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March 26, 2010

The New Dating Rules

Julie Klausner, author of I Don't Care About Your Band, dishes on the new dating rules.

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I didn't write my book, I Don't Care About Your Band, in order to give women a brand-new set of dating rules they need to feel terrible about not abiding. I wrote my book to make the women who read it feel good about themselves, and a little more entitled to be treated well by the guys they go out with.

Think of it as a response to all the misinformation you get from dating books: the ones that tell you not to call him because if you seem interested, he'll shy away. The ones that tell you to settle for a man who makes half as much as you do and smells like that gross, kind of sweet smell that air conditioners make when you pass them on the street in the summertime, because if you don't, you'll die alone. The ones that remind you how "just not that into you" he is, even though he's perfectly attracted to you, only damaged and terrified.

It's like we have more dating rules than dates, and just like the kind of rules that clutter up diet books (No carbs after 7 p.m.! No tropical fruits unless it's Thursday!), telling women what to do about how to bring love into their lives might sometimes go against the original purpose of trying to find somebody in the first place: to listen to your heart.

Here are some of the — tongue-in-cheek — lessons that may be gleaned from my book, condensed down to handy list form. Hopefully they'll help you on your quest to find somebody who doesn't make you want to pull your hair out in fistfuls, and please don't take any of them (the rules or the dud dates) too seriously.

If You’re Trying to Be the Kind of Girl He’s Attracted to, He’s Not the Kind of Guy You Want
I didn’t say he’s the kind of guy you’re not attracted to. Obviously, he is. That’s why you’re taking a cab to his neighborhood at 12:30 a.m., and trying to stay awake during the Kubrik movie. But if you have to hide your CDs when he comes over and pretend you don’t like The Soup and you find yourself making fewer jokes and leaving your own needs out of the equation (like if it’s 10 a.m. and you’re starving for breakfast, but you don’t say anything), you are setting yourself up for hating this guy even more when it doesn’t work out. And it won’t. Because if he liked you the way you want a guy to like you, he would be cabbing over to your place and watching The Soup with you and asking if he can make you pancakes.

If He Likes You, You Can Do No Wrong; if He Doesn’t, You Can Do No Right
Doing no wrong includes sleeping with a guy on the first date, asking him out first, or e-mailing him a link to a video of a cat playing the piano. That said, if you sleep with him right away, you are betting the house. If it’s good, you’ve just run the risk of falling hard for a guy you don’t know at all. And if he’s not the right guy, no amount of restraint or adherence to a rule book or chumminess with his friends will ever get him to like you.

Don’t Fool Yourself When It’s Not Right
So, things aren’t clicking with this sweet guy who keeps calling you. So what? Things like chemistry and fate and all the rest actually exist. You don’t need to flip out if you’re seeing a guy who’s really nice to you and you’re not attracted to him. It doesn’t have to necessarily be because he’s nice to you and you hate yourself.

If You Feel Bad, There’s Probably a Good Reason
Because you’re not insane. You don’t need to beat yourself up for feeling bad because you don’t think you’re supposed to feel bad.

There’s a Time and a Place for an Open Mind
Keep your mind open about the kind of guy you might want, but stick to your rigid standards when it comes to your expectations. If you slept together and he didn’t call you when you wanted him to, be true to that instinct of that pissing you off and tell him to fuck off if you’re hurt. Don’t let anybody talk you out of your high standards as being unrealistic. Just give an extra chance to the guy you see living up to them, even if he doesn’t snap your bean right off the bat.

You’re the Star
He isn’t. If he doesn’t know that, it’s his problem. Also, his band isn’t that good. You could probably do better if you felt like it. You’re the prize. Let him win you.

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