The Rules plays its own counterpoint to the misogyny that’s all too present in PUA society; it deals in slut-shaming bullshit and old-fashioned ideals with rules like “Never call first and rarely return his calls”, “don’t see him more than once or twice a week” or “no sex before exclusivity”.
It’s a way of deflecting the truth and protecting yourself from the fact that you are the sum total of all of your choices in life, both good and bad.
No matter how much you wish you could blame it on something, anything else.
This is one of my pet-peeves: people who think that the keys to dating are complicated mind-games and arbitrary rules.
I split the blame between the pick-up industry (for men) and old-fashioned cultural bullshit like The Rules (for women) for perpetuating the idea that dating is more complicated than whether or not you like someone else and want to pursue a relationship with them.
This is something I see far, far too often amongst men: the belief that they’re helpless victims in a cold universe; poor hapless players in a game where the deck is stacked against them.
It’s not their fault; women are too bitchy or demanding or only date X guys But it’s all smoke and mirrors.
Unless they’re trying to usurp the throne of Westeros, people aren’t cloaking their true intentions in subterfuge and guile. There can be times when social conditioning – especially on the part of women – means that they will try to be sparing of somebody’s feelings.
But the vast majority of the time, the correct answer is the obvious answer.
This can cause problems even on dates: what did it mean when she declined another drink? She keeps bringing up her ex – does she mean that she wishes I were more like her ex?