OSC vs The Rules vs The Game

One of my favorite writers is Orson Scott Card. Hopefully you have read Ender’s Game, but if you have not, then you should run out immediately and buy it. Besides having written many wonderful books, for the last 12 years he has written a column about… everything. I started reading along at a tender age right when it first got going, so OSC is one of my greatest influences, in ways both small and great.

I’ve linked to his stuff on occasion, most recently his entertaining smack-down of the movie Think Like a Man. OSC did not like that the movie employed the tiresome trope about men always being in the wrong and women always being in the right. This movie is based on a popular self-help book by Steve Harvey that OSC mentions is not very good. OSC much prefers He’s Just Not That Into You, which is also a favorite here at Datingwise. In the essay OSC also gives a thumb down to The Rules, mentioning that it is based on “manipulation instead of candid conversation”.

Loyal readers hopefully know that here at Datingwise, I endorse The Rules, tho with reservations. I have never, ever found a man that will agree with them, and I don’t expect to. So I would advise ladies who follow them to avoid mentioning that to men.

Instead of manipulative, I prefer to view The Rules as an effort to regain a lost script for courtship.

As the writers of The Rules point out, men may say that they hate them but once you start following them, they work. Indeed, in another column, OSC mentions how his wife came to be Mrs Card.

 I had my years as a jerk of a single guy, who called — or didn’t — without any relationship to what I said I would do. But then I grew up. Suddenly, at the ripe old age of 24, I realized that I didn’t like the dating game. I didn’t like pursuing women till I got them and then wondering what in the world to do with them. I was ready to be a grownup.

So I went over to see the smartest, most independent, and — for me, at least — best woman I ever dated, whom I had broken up with about six months before, and I …

Proposed to her.

Yep. Because I knew that she would have to have some kind of proof that I had changed, and this time I was serious. She made me wait four-and-a-half months for an answer. And during the interim, she didn’t exactly roll out the red carpet for me. All was not instantly forgiven.

Gee… that sounds familiar. What his wife did is right out of The Rules: OSC was attracted to the independent woman who didn’t make it easy for him… And by doing so, the suddenly serious OSC stuck around.

Was she manipulating him? It doesn’t sound like OSC thinks so! No, she did the right thing, letting him prove his worth to her.

I suppose there are women who could employ The Rules in order to get married and who don’t really care about who will play the role of husband. And I do think that if you blindly do The Rules, you could end up with someone you don’t really care about because he’s some sort of über hunter Alpha Male who does enjoy the chase and you have enjoyed being chased. But for the most part, that’s not what they are about. They contain some insight into male psychology that many post-feminism women have no clue about.

Let’s contrast that to The Game/Roissy, which is the opposite of The Rules. Never tell a decent woman you have read The Game or Roissy. She will get pissed or be horrified, because you wanna talk about manipulation? It’s here in spades.

Roissy has a famous post about how to treat attractive women: http://heartiste.wordpress.com/the-sixteen-commandments-of-poon/.

What part of those rules has anything to do with friendship or love or affection? They are extremely condescending and misogynistic. Make her jealous. Date around in order not to be “too in” to her. Don’t be generous with her. Don’t be afraid to lose her.

If you don’t have a problem with these “commandments”, imagine that they are about your daughter, sister, niece, or any female you have affection for.

Those commandments are not a recipe for a good relationship or marriage. If you want a relationship based on psychodrama, be my guest.

You might point out that The Games isn’t about long-term relationships. But, I know guys who are good at getting women into bed but who look at their happily married friends with sadness and envy at what they have, and do not understand why that doesn’t happen to them. They don’t realize that treating women as sexual outlets is not how you treat women when you want to court them.

Now, just like The Rules, The Game has insight into female psychology. I can think of quite a few men who could use some pointers on how to flirt with women, quit putting them on a pedestal, and stop being doormats.  But the end game of The Game is to get a woman into bed; to exploit them. And in our promiscuous times, I think that happens much, much more often than women “manipulating” men into marrying them.

