The Dating Rules For Women Are Making Me Mad!

Posted by in dating after divorce, online dating after 40, self-esteem in dating, single women over 40 | 0 comments

dating rules for womenI had a phone consult this morning with a potential client who was very confused about the so-called “proper” way to date. Many of my clients are puzzled about how to date in the 21st century. This woman had read All The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets of Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right, by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider. In attempting to follow the dating rules for women that are outlined in the book, she was feeling disconnected and not true to herself. She was trying to be demure and passive, as the rules state that she should not make the first move with a guy. So in online dating, she would not initiate contact, passively waiting for a man to email first. The result? 300 matches from E-Harmony, but none that remotely interested her. That was certainly not working. Books like this that outline the proper dating rules for women make me mad!

Some of the ‘rules’ do make perfect sense to me, such as rule number 1: Be a creature unlike any other. I, too, believe that when you love your unique bad-ass self, you radiate out a confidence that is magnetic to a man.

However, rule #6 is the one that makes me really mad!

“When considering whether to use personal ads or other dating servies, you should place the ad and let men respond to you.”

Really? I believe women should let men hunt, but this is ridiculous. Sit back and wait? For what? A computer robot to match you?

“You both like walks on the beach! You both watch TV!” I don’t think so…

I told this woman to imagine she’s at a singles event. How does she let a man know she’s interested?

“Oh, that’s easy for me,” she answered. “I make eye contact. I show him with my body language. I go over and start a conversation and flirt with him.”

“Yes, exactly”, I said.

“Online dating is like being at a huge singles event”, I told her.

“When you initiate contact with an email, you let a man know you’re interested. He still does the hunting. You just let him know you want to be hunted.”

I could sense the click go off in her brain. “Oh, that makes perfect sense! I don’t have to twist myself into a pretzel in order to date the “right” way. I can be myself. That makes me feel a lot better.”

Here’s an example of a first email you might send to a man you’re interested in:

I really liked your profile. I’m impressed – and intrigued – that you worked your way through law school by going on game shows. That’s so cool! I’m a big fan of Jeopardy. I love trying to figure out the questions. (I’ll take DATING for $500. Ha ha.)

Out of all the shows you were in, which was your favorite?

I look forward to hearing from you,


Keep the email short, sweet, and focused on one or two points in his profile. Make sure to ask a question at the end, as questions elicit responses. Seems obvious, but so many people don’t include them in their initial email. And then release that email to the online dating universe. Know that many men never respond, and that’s okay. It’s not personal. Just keep those emails coming, and you’ll eventually find a good match.

You’re hoping for a response from your Mr. Right. It’s much easier to find him by taking action than by staying passive. 

Please stop trying to morph into someone you’re not. Be your womanly feminine wonderful self (rule number 1!), and let a man know you’re interested. Break a few of the “dating rules”. Smart dating is about balancing your heart and your head, being a good communicator and a good listener, and being proactive out there in the online dating world.





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