Hook-Up Culture

How to Use the Rules to Find the One

By Lucia Wara-Goss


In 1997 I read a book called “The Rules” by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, and I found my one true love. That was a long time ago and dating is different now: there are apps for it. Today Fein and Schneider have a new book called “Not Your Mother’s Rules.” It is for girls who have a hard time with men, boys, and hook-up culture.

Here are a few tips I learned from the pros: Say you get on Tinder and immediately begin matching. Do you meet up with every guy pushing to meet you? Well if you never, ever get laid then that’s up to you. But if your circumstances are different, do you let every match come over? No way. The world is a crazy place. You are being selective.

So, say he messages you and you want to talk to him because he has a cute pic. Do you answer him that very second? Nope! You wait 24 hrs. If he unmatches before you get back to him? Next!–and completely forget him. You would. of course, never send any messages first. You only respond. It doesn’t matter if he is the hottest guy you’ve ever seen. Move on.

If he doesn’t unmatch after you have waited 24 hours to respond, you can respond to his message. He needs to ask for your number after four messages or he is a Next. He is just having fun and wasting your time. If he gives you his number and says call me, refuse, but you can respond with your number. Wait for him to text you first; they all text once they have your digits. Don’t text him first. You’re not planning on hitting him up, you don’t want to get into the habit where he thinks you’re just another desperate bore. If he finally gets your number you can wait a little less, four hours. If he tries to meet right away, say no. Make sure you say no unless it is three days in advance and at a public location like a coffee house or bar. Make sure the time and place is convenient for you. Never meet him privately, or have more than one drink, or meet him the same day he messages you on Tinder. He will be trying to negotiate sex favors or something could get out of control. “Rules” girls are safety girls who don’t (really!) sleep around.

You get the idea! “The Rules” are about putting guys to the side of your life from the very beginning. When you have more time for yourself, you develop into a fully actualized human being. And if you only have time for guys on Saturday night, they will figure it out and will be competing to get that spot.

Still need help? I asked certified “Rules” Coaches Lynda Love and India Kang how to “do” “The Rules.”

How would you explain “The Rules” to girls who are just finding out about them?

LOVE: The girls who are attracted to “The Rules” are usually those who don’t want to suffer from yet another broken heart ever again, or who want a relationship with a guy who is crazy about them and treats them with the respect and love that they deserve.

KANG: “The Rules” helps you weed out the time wasters. TR also stops you from blowing it with the guy who you are crazy about. It’s actually better to lead by example.

How would you suggest a girl who has absolutely no experience with men and boys do “The Rules”?

LOVE: The most important thing is to never initiate anything with a guy. Let him approach you and ask you out. Let him be the one to text you or call you first. Be elusive but nice.

KANG: She might be a natural “Rules” girl. I mean, if she has no experience of TR and never dates she would naturally hold back, not have sex too quick. They already have the “Rules” mindset instilled in them.

How do you suggest girls from all walks of life do “The Rules”? At Berkeley City College we also have homeless students and girls on SSI (welfare), girls in recovery from substance abuse, and girls with checkered pasts. What can they do to move on with their dating lives as well as private lives?

LOVE: If you have sensitive issues from the past, or even those you are dealing with on a daily basis, you don’t want to be telling guys you’ve just met your life story. It’s none of their business. It’s not about covering up the truth about who you are. It’s about waiting and watching him over a period of time, to determine if he is worthy. Open up very slowly. Build trust first. This is all about self-protection more than anything.

KANG: You can’t say a word on dates, especially not in the beginning. These girls should try and resolve some of their issues before starting to date. Dating won’t fix their self-esteem or substance abuse issues. Dating is really tough and you have to endure many highs and lows. If she is facing personal trauma, I would recommend she get as much help as possible.

The books by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider can be purchased on Audible, online or at book stores. Good luck!

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