16 Jul 09

Don’t Use My Sweater Like a Towel: Part 7 – Chapter 6

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See below for parts 1-6…

So much has already been written and talked about The Rules, it’s an easy target. It’s been examined, quoted, praised, reviled and spoofed at every turn, but with good reason. A set of rules, in my opinion, sets you up for disaster. Once again, I turned to the men to debunk these “truths” Mrs. Fein and Mrs. Schneider hold to be self-evident.

Rule 3 forbids “staring at men.” I asked the men if they liked women to make eye contact with them in social situations. The response was overwhelmingly positive – 100% of the men loved the idea. “Confidence is a wonderful thing,” said Man #4, and Man #12 added, “eye contact creates connection.” So much for the shrinking violet routine!

But while phone-calling and eye-flirting are welcomed by most men, the group was split on controversial Rule 4, which tells women not to pay or meet a man halfway on a date. Claiming that “men love a challenge,” the authors of The Rules state argue that the worst thing we can do is make it easy for them. Man #2 encapsulated their theory. “Allowing me to pay makes me feel good –kind of a macho ”˜taking care of the lady’ thing – but if she offers to go “dutch,” it’s a nice way for her to let me know to cool my jets.”

Of the men surveyed, 38% appreciate the offer when it’s made, but would insist on paying. Man #4 responded, “It’s a nice gesture if she offers to pay, and always appreciated, but that won’t happen. Chivalry isn’t completely dead.” But 43% like women to share the financial aspects of dating. “We are initially doing the dating thing to acquaint. I am not doing you a favor or vice versa. I do not want to meet a woman espousing traditional values. The ”˜he always pays’ value is anachronistic and smacks of inequality,” Man #13 reasons. Man #6 agrees that if a woman offers to pay, “it shows she is thoughtful, independent, and doesn’t buy in to traditional rules.”

Going back to phone etiquette, I asked the group of men what they thought of Rule 5: “Don’t Call Him and Rarely Return His Call.” The authors add “there is no reason to call,” and that “he should be calling you.” The responses are in keeping with their assessment of the Date Like a Man “steps.” A majority agrees that if a woman never calls, a man assumes she’s not interested and will move on. “Men are as insecure as women,” Man #13 reminds us, “and [we] need reassurance. There is no harm in letting a man know you care for him, and a call goes a long way in that direction.” Men also feel, again, that the dating rituals should be shared: “I like it when a woman calls me just as much as I call her. It shows respect.” Respect is essential to any relationship. Wouldn’t you like to know from the get-go that you are both operating on the same wavelength or playing on the same team (pun intended!)?

But how much contact is too much? The strategy of Rule 13 is “Don’t See Him More than Once or Twice a Week.” The jury is split on this one, the answers ranging from two to three times a week (still above The Rules’ maximum) to “If I really liked her, every day! “ Two dates a week was the minimum our panel recommended, and 70% suggested a two-to-three date maximum in the early stages, building to three to five dates a week if things progress. But in all cases, the women are welcome to call to make the plans!

To be continued…

  • What do you think?

About Jennifer Kelton

Jennifer KeltonI did not wake up one morning and say “hey I think I’d like a man use my sweater like a towel, write a candid dating book, become a dating expert, the CEO and founder of a social dating site and have three blogs.”

All of this has happened in a slow burn and here I am. The good, the bad, the mistakes, way too many tears shed to count, lots of wine and oh my goodness a huge learning curve that leaves me much of the time saying, “I’m sorry but this is all new to me.”

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