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The Rules for Online Dating: Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right in Cyberspace Paperback – 3 Feb 2003

3.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (3 Feb. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743451473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743451475
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider met 15 years ago, and have been formulating and formatting their rules for dating since then. The first book, THE RULES, was highly successful and spawned several spin-offs, adaptations, and parodies, written by other authors.

Ellen Fein is a graduate of New York University and lives on Long Island, New York, with her husband and two children. Ever since she and Sherrie Schneider began weekly meetings in a Chinese restaurant years ago, lamenting their dating woes and discussing their friends' relationships, the two have been formulating and formatting their rules for dating that have now become so popular. They have come a long way, having been featured on Dateline NBC and the Today show, chronicled in People, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and USA TODAY and even spoofed in a skit on Saturday Night Live. Since the success of the first book, there have been several spin-offs, adaptations, and parodies of The Rules, written by other authors, but none have garnered the attention of the original.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

E-mail and The Rules for Online Dating

E-mail has become a universal part of relationships these days, whether a relationship starts online or not. Millions of women around the world are "e-dating," whether they meet men online or in a local bar. In the last two years, we've seen a rapid shift in our consulting business -- today about 50 to 75 percent of the calls and e-malls we get concern relationships being conducted on the Internet. And these women have been asking us for a book of Rules for dating online.

As many of you know, our first book, The Rules, spawned a worldwide movement. Readers began -- and continue -- to set up free online and offline support groups around the world and visit our website (www.therulesbook.com) at the rate of over 400,000 hits a month. But when we wrote The Rules seven years ago, little was known about online dating-many even considered it dangerous -- so we did not even include it. By 1997, when we wrote The Rules II, there was a little more interest in online dating and we wrote a short chapter telling women the pitfalls of this chat-intensive dating method, how to best apply The Rules, and how to play it safe.

Back then, there were only a handful of dating websites. By 1999 there were more than 2,500 Internet sites devoted to matchmaking. And the numbers are still climbing worldwide.

Today, busy professional men and women think nothing of placing an ad and photo online and coming home every night to dozens of e-mails from desirable members of the opposite sex. They spend hours on the computer every day in online relationships or chat rooms or just answering their e-mail. The only problem is that online dating has become a little like a bad bar scene. Women are making serious mistakes in the way they meet and talk to men online, Women need to know:


  • how to write effective ads


  • how to answer e-mails


  • how to act in chat rooms


  • how to set boundaries with men online, and


  • how to weed out the good guys from the bad.


And we're not just talking about women who use online dating services and chat rooms (an online forum where people can converse with each other by posting messages in real time). Today, virtually everyone uses e-mail; it's as common as a phone call. More men are simply asking women out or asking them about their day by e-mail instead of or in addition to calling, whether they first met these women through love@aol, personals, yahoo.com, or at a party at a friend's house. These days, men and women meeting for the first time often exchange e-mail addresses -- sometimes before they exchange phone numbers!

Women meeting new men at business conferences, birthday parties, or clubs give out their e-mail addresses and also take men's e-mail addresses, and then find themselves in an e-mail relationship with a man. These women are just as prone to making the same mistakes online as women using online dating services and chat rooms -- mistakes that can ruin their relationships.

E-mail courtship has made dating more hazardous than ever. With e-mail, women are tempted to let their guard down, let it all hang out, Instant Message men all night, and have cybersex (not The Rules!). But we believe you cannot e-mail with abandon, without thinking, without Rules. You must watch what you say, how often you say it, no matter what or how often he e-mails you, otherwise the relationship becomes so casual that it can go poof! -- disappear -- like a blank computer screen.

What many women don't realize is that an e-mail is just like a phone call-it does count! Women are making the same kind of mistakes online they make on the phone, mistakes that allow an e-courtship to become too easy. But these mistakes can be easily corrected with a set of Rules do's and don'ts. Hence The Rules for Online Dating. In this book, you will find out, among other things:


  • Why you must let a man e-mail you first, regardless of how you met him


  • Why not to answer men's ads


  • How to create a good screen name or ad name


  • The right way -- and the wrong way -- to write an online ad


  • How and when to answer men's e-mails and Instant Messages


  • How to do The Rules in any relationship that uses e-mail, no matter whether you first met online or offline


  • How to prevent the relationship from becoming too casual


  • How to not let online men waste your time


  • How to set up the first face-to-face meeting with your e-mail guy ("date zero")


  • How to evaluate the quality of an online relationship as it develops


  • Potentially life-saving safety tips


You may be wondering at this point: If the premise of The Rules is that a man must pursue a woman and she must be mysterious and challenging, how is that premise going to work on an Internet dating website where you have to post a photo and describe yourself in an ad for all the world to see? You can definitely retain your mystery and keep yourself from being too available on dating websites and even in chat rooms. Read on, and we will tell you exactly how to apply the basic Rules premise to online and e-mail dating for the best possible results.

