Book of rules for dating
"One minute," the dispatcher barked, and I grabbed my coat. "Look, if you leave now," he said, grabbing my arm again, "it's over." He pushed his face into mine as we stepped sideways into the elevator.
"So," I lied cheerily, "let's talk next week —" He followed me down the hall and grabbed my arm as I pressed the button for the elevator. "That's fine," I said, abandoning the lighthearted voice and shaking him off again.
I'm from West Virginia: show me a sweaty man with a dangerously overloaded truck, and I'm immediately smitten.
The paperback version hit the New York Times best-seller list the following year.
Rules support groups for women sprang up around the country. To wit: In bed, "don't be a drill sergeant, demanding that he do this or that. Remember, those are your needs you're concerned about filling, and The Rules are a selfless way of living and handling a relationship." The reader is left wondering when she could finally let her — long! — hair down and be her pushy, needy, authentic self. A subsequent book was The Rules for Marriage.) But what The Rules offered, more than anything, was a strategy.
But in a patriarchy, it's rational to divine the needs of the powerful, to meet them, and to be chosen to share their position in the world.
Historically, women haven't had a lot of agency in selecting a mate, and that history, however muted now, still influences contemporary courtship.
In the intervening years between then and when I my met my (non-loser) husband, I unfortunately had to learn this lesson over and over again: You Are Better Than a Lot of the Men Who Ask You Out.