Why am I so obsessed with rules? Well, rules help me tremendously in all aspects of my life, and especially in my line of work. Once you have rules, they tell you what to do, how to do it, and they take no complaints or bs from you. However, it’s not just me. Let’s look at this at a broader scope. The Scientific Method, the foundation for the West’s technological prowess on a global scale, has at its core an approach where you follow a set of rules and don’t deviate from them when moving from an idea to a finished product. If you ignore the rules, bad things happen e.g. a poorly tested drug kills the people it’s supposed to help. Also, I read an article about following rules while investing online and not deviating from them, as well as what the effect of rules-based investing is. I liked the part where the author said that, without rules, so many stocks you look at seem like winners and like something that can make you money. However, once you apply your set of rules, suddenly that large number of stocks drops down to just a few right ones! So, if you don’t apply rules, your chances of picking the wrong stock increase significantly and can lead you to financial ruin. So, having a set of rules for each major aspect of your life is extremely important.
Now you may ask well what’s the problem? Surely all of us already have rules we go by. If that’s what you are thinking right now, you’re not wrong. However, from what I have seen in numerous circumstances time and again, is that some people’s rules tend to be poorly defined and barely enforced. This is especially obvious with romantic pursuits, as it’s an aspect of life that is heavily influenced by hormones, emotions, instinct and other things that make us want to act without thinking. Thus, the odds of creating poorly defined and barely enforced rule in the romance department are very high. Let me give you an example. One of the most basic things a gentleman seeks to do in his romantic pursuits is to not come off as creepy. This can be covered by a rule not to keep pushing romance on a girl who clearly isn’t into him, because that’s creepy. Yet, time and again, I hear from girls I know they end up in situations where guys just don’t get the message and won’t leave them be. Seriously, whether you’re a guy or a girl, why would you ever want to end up with someone who isn’t into you from the start? What sort of happiness and love can come out of it? None whatsoever. Yet, this still happens all the time, and the only reason why that happens is that the rule is poorly defined and barely enforced!
So, how do we make this better and reap the benefits? It’s an adjustment, but it’s not the most difficult one. First, you need more than one rule- rules like get laid every Saturday night no matter what will not work because they don’t cover how and with whom. They need to be numerous and cover things like time frame (e.g. schedule an appointment with someone like me haha, or find a wife which is the long game), looks, personality that matches or complements your own, questions to ask, how quickly to escalate physically, when to say no thanks you’re not the right match, and a few more. Then, you need to ensure you enforce your own rules, and practice doing so. If you’re worried you may be going too easy on yourself, take a deep breath and correct that. Also, if you had to spend a longer period of time with the other person to figure out they’re not a match for you after all, you need to try to get them to meet you half way at least on key issues. If not, you need to move on and not look back at time spent together as wasted time. Would you rather stay together and waste more time so the initial time spent together doesn’t seem wasted? Makes little sense, doesn’t it?
Oh, and if you find it difficult to create well-defined rules in your head only, put them down on paper (real or electronic) and have a look at them every week or so, or whenever you’re not sure what to do in a situation. It may be better to ask your own rules than another person, because you don’t know where they’re coming from or how well they really handle their own romantic situations.
You know what I find to be the best thing about rules-based dating? It eliminates wounded pride and fear of rejection. If someone is not a match for you based on the rules you have, they’re not a match no matter who they are, how they look, how ugh they make etc. There’s certainty, strength and confidence in that. If you get rejected and one of your rules is not to go after a romantic interest that’s not into you, your pride is not hurt and you don’t feel rejected as long as you follow and enforce that rule. Sure, some people out there like to just wing it when it comes to romance, to give it a try, be in the moment and see what happens. To me, that sounds more like gambling. In gambling, if you play long enough, the house always wins. I don’t know what the house is in this particular analogy, but I know it’s not you- or me. If you haven’t already, give it a try- go from stumbling upon to finding your match, whether it’s for an hour or for life.