inflexibly rigid rules for how to pursue a woman that they can’t bend, here or there, as a situation calls for, depending on the particulars.

                “She is just that incredible and worth all of the effort!” is a statement I find hard to understand; I don’t know that, until one gets to actually know someone, that they can truly form such an opinion about someone, based solely on the little bit from the surface that they encounter, say, as you mentioned, meeting someone new at a party. Only surfaces are visible; how could anyone know that someone else is so incredible, unless and until getting to know them better? On the other hand, though, what one sees on the surface, may be enough to pique one’s interest, to desire to get to know them further – which is what would entice a guy to ask a girl out, long before he has any idea of whether or not she is incredible, and worth all the effort. Isn’t getting to know someone better what dating is all about? Why put the cart before the horse?

                Now, if one meets someone in an organization or hobby or church group setting, one may well indeed get to know someone far better, over time, than one can get to know someone at a house party, or art gallery opening, etc. In which case yes, a guy might become attracted slowly over time to a woman, and decide that she is incredible, and that he just has to get to know her even better, and see whether a long-term connection might be possible, if there is compatibility.

                So, you see, already, one can see that people can meet in different types of settings, and become potentially attracted to each other in different ways – can one set of Rules apply to all possible circumstances?

                Therein lies much of my dubiousness about prescribing a rigid set of Rules – are they really “one size fits all” circumstances? Can they be, truly?


                6.Always End Phone Calls First

                Why always? What if he doesn’t even want to talk other than to ask out, and says, “Okay; see you then!” after you arrange the time? He may not even give you the chance to end the call first, before doing so himself. Are you going to stress out about that, that something bad or wrong has happened, or that you failed, in that situation? That would be stupid.

                7.Don’t Accept a Saturday Night Date after Wednesday

                Why? What makes it different if a guy asks a girl out on a Wednesday versus on a Thursday or a Friday?

                What about mid-week dates; if a guy asks a girl out on a Sunday to a Tuesday movie, is that too short a time period? Why make a rigid rule about this?

                12.Stop Dating Him if He Doesn’t Buy You a Romantic Gift for Your Birthday or Valentine’s Day

                What if he buys gifts for you at random, more frequent times? Are you going to rigidly reject him even if that is the case, just because he happens to miss your birthday, or doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day? (There are people out there who don’t like the forced, artificial nature of setting aside a day for such, or the female-centric focus – why is Valentine’s all about the woman and not about the man, too?)

                1.Be a “Creature Unlike Any Other”

                What the hell does this even mean? Isn’t everyone a unique individual, already? But even so, isn’t it best to be whatever and whoever you already are, rather than trying to be something you’re not? Certainly one can work on self-improvement, I agree, and everyone should. But this doesn’t mean you can be someone you’re truly not, though.

                Most of the rest of The Rules, I generally agree with, actually, as general principles. But not all; “20.Be Honest but Mysterious” is patent bullshit, because men do not crave drama the way women do; why not be honest and as open as possible, under the circumstances (that doesn’t mean one must needs tell everything about herself, but artificially seeking to seem ‘mysterious’ seems just that, artificial and forced, unless someone is already mysterious in the first place – and again, I don’t think that’s a good thing, if someone is deliberately opaque about their passions, motivations, etc.). Doesn’t 20 conflict with “35.Be Easy to Live With”? It does in my book!

                “31.Don’t Discuss The Rules with Your Therapist” presupposes that one has a therapist, as if that’s a norm; it isn’t necessarily so for most people…

                “13.Don’t See Him More than Once or Twice a Week” – instead of making a rigid rule, shouldn’t there simply be a general principle, that in early stages of dating or courting, not to be overly familiar, rather than trying to nail down a specific number of times per week, prescribing such?

                So, hence my objections; while most of The Rules are sound, some are bizarre; others are inflexible, some seem to contradict each other…


                Hence my problems with them, as a system. I think they do women who follow them ultra-rigidly a disservice, as distinguished from women who may appreciate and follow the general jist of them, without trying to nail down every particular.