OSC understandably is against any advice that causes people to be deceitful with each other. I view the PUA advice as more destructive than The Rules.

What people ultimately want is to be with some they love and admire and who is with them for the same reasons. I hope that if women employ some of the tips in The Rules they can weed out the men who are in it for a fling.


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Filed under Dating, Female dignity, Men, Relationships, The Rules


OSC takes on the movie Think Like a Man in his typical OSC-y way.

The science of sex. (Or, why women should protect their hearts by not sleeping with men who haven’t committed themselves to them).

Think you’d be happier as a stay-at-home mom? Probably not.

Think you’ll be happier married? Probably not.


Filed under Linkage

How to meet your future spouse

While reading an article on loneliness and whether Americans really are more lonely today than in past generations (answer: probably not), I came across to a reference to a research paper on how people meet their romantic partners. Now, the manuscript says right at the top, “do not cite without permission”, so I’m not going to link to the manuscript. You can click over from the article on loneliness if you want to read it. All data below is culled from that manuscript.

How do spouses originally meet?

Friends: In the past, couples met through friends (~40% in 1990). Today, less than 30% meet through friends, but it’s still the most likely way to meet a future partner.
Online: Works for about 22% of us.
College: About 11% of us met our spouses in college.
Family: This used to be the most common method, but today it is less than 10%.
Primary & secondary school: A huge shift from 21% in the 1940s to about 5% today.

Who has highest quality relationships?

That would be couples who met in church or in primary or secondary school, followed by those who met online. Those who met through family are less likely to rate the quality of their relationship as high.

Who is more or less likely to break up?

Couples who met in church or primary or secondary school are less likely to break up. Couples who met online are also less likely to breakup. Couples who meet through friends are more likely to break up.

Who most benefits from online dating?

Gays, lesbians, and older heterosexuals. This is because they are less likely to live in environments that contain other eligible singles in their demographic.

In sum: We’ve done away with matchmaking by family. If you met at church, you are probably in a great relationship – but good luck finding a spouse in that environment; it doesn’t say how many people meet in church, but it’s probably less than 7%. Meeting through friends is very common but also more prone to breakups. And online dating is a good way to meet a future spouse, especially if you’re in a niche demographic.

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Filed under Marriage, Single


Marriage is for losers.

What’s it like to be in marriage where you’re not married to your “best friend“?

What engagement rings used to be good for.

Auntie Seraphic’s great take on a Protestant article that chastises single Christian women for not making marriage a priority and being picky. (Note: No commenting over there if you’re a guy).


Filed under Linkage

Women’s need to give

Aunt Haley links to another misanthropic Heartiste piece that nevertheless contains kernels of truth about male-female relationships. If you can stand it to read it, go here and click on the article, read and come back here.


I am particularly struck by his description of women giving themselves over to certain men (alpha males) when the opportunity presents itself. Yes, of course women are influenced by the men they sleep with and of course the more a woman is into a man the harder it is to keep herself from throwing herself at him. But the danger is that women can and will lose themselves, their individuality, to these men, and while Hearste seems to think that’s what relationships should be like, I think that sounds pretty unhealthy. It’s the whole narcissist/borderline scenario and that is simply not real love.

Serendipitously, Auntie Seraphic has begun a discussion on women’s need to give themselves to a man, so check that out and read the comments. But, if you’re a guy, don’t comment please, as her blog is For Girls (but you can comment here if you’re a guy ;)).


Filed under Female dignity, Men, Relationships


Thanks for reading datingwise! Just a quick note to let you know that I’m taking a break from blogging for a few weeks. I love writing about dating and relationships and singlehood, but right now I don’t have the energy to devote time to thinking and writing about specific topics. I may put up links to articles on occasion. See you later!



Filed under Personal


How to tell if a woman is interested by her glance.

7 dating mistakes women make.

And its counterpart: 8 mistakes men make about women.

And from the dep’t of random: The MST3K guys take on “The Trouble with Women”.


Filed under Linkage