D on't call men (see Rule #5), except to occasionally return their calls. When a man calls you, don't stay on the phone for more than ten minutes. Buy a timer if you have to. When the bell rings, you have to go! That way you seem busy and you won't give away too much about yourself or your plans (even if you don't have any plans). By ending the conversation first, you leave them wanting more. Good conversation enders are: "I have a million things to do," "Well, it's been really nice talking to you," "Actually, Tm kinda busy right now," and "My beeper's beeping, gotta run!" Remember to say these things in a very nice way.
Women love to talk. And one of their biggest faults is talking to men as if they were their girlfriends, therapists, or next-door neighbors. Remember, early on in a relationship, the man is the adversary (if he's someone you really like). He has the power to hurt you by never calling again, by treating you badly, or by being around but indifferent. While it's also true that you can reject him, the fact is that it's the man who notices you, asks you out, and ultimately proposes marriage. He runs the show. The best way to protect yourself from pain is to not get emotionally involved too quickly.
So don't stay on the phone for an hour or two recounting your feelings or every incident of the day. You'll become transparent very quickly and run the risk of making him tired or bored. He does not want to date his crazy younger sister, his chatterbox mother, or his gossipy next-door neighbor. He wants to talk to a girl who's friendly, light; and breezy. By getting off the phone first; you don't have to wonder if you've kept him on too long, bored him, or revealed too much about yourself. Because it can be very difficult to monitor the amount of time you spend on the phone when you are "in like" or in love we again suggest using a timer or stopwatch. When the bell ring% you sweetly say, "I really have to go now." A timer is objective you are not.
It doesn't matter if you're having a great conversation and you want to tell him all about what happened to you between the ages of five and six that shaped your life.
When the bell rings, the conversation is over. Remember, you always want to be mysterious. Having to get off the phone first creates a certain amount of mystery in his mind. He'll wonder why you have to go so soon, what you're doing, and if you're dating someone else. It's good for him to wonder about you. The Rules (and a timer) will make him wonder about you a lot.
You may think that men will find your abruptly ending a phone call rude and won't call again. On the contrary, just the opposite often happens simply because men are irrational when it comes to love. For example our friend Cindy set her timer to four minutes one evening. "Gotta gci" she said at the sound of the bell. Five minutes later he called back to insist that they start seeing each other twice a week instead of once a week. The four-minute call worked like a charm, bringing him closer to her, not (as you would expect) farther away.
If you're a genuinely nice person, you will probably feel cruel when you do The Rules. You will think you are making men suffer, but in reality you are actually doing them a favor. By doing The Rules, you make men want to spend more time with you on the phone and in person. They get to experience longing! Tell yourself you are doing them a favor when you feel heartless about doing The Rules!
Another tip for driving a man to madness is to turn off your answering machine on a Sunday afternoon, and see if he doesn't go crazy trying to pin you down. When
Cindy tried this tactic, her boyfriend ended up calling so many times that day that he activated her answering machine. (Some machines will automatically turn on after fourteen rings. Can you imagine him letting it ring fourteen times?!) When he finally got her on the phone that night, he possessively asked, 'Where have you been? I wanted to take you for a drive in the country." It's good when men get upset; it means they care about you. If they're not angry, they're indifferent; and if they're indifferent; they've got one foot out the door. Getting off the phone after a few minutes is not easy, but it works.
Our friend Jody felt that she was "losing" Jeff, her boyfriend of three months, when after a Saturday night date he said good-bye very casually and told her, "I'll call ya. I'll let you know what's a good night for me next week." Jody felt the tables turning and took an extreme but necessary Rules action. She didn't answer her phone the night he usually called. She just listened to it ring and ring. When he finally reached her the next day at work, he was a little less cocky and somewhat nervous. He asked her what night would be good for her\ The phone strategy worked—he never pulled another stunt like that again.
Here's another phone tip: if you're home on a Friday night because you're tired or don't have a date, leave the answering machine on or have your mom or roommate say you're not home That way, if by some chance he calls you on a Friday night because he's not doing anything either, he'll think you're not home. The worst thing you can do is give him the impression that you aren't busy and sought after by other men. Don't let him think that you're a couch potato, even if you are. Don't think playing games is bad. Sometimes game playing is good. Men like to think that they are getting the prom queen. Show him that you have a Rill life, that you are independent.
On any other night when he calls and you pick up the phone, don't feel you have to tell him exactly what you are doing. After a few minutes, just say you're busy (nicely) and can't talk anymore. You won't be lying because sometimes you are busy—doing the laundry, just don't tell him you're doing the laundry. Never let him think, even if it's true, that you are home thinking about him and making the wedding guest list. Men love the seemingly unattainable girl!
Lest you think this advice is old-fashioned, remind yourself that you are a very fulfilled person—stable, functional, and happy—with a career, friends, and hobbies, and that you are perfectly capable of living with or without him. You are not an empty vessel waiting for him to fill you up, support you, or give you a life. You are alive and enthusiastic, engaged in work and in living fully on your own. Men like women who are their own person, not needy leeches waiting to be rescued. The Rules are not about being rescued!
In fact; the biggest mistake a woman can make when she meets a man she wants to marry is to make him the center of her life. She may jeopardize her job by daydreaming at her desk about Prince Charming rather than rolling up her sleeves and working. All she thinks about and talks about is him. She bores her girlfriends to death with details about every date. She is constantly looking for ties to buy him or clipping newspaper articles that he would find interesting. Not only is such behavior unhealthy, but also it's the surest way to lose him.
First of all, he may be overwhelmed by all the attention. Second, he may never propose. And third, he may never rescue you emotionally and financially in the way you think. Even if he marries you, he may always have that night out with the boys, his hobbies, or that Sunday morning basketball game. And he may want a working wife. So better get used to the idea now that you must have a life of your own—a job, interests, hobbies, friends that you can fill up on in between dates and even when you are married. The worst thing you can do when dating is to expect him to be your entertainment director. Don't call him just because you're bored or want attention. Be happy and busy. He should always be catching you coming or going.
We hear again and again about women whose worlds shrink when they meet Mr. Right. When you meet Mr. Right is precisely the time to take up tennis, get an MBA or go on that camping trip with your friends.
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