Dont Talk to a Man First and Dont Ask Him to Dance

ever? Not even "Let's have coffee" or "Do you come here often?" Right, not even these seemingly harmless openers. Otherwise how will you know if he spotted you first; was smitten by you and had to have you, or is just being polite?

We know what you're thinking. We know how extreme such a rule must sound, not to mention snobbish, silly, and painful; but taken in the context of The Rules, it makes perfect sense. After all, the premise of The Rules is that we never make anything happen, that we trust in the natural order of things—namely, that man pursues woman.

By talking to a man first, we interfere with whatever was supposed to happen or not happen, perhaps causing a conversation or a date to occur that was never meant to be and inevitably getting hurt in the process. Eventually, he'll talk to the girl he really wants and drop you.

Yet; we manage to rationalize this behavior by telling ourselves, "He's shy" or "I'm just being friendly." Are men really shy? We might as well tackle this question right now. Perhaps a therapist would say so, but we believe that most men are not shy, just not really, really interested if they don't approach you. It's hard to accept that; we know. It's also hard waiting for the right one—the one who talks to you first; calls, and basically does most of the work in the beginning of the relationship because he must have

It's easy to rationalize women's aggressive behavior in this day and age. Unlike years ago when women met men at dances and "coming out" parties and simply waited for one to pick them out of the crowd and start a conversation, today many women are accountants, doctors, lawyers, dentists, and in management positions. They work with men, for men, and men work for them. Men are their patients and their clients. How can a woman not talk to a man first?

The Rules answer is to treat men you are interested in like any other client or patient or coworker, as hard as that maybe. Let's face it; when a woman meets a man she really likes, a lightbulb goes on in her head and she sometimes, without realizing it, relaxes, laughs, and spends more time with him than is necessary. She may suggest lunch to discuss something that could be discussed over the phone because she is hoping to ignite some romance. This is a common ploy. Some of the smartest women try to make things happen under the guise of business. They think they are too educated or talented to be passive play games, or do The Rules. They feel their diplomas and paychecks entitle them to do more in life than wait for the phone to ring. These women, we assure you, always end up heartbroken when their forwardness is rebuffed. But why shouldn't it be? Men know what they want. No one has to ask them to lunch.

Sc^ the short of it is that if you meet men professionally, you still have to do The Rules. You must wait until he brings up lunch or anything else beyond business. As we explain in Rule #17, the man must take the lead. Even if you are making the same amount of money as a man you are interested in, he must bring up lunch. If you refuse to accept that men and women are different romantically, even though they may be equal professionally, you will behave like men—talk to them first, ask for their phone number, invite them to discuss the case over dinner at your place—and drive them away. Such forwardness is very risky, sometimes we have seen it work, most of the time it doesn't and it always puts the woman through hell emotionally. By not accepting the concept that the man must pursue the woman, women put themselves in jeopardy of being rejected or ignored, if not at the moment, then at some point in the future We hope you never have to endure the following torture:

Our dentist friend Pam initiated a friendship with Robert when they met in dental school several years ago by asking him out to lunch. She spoke to him first. Although they later became lovers and even lived together, he never seemed really "in love" with her and her insecurity about the relationship never went away. Why would it? She spoke to him first. He recently broke up with her over something trivial. The truth is he never loved her. Had Pam followed The Rules, she would never have spoken to Robert or initiated anything in the first place. Had she followed The Rules, she might have met someone else who truly wanted her. She would not have wasted time. Rules girls

Here's another example of a smart woman who broke The Rules: Claudia, a confident Wall Street broker, spotted her future husband on the dance floor of a popular disco and planted herself next to him for a good five minutes. When he failed to make the first move, she told herself that he was probably shy or had two left feet and asked him to dance. The relationship has been filled with problems. She often complains that he's as "shy" in the bedroom as he was that night on the dance floor.

A word about dances. It's become quite popular these days for women to ask men to dance. Lest there is any doubt in your mind, this behavior is totally against The Rides. If a man doesn't bother to walk across the room to seek you out and ask you to dance, then he's obviously not interested and asking him to dance won't change his feelings or rather his lack of feelings for you. He'll probably be flattered that you asked and dance with you just to be polite and he might even want to have sex with you that night; but he won't be crazy about you. Either he didn't notice you or you made it too easy. He never got the chance to pursue you and this fact will always permeate the relationship even if he does ask you out.

We know what you're thinking: what am I supposed to do all night if no one asks me to dance? Unfortunately, the answer is to go to the bathroom five times if you have tq. reapply your lipstick, powder your nose, order more water from the bar, think happy thoughts, walk around the room in circles until someone notices you, make phone calls from the lobby to your married friends for encouragement—in short; anything but ask a man to dance. Dances are not necessarily fun for us. They maybe fun for other women who just want to go out and have a good time. But you're looking for love and marriage so you can't always do what you feel like. You have to do The Rides. That means that even when you're bored or lonely, you don't ask men to dance. Don't even stand next to someone you 1 ikze, hoping he'll ask you, as many women do. You have to wait for someone to notice you. You might have to go home without having met anyone you liked or even danced one dance. But tell yourself that at least you got to practice The Rules and there's always another dance. You walk out with a sense of accomplishment that at least you didn't break The Rules!

If this sounds boring, remember the alternative is worse. Our good friend Sally got so resentful of having to dance with all the "losers" at a particular party that she finally decided to defy The Rules she knew only too well and asked the best-looking man in the room to dance. Not only was he flattered, but they danced for hours and he asked her out for the next three nights. "Maybe there are exceptions to The Rules" she thought triumphantly. She found out otherwise of course. It seems Mr. Right was in town for just a few days on business and had a girlfriend on the West Coast. No wonder he hadn't asked anyone to dance that night. He probably just went to the party to have fun, not to find his future wife. The moral of the story: don't figure out why someone hasn't asked you to dance—there's always a good reason.

Unfortunately, more women than men go to dances to meet "The One." Their eagerness and anxiety get the best of them and they end up talking to men first or asking them to dance. So you must condition yourself not to expect anything from a dance. View it simply as an excuse to put on high heels, apply a new shade of blush, and be around a lot of people. Chances are someone of the opposite sex will start to talk to you at some point in the evening. If and when he does, and you're not having such a great time, don't show it. For example don't be clever or cynical and say, "I would have been better off staying home and watchmg Seinfeld" Men aren't interested in women who are witty in a negative way. If someone asks if you're having a good time, simply say yes and smile.

If you find all of this much too hard to do, then don't go to the dance. Stay home, do sit-ups, watch Seinfeld, and reread The Rules. It's better to stay home and read The Rides than go out and break them.

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