Friday, May 29, 2009

Women: The UN-Rule

TGIF like a mug! I've been waiting for Friday, and I've only been back 2 days. Terrible.

So..Tuesday, Mr. Latinegro was my guest blogger. He blogged about Man Rules. Now, while I didn't leave a comment, of course I read it. I happen to agree with his man rules - which basically said never to let a woman come between you and your boys. I happen to think that that rule applies for women too. It made me wonder if some man rules and women rules were the same. Maybe they're not gender specific...but more like "general rules" to relationships.

Should we even label them as rules though? Rules to me imply a game. One would think that rules would make dating/relationships that much easier, especially if you're a player in the merciless game of love.

Since Latinegro had his own version of rules for men, I figured I'd try to fashion a blog with similar rules for women. But the thing is, women create a handbook for relationships or dealings with MEN - not necessarily with EACH OTHER. It goes without saying that you don't mess with your girl's man, ex-man, someone she had a crush on, etc. I could write a blog about borrowing clothes, men, money, jewelry, not hating on each other, being petty or catty, gossiping, or any other trait that men think are characteristic of women in general.

But I think I'm going to try something different. Since women only care about rules when it comes to controlling a man, getting a man or keeping one, I'll take the rules from that angle. While many women follow these divine guidelines religiously, they don't ensure that they live happily ever after. Actually quite the contrary. For some women, it's about survival of the fittest. In addition to the rules listed in magazines, there are also unwritten rules that exist for each sex with the hopes of attracting a mate, not getting hurt, and living together in the jungle of love. Remember this movie, Two Can Play That Game?

I'm here to tell you that while these rules do offer comfort, security and reassurance of maintaining the upper hand, they will not guarantee that there won't be bumps in the road and/or failures.

Everyone woman has her own set of rules (don't cook for his ass on the first date, no blockbuster nights, sex on the third date). But women should be careful to abide by them so much so that the rules become a crutch. Your rules shouldn't be engraved in your diary or stuck on Post-It Notes on the bathroom mirror.

So my blog is about the UN-Rule. Instead of using rules to gain some type of control, try to let the rules go. Here are some rules that we women should try to let go of...or at least relax a bit.

Holding Grudges

You've been hurt before. Usually, the women that hold grudges against all men, and think men are dogs, pigs, and just about every other mammal except for human, are usually the ones that have been hurt before - or who have friends that have been hurt in the past. She uses rules to keep her promise that never again will she shed a tear over the beast that is man.

You listen to your friends too much:

There are those women (and men, don't get it twisted) who can't make up their own mind when it comes to anything relationship oriented. The poor guy may think he's dating you, but he's really dating your divorced best friend, your promiscuous co-worker, the woman who writes the blog you follow...ahem...and Oprah :-)

One friend tells you not to call him back to apologize cuz he's an asshole and he deserves what he gets; another tells you to sleep with him, the other tells you not to; and the rest tell you that you should dump him like the dog he is. Basically, you can't make one decision on your own when it comes to your man - from what to say, when to call, to how to hang up on him when he talks slick, or gets on your last nerve.

Advice is one thing...but dependence is another. Deal in your own relationships and stop telling your girls everything.

Being close-minded:

Women that don't see past the unwritten rules of dating/relationships tend to think in a linear, narrow-minded way. The truth is, every situation calls for a different action, and there is no one absolute way of approaching dating. Close-mindedness can lead to ....


...and that's not attractive. It's a vice for men and women, a tragic flaw that leads to the failure of many relationships, as it stimulates negative behavior and causes a bag full of other flaws. We think rules offer us security, and allow us to maintain control - or at least that's what the rules want us to believe.

A woman who strictly abides by rules is not being her sincere self - plain and simple (again, all you men out there are just as guilty). Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't play hard to get and should look desperate, but there's a big difference between building mystery and building a lie in order to ultimately protect yourself.

The 10 commandments:

The following are some rules that many women swear by (some are from the trusty The Rules Bible, while others are those nasty, unwritten rules that women tend to follow)

1 - Do NOT call him, and rarely return his calls
2 - Don't ask him out
3 - Don't approach him
4 - Always play hard to get
5 - Never accept a weekend date if he calls you on, or after Wednesday.
6 - If he's available Tuesday, be available Thursday :-)
7 - Let him take the lead
8 - Insist on lavish treatment
9 - Never pay your way, or treat him...EVER
10 - Never compliment him

While the gist of these commandments is to remain challenging and expect chivalry, these can be tinkered with. Nobody wants to look desperate in the eyes of another or put their heart on the line. But getting to know someone, dating, relationships - isn't always about what kind of power we have in a relationship. They're moreso opportunities to grow or learn from past mistakes.

Of course we want to appear challenging or mysterious, but wouldn't the woman who calls him the day after a date to tell him that she had fun - before he had the chance - strike you as intriguing? Wouldn't the woman who approached him at Starbucks to strike up a conversation attract him thanks to her incredible self-confidence?

