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The Rules (The Rules)

3.24  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,916 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
You are a creature unlike any other (Rule #1)--that's why you need . . . The Rules. A simple set of dos and don'ts, The Rules will lead you to where you want to be: in a healthy, committed relationship. Unlike today's haphazard dating customs, The Rules recognizes certain facts of life. That men know what they want. That a man is either attracted to you--or not That men wa ...more
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Published June 6th 2001 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Hey girls!
Are you shallow, desperate, immature, have no concept of reality or love, slightly sociopathic, and brain dead? Is it just too damn hard to keep your man at your heel? Are you tired of yanking that chain all day long?
Then 'The Rules' is just the book to feed your fantasies.

Honestly, what the shit kind of horrible person would write something like this? This book is sexist towards men AND women, absolutely shallow, ignores the real aspects of what a relationship is supposed to be bui
Mar 11, 2009 Eileen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eileen by: my boss
I think this book has gotten a lot of undeserved bad critique.

OK, OK, about 15% of this book is complete nonsense, and probably about 5% is outdated. However, a good 80% of it is genuinely good advice.

As somebody who lived 25 years of her life being the complete opposite of a "Rules girl" and failing miserably at building healthy romantic relationships, I found myself a little more open-minded than the average person when it came to this book.

Here are some ways in which I think this book succeed
Sep 12, 2007 Kecia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women trying to avoid Mr. Right-Now
Long before this book was written my grandmother told me, "why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?" The Rules puts grandma's idea into practice. This is basic, common sense stuff....don't sit around waiting for the phone to ring or be available at the drop of a hat. Get a life, don't bag out on your girlfriends because some guy called, and keep the first few dates short and sweet. Grandma knows best...
Oct 11, 2010 Sophie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Good passages:

-When you do THE RULES, you don't have to worry about him chasing other women, even your very attractive neighbor or his bosomy secretary.

-You don't eat cake if you're serious about losing weight.

-Notice how the Melanies intentionally don't carry a pen with them in order to give men their phone numbers and they don't rush to give their business cards.

-So, in addition to a healthy diet, we strongly suggest that you shake your buns! Join a gym, buy an exercise video, or go jogging
Aug 11, 2007 Nadine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Yeeeah. After hearing the authors' discuss this book on Oprah or The View or some other gyno-centric talk show, I kind of suspected The Rules would send me into a killing rage. I was right.

On the upside, I knew my husband was the one for me when he read it and proclaimed it a "stupid guide for assholes". I love you, honey.
Dec 22, 2008 Karen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
Didn't look like my kind of book from the get-go but it's been sitting on my desk as a TBR for at least a year so I figured I should at least flip through it.
So I randomly open up to a random page and this is the first thing I read:

"Don't get sloppy about your looks. Continue to exercise. Men don't leave women who put on twenty pounds after the wedding or the first baby, but if you want your fiance or husband to keep drooling over you, keep fit."

Excuse me!?! Am I reading an issue of Cosmo from 1
A few questions:
#1: What person in their right mind would take the abuse of someone not returning their calls? If such a person kept chasing after such a person, doesn't that person have low self esteem, or, he believes in the scarcity of attractive women? Is that what Rules women want?;

#2: If you're always ending calls first, no matter how well the conversation is going, aren't most guys beyond high school going to figure out what you're doing? Aren't most people going to feel you don't care ab
Rori Rischak
A coworker recommended this book to me after I had gotten out of a two-year relationship (this was right out of college, when two years is still a significant amount of time). Upon reading it, it turned into my Bible of the dating world.

I have recommended this book to many friends, most of whom have not been nearly so receptive to the message in this book because they don't like being told that they have to hold back and let the man come to you.

This book, to me, drilled two central themes into t
Mar 25, 2009 l rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you don't mind reading something extraordinarily creepy, The Rules is actually a hilarious book. I couldn't put it down!

I assumed that I would have broken every single rule in the book repeatedly. Not so. Each rule fell into two camps: one that I did the exact opposite of (Don't talk too much) and stuff that I actually did (Don't call him and rarely return his calls). The stuff I got right though, wasn't because I'm a "Rules Girl" it's because I'm an asshole.

The thing is, this book has some
Three stars for the sheer comedy (I never fail to snicker when glancing at the title of Chapter IV: "But First the Product - You!"). Penny for penny (I found this in the 48-cent bin at The Strand and promptly gave it to my underappreciative boyfriend, now husband), this was one of my more amusing book purchases.

