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Why THE RULES Book Work: Spiritual Principles Behind the Best-Selling Dating Guide

Updated on July 18, 2014
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Introduction to The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right

In the 90’s a controversial dating book called The Rules: Time-Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right became a runaway best-seller. The authors Ellen Fein and sherrie schneider advised women to date the old fashioned way by letting the men do the chasing.

Rules girls look and act feminine. They’re aloof and independent, too busy working, studying or having fun to care whether a guy has called them back for another date. If they do, great, if they don’t, there’s plenty of other fish in the sea. If you weren’t born with high self-esteem and self-respect, The Rules book gives you a strict set of guidelines to follow. Fake it till you make seemed to be the strategy behind the teachings.

It worked. Millions of book copies sold. Countless women got married as a result. Men bent over backwards to please them. It's Oprah-approved. Beyonce swears by it. Even men like Andre Agassi and Hugh Grant will admit that they’ve only been intrigued by women who fit the description of a Rules girl.

Critiques scoffed that we were returning to the stone age. With women still striving for equal rights, why can’t they ask a guy out for coffee? Must the men always be in control? Some women feared losing their individuality by dressing and acting like all the other Rules girls. Feminists were offended by advice to grow their hair long and hike up their skirts. Men were bemused that women would need a book to tell them how to date. Some of them were angry; they didn't like being manipulated into a relationship or marriage.

Extreme Rules

The Rules claim that guys were born to do the chasing, based on the biological belief that men are hunters by nature. All women have to do is to look their best, keep busy, and wait for the men to woo them.

It's easier said than done. In our patriarchal society, modern women were raised to develop their masculine traits to compete in the work force. We were raised to go after what we want. With all this pressure for women to behave like men and suppressing their divine feminine traits, the dating field has been a land mine.

There's no denying that there are inherent differences between men and women, and not just physically. The Rules work for a reason, even if it's not scientifically proven why. Other blockbuster dating books, such as He's Just Not That Into You, Why Men Love Bitches, and Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man contain similar advice of embracing your feminine side, letting the guy come to you, while not being a pushover.

The Rules however contain some of the most extreme advice on playing hard to get. We can't talk to a guy first? Not even a smile? We can't even look at them? It sounds ridiculous. It wasn't I came across a book called The Spiritual Rules of Engagement: How Kabbalah Can Help Your Soul Mate Find You by Yehuda Berg that I really began to understand why The Rules worked.

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Spiritual Rules

The Spiritual Rules of Engagement by Yehuda Berg is based on the teachings of Kabbalah. It teaches women how to approach relationship with timeless spiritual wisdom, revealing why men and women think and behave so differently. Not only is the author a man, but a happily married one who works as a Kabbalah teacher and has provided counsel to hundreds of couples.

If you look past the superficial advice in The Rules about hair, clothes and nose jobs, you'll find that the teachings do have a spiritual bent. Women are advised to have faith, to believe in the abundance of the universe. They are taught to affirm that the right man is out there and that he'll show up when the time is right. It enforces them to consciously break age-old habits of negative thinking and behavior with applied action. They need to believe that they are wonderful individuals worthy of love, and that loving doesn't mean giving all the time. Love is a prize to be earned by someone worthy and women have the power to pick and choose.

In Yehuda Berg's book I learned how the rules of attraction were based on the Laws of the Universe. It goes into detail about the Law of Attraction, which contrary to popular belief that opposites attract, means that Like Attracts Like. You are who you attract. For example, if you are needy and insecure, rather than finding a guy who will make you feel whole and loved, you'll attract guys who will continue to make you feel needy and insecure.

The book teaches women that they are entrusted with the responsibilities of managing a relationship. Many of the teachings supports the teachings in The Rules and other dating books, but gives in-depth details as to why they work - why the rules are even there in the first place.

Women are in fact more powerful than men because, spiritually, we don't need them. But they need us. Men and women have different energies and functions, as explained with the Light and the Vessel. The male energy is abundant, full of action and purpose. It's like flowing water. It's everywhere, but it needs to be contained and directed. That's where the women come in. We're the vessel, the cup that contains the water so it can be drunk properly.

The reason why women fear being alone is because they fear their vessel being empty. What they don't realize is that women have the power to generate their own Light, fill themselves with their own water. We are a complete system, unlike men, and we need to be responsible as to who we let into to our vessel, our pristine cups.

Let's take some of The Rules' more extreme rules and see what Yehuda Berg has to say about it in The Spiritual Rules.

Rule #2: Don't Talk to a Man First

This is one of the hardest rules to follow. You have to ignore the man you're most attracted to? The Rules authors are adamant about following the one. Yehuda Berg also says that the best chances of establishing a long-term relationship is by not looking his way. Kabbalah has a name for this practice: Resistance.

By resisting your urges to flirt, make eye contact and getting his attention, you are opening yourself to receive more later. It is the adversary that makes you impatient: the voice inside you that gets you to make decisions based on fear. For more on practicing resistance, read Yehuda's Berg's other book, The Power of Kabbalah.