Now don't get me wrong - as independent as we women are - we love chivalry. We want to be treated, we want to be swept away by knights in shining armor - but that doesn't mean that we can't take the initiative and show men that we can also be in control...and sexy, and challenging, and intriguing at the same time.

The reason you should let go of rules is because they strip you of being yourself. Maybe you're a woman that has followed the rules all her life, and has proven that the rules can work and had some success. But who are you once you take the rules away? Are you capable of letting loose and having spontaneous fun? Are you sincere? Will you ever treat a man to dinner? :-)

We can all use rules of our own in order to protect ourselves from getting hurt, or appearing vulnerable. Sometimes it's not a bad thing to keep them in mind. But it's more important to use our gut instincts when on the dating/relationship battleground. This means that if you want to catch the eye of the opposite sex, you can (and should) adjust the rules in order to play your own game - and win.


Have a great weekend!


Annamaria said...

I just wanted to say HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Annamaria said...

Those rules sound exhausting... and like hard work..LOL I guess that means I never abide by them. Every relationship is different. Soo I think it's basically a matter of common sense & feeling things out.

Serena W. said...

Ah yes the infamous holding grudges. Women are good for that...once I did a poem titled, "His Voice" and in the intro I stated that although I've been hurt not every man is cut from the same piece of cloth. A sista came up to me afterwards and said you must be in a great relationship to say that...

Huh? I told her I was single, but not every man was made the same. She didn't believe me. Poor thing.

I agree with Annamaria, those are some close minded rules!

Heck let my future boo call me and say baby what are you doing this weekend, wanna go somewhere fun? Heck yeah!!! What's this no planning on Wednesdays rule lol!

Another rule...ladies...and gentlemen. Please don't bring crazy baggage to your next relationship. Hence the word crazy!

momo925 said...

You can have all the rules you want lol. At the end of the day what is going to happen will happen. I say don't be afaid to be yourself but I also say be careful with who you give your trust to. I'll speak for myself, I think that I play so few games that men get scared. I'm so upfront about a lot of things that men build up this thought of "something has to be wrong with her" lol. It's like they are waiting for the other shoe to drop and I just don't get it. This kind of response makes me want to put my guard up and play games to toy around with them. Does that mean I should be someone else other than myself? I don't know. I try not to hold grudges and give each man a fair chance but how do you distinguish between learning your lesson from the douchebag you dated and prejudging/mistreating the new guy? Sometimes that is a blurry line to me.

Rameer said...

Men can have rules like Ant wrote - which were DEAD ON, by the way - cuz we are simple creatures that don't tend to be over-analytical. Like I always say, we think in black & white...I was with my boy Max (Patino, for you SU heads) last night, and we were talking to a homegirl of ours about the way men are. Me and Max haven't seen each other in-person in about a decade, but we were finishing each other's sentences about the way we think, act and are. Men just KNOW. well, maybe not this bitcha$$ new generation...but most stable ones do.

But women? Y'all are all over the place. I personally find it silly when women remotely try to think about what you guys should all do - cuz you guys are too complex to follow any set of rules or guidelines! What works for Brooke may not fir into Annamaria's life; what Serena likes may be different than what Monica likes, etc. And many times, things wind up getting more complicated or f'd up. Every woman is complex and different, thus it makes it hard for one woman to tell another woman how all women should act in a certain situation.

I think that's why that VH-1 show "Tough Love" was so good - cuz you had a rational man looking at things for what they are telling women what it takes to find love. When the women talked amongst themselves on what they should do on the show, it never worked. But the guy just looked at what each situation was and said "do this". And he was always on-point.

Women should listen to friends they know give good advice and have their best interests at heart. That will be the best advice you can get. A guy can go into a random bar and get good advice from another dude he's never met - all it has to do is be a normal, stable guy who has experience dating. But women? You ask the wrong woman, and her awful experience with her ex could cloud anything she says for the next decade.

By the way - I love Two Can Play That Game. I actually thought the advice Vivica's character gave in the movie was good for women out there playing "the game". If you're that type of woman, though comical, the stuff she said wasn't that far off-base at all.

I don't play the game...but I do recognize it and have a great time dealing with women who try to work game on's usually too late before they realize I've been hip to their game all along and have been back-screening them like crazy...lolz!

Good blog, Ms. Brookes. and ant - finally read was EXCELLENT!

Anthony Otero said...

I think that when it comes to dating, like momo said, what will happen will happen. I think men and women can have rules and guidelines, but when emotion gets involved, all that stuff goes out the window.

Rules for dating are for those looking for the perfect person, which can be impossible to find. My opinion is that if you follow dating rules then you could pass up the perfect person for you becuase of linear thinking.

Brooke said...

