Classic TMP: Rules Cards Redux

I had a great idea a few years ago, and I think it’s time to revive it.

I love having long, in-depth discussions with all of my friends about relationships.  One of the things that has always struck me is the rules.  Which rules am I talking about?  Well, the rules that we all have about relationships.

One of my friends had a rule that if she wasn’t at least making out with the guy by the end of the first date, there wasn’t going to be a second.  I had another friend who was a bit more old-fashioned and would have been offended if you tried to kiss her on the first date.

One of my ex-girlfriends wanted me to call her when I got home from our dates so she would know I got home alright.  I’ve also known women who will think you’re a needy jerk if you call within two days of your first date.

Some women will be very open and warm when you say hi and will let you know that they’re interested.  Others play it cold, and will only warm up to you once you show how interested you are through your persistence.

Lest you think I am only picking on the women, though, we do it, too.  Some guys will approach the open and warm woman and think she is too desperate and needy, or that she’s just not playing it cool enough.  Of course, we might encounter the cold type and think she just wants us to try harder, when all she wants is to be left alone.

I’ve got a host of theories as to why people do this.  Where do these “rules” come from?  Basically, I believe it’s just through experience.  We take the things we like and internalize them so that they become rules.

The problem is that we end up disqualifying some really great people based upon our rules before we even get a chance to know them.  It’s not someone’s fault that they don’t know your rules.  It’s not their fault that their last relationship trained them in much the same way yours did you.  You might be missing out on a perfectly good relationship over something silly that your suitor is perfectly willing to adapt.

So the big question is, what are we gonna do about it?

It’s pointless to say that you just need to learn how to be more sensitive to nonverbal cues because some people have become such experts at hiding them that there is no way to know.  Some people even intentionally send out false signals just to see how you’ll respond.  So I came up with a great idea that will solve all of the world’s dating problems.

Rules Cards!

A Rules Card is about the size of a business card and you write down all of your rules on it.

  1. Buy me a drink or don’t even bother.
  2. We must go Dutch on our first date.
  3. I won’t give you any signals about whether to kiss me or not.  How you respond to my rejection is one of the most important things to me.

You get the idea.

Here’s the way it works.  You see someone you’re interested in and you exchange Rules Cards.  Take a few moments to peruse the card, then make your move.  If you still screw up, you deserve to be shown the door.

Of course, Rules Cards really aren’t all that necessary.  If you make an effort to look beneath the surface and give someone a chance and if you take the time to communicate what you want to someone instead of expecting them to just know it, you may find yourself open to a whole new world of exciting possibilities.

In the meantime, would you mind if I took a quick look at your Rules Card?

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