Men are more likely to interpret a flirty, direct woman as someone who might be fun in the moment, but not someone to be with in the long run. When you flirt and seduce your ego is talking to his ego. When you resist your reactions to make him notice you, you are not giving away all your Light straightway, but slowly revealing it. The guy for you will notice you without you having to do anything. He will simply be attracted to your Light.

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Rule #3: Don't Stare At Men or Talk too Much & Rule #19: Don't Open Up So Fast

It may not seem like it sometimes, but men have the fundamental desire to share. They are problem-solvers, Mr. Fix-its who fundamentally want to please you. Sharing also means talking.

On the first date, let the guy do most of the talking because that's how they share with you. They are eager to impress you with their accomplishments. Let them talk. As Yehuda says, Hire Slow, Fire Fast. A successful CEO wouldn't hire someone without giving them a thorough interview and a women should do the same. And they'll appreciate you listening because they'll think that they're pleasing you.

The authors of The Rules and The Spiritual Rules both agree that a man is attracted by your essence. Of course, you don't need to be a silent plant, but you need to say less than you think. You are not the one who needs to convince him that you are interesting and worth being around. He should be the one worried about impressing you.

By not talking as much, you'll benefit by observing them closely, and keeping your own Light close at hand, which you shouldn't reveal so eagerly. Men subconsciously want to earn to bask in your Light, your divine feminine energy.

Rule #4: Don't Meet Him Halfway or Go Dutch on a Date

When the man pays, it makes him feel good. He feels like he is protecting you. You might not need him to pay and you might make more money than he does, but it doesn't matter. Even if he's broke, let him buy you pizza.

The right guy won't be resentful to take you out and pay for your date, because men are drawn to women who recognizes their own self-worth. That means letting someone treat you like a queen. By letting him treat you, you are creating an opening to receive. Men want to give to women who are appreciate of what they have to give.

Rule #5: Don't Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls

If a guy was truly interested in you, he would make the effort to call you first. You might say that women should put in an equal amount of the effort. But Yehuda Berg says that the woman, as the manager of the relationship, is the one directing the Light. You determine the pace, and the pace should be slow. You doesn't need to protect the man's ego. You need to worry about his protecting YOUR Light, which is something that he needs to earn.

If he wants to be with you, he will call you and make plans. If he doesn't, you just saved yourself from an unhappy relationship.

Rule #14: No More Than Casual Kissing on the First Date

Never give away your Light freely, and that means not getting physical so soon. A man will attempt to get more physical than you're comfortable with right off the bat and you may be flattered. You don't want him to think you're no interested or a prude, but you must defend your Light fiercely.

Yehuda says that men communicated with actions. They share with actions, and they will understand if you stop with actions. Just move his hand and he'll get it. A man who honours you will honour your Light.

Rule #18: Don't Expect a Man to Change or Try to Change Him

You must choose a man you can support. If you don't approve of his job, his lifestyle, his religion, you are supporting the way he channels his energy into this world. Your lives are not in sync, and as harsh as this may sound, he is not the man for you and you must move on.

It's a lose-lose situation to criticize him in order to change him. The only way to strengthen a relationship is to support and appreciate the way he brings Light into the world, which means accepting him as he is. However, nobody is perfect, and if he has petty habits, like biting his hangnails, or leaving the toilet seat up, it's okay, just as you may make your own personality habits or cellulite that he is not keen with. As long as you are not trying to rewrite his DNA. Your choices are to support him or not support him.

Which Rules to Follow?

The Spiritual Rules are not as strict as The Rules. For those already in relationships, Yehuda Berg provides tools to improve your relationship. It's never too late to turn your relationship around. The Rules is more geared toward single women looking for a great relationship, and the best way to do that is to weed out the time-wasters. That's why the rules are so strict. It will help you find the best guy from the start so you won't have relationship problems down the road. To do that, the woman needs to set the pace and tone of the relationship from the start so the man is clear about his duties. He'll know that in order to keep you, he'll have to make more effort, and he'll love you for it. A man ultimately wants to give to the woman he loves.

An updated version of the book came out earlier this year, called Not Your Mother's Rules: The New Secrets for Dating. It gives you even more guidelines in regards to modern technology, such as when to text or email back, and how to respond to him on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. Interestingly, Yehuda Berg gives a neat story about how one woman broke every rule in the book and still ended up in a great relationship. The reason she was able to get away with it because she was a strong woman whose confidence and happiness did not revolve around the love of a man. If she had been rejected, she would've been fine. For the rest of us who are not so resilience, we need The Rules!

What do you think about The Rules or The Spiritual Rules? Do they work?

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      Jan Cercone 3 years ago

      I think they will help balane things out..there is a lot of pain and confusion out there and that builds up resentment. By following the rules, women have a good sense of a man's integrity and if he actually wants to be in a relationship too. I wrote "The Guys Guide to the Divine Feminine" to help everyday guys see how women are changing and what we need as the roles shift to feminine leadership. All of this will bring us more happiness and balance.

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