Hey, single ladies — remember The Rules? Those books published in the ’90s that told women to leave men in charge of making all the moves and to stay “mysterious” for them? Because men are the “aggressors,” and they prefer to be the ones in charge? Many thought it was a regressive way to find love at the time, and now Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider are back with more great advice for snagging a soul mate in this new-fangled digital age. It will totally work, you guys, they promise. Don’t let Fein’s bitter, bitter divorce convince you otherwise.
But guess what? I have some even better terrible advice, and it will make you so infuriated and frustrated over trying to attract a date that you will just be downright psyched to be single. Get ready for the new rules for dating: Be Impossible.
So, a major component of The Rules — then and now — is letting the man be the aggressor in a blossoming relationship (and, to some extent, a relationship that already exists) (no, really). Don’t make the first move, don’t look too interested, don’t reveal a lot of information about yourself, yada yada yada. And don’t you worry, same-sex couples — this applies to you, too! (See: The Rules II) The key is the old chestnut, “playing hard to get.” Because only hookers are easy to get, amirite? Don’t be a dirty hooker, ladies.
Here is how to Be Impossible and find a mate who will be so tortured over figuring you out that he or she will vow to spend the entire remainder of their lives trying, and you will become so annoyed and disturbed that you will, in turn, vow to spend the rest of your life becoming your own soul mate.
Be Invisible: Don’t just wait for the first move — hide from it completely. Don’t even make yourself available for a move. Find a shady spot, and stay away from anyone who might attempt to make eye contact with you. Or, actually become invisible, like the Invisible Woman herself, Sue Storm (Storm-Richards — she got the ring!). Or project an invisible force field around you and the nice person serving you alcoholic drinks. But whatever you do, don’t put yourself out there and be super obvious about your existence. Make him find you. Marco Polo is a very romantic way to locate an invisible person. The thrill of the chase!
Be Telepathic: So you don’t have to make a fool of yourself by making assumptions, simply know what a potential mate is thinking already. Read his mind! You can try to learn, but it really helps to be a mutant born with this power, like Jean Grey. Or, acquire this ability through some type of radiation. (I hear Fukushima is beautiful this time of year!) But don’t be a snotty know-it-all. Don’t tell him what you already know. Keep it to yourself, and even if it’s important, you don’t want to look like you’re smarter than he is. That will only threaten him! In fact, if you fall in love hard enough, the psychic constipation will only enhance your telepathic abilities! Being able to predict your mate’s every desire will surely lead to an engagement — if you keep your mouth shut. But if you can’t be psychic…
Be Fit: Remember, ladies, it is always up to you to be the attractive one in the relationship, and that means working out. Consider doing something a little out of your comfort zone, like becoming a trained assassin (like Black Widow), perhaps an Grecian ninja assassin (like Elektra). You need to be on your toes for things like that, but your reward is looking really super great in a tight dress! And that’s what gets the men looking at you (while you don’t look back under any circumstances, because you don’t want him to know you’re interested, remember?) and wanting to give you all those phone calls you’re not going to answer! You want them looking at you, desiring you, worshiping you… without knowing anything about you whatsoever. Let them make up their own fantasies about you. Let them write fan fiction about you. And if they find anything out about you, or you accidentally spill some info, you can just kill them and move on to the next one.
Be Superhuman: I think this is really the only logical thing you can be in order to properly date anyone. Because the only path to a successful relationship is to be not only a perfect physical specimen who can anticipate someone else’s every thought, but also someone who has to keep the most important things about oneself a secret. These people are superhuman, whether they acquired their superhumanity via a tragic accident that should have been fatal or whether they were born that way. But we keep our standards so high that this seems to be the only course of action for falling in love successfully.
Be Impossible. Be Fictional.
Better yet, just be single.