Copyright © 2002 by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It turned out that my problem was to be too enthusiastic, honest and excitable! In came an email from a chap and I thought it rude not to ping back an immediate and breathless answer because I'm that sort of happy little bunny! Well - this book brought me down to earth and helped me to understand why at least two perfectly good dates didn't go any further. Within minutes I was busy texting saying thank you so much for a lovely evening, blah, blah, blah! During the date I felt a compunction to explain why my ex was to blame for the divorce(!) and to divulge my current difficulties - only fair to explain everything so they knew what they were marrying - oops - dating. My profile was certainly not what these ladies suggest: imagine there's a taxi waiting for you downstairs and you have to write a brief, upbeat and zingy profile before you rush off out! Us girls spend ages creating a masterpiece that will bring in some great and dependable prospect whilst actually scaring off most perfectly nice guys with our intense longing for our 'soulmate'! This was refreshing advice and absolutely spot on. My profile was immediately 'lightened' up and in came some 'old bloke' who lived nearby offering to meet for a coffee. I was 'busy' for a few days and so he had to wait! We met, we got on well and as I left I felt he was keen but, as instructed, I didn't touch my phone! He texted a lot and I made him wait a couple of hours for each reply. Make him wait to see you and make him wait for sex too! If he's just after that then, as these ladies say, 'NEXT'!! He worked really hard to sweep me off my feet, taking me to concerts, restaurants and the cinema! He was actually very young at heart and great fun - thank goodness I didn't judge him by his age or qualifications!Read more ›
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I read this book once and followed a lot of the advice and it worked, but didnt keep it up. I intend to re-read it and put all the tips into action, new years resolution - maybe I can then find the man of my dreams and not waste my time on men that arent right for me.
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Borrow a friend's copy before purchasing...... There are a few valid tips in here regarding how long to wait before responding to men..... HOWEVER, being over 50, it is not in one's best interest to play games and the men can sense it, because I have tried a lot of the suggestions.....
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Format: Paperback
Up to date advice, well worth the read for any woman planning to join an internet dating agency. Would say that it was best read in conjunction with the original book (which I read some years ago). The original book may be a little out of date re cyber-world, but enlarges on some of the key principles of good relationship skills.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are a kind of submissive, obedient women, go on apply the rules and good luck. A friend of mine handed me this book and I was very enthusiastic when I started to read it and convinced that It was going to work. But the bad news is they do not work at all if you want to be happy!!.
Well, when reading the book, I got a new boyfriend, I was applying the rules word by word and everything was fine, and I say it was fine FOR HIM, because at that moment my circumstances were not the best in my career. During the relationship, I had had a hard time to find a good job that suited my skills.
Finally, I got my dreamed job and in just a few days his attitude changed completely. The fear factor that I could be independent, a self-confident woman scared him away. What I understood about this book it is not be yourself, give up your dreams and pursue only his. It is selfish and inconsiderate, how can we be happy with such advice?. I am a woman who was raised with good values, I got a professional degree, and I have worked hard all my life.The authors want to convince the readers, that our grandmothers kept their men for longer and better than we do, but the question is: were they happy? In the past, women were not allowed to go to the university, they were not allowed to file a divorce, they were not allowed to enroll in a political party, the society itself pointed at them if they had brains... So to the authors: times DO change, re-write this book according with the 21st century, and learn more about your own experience, there should have been a happy ending for you than you have in real life with respect to your own marriage. One of the husband's authors filed the divorce for the grounds of abandonment... Did she give up her career/success for him? as far as I know, she is still writing books.
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Great book, if you don't know how to date online or you've never been successful ... pick up this new book and u will be shocked at the amazing different positive results you will get. Thanks ladies!!
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New to online dating and wanting to do it successfully I downloaded this book. If you can get past some of the rather outdated ideas and make it suit you I think it's a useful guide on avoiding some of the common mistakes women make in the OD world.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book a great guide when I bravely had a go with online dating. I still wasn't used to using the internet and was terrified people I knew would see me online etc (how embarrassing)! I had other fears - what if some wierd stalker found out where I lived and what about the TV documentary about men who 'groom' older women online for weekends of casual sex!

This book took me my the hand and led me through the shark infested waters. It taught me how to present myself and to screen out 'Mr Wrong', how to avoid time wasters etc. There are lots of lovely people out there just like me who just want to meet - and I'd say that online is actually better than other methods I've observed in my time (since the seventies anyway)! It's a comfort to know in advance if the guy has/wants children etc - it can take forever to get down the the nitty gritty otherwise.

I did as I was told for a long time - then I bent the rules a bit!!!! Instead of passively waiting for e-mails I decided to get a bit more proactive and 'introduce myself' to men to get their attention - after that I went back into strict rules mode. This speeded things up a bit and Mr Right popped along!

There is a rule about not responding to an e-mail within 24 hours. This was easy and then I realised to my horror that the other person can see if his message has been read (I had always read it instantly)! This confused one guy a bit who thought I hadn't been honest (there is some truth in that I suppose) so check this or log on every other day........

Good luck and may The Rules go with you - you will need the other book now (The Rules) to know what to do with him when you've got him - until you bend them anyway!
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