By Ellen Fein And Sherrie Schneider 00:39 GMT 07 Jan 2013, updated 00:39 GMT 07 Jan 2013
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When we wrote dating bible The Rules in 1995, it became a bestseller. Our premise was that women who played hard to get got their man, while the women who showcased too much interest didn’t. The book was translated into 27 languages and helped a generation of women find their Mr Right.
But a lot has switched since then. Now texting, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and online matchmaking sites have revolutionised the dating landscape. It’s more complicated than ever to manage your romantic life. So what are ‘The Rules’ in the digital age? Our fresh book tackles exactly that question – and here, in an sensational extract, we display you how to treat texts, emails, Facebook and online dating.
The Rules: Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider have updated their bestselling guide to love in order to make it relevant to the Facebook generation
Never text, email or Facebook a man very first
In our very first book, we told women not to speak to guys very first – not even an virginal, ‘Hi’ or ‘What time is it?’ Doing so goes against the natural order of dating – boy pursues doll.
The same rule applies to texting and all other social media. So NEVER ask studs out by text, Facebook or on instant messenger. The premise of The Rules is that, as unfeminist as it sounds, a woman should do absolutely nothing to embark a relationship.
Some argue: ‘What’s the worst that can happen, that he will say no – so what?’ Wrong.
The worst that can happen is that he will say yes and date you, leading you to believe that you are in a relationship before eventually ditching you for the woman he indeed likes – very likely one who has followed the Rules.
Wait at least four hours to reaction a text
That’s if you are in your teenagers or early to mid-20s and grew up with texting and Facebook.
The older you are, the longer you should wait. For example, a 30-year-old should wait 12 hours and a 40-plus-year-old should wait a day to reply. These text-back times do not apply to weekends, specifically from Friday at 6pm to Sunday at 6pm.
For Rules Ladies, weekends are the ‘blackout period’. You’re busy and therefore unreachable.
There are a duo of other critical factors with texting: never, ever dual text (write twice before he responds once) and always react with fewer words than he’s texted to you. So if he writes, ‘Do you want to go out sometime?’ you should write back: ‘Sure, that sounds like joy.’
Do not write, ‘Sure, that would be fine. Work is manic, but I am free this Thursday night and all weekend and I know a truly cool restaurant.’ You’ll sound desperate.
Don’t reaction after midnight
Part of The Rules is about instructing guys to respect you – and that means setting boundaries.
You should not reaction calls or messages after midnight, because you are busy or need your beauty sleep or, fairly frankly, it’s none of his business why. If a man is calling you after midnight, he’s looking for hook-up, not a date, and may well have sent the same text to ten other chicks at the same time. A Rules Lady likes herself too much to be so undervalued.
The writers: Sherrie Schneider, left, and Ellen Fein, right
Keep emails brief and never email very first
Keep it light and breezy. Unlike texting, which is by necessity brief, emailing can be dangerous.
Some women are famous for composing long-winded dissertations with stanzas of their favourite poetry, passages from novels, relationship quizzes or worse.
None of that is Rules behaviour. Long and/or frequent emails are a big turn-off. Text, phone and Skype conversations should be a maximum of 15 minutes – and you should always be the one to end it. Why? So that you leave him wanting more.
The premise of Facebook is to let people into your world – and that means providing them access to what you are up to at all times.
But The Rules are all about being elusive. So never send a ‘friend request’ to a man you like. He will know you’re interested and any challenge will be gone. Wait 24 to 48 hours to confirm a friend request from him and NEVER write on his wall or ‘like’ his status updates. That basically broadcasts the fact that you’re into him to everyone. In fact, share as little online as possible.
One of the thickest mistakes women make is to permanently post status updates or tweet. There’s no need to tell the world – including potential beau’s – about your daily routine. Reminisce, your life is busy and fabulous.
Be cautious about your relationship status. If you are single, delete the relationship listing option – it’s no one’s business.
If you are dating, don’t post ‘in a relationship’ or make your main photo one of the two of you before he does.
De-friend and/or block exes, especially if they ended the relationship. Some boys want to stay friends on Facebook, but we are not fans of keeping a connection with an ex. It’s too painful and gives you false hope when you should be moving on.
Play the game: Go after The Rules and you’ll always get your man, according to Fein and Schneider
Online dating rules
Some women have a problem with online dating because they find the idea embarrassing. Yet thousands of women have met their husbands online and it’s not dangerous if done the right way.
There are only two mistakes you can make. The very first is not to attempt it. The 2nd is to initiate contact – the cardinal rule, as with all Rules, is that he writes to you very first. Keep your online profile brief and sweet. Concentrate on surface details, such as your profession, hobbies, favourite films and food.
Reminisce, less is more and that most studs will look at photos and skim the content, anyway. Disregard all ‘winks’, ‘flirts’, and other similar deeds on dating websites. It’s the equivalent of looking at you at a party or in a bar, but not approaching, and if a man can’t even send an email to introduce himself, then he very likely won’t ask you out either.
You want to go from online contact to meeting them quickly – within four exchanges, to be exact. More than that and the man is likely to be a time-waster. As with every medium of communication, you should wait at least four hours to write back to a message and if you are 30 or older, wait a day.
Bestseller: The very first The Rules book The sequel: The women have now published the 2nd book of Rules
Dealing with rejection
Social networking means rejection can be broadcast to the world. An ex can announce the break-up on Facebook or that he’s ‘ultimately single’ on Twitter. He can cause you public indignity in addition to private anguish.
But NEVER write angry texts, emails, posts or tweets in retaliation. Your best budge is no contact at all. De-friend, unfollow, block and delete him. The best way to cope is to begin dating again instantaneously. We mean tonight or tomorrow – not a month from now.
Being heartbroken will actually help, because being so emotionally involved with an ex means you won’t pay much attention to the fresh man – and are a challenge without even attempting. Rejection is almost always a bliss in disguise. Every woman we know who moved on quickly realised with hindsight that the man she had been pining for was wrong for her.
So if you have just been ditched, don’t get upset or angry. Get even by meeting someone better.
Adapted by Catherine O’Brien from The Fresh Rules: The Dating Dos And Don’ts For The Digital Generation by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, published by Little, Brown on January 8 ?12.99. To order a copy for ?Ten.99 (p&,p free), call 0844 472 4157.