                • Tiffany

                  Good for you, Will! You are really trying to understand The Rules and have made a tremendous effort to analyze its merits. You keep this up and one day you may find yourself happily married to a Rules girl! Only teasing, of course! Hopefully you have a sense of humor to go with all that intellect! But seriously, I couldn’t possibly respond to everything you wrote in one sitting, but I will try my best to respond to each of your points when possible over the next few weeks. Rules’ girls, and men interested in dating a Rules’ girl will surely benefit.

                  About “Dropping Hints”:
                  While this sounds nice in theory, The Rules do not advise women to drop any “hints” to get a man to notice them or to give a man the motivation to initiate contact.
                  I want to be clear, so I’ll put this in caps: LADIES, MEN DON’T NEED YOUR “HELP” TO FEEL ATTRACTED TO YOU! They either feel it and are motivated to act on it, or they aren’t! Part of being a grown-up is understanding that some men will want you, but not enough to pursue anything with you, and others won’t want you at all. This is A-okay! Focus on the men that want you, and pursue you! It’s really that simple.
                  I can’t stress enough how important it is for a Rules’ girl to see (with her own eyes) whether a suitor wants her enough to initiate pursuit ALL ON HIS OWN. He has to “pick” you, out of all the other girls in the room. If you have to constantly “help” him along by dropping hints in the beginning—even if he takes the bait—you’ll forever be doing the same thing later on in the relationship to “keep” his focus, energy, and attention on you. Sounds STRESSFUL, doesn’t it?
                  It’s time for some brutal honesty, ladies….Before you go dropping “hints”, think about it. Even in the book He’s Just Not That Into You (which I consider to be Rules 101) both authors (one male who is a reformed Bad Boy and one female) agree that you (the woman) should take the time it took you to notice him and cut it in half. This is the amount of time it takes for a man to notice you! Chances are he has probably already sized you up from across the room and said to himself, “ummm…no…” So, don’t bother staring deeply into his eyes, scribbling messages to him on a cocktail napkin or planting yourself next to him during a group discussion. It won’t work. HE’S NOT INTERESTED.
                  The Rules also discuss not interfering with a man’s pursuit or non-pursuit of you. By not interfering, a woman can differentiate between a man that “has to have her” and one that isn’t motivated enough to pursue. Ladies, GET OUT OF THE WAY and observe his actions or non-action toward you. Follow his lead, and do a little less than he does so you won’t step into the “danger zone” of pursuing him. If he stares at you from across the room, you can glance at him, and move on your merry way. If he smiles, you smile. You can be receptive to his advances by being warm and pleasant, engaging him in conversation he has initiated, and ultimately giving him your number if he asks for it. Don’t overshare and don’t chat with him for more than a few minutes. Why only a few minutes? Because you’re not on a date! If he wants more of you than what those 10 minutes allowed, he’ll get your number and call/plan/pursue.
                  Besides, if you let one man monopolize all of your time at a social event, other suitors don’t get the opportunity to approach you and initiate conversation. Don’t limit yourself to one man that might stick to your side, talking to you for hours at a party and then still not ask for your number!

                  • Tiffany

                    I just thought of something I wanted to add. This is more for the guy that requires “hints” because he fears rejection. Personally speaking, not dropping hints is what will separate the “boys” from the “men” in my book. It makes me think that even though the risk of rejection looms, he is confident and secure enough in himself to still come over to me and make his intentions known. If I turn him down or not, he’s fine with it either way, but he’ll be damned if he leaves the venue without having said what he wanted to say to me. Just so you know, this is a quality most women find INCREDIBLY SEXY in a man. If you’re a 7, you’ll become a 10 in her book, just for being so damn gutsy! And if she turns you down, (assuming she’s not a total “B”) she’ll be super sweet about it and have major RESPECT for the effort you put in. And you’ll at least have practiced building up your confidence for the next beautiful lady you pursue who will happily give you her number!

                    I guess I just want these men to know that it’s okay! We (women) know that you’re scared, and that it’s hard for you to approach us. But do it anyway! Man up! I don’t care how pretty she is, or if she has a whole gaggle of friends around her. We wish you (men) would just put on your bullet proof vest and helmet and go after the woman that makes your heart skip a beat!