I'm not gonna go near Rameer's comments :)

I agree with Mo and Ant tho - rules don't work when it comes to relationships. All you can do is try your best and hope not to make the same mistakes twice.

It's hard if you've been hurt over and over again to not put some sort of defense mechanism - so not sure how to answer Mo's question regarding the blurry line. Since bitchassness seems to be an epidemic nowadays, it's hard not to think that all men are a certain way. The good ones are hard to spot sometimes. I think if you just stay open while keeping your eyes open, you'll be fine.

But like Annamaria said, playing all these games can be exhausting - and can sometimes make you block or miss your blessing. If you get in touch with yourself and are just honest about what you want, what you DON'T want, and treat people the way you want to be treated, chances are you'll attract what you there will be no need for games or rules.

Annamaria said...

Rameer I think you are dead on with what you said. The only thing is a lot of women are emotional & think with their hearts & give advice the same way. It's hard to be objective when you are being emotional. Also like you said what works for me may not work for Brooke. BUT who is to say that I've ever been in Brooke's situation? All you can do is try to be objective & fair & not sway anyone in a particular direction. We just have to listen & give advice FAIRLY.

Rameer said...

THANK YOU Annamaria, for your response since Ms. Brookes is shunning me lately. I agree with your response!

Personally, my only "rules" are just knowing who I won't date and what I won't put up with. Example: I don't do weave, no exceptions. I don't do most fakeness...but that still leaves a whole lot of options under the sun!

Brooke said...

I'm not shunning you, but I try to keep from responding when folks make blanket statements. I don't think all men are the same, so when I read "y'all women", I stay away from that :)

I only give advice when it's asked of me. Like Annamaria said, depending on who's doing the asking, it's hard not to be objective when it's someone you love. Emotions get involved because we don't want our loved ones to get hurt or made a fool of. It's hard I usually just try to listen.

What I never try to do is tell the woman what she wants to hear just because. My friend Denise says I'm her "truth teller" because I try to look at all scenarios...and if she's trippin, I'll tell her. She does the same for me. We can be honest with each other without being hurtful. Ultimately I want a friend who understands the delicate balance of being honest while tempering that honesty with thoughtfulness.

We all have those girlfriends who make us feel good temporarily - like "F*ck him, it's his loss, with his punk ass!" But that's not productive. You have some friends that'll help you pour bleach on his favorite throw-back jersey, and those that'll tell you to think rationally. Thank God for those :)

...cuz the other type of friend might get you choked up :) LOL!!

Rameer said...

When I say "y'all", I'm speaking in a general sense. Obviously it's not EVERYONE...but I tell it like it is. There are certain things that a majority or great number of certain groups do. It's not a bad assumption to guess that most Blacks like or appreciate R&B. It's not bad to say in general men like sports. And I don't believe it's bad to say women are more complex than men in their thought process and outlook on many things.

Me and my peoples are straight shooters, so my boys always have told me the truth ("dog, that's YOUR fault"). And I try to surround myself with the same type of women in my life. Such is life.

I thought you would've picked that up by now...I'm completely not someone who thinks all men and women are the same, or that groups are homogenous in thought and/or action. But to me, not acknowledging certain trends or actions amongst different groups is just flat-out denial.

And heaven knows, I ain't the least bit politically correct.

Serena W. said...

The other kind of friend will get you locked up! LOL. It's great to have rational friends. The older I get the more rational friends are getting, but it's hard when you have that one that is dating a pure joker and wants to hear that everything is going to be fine when I'm her "truth teller" (thanks for that Brooke, I'm going to use it).

I can't BS, it's not in my nature and I think that's what she wants. So she hasn't called or anything, we speak via text because I almost don't want to tell her, "You know I'm right and I told you so!"

But anywho I know she'll come around...she's my sister so she has too. But those rules get tossed but some get bent cause women more then men are on this, "But he'll change for me tip so I'll bend the rules for him."

Rameer I'm like you...I know what I won't put up with and can't deal with and go from there. I wish my sis had those same rules :(

Georgia Peach said...

Love the blog topic today (for obvious reasons of course). :o) I have to say that I am similar to you Momo I am usually pretty upfront with guys and just don't have time to play games. When I don't call you it's not really b/c I'm game playing it's because I'm too f'g busy to act like I'm high school and hold the phone when we're not having a conversation that means something or accomplishes something.

Game playing has never been my strong point, although I do know some of my friends who do it and do it well. I say more power to them. LN - I'll have to check your guest blog out. I missed it the other day.

chanaiahmaxwell said...

I agree, each relationship is different and you have to go with the flow and handle each one accordingly. In addition, when it comes to rules, it all depends on what you are seeking in a relationship. One woman's expectations may be different from the next. Therefore, she may not have any guidelines set for herself. Regardless of what category you fall into, its important to set the general rule- don't settle for less than what you want!

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