If you don't want to read the whole book, you can go to the end of the book and read the list of all the rules, which juxtapose (probably unintended) hilarity ("Do the Rules and You'll Li
Jan 13, 2009 Brittnee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I have heard and read so much negative feedback for this book, and I will admit... some of the rules seem rather stupid.

BUT... at least 85 percent of them work, and at least 95 percent of them are common sense.

They are all but impossible to follow, they are depressing, they are frustrating, and they suck.

BUT... so does dieting. And there is no better way to lose weight.

So, maybe... just because it sucks doesn't mean it doesn't work.

I have applied this book to my relationships for year
Jessie Young
Sep 13, 2012 Jessie Young rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on the suggestion of a friend. We were talking about her recent break-up and she referenced the book as if anyone in her right mind would have read it, and I had never heard of it. So, I bought it on my Kindle that night expecting to get some romantic wisdom of the ages.

What I found instead was "a total mindfuck", as they say. The book is geared toward women and basically tells us to fake disinterest so men will love us more. I'm sure this strategy works in many cases, but it ju
Dec 19, 2008 Kellee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absolutely no one
This book was horrible. If you read my updates (not sure if you can) I loved the book in the beginning. It talked about not making yourself too available for a man and let him do the chasing. Then it said things like if you aren't happy with your nose, get a nose job because you are trying to please men and find a husband. WHAT? They contradicted themselves a lot. In the first section of it, it said do not talk to your therapist about "the rules" because they will basically view you as conniving ...more
Dec 04, 2007 Louis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One of the things of reading books like this that come my way is the understanding that, whatever the attempts to make it seem neutral, I'm not part of the book's expected purchasing market. And that goes double for this one, which has no pretensions whatsoever of being equal opportunity. So, reading this type of book is pure entertainment. And just to keep my mind in the game, since this is a book purporting to give advice on romance to an as yet unidentified male, the question I have is, if I ...more
Megann Masuicca
Feb 08, 2013 Megann Masuicca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While some might find the suggested applications of Rules to be archaic, the value of them lies in the main messages: Respect yourself and don't clientele with people who don't respect you. Treat yourself as you would have others treat you. Take a little pride in your appearance to boost your self-esteem. Be pleasant and don't sleep around. Quit fighting the fact that men and women have some fundamental differences, both socially and sexually. Watch out for the signs that a man is only after you ...more
May 29, 2009 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wrote a paper in college on this book. Not only do they not cite any research to support their "rules," many of their "rules" contradict each other. Numerous studies have been done (PRIOR to the book being published) that prove most of the theories wrong.

The foundation for the book was that the rules "worked for them!" What they don't tell you is that one of the authors went through a divorce during the promotional tour for one of their follow-up books. Clearly the rules did not work for her.

Feb 18, 2009 Dani rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend this to any woman/teenager who is actively dating that would put aside their skepticism on "old-fashioned" methods of dating or how cheesy the title may sound long enough to check this out.

Overall, I've found through semantic knowledge and a couple of experiences that the main message of the book is true far more often than not.

As well as helpful in understanding the dynamics on dating and proper nurturing of a long-term relationship/marriage, it's also an interesting look at t
Alexa Fernandez
People get the wrong idea from this book and roll their eyes, but then sit at home on Thursday night, praying for weekend plans. This book advises women NOT to do that, go out and fall in love with yourself. Also, don't be at the beck and call of a man. They should value the time they spend with you and make plans to be with you, should be confident and proactive, romantic, straightforward, and ahead of the game. If you're always waiting for them, you set the tone for the relationship. The rules ...more
Sep 15, 2012 Diane rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was ridiculous. I read it 15 years ago and I'm still irritated that I'll never get that half-hour back.
Apr 02, 2015 Mai rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships
I read a couple of relationship books before that criticize the rules in a subtle way ,that you shouldn't follow any rules to get the man you really love but may be it's not about "the rules" or mind games but about the psychology of men that they are like hunters,so to speak.Men want a challenge and to pursue what they really want,men don't like things easy ,that spells Boring to them . Even from astrological point of view ,all men are different while some are freedom loving ,want too much spac ...more
Christopher Nieman
Around the time this book became a bestseller in the 90s, I had been dating a woman who did me the favor of recommending it to me to read. It was at the end of our 'relationship,' and we were getting thoroughly sick of each other. I was obviously not the kind of man she wanted, and she certainly was not the kind of woman I wanted.

