|Just use common sense and be yourself when dating. (Fotolia)
According to Ellie Fein and Sherrie Schneider your mother doesn’t know best, at least when it comes to dating in the modern world. The ladies responsible for such books as All The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right and The Rules for Online Dating: Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right in Cyberspace recently launched their latest installment, Not Your Mother's Rules: The New Secrets for Dating. So what can one learn by purchasing a paperback for $15.50 that isn’t glaringly obvious?
These 31 new rules revolve around the generalities of Facebook stalking (and why or why not to do it) and having the self-respect to stop dating a guy who cancels on you more than once to the more specific text-back timing chart: Rule #6 encourages readers to wait at least four hours to answer a guy’s first text and a minimum of thirty minutes thereafter - so not to seem needy or overzealous.
I would assume that the cadence of texting or avoidance of cyber stalking would be fairly self-explanatory, but evidently the onslaught of new communication methods has eroded social intelligence and situational awareness.
Yet another addition to the many self-help relationship books at your local bookstore, NYMR aims to provide advice in an age where the subtlety of text messages and Facebook posts have nearly replaced the telephone conversations and personal interaction of early courtship altogether. This can make it increasingly difficult to decode the motivating behavior behind certain situations, which may not be as simple as, “He’s just not that into you.”
Regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation, the game has undeniably changed unless you happen to live under a rock. Manti Te’o recently convinced us that you can get to know someone inside-and-out before you have even been on your first date.
Technology has ushered in an age of immediate connectivity where teens in particular do need to be taught the rules of engagement - think the sudden onslaught of ‘sexting.’ Covered in rule #25, there can be many other consequences of “Giving the milk away for free,” as our parent’s generation would have called it, aside from simply ruining the mystery.
“You don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want out there if you broke up,” said Fein during a recent appearance on Anderson Live to discuss the new book. That is good advice to live by not only in dating but with life in general.
I think that certain guidelines should be enacted and enforced in a household or at the very least brought up in discussion. For instance, during my highschool years, if I wanted to speak with a girl at home, I had to call her house and risk speaking with her parents first. Fast forward to 2013 and my nine-year-old niece is capable of exchanging text messages and images or even conversing in real time using Facetime. Scary stuff.
While I believe that there is no substitute for common sense and personal experience, the recommendations located in NYMR surely couldn’t be any less helpful than the sage advice I received from my own mother. In response to my early teenage curiosity of the birds and the bees, I was simply and concisely directed to, “Keep it in my pants.” Apparently my mother spent the entirety of the sexual revolution in the library studying, so I had to learn it the hard way. Thanks Mom.
My only personal advice is to take such an education with a grain of salt and treat each relationship as its own entity. If you follow the rules too closely you may manage to land a guy, but it won’t be one who has gotten to know the real you. When you start playing games, there are no winners.