40 Dating Tips I Gathered After Reading Ellen Fein’s The Rules

This book — The Rules — was what the movie, He’s Just Not That Into You was based on. The term “You are not the exception” is referring to The Rules. Historical evidence and references are explained in depth in the pages of this dating bible. It’s an interesting read, even if you don’t agree completely.


1. Take care of yourself! Be feminine. Smell Good.

2. Make him approach you.

3. Be a Responder, not a Hunter. Hunters are men. You are not a man.

4. Never be offended. You love your flaws. You love yourself. Nothing you do is stupid. Smile and laugh.

5. Hunters don’t hunt animals that chase them or wait for them. They hunt unique animals that are hard to find, even if they have to travel to catch them.

6. Don’t call back immediately. You are a girl in demand.

7. Don’t call first. You might catch him when he’s busy and then you’ll feel bad and dumb.

8. End call first after 15 minutes ALWAYS. (Even though it sucks. He will call you more.)

9. End the date first.

10. Don’t reveal too much. Once books are open, they end up closed.

11. Be supportive and sympathetic

12. Don’t date people who are already dating people.

13. Be awesome. You’ve never been sad. You never want to be sad. Sad people are Sad. Happy people are contagious.

14. If his gifts aren’t romantic, his feelings aren’t romantic. You are not a tool set. You are a teddy bear and chocolates and everything sweet that he is feeling.

15. Refrain from seeing more than 2-3 times a week

16. Only casual kissing on the first date

17. Be busy until the moment he picks you up, that way you won’t over think things. Just be busy all the time. Busy people are important. You want to be important.

18. Even if you are not busy, pretend like you are. (This is not lying.)

19. Only tell your therapist or your dog everything about them. Don’t talk about them all the time. Words get around. You don’t want to sound crazy.

20. Seriously don’t have sex. When it comes to intimacy, stand your ground. They will respect you.

21. If bad things happen, stay emotionally cool. Don’t talk about the future. EVER. The future ball is in his court to bring up.

22. Don’t be bossy. Let him be a man. Bossy can come off as jealous or insecure.

23. Guys have balls. You don’t. Don’t let the ball be in your court. The ball should always be in his court. He knows what to do with his balls. Give him his balls.

24. Literally act like his life is totally fine and you don’t care to change it even if he’s wearing cargo shorts.

25. Always have something to do. Never act bored. Bored people are boring.

26. Feelings are heavy and nobody wants those so shut up and suck it up.

27. You are the happiest, calmest person alive. Nothing can get in your way. Your life is so great that he wants to put himself in it, and he will.

28. Sometimes it is better to be lonely than rejected. Even then, you have netflix.

29. You are unlike anyone else. You don’t waste time. You don’t take shit from people. Shit is gross.

30. Past relationships are in your rearview mirror. Your future is through your windshield. Your windshield is bigger for a reason.

31. The person who talks the most has the most to lose.

32. Sympathy is stupid so stop trying to get it.

33. There is a reason why liars are lonely. Don’t be one in a relationship.

34. Busy is just “Busy”– don’t explain. Be happy and aloof when explaining that you are busy for the night.

35. Don’t leave things at his apartment. Make him make up excuses to see you. If he doesn’t… He doesn’t want to see you. If he doesn’t want to see you… you were too busy to notice or care (even if you do care).

36. His friends are the last people for you to seek advice from. Do not devalue your intuition and confidence by asking questions that make you look insecure NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE.

37. Relationship ratio should always be him 70% and you 30-50%.

38. Eventually you will have to tell him everything about you, but don’t dump it on him like you’re nailing down his coffin. Let him understand that the weight of your past is something you carry lightly.

39. Keep yourself busy and happy. This isn’t just a tip to make people love you, this is a tip to keep you moving forward in life.

40. Stay fit, stay beautiful, and show him and yourself that you care about being healthy. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Maddison Jensen

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