There Will Always Be Rules

There Will Always Be Rules

The following is an excerpt from the Introduction of my book It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have To Be):

She followed all the “rules,” and he did exactly what his father told him to do. Even though those rules and his father’s advice were all colored by the experiences of others’ failures, of their disappointment in learning society’s love myths weren’t true, then imposing their jaded perspective on you. The contradictions pile up like a freeway accident.

Never make the first move, she was told. Never let your guard down, his father said. And don’t want it too much. But remember you still need to want it enough. Your friends tell you the fastest way to find love is to stop looking for it. Then they tell you to join an online dating website. You’re told you need to settle things right away once you start dating, find out everyone’s intentions. But then you’re told not to scare them away with your desire for closeness and intimacy. You’re told to give over your heart com­pletely and love without abandoned. But that you can never really trust anyone because every man and woman is a Martian and Venusian stereotype you have to beat at their own game. How can you trust? Best friends, homeboys, relatives said the last thing you could do was trust anyone. Love was a game of constant chin-checking, snooping, accusations, and recriminations. All emotions must be guarded, save for anger and disappointment. Love is a battlefield where you never let them see the truth in your eyes, because they’ll only use it against you.

And you get so much information. On television. Online. And it’s coming, changing all the time.

You’re told to delay sex. Then you’re told you need to put out more. You’re told to go all out to impress on a first date. Then you’re told to be more casual and just go for coffee. She texts. He doesn’t. He likes instant messaging. She likes a phone call. She’s intensely private. He relays every intimate detail about his dating life on his blog. You go to the club with your girls and wonder why no man ever comes near. (Psst. It’s because you rolled up in a club with a bunch of girls.) You go to the club with your boys and wonder why every girl you hit on turns you down. (Psst. It’s because you hit on every . . .girl . . . in . . . the . . . club. And none of them could hear you over those thumping beats.)

Is everyone crazy? Is that why you’re alone? Is everyone an angry mass of clingy, distant, withdrawn, too intense, abusive, controlling, unfaithful hot mess? Or are you those things and that’s all you attract? You’re looking for love in all the wrong and right places, and you’re getting frustrated wondering, What are the rules? Where is the method in this relationship madness? Should a man always pay for the first date? What if you’re just meeting for coffee? What if it’s a blind date? What if the woman asked? Should the person who asked pay? After that first date, how soon should a man call back? Should a woman call? Does a text count? Does a message on Facebook count? Does a chat on instant messaging count?

In the beginning a woman never approached a man, and a man asked a woman’s father for her hand in marriage. In the past there were arrangements and there was the exchange of cattle. Today, people leave home at eighteen, start careers at twenty-two; parents are those people you visit during the holidays, and women own their own homes. So why are you still operating on by a playbook written in 1955? This isn’t Mad Men, this is the real world. When it comes to love and dating in real life and online, it’s time the book of love got an upgrade.

There will always be rules, but the game has changed. Every situation has its own nuances, its own indefinable idiosyncrasies. Meaning, while it may have worked for your friend who met his future wife at Free Wing Night at the club, and they had sex on the first date—doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Societal shifts have altered the game permanently and we have to adapt to the field.

Have you adapted?

To purchase your copy of It’s Complicated (But It Doesn’t Have to Be), please click here!

Reprinted from It’s Complicated by Paul Carrick Brunson by arrangement with Gotham Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright © 2012 by Paul Carrick Brunson

Like this post? Join my community to receive updates on the best content of this blog.

About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share
Proven Ways To Meet Someone New

Next Article

Proven Ways To Meet Someone New

Leave a Reply

5 Comments on "There Will Always Be Rules"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

It’s complicated needs to come to NYC…… seriously. Hopefully more MEN show up b/c I’m starting to make it a “rule” of no more “girls only” events. I want to find a MAN. LOL


Very interesting and helpful. Thank you.

How I Got My Husband Back Testimony,Powerful Love
How I Got My Husband Back Testimony,Powerful Love
Good news to share with everyone here about how i got my husband back when he Want a Divorce and left me for another woman. My Names is Natasha Hayes from London,UK. My husband and I have been married for about 7 yrs now. We were happily married with two kids, a boy and a girl. 3 months ago, I started to notice some strange behavior from him and a few weeks later I found out that my husband is seeing someone else. He started coming home late from work, he hardly care about me or the kids anymore, Sometimes… Read more »
Thank you for your miracle Doctor Osemu Okpamen This article is dedicated to the Doctor Osemu Okpamen. I have been married with my wife for 5 years and recently she broke up with me and it hurt me deeply when she told me to leave her alone and that she does not love me anymore when i was always faithful and honest to her. I tried all the ways to get her back buying her what she wants like i always did and she still left me heart broken and she even has a new boyfriend which destroyed me even… Read more »
Hello,I Read the article of a very great spell caster and it seems very helpful to me. I haven’t had the chance to have a proper relationship with my ex because we work together. This will be the final week or work and then I wont be around him constantly. Unfortunately, I broke one of the rules in the article and have been sleeping with him. Something I’m not proud of, especially since he has a girlfriend. Not to mention that she’s a girl he dated off and on for 3 years before he dated me.When I asked him why… Read more »