The New Rules: One of January's most hotly debated media topics

The New Rules: One of January's most hotly debated media topics

Posted by in Blog, Book News, Non-Fiction

It’s the eternal question, isn’t it: how to get a guy – and keep him.  Many have their own views on the matter, hot tips, personal tricks and cherished mantras they turn to when they first get that fluttery feeling…

Well, the dating debate has been raging in the British and Irish media of late, ignited by a certain book, which was published by Piatkus on the 8th January.

Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider wrote The Rules in the 90s, which went on to become the iconic dating manual of the decade, even being featured in Sex and the City.  But then texting was invented, and after that Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Pinterest … and life got a whole lot more complicated.  So they recently decided to rewrite the book, taking into account the dating minefield created by these new methods of communication.  The New Rules is here, and it seems everyone has an opinion:

The Daily Mail ran an extract from the book which was swiftly followed with an interview in The Times.  The Mail questioned: ‘Fein and Schneider reinforce the principle that men thrive on being the aggressor and appreciate a woman who sets boundaries.  But critics say they are outdated, sexist, anti-feminist – and that they confuse and mislead men…. The Rules mainly preach the notion that women should play hard to get in order to get their Mr Right …. do you agree?’

Sun journalist Bella Battle tried out The New Rules and said: ‘I FINALLY get it. In a bid to seem approachable, funny and all-round fabulous to the guys I like I have ended up over keen – and faced hurt and rejection as a result. I can’t follow all The New Rules all the time.  But I will be the first to end dates or phone calls so the men I like are left wanting more – not gasping for a spell in a quiet room.  I am ready to be enigmatic and, yes, date with dignity.’

Look magazine journalist Emma Ledger tested the book out and found some rules helpful: ‘Rule 10 actually makes sense. It’s to stop you going mental when a girl writes a harmless message on your new man’s (Facebook) wall.’ But she couldn’t stomach Rule 13, Don’t Talk Too Much in the First Weeks.  Her verdict?  ‘I think I’ll take my chances without this “dating bible”.’

Star magazine recommended the book, describing it as ‘packed with essential and painful reminders of what not to do!’****  Heat were also fans, admitting: ‘we’ve… hidden it inside a clever-looking book and have consulted it 15 times a day.’ Grazia featured it in their ‘The Girls Effect Strikes’ piece, and their writer Polly Vernon devoted a whole column to the book, mulling over the question of how many dates you should wait before sleeping with a guy.

Cosmopolitan’s Sex and the Single Girl columnist Laura Jane MacBeth road-tested The New Rules, which worked, provoking a double-text from a guy she liked… This, unfortunately, put her off him…

The Spectator was unimpressed, although they did concede that ‘there is some truth in the idea that men and women tend to play different roles when it comes to courtship, and that women can be strategic.’

Harriet Walker in The Independent found both positives and negatives, saying it marked: ‘a welcome return to anonymity, to relinquishing the constant anxiety over whether you should be publicising how cool you are by tweeting your global positioning reference every time you enter a cool new bar or restaurant…  It’s good advice, written in the vein of now-famous post-Rules guides Why Men Love Bitches and He’s Just Not That Into You.. The New Rules might not explain the great mystery, but they offer certain coping strategies in the meantime.’

The Daily Express ran an extract from the book on the Dos and Don’ts of Digital Dating, as did the Glasgow Evening Herald and Irish Tatler. collected research into dating behaviour, among other things finding that ‘89% of women agree with the (New Rules) authors’ that going on a date with a man who has cancelled more than twice is unacceptable.

And the buzz was so great that the Lorraine show interviewed the authors from across the Atlantic via a satellite link-up.  They were also interviewed on Talk Radio Europe, and Ireland’s Today FM and Phantom Radio.

To sum up the ethos of The New Rules, I will echo Ellen Fein, who was featured in the Daily Mail’s Quote of the Week column: ‘women can chase apartments and jobs, but not men.  It’s biology.’

What do you think?

The New Rules by Ellen Fein & Sherrie Schneider was published by Piatkus on the 8th January 2013 in trade paperback and an eBook, £9.99

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