                    • Tiffany

                      ….and for goodness sake, don’t become so star-struck that you forget to ask for NAME and NUMBER. (This happens a lot!) You might also want to find out the city where she’s from. I’m no rocket scientist, but it seems pretty pointless to pursue a girl that’s on holiday from Tokyo, Japan….unless of course you just want to get in her pants.

                    • I didn’t have my first girlfriend until I was about 30, because I was deathly shy of rejection, and rarely screwed up my courage to ask a girl out, because the few rejections I’d gotten prior to then discouraged me.

                      But I met a girl I did find myself attracted to, who dropped non-verbal hints that she was interested, whjich I picked up on, and I then decided to ask her out. While that relationship didn’t end up working out, I gained self-confidence from that experience, and have much less fear asking out a woman, ever since then, whenever I’ve been attracted to one.

                      Which wouldn’t have happened had I not asked her out.

                      Which I wouldn’t have done had I not had a hint from her that she was interested, due to my fear of rejection.

                      So, I have her to thank for the fact that I got over my fear of rejection simply because having had one relationship, and gained self-confidence from that.

                      If my now ex- had listened to The Rules, I’d never have gotten the courage up to ask her out (or any subsequent women), and she wouldn’t have ended up going out with me – which she had wanted – all because she wouldn’t have been allowed to drop a hint, because some two women dreamed up a list of inflexible ‘rules’ (one of whom either didn’t follow her advice or it didn’t work for her, as her own marriage failed)?

                  • So, a woman should write off any guy she may find herself attracted to, who doesn’t immediately, obviously show, the same level interest in her? Regardless of whether she became attracted to him in the context of meeting him at a party, or getting to know him slowly over time in a group setting, through a club or organization of some kind, like a hobby or a church group or the like?

                    There you have it, ladies. Ellen Fein (who divorced five years after co-writing The Rules, and remarried eight years later, BTW), Sherrie Schneider (the other co-author), and Tiffany here think your attraction to a guy doesn’t mean a thing unless it has already been obviously matched by the same guy, towards yourself; you have no freedom to act in the slightest degree, using what your mother and grandmother and previous generations of women referred to as your ‘feminine wiles’, to subtly encourage a man by letting him know without coming right out and saying it, that you may be interested in him, by an obvious smile, or other non-outright hint. No, just suck it up, and forget it, and wait for another suitor. Just wait. Don’t dare do anything other than wait for an acceptable suitor to come along.

                    I believe I understand The Rules, Tiffany; it’s Ms. Fein and Ms. Schneider’s attempt to get women to not foolishly throw themselves at undeserving cads, and the like, and to give women a framework for dating behaviour, and cost-benefit analysis of potential suitors. It’s a noble, laudable goal, for sure. However, I don’t think they are all good advice. Most of the ones I didn’t comment on before, I agree with, more or less; 4,5,8,15-19, 21-25,34-35, I can more or less endorse. The rest, either I don’t know enough from the brief summary, or I disagree with, for the reasons already stated, basically.

                    I have a sense of humour, even bigger than my massive intellect, and I deploy it as I feel like it.

                    However, I lack even the barest amount of modesty. I am the extraverted unbridled masculine ego, from back when men were still men. 😉


                    • Tiffany

                      I can tell you’re a Brit, Will (even without the flag icon). There’s just too much righteous indignation seaping out of each paragraph! LOL. Grab a beer and loosen up! I’ll respond in a bit.

                    • Tiffany

                      napkin? to wipe your brow? 🙂

        • I should clarify, BTW, that I’m not saying a guy should deliberately blow off a woman just to manipulate her into desiring him more, but that there’s simply no need for him to constantly maintain the same level of activity and devotion that he did to initiate the relationship in the first place, once it is established. He can have other interests besides her – his hobbies, his male buddies, church activities, etc. – and there’s nothing wrong with that; if she is happy to have been caught, he might as well continue to have a life of his own, and not let her monopolize all of his non-working, waking hours. If she does play hard to get instead, stupid head games and ‘Rules’, she’s not worth it, in the first place; move on.

