Rules of Engagement – Part 1

Rules of Engagement – Dating Guidelines Part 1 (The Early Days)

You met a guy, at a bar, at church, online. Doesn’t matter. You meet a guy, and you like him. He seems to like you. You’ve chatted. The “ask out” is imminent – here’s how to not fuck it up:1)

1) So there’s this guy you like. Do not (DO NOT) make the first move. What’s the first move? The first move is the face-to-face talk. Shoot him the look (and if you don’t know what this is, we need to engage in a private tutorial), do what you need to do. But not be the first to approach. Think about it. You want to set the pace of this relationship? You want to forever be the one calling the shots, doing the chasing? No. You don’t. Sure, everyone likes (yes, both sexes) to be chased, so long as that chasing doesn’t slip into scary stalker mode. However, you, girl, need to lay off. As much as guys like a girl to do a little pursuit, make no mistake: we are not similar creatures. Do not pursue a guy like you would him to pursue you. It’s not the same. You go down this road, and you’re setting yourself up for long-term failure.

2) Interlude. Just stop. If he wants to talk to you, he will. If he wants to see you, he will call. It’s their job, and I don’t care what your feminist intelligence tells you about that. Like it or not, it is what it is, and this is how it works. No amount of chasing is going to make him want you more. So suck it up and do not, under any circumstance, pick up the phone. Just stop. Order a pizza. Go out with your girlfriends. Go out with another guy. Call your mom. Occupy yourself. Whatever you need to do, do not call.

3) Guy you like asks you out. You know why he asked you out? Because you didn’t act like a fucking weirdo psycho girl. Make no mistake. Say yes. This is where so many girls get me wrong. I’m not, contrary to popular opinion, telling anyone to “play the game.” Alls I’m saying is, “be cool.” So he calls you up, asks you out; you agree. When, dear friend, you do happily agree, be cool on the phone. Cut it short. Do not start dictating the time, the place, the event. Don’t, for Christ sake, start a conversation about your shitty job, cute cat or kickass car. Say yes, get the details, shut the hell up and get off the phone. You obviously have better things to do.

4) The Date. Your job (and I know I’m going to get feminist hate mail) is to say yes, be cute, show up, look amazing and be witty. Wear your good lip gloss, put on a skirt, drink your martini, talk about interesting things, and never, ever, mention past relationships. Try your damndest not to be awkward. Pause in conversation? Look down, reapply lip gloss and look back, sweetly and under lowered lashes. Ask questions. Smart questions. Be bright. You find the need to be argumentative? You shouldn’t be with this man. Don’t be afraid of witty, yet unoffensive, sarcasm. Start talking about his ex, and I promise you, love, you’ve just signed your “do not call” notice. And after the date (please, please don’t sleep with him)*, be graceful, say goodbye and continue to be pretty and vaguely aloof.

5) The Waiting. So you went out. You followed the rules and you think things went famously, but its day two, you haven’t heard from him, and your girlfriends are worn out on the “when’s he gonna call?” conversation. Resist all temptation to call. Seriously. Don’t. The best thing you can do, for everyone, is convince your friends and yourself (and him – trust me, it’ll work) that you like him, but it’s not crucial; you like him, sure, but you don’t care all that much. You drunk dial, and it’s over. Part of being pretty is being graceful. And part of being graceful is that knowing how to not appear desperate. Ladies, calling him at 8am the day after you date to talk about the “good times” or inquire about your next meeting – that isn’t pretty. You’re done.

6) He asks you out again. You think you’ve got this in the bag? You don’t, and you’re making a crucial mistake if you think you do. Do not be fooled; this is a just a second date, not a betrothal. He calls again, to ask you out and yes, he does likes you, and yes, you’re already planning your wedding and first child’s name. Obviously you weren’t such an ass to turn him off straightaway. What to do? You chill. You again say yes and, “yeah, let’s do that,” but before you say anything — before you utter the first sentence — you stop and remind yourself, “this is a second date.” Relax. Have a super time. Laugh. Do not, bleary eyed, look at this man as the father of your children. He will smell you out. The desperation. The wanting. And you will not get another call, unless you’ve been pegged as an easy lay, a booty call (“this girl wants me and I can call and have her at 3 am”). Enjoy yourself, fully aware, the knowledge close to heart, that this could be the last time you see this human being. You want to see him again? You want him to be enamored, to chase you to the ends of the earth? You listen to me.

Synopsis of Part 1 (Lessons to take to heart):

-Don’t stalk
-Don’t call (don’t call and leave any message)
-Don’t have sex-Seriously.
-And again. DON’T CALL.
-Don’t, for a second, let yourself become overeager (hence, don’t overanalyze).

*Let’s say things get sexual, you’ve had a few Cosmos and you’re rifling through your purse for a Trojan. Stop. Think. Still horny? Cool, deliver excellent blow job and say goodnight.

*Let’s also say he told you to call, you did, and you get his voicemail. The voicemail message is key — wait — did you hear me? This is key. You call, act clumsy — that’s ok. You call, act like aforemention weird pyscho stalker girl, you’re done. When you call, say something like this, “Hi Chris, It’s Kate. Just calling because you said to…Hope you’re doing well. Gimme a call if you want to.” Done. And if he doesn’t return your message in a timely fashion (two days, tops), chalk it up to a loss and move on.

Part 2 in the works. Til then — peace, love and lipgloss.

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