Word has it that Meghan Markle is a fan of the dating bible called The Rules, an instant bestseller that came out in 1995. The advice for women who want “marriage, in the shortest time possible” has come in for its fair share of criticism. Critics say The Rules is a list of ridiculous stratagems that recommend subservience to men. Don’t be distracted. The core message may be delivered with old-world charm, but it is brutally tough-minded. Here it is:
Develop self-respect. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t waste yourself on a man who isn’t really interested and who treats you badly.
So what if marriage is not your goal in your relationships with men. So what if The Rules advice may sound like it’s coming from a well-meaning but slightly unhinged 90-year-old great aunt. Have a good laugh at the fluffy rules as written, and then adopt The Rules advocacy of self-worth. Here are a few to get you started from the chapter on how to attract a high-profile man, meet a celebrity and date a business bigwig.
- Take a deep breath. Stay composed.
- Treat him as you would any other man, not the movie star or business tycoon he is.
- Do not stare at him.
- Do not light up or act giddy, as if you just won the lottery.
- Act as if you’ve been out of the country for the last three years and you’re not quite sure who he is, even if he was just on the cover of People magazine.
- Don’t ask for his autograph.
- Don’t compliment him.
- Don’t show any interest in his career.
- If you’re an aspiring actress, do not ask for an audition.
- Do not ask him to do you a favor, such as donate money to your favorite charity.
- Act interested but not spellbound. Leave him alone. After five minutes of conversation about whatever he wants to talk about, say: ‘Oh, look at the time, I must leave now. It was nice meeting you.’ And walk away.
- Do not seem impressed by his limousine or entourage.
- Once you are dating a celebrity, don’t see him whenever and wherever it’s convenient for him because he has a busy schedule.
- It’s tempting to drop your friends and family and revolve your whole life around this famous man. You must still live your own life. See him only two to three times a week — until he proposes.
- If he’s widely popular, expect that other women might write to him, call him and throw themselves at him. Do not get angry or show jealousy or insecurity. Do not be possessive in public. If he pursued you, their advances won’t matter. He’ll still want you.
- Be discreet. Do not call the tabloids and tell them you’re dating as a way of announcing to other women that he’s your man. That would be self-serving, possibly hurtful or embarrassing to him, and might ruin any chances of his continuing to see you.
- Don’t try to become too friendly with his staff to keep tabs on him or so they put in a good word for you.
- Don’t seem overly interested in his wealth or the limelight. Rules girls are not groupies.
- Don’t rush into sex.