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The Dartmouth
March 2, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Listen Up, Ladies--Here are the Rules

For years, Dartmouth students have complained about the lack of a dating scene on this campus. Task forces have convened, discussions have been held, all to no avail. No one seems to know how to solve the problem. No one except me, that is. I know the answer because I know ... The Rules.

You might have heard of "The Rules." Recently published, this book of "Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right" has been on the New York Times bestseller list for weeks now. Quite simply, this book is a miracle. And it will save the Dartmouth dating scene, if only we Dartmouth women would become what its authors, Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, call "Rules girls." Rules girls perpetually play hard to get, motivated by the knowledge that the more a guy has to fight to "get" them, the more he will value them when they are "gotten." Revolutionary stuff.

Before I learned The Rules, I did everything wrong. Everything. First of all, I initiated conversations with men. I admit it freely -- I had a problem with talking to men. I was a talkaholic. And not only that, I even blitzed men sometimes. In so doing, I broke Rule Number 2. "Don't talk to a Man First."

That isn't the only rule I broke. Before I saw the light, I would often make jokes and try to be witty around men I was interested in, believing that the best policy was to "be myself." Shows what I know. By doing that, I was breaking two Rules: Rule 3, "Don't talk too much" and Rule 10, "How to Act on Dates 4 through Commitment Time," which states that a girl should not reveal too much of her personality until the fourth date. Until then, she is to "show up and act sweet" and nothing more.

I was happy to see that I haven't broken all the Rules. For example, I have never broken Rule 23 by dating a married man, and I've never broken Rule 22 by living with a man. But still, I've broken quite a few.

Now you may be wondering what any of this stuff has to do with us, since Dartmouth students don't date at all. Well, I propose that if each heterosexual woman -- and are there any other women, really? -- started following The Rules, a lot more dating would go on at this college. This would occur for several reasons.

First, since no rules girl would ever sleep with a man until after at least a month of dating, if men want sex (as all men do), they're going to have to date to get some. Furthermore, if all Dartmouth women became rules girls it would preclude the "hook-ups" so prevalent on this campus (See Rule 15: Don't Rush into Sex and Other Rules of Intimacy.)

So you women can do your part to resurrect the Dartmouth dating scene just by running out to the bookstore and buying a copy of "The Rules" and following it to the letter. And this is not just a college thing; women are expected to remain rules girls throughout their entire lives. As the authors tell us, "Sure, a man might marry you if you don't do The Rules, but we can't guarantee yours will be a happy marriage." And we all want to have happy marriages, don't we?