I read it cover to cover. I suppose she wanted me to learn from the book so I could 'improve myself' for other women, but all the book did was provide irony. It exposed
Oct 19, 2012 Sabrina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Durch Zufall bin ich in unserer Bibliothek auf dieses Buch gestoßen. Der Titel und die Buchbeschreibung haben bei mir recht schnell Interesse geweckt. Eigentlich eher untypisch - Beziehungsratgeber sind ungefähr überhaupt nicht mein Ding^^. Allerdings dachte ich mir.. naja, vielleicht folgt ja die Erleuchtung auf dem Fuße. Das Buch ist total übersichtlich gegliedert - 1 Regel entspricht einem Kapitel - und liest sich insofern recht flüssig. Allerdings bin ich mir wirklich nicht sicher, ob diese ...more
May 20, 2009 Thomas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships
In recent years, an entire genre of literature has developed around dating, both for men and women. What is particularly interesting is to compare them. One only has to look at the titles to see how different they purport to be. Ellen Fein's "The Rules" helps women find Mr. Right. David DeAngelo's "Double your Dating" promises to help guys get more action. Are these books at odds with each other? If you go below the surface, you'll actually find that they have a shared understanding of the world ...more
Feb 21, 2011 James rated it liked it
As a guy, I think I have a pretty unique perspective about this book. I enjoyed reading it since my ex girlfriend left it at my house after she broke up with me and moved out. Who knows if she left it there on purpose or not, but I felt I had to read it nonetheless. After reading it, many of the things she said and did made a lot more sense. I know she was playing by at least some of the rules because she had once told me that she could not do something or go somewhere because that would be brea ...more
May 24, 2009 Kelley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
um, so, THIS book.... sometimes it makes sense, like when it tells you that good self esteem is attractive, or not to treat your date like a therapist and tell him your life story. however, marriage as the ultimate goal and the driving force behind every dating decision starts to be hard to stomach: "if you've been engaged for more than a year and he's nervous about setting a date, consider moving on - he might not be mr. right and rules girls don't waste time!" honestly? it seems so callous, i ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Kaethe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The question below the box says: "Is this book told in the past, present, or future tense?" That doesn't apply since this book is pure fantasy: it's bad advice, badly given. Oh, to scrub my brain clean again.

In a nutshell: if the most important thing to you is landing a man, you should be able to manage it by means of deception and great effort. Warning: there is nothing about this that isn't doomed to backfire on you and make you far more miserable than you would be should you become the crazy
Dec 17, 2008 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The general ideas of valuing oneself & never settling in this book are great; the specific practices are maybe a little extreme.

I know a couple of Rules girls. Both are total airheads. The pretty one is in a relationship, the goofy one isn't. The pretty one once dated my close friend who only likes unavailable women - especially married ones - for a long time. Both of these girls swear by this book.

I read it, & I think it's a good book to have read for perspective, but not necessarily an
Miss Macchiato
Apr 09, 2013 Miss Macchiato rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a girl (yes, guys should look elsewhere... Or there shouldn't be any guys reading this review lol) and feel a bit miserable about relationship, this book gives you some insights into how the game of love works. I have used some of the tricks, they worked!

After all, it is about being mysterious and contain yourself like a sexy piece of unsolved puzzle... But the thing is - how can you remain your image as a sexy animal when you are indeed a girl who likes to sit in the sofa, eat chips
What this book says is: Be the beautiful, unique person you are, and the guy(s) who are looking for your uniqueness will follow you like puppies. ... Try to be someone else, waiting by the phone and chasing someone down who doesn't appreciate your spirit and talents, and you will pathetically spin your wheels without developing your own sense of self.

Your grandmother was right, your mother was right. Don't call the boys. If they really are interested, they will call you. They can't chase you if
Aug 11, 2014 Jill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self
Maybe 2.5*. This book is infuriating, because it's accurate in that most men respond well to these tactics. However, once you're married, I think it's a sad idea to keep holding out so much of yourself on someone. I don't mean that you should swallow or suffocate your spouse, but not to be completely trusting and open is disingenuous, and I don't believe that is something that belongs in a marriage. Give a man space? Yes. Don't make yourself his doormat? Good. But to hold out and make him give 7 ...more
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Divorce 1 3 Sep 12, 2015 11:46AM  
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Other Books in the Series

The Rules (8 books)
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  • The Rules for Marriage: Time-Tested Secrets for Making Your Marriage Work
  • The New Rules: The Dating DOS and Don'ts for the Digital Generation from the Bestselling Authors of the Rules
  • The Complete Book of Rules
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  • The Rules for Online Dating: Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right in Cyberspace
  • Little Book Of Rules

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“Men love independent women because they leave them alone. They love chasing women who are busy. It gives them a thrill, as big as a touchdown or a home run.” 0 likes
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