          If women want to be ‘caught’, they need to not pursue the pursuer (let him catch them, as he pleases, though hints can be welcome), and they need to let themselves be ‘caught’, and allow each other personal space (my happiest dating relationships have been ones where we didn’t spend all our time together as if we were already married, but allowed each other personal space to be ourselves), giving time for attraction to grow by not being aggressive.

          Men should be the aggressors, not women. If women are too scheming, they’ll scheme themselves out of a good thing, they’ll find.

  9. Tiffany

    It’s NOT “disrespectful” if you don’t return “nonsense calls” (when he’s not using “the calls” to ask you out on a date and further a relationship with you, which, frankly, is a waste of your time). It’s NOT “disrespectful” if you allow him to pursue you (It’s smart! It shows you just how serious he is about building a romantic relationship with you. Most “players” won’t bother putting in the effort, they simply move on to easier prey). Remember, the basic premise of this book is, if he’s not willing to put in the effort to pursue you like he would anything else in his life that he really really wants, then he’s not THAT interested in you! All you have to say is, NEXT! And thank God that you didn’t waste 6 months figuring out what you were able to in 1 week! This is about women having healthy boundaries, respecting themselves and not allowing men to take advantage. Follow this advice and you won’t become a “stalker”, “bootie call”, “a friend with benefits” or the “needy/clingy/jealous girlfriend-type whose boyfriend always has one foot out the door.” Case closed.

  10. Tiffany

    Go on, ask yourself, what types of men are you weeding out when you use “the rules”? You are weeding out 1. The Bootie Caller 2. The Juggler (can’t focus 100% attention/energy on pursuing you, as he is spending 20% of his energy on 5 different women at once…btw he is only able to do this because some of these women are “regularly calling” or “regularly returning his calls” thus doing the bulk of HIS WORK for him freeing up some of his time and energy so that he can pursue others while you still pursue him) 3.The I’m-Interested-Kinda-Maybe-Only-If-It’s-Easy-Guy (AKA The just not that into you guy) 4. The Insecure Guy (the guy who wusses out, immediately internalizes and assumes rejection when you say you’re busy that night or already have plans). Trust me, each of these men are big, bright RED FLAGS that “the rules” will help you weed out. There is nothing you can do to change these types of men, so DO NOT TRY! They exist and they will cross your path from time to time. All you need say is, NEXT!

  11. Tiffany

    Lastly, in the beginning, the telephone call/text should be a medium for planning dates. Nothing less. Nothing more. Never initiate a call, but answer the phone when he calls (more often than not). If you don’t want him to be your “friend” then don’t chatter away with him for extended periods of time over the phone (like he’s a gal pal or a therapist) devulging personal information that he hasn’t earned the right to know and that take away “talking points” that could have been shared with him on an actual date. He earns the right to more and more info about you when he has done the work over time. In other words, stop “giving him the milk for free when he hasn’t bought the cow”. Why should he spend more money/time/energy planning dates with you when you’re giving up the information he would have gained on those dates right now over the phone? Same goes for texting. Never initiate. Ignore all “nonsense” texts that aren’t about the logistics of a date. You dont have time for it. You have a life. Your time is best spent with those who love you and have earned the right to time spent with you. I’m telling you, following “the rules” is extremely empowering and freeing! No waiting by the phone, no wondering when he’ll call (if he’s really interested, he’ll call and pursue, yes, even if you rarely return his calls) and most importantly, no bullsh*%. If he doesn’t want to be a man and put in the effort, NEXT!

  12. Tiffany,

    So how’s that all working out for you? Are you happily coupled up with a guy who had to chase you around town, or are you at home on the Internet trawling for strategies to find the Mr Right you know is just around the corner?

    “Most “players” won’t bother putting in the effort, they simply move on to easier prey”

    This is a common myth. Skilled players have multiple irons in the fire, and can afford to pursue you on the slow burn along with other prospects. They have strategies exactly for insecure girls who want to be chased.

