The Talk; or, We Communicate, So According to "The Rules" We Will Fail.

12 May

There are many positives and a few negatives about our relationship.  We are both talkers.  That kind of sucks.  Jonathan talks more than I do, often with extraneous information.  I find myself saying, “What does that have to do with what we were just saying?” or “Too much information.  Shorten your answer.” or even “I stopped listening 10 minutes ago”.  Harsh, I know.  Subtleties don’t work with him.  You just have to come out and say it.  Which is fine.

Here’s the thing: subtleties DON’T WORK.  If you want something, say it.  If something bothers you, say it.  Jonathan doesn’t understand subtle, and I am about as subtle as an Adam Sandler song.  I don’t even understand it.  While this means that many regular conversations are long, drawn out and annoying, this also means that there are NO QUESTIONS in our relationship.  Not kidding.  Jonathan knows exactly where I stand on everything and I know the same.  If he pisses me off, I don’t stew.  I can’t even begin to pretend to hide it and I don’t beat around the bush, hem and haw.  I come right out, sometimes with yelling, and I say it.  Period.  While I sometimes have to draw information out of him, especially when he feels ashamed, he tells me everything as well.  We have never gone to bed angry (we tried once, but neither of us got any sleep and I had nightmares).  We don’t really have knock-down drag out fights, because that requires more of a build up of resentment and, also, Jonathan won’t get that angry.  He refuses to.  We communicate.  All the time.  About everything.  In detail.  (People who know us should now be laughing hysterically).

So why this blog post?

I am appalled at the number of female friends of mine (which is only, like, 2) who have read and subscribe to “The Rules“.  That insipid little damaging book which is now an ENTIRE dating method.  Check it out.

I have to breathe for a minute.  That book really pisses me off.  Let’s start with the Rule That Every Girl Breaks.

It’s the part where in you can’t make him feel that you like him. You can’t make him feel that you’re crazy about him. You keep yourself busy, you keep yourself surrounded by men, have your own life. When he comes to you, to not hold back, do not start giving any signs of weaknesses. Keep your composure, and you will keep on challenging him until you finally win the game.

 And let’s just set ourselves back decades.  My parents celebrate their 50th anniversary this summer.  My dad…a little like Jonathan.  He doesn’t get subtle.  My mom had to say (in 1960, mind you, pre-feminism), “I like you and I am going home for the summer.  You want me come and get me” and he did.  Fifty years.  Had she been a RULE girl…well…Jonathan wouldn’t be engaged right now.  “You can’t make him feel like you like him.”  Well, maybe “you can’t smother him,” but the fact that he can’t know?  If women are reading and absorbing this book, this is why they are single.  And what about that final word “game”?  It is NOT a game.  If you play it like it is a game, then your whole relationship has to be and game and your life is a game…and the game ends and you divorce.  There is no game.  All of the people I know in healthy relationships, did not play a game.  They said, “I like you”, “Oh, hey, I like you too!”.

The Rules bullshit stems from a basic misunderstanding of men.  I am not about to clarify that here, because I am no expert, but I think I can offer a few things (I know this blog is annoyingly hetero, but it’s all I got).  I have a brother, father and fiance, as well as a few brothers-in-law.  Men don’t get subtle.  Period.  If you dance around it, don’t show interest, they won’t think you’re interested.  Some men do not like strong women, true (those men and women suited for that are not reading this blog) so find a man who does.  Be yourself.  Be who you are.  Someone will love you for that.

I don’t understand telling women to be someone else.  If you are someone else, then, 10 years down the road he realizes it, why does he stay?  You are actually NOT the woman he married.  You MADE THAT SHIT UP.

Let’s look at the actual Top 10:

1. Be a creature unlike any other.

2. Attend parties, and social events even If you don’t feel like it.
3. It’s just a fantasy, unless a man ask you out!

4. You don’t reply to him every time he calls you, unless it’s urgent or business related.
5. In a long distance relationship, make sure he makes the first move to visit you at least three times, before you visit him.

6. For online dating and other dating services, just place an ad and let men respond to you.

7. If he does not call, then He’s Just Not Into You. End of Story!
8. Rules women do not date men more than two years!
9. Observe his behavior, do not end up with Mr. Wrong!
10. Religiously follow The Rules, even when things are just slow.

My rebuttal:
1. Every person is a creature unlike any other, but don’t force it.  Then you are filling your possible partner with lies and deceit. 
2.  Sure, but attend things you LIKE.  If you find someone at a Modern Art Gallery, and you hate modern art, but you fake it, again, lies.  So far we have learned from the Rules: LIE.
3. That is true.  Can’t argue there.
4. Why the hell not?  So just leave him hanging, to make sure he WANTS MORE?  What if he decides you can’t make up your mind so he walks off?  Then, I suppose, the Rules would say he wasn’t “The One”.

Quick newsflash: there isn’t “ONE” person for you.  There are men, and some men are more compatible.  I could have made it work with other men, but Jonathan was the easiest man for me to work with.  That sounds cold, I know, and I love him passionately, but I could have worked harder at other relationships to make them fly.  I just didn’t.  Jonathan makes things easier…believe it!

5. That seems a little unfair.  So he has to lay out all the cash?  What if he is super busy and you have a more flexible schedule?  This just seems to be arbitrary.
6. Ah, yes, the never approach, never look interested.  What if, for some reason, your profile never comes across the screen of the guy you seem interested in?  Just leave it?  Why does The Rules stop women from being pro-active?
7.  Is true.
8. And thus ends my brother’s relationship with his amazing, wonderful wife.  And my best friend and her boyfriend and…the list could go on.  This seems to be put there so you’re not wasting your time, but since when is an emotional investment in a life partner a waste of time?  Some people move at different paces, just deal.
9. Sure, I agree.  But don’t compare his actions to a “Rules” guy.  He may not fall into that category.
10. Um…ok.  “Even when things are slow” like you’re a sales clerk and it is October, so no one is buying.  God almighty.

I can’t even begin to express the ire this books provokes in me.  The divorce rate in America is 50% and even higher among Conservative Christians.  I would bet that more conservative women read this book.  Is it contributing to the divorce rate? Hard to say, but I would LOVE for someone to do a long-term study on this book and divorce.  I would bet it it high.  Why?  It seems to advocate lying and deceiving as acceptable ways to snag a man.

I haven’t read the whole book.  I have read parts of it, and I have checked out the website.  It could fuel 20+ more blogs on here, but I won’t give it the space.  I have given it too much already.  Those women should be ashamed.

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One Response to “The Talk; or, We Communicate, So According to "The Rules" We Will Fail.”

  1. kaboom May 12, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    i am a rule breaker. if i hadn't been, des and i would not be together.

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