The New Rules: The dating dos and don’ts for the digital generation by Fein & Schneider is an update to the highly successful The Rules. When I suggested this book for book club I was being slightly tongue in cheek. I did believe that it would provide the book club attendees with enough food for discussion – as some would scoff the notion of applying The Rules, whilst others may secretly take on some of the suggestions on board.The rationale behind this version was to provide 21st Century women with the tools to date when we are constantly accessible via mediums like Facebook, Twitter, and tools such as What’s App or BlackBerry Messenger etc.
The 31 rules range from “don’t talk to a guy/ text him first”, “wait at least four hours to answer a guy’s first text and a minimum of 30 minutes thereafter”. Some of the rules vary depending on where you are within your life cycle – for example the time lapse between receiving a text and responding to the said text would depend on your age. As a 30 something, as my life is supposed to be fuller with work and an active social life, I am supposed to wait the maximum time, as I am allegedly too busy to instantly respond.
Much of the content was common sense. For example, being available all the time is my biggest problem. I have tried to curtail this, for a number of reasons – as it’s not only in my handling of prospective relationships but also how I interact with friends and family and has often lead to me putting myself second or third.
There were, however, areas that I also took issue with, this is probably due to the fact the book was written from a Eurocentric perspective, and rules such as hair colour and style could not apply to a woman of African descent as a general rule. However, as I am also a card carrying member of Club Single – maybe I should apply these rules to my life (but where is the fun in that).