  13. Tiffany

    Thanks for asking, Badger. It’s working great! I’m weeding out men like you! I only date and give attention to men who pursue me hard. They’ve earned it. And “players” aren’t able to put me on the “slow burn” because I simply don’t engage them. At all. If he calls sporadically or “puts me on ice” and then comes back a week or two later to “dethaw” me, it’s over. Brick wall! I don’t call or pick up or return their calls. NEXT! So whatever game they are trying to run on me goes absolutely nowhere. The only thing they succeeded in, is wasting their own time and energy on a woman who can’t really be played. As to how I came across this blog, I was trying to find out about the seduction techniques a male colleague referenced during a casual conversation at work. Ladies, again I say, your dating life becomes SO MUCH EASIER when you follow The Rules. Not every guy who pursues you hard is one that you’ll fall in love with or marry, but it certainly helps keep guys like BADGER out of your dating pool. AMEN to that!

  14. Tiffany

    Teaching Moment: Want to know something else The Rules have taught me? Not to waste another spoken or written word on men like Badger. I’ve already wasted 2 comments too many, but I consider it worth the energy because I am able to share this info with other RULES GIRLS who may be reading this. Good luck to all of you and check out India Kang’s blog for more insight on Rules application. She is AMAZING!

  15. Tiffany,

    “It’s working great! I’m weeding out men like you!”

    I hope the feeling of power is good compensation for being alone in your little princess world. You have no idea how many good, decent men you’ve run off because they have enough self-respect to not pursue a professional flake.

    Love the presumptions that if I think The Rules are silly, I must be a cad. I’m no player, I’m just a busy dude who doesn’t have time to waste on women who can’t make their interest apparent because they are insecure they’ll be victims. My dating experiences have been with quality women who enjoyed spending time with me and availed themselves of the opportunity to do so, instead of putting fake roadblocks in my way so they could brag to their friends how they were making guys “work for it.” Frankly, I don’t trust a woman to truly love any man if she’s mercenary enough to execute the Rules.

    “I’ve already wasted 2 comments too many”

    More like 7. You’ll be back.

    • Maree

      The women who availed themselves of the opportunity to spend time with you, where are they now?

    • And so she has, multiple times, since then.

      • Tiffany

        I stated pretty clearly that I wouldn’t engage him. I meant what I said. I never said I wouldn’t return to help others (particularly women) understand the underlying principles of The Rules. What you wrote was a cheap shot, Will, and frankly, I think it’s a little beneath you, given that you’ve made several legitimate points of disagreement so far, which I took the time to respond to. Another one bites the dust, I guess.

  16. Fifi1985

    @ badger: maybe you’re not aware, but u come off as a complete asshole. you may have legit points, but all anyone reading this can see is how disrespectful your tone is in voicing your opinion to that girl. i read through all the comments and you’re the only guy on here to be so rude and to leave numerous comments over and over and over about the same thing–how much you don’t agree with the rules and have contempt for women who follow that philsophy. we get it and we don’t really care!!!!
    @tiffany: i still think the rules can be pretty simplistic like Will S. said, but i like your take on how the rules can help empower women. your description of weeding out the guys 1-4 is not only hilarious but spot on! i’d add one, 5. the workaholic. these are the types i bump into most. they can’t marry because they r already married to their job. i always come in second. i may give this book another shot because of what you wrote, just to see what happens.

  17. Venus

    There is a great book entitled “What men want” and part of the book is specifically devoted to “playing hard to get” and how men actually do not like it and sense that we, women, are actually playing. As soon as they “got” you, their interest in you washes off. So, my advice here (and I am in a relationship with a wonderful guy who I never played “tricks” on to get) is:
    Be natural, be you, if you feel like not answering his calls – don’t, if you feel like just calling to say hello – do it. What counts more is your personality so do not lose yourself in all that scheming, gaming, chasing act unless you actually are like this in reality. Good luck ladies!

    • Tiffany

      If you’ve practiced the Rules enough, Venus, it just becomes a natural part of your everyday behavior and responses to men. Men can’t “sense” anything (except in veeeeeerrrry rare cases where women go overboard with playing hard-to-get). The only thing they can “sense” is that you’re HOT, you have a very full LIFE, very high self-esteem, and that they have to work to get some of your time. Regardless of our differences in opinion, I hope everything works out the way you want it to in your love life!

  18. Men can’t sense anything?


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