book review

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
book review
4
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 3:56pm

I read The Rules for Online Dating and wrote a review on Amazon. I thought I'd share my review here too:

This book makes some good points, but most of them are what I would consider obvious, while the suggestions unique to the book are more or less worthless. The authors suggest that if women don't follow the rules to the letter that it is extremely rare for a relationship to result from it and work out.

I met my absolutely amazing boyfriend online, and according to this book I broke the rules right and left and by all accounts should not even be in a relationship right now. Some of them I followed just by happenstance: he wrote me first, he asked me out first.

But my username had nothing to do with my age and appearance, as the rules say it should. I had 5 photos (and my main photo was of me in heavy Halloween makeup) where they say you should have only one headshot. My profile was a long, rambling, stream of consciousness that mentioned everything from my childhood, to my bipolar disorder, to my daughter from a previous marriage and tubal ligation, whereas the rules say it should be short, shallow, and incompletely filled out. He emailed me around 11pm on a Sunday night and I wrote back immediately (rules say to wait 24 hours and not write back on weekends). We emailed back and forth about 8 or 9 times before he asked me out (the rules limit you to 4). The emails were long, drawn out, and discussed many heavy topics (the rules say to limit them to a few sentences and be "light and breezy").

On our first date we both talked about our exes. I asked him out for the second date. We went out all the time on weeknights. I asked him if he wanted to be exclusive after a week, right after the third date (he said yes and took down his profile that night). I told him I loved him after 3 weeks and he said it back. Right now my boyfriend should be completely bored, smothered, or both. He should have disappeared by now, or told me he wanted to take things slower and then start ignoring my calls. Instead things are wonderful and get better each day. He sent me a text first thing this morning to wish me a happy 5 months. :)

The important thing, I believe, is that I would not have done all of that had he not been showing the same amount of interest or more. I never really worried about how it would be received. I think if a guy shows interest and you like him, then you should show interest back.

I agree with some other reviewers who say that this book will help you meet a man, but only a specific kind of man. Not the kind of man that I am interested in dating though. If a guy is turned off merely because a woman is showing interest in him then he sounds a bit like a control freak to me. I also question how this book makes you a Creature Unlike Any Other. It seems like if you follow their rules you will just be a Creature Just Like Every Other Creature Who Bought This Book.

As I said, they do make some points that I think are true and valid: don't date a married man, don't get attached to someone you haven't met yet, be wary of long distance relationships, don't complain endlessly about your ex or your life struggles, don't try to force communication from email to phone. But I don't think there is enough good advice in this book to outweigh the not so good advice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-12-2010
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 5:12pm

The book is about online dating in general, not your particular experience or relationship so there’s no need to get defensive.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Thu, 06-24-2010 - 9:12pm

My situation was just one experience but I hardly think it's an exceptional one. My previous LTR was with a guy I met online, and I didn't follow most of the rules on that one either. Theirs is not the only view on online dating, and I am not the only on who disagrees with it.

And as I said, they are pretty adamant that their way is the ONLY way, and if you don't follow the rules then you won't get the guy or have a good relationship. They had an entire chapter on why you should never ever bend or break the rules, and the bad things that will happen to you if you do.

Dating books are better compared to, say, diet books than books on personal safety. There are a wide variety of methods, and not all of them are as good as others. I read the book, and I gave my opinion, and yes my experiences are a part of that. You can take it or leave it I guess.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 9:59am
Is this book written by the same ladies who wrote "The Rules?" I kind of took their advice w/ a grain of salt, w/ all the pretending that required. I have found that in the successful relationships I had (which I didn't meet through OLD) things just kind of came naturally--there wasn't a lot of analyzing about who called whom, how many days passed, etc.? It was obvious we both liked each other and things just developed.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2006
Fri, 06-25-2010 - 10:59pm

"Is this book written by the same ladies who wrote "The Rules?"

Yes it is.

"I have found that in the successful relationships I had (which I didn't meet through OLD) things just kind of came naturally--there wasn't a lot of analyzing about who called whom, how many days passed, etc.? It was obvious we both liked each other and things just developed."

I feel exactly the same way. I suppose if you have zero instincts at all this might be marginally useful, but even then I think the time lines and numbers are a bit too harsh. I think if you are worried about coming on too strong then why not just mirror his moves? Don't call/text/email way more than he does, you know?