(continued from main journal)
Final word before we begin. The rules themselves, in the short form, are purposefully hyper-macho and somewhat arrogant. This is done for two reasons: First, as a mneumonic device to help you remember when you are faced with a tough situation; Second, to force you to explore and look at words in general from multiple angles. What you hear may not always be what you think you hear. You are old enough and have heard all these words before and probably use them with your friends when your mother and I are not around. Let's go.- Colin G. 10 Rules of Dating
Rule 1: Never have sex with anyone crazier than you are
You must struggle to prevent stupid mistakes from destroying your life. There is no such thing as a "one night stand." Once you've had sex with someone you can't undo it. There is no "I'm sorry." None. You have to live with the consequences of those actions for the rest of your life. If she screams rape, you get a disease, or she ends up pregnant don't come crying to me. The only safe sex is the type that makes your palm grow hairy. You're a smart kid but you're hormones are driving you nuts so your probably won't listen to that advice.
Rule 2: Every woman loves you, they just don't know it yet
There is an old saying that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Other peoples perceptions of you are affected by things that are out of your control. Strive to at all time show you are a good and honorable man so as to not give them ammunition. Don't give them an excuse.
Rule 3: Every once in a while, you have to treat a woman like dirt
This one is the hardest to understand and the easiest to mess up. The problem a lot of young lovers have is they become exclusionary. They concentrate all their efforts and all their attention on the subject of their infatuation to the determent of their friends, family, and most importantly themselves. Everything they do is related to making their "other half" happy. You literally become joined at the hip. You have no life outside that which the other permits. Don't do this. You need to maintain your individuality.
Rule 4: Life is too short to dance with ugly women
Now when you cast your net searching for that perfect woman who, according to Rule 2, already loves you, cast it as wide as possible. Don't limit yourself to a particular race, religion, national origin or cup size. Find someone that stimulates you intellectually first, physically second. Stay away from bigots, snobs, and elitists. People that are bitter, petty, or control freaks need to be thrown back in the water, too. Ugly people have a way of hiding themselves so be ever vigilant.
Rule 5: Once your money is gone, so is she
As much as I hate to admit it, money makes the world go round. It allows us to assign worth (not value) to the various things we need to survive. If she cannot trust you to help her meet her physiological and security needs, she will choose another partner. If you are frivolously spending the money that was meant to pay the bills, then you do not have the capacity to be a worthy mate. She is in the right to keep looking.
Rule 6: Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies
It's there. That is the question, the one question no man ever wants to hear and you will hear it. Here is a hint: The answer to the question "Am I fat" is NOT "Compared to what"? or even "No honey, you are just experiencing a new weight paradigm." It is always and simply "No." Are you lying? Could be, but you are not in the wrong.
Rule 7: You will not marry the woman you fall in love with
When I began dating your mother, I fell in love with her beauty, youth, energy, and intellect. Later I realized I truly valued her for her heart, compassion, reason, and passion. Today I wake up each morning and discover that the thing I loved most about her has changed. Today it may be her commitment, tomorrow her wisdom. It may vary dependent on my personal mood but there is always something topping the list. When I'm 60, I'll probably love your mother for putting up with a crazy old opinionated coot who for 40 years has been messing up the house and coming home late from work.
Rule 8: Women have too many problems to fix
Boy did learning this Rule come in handy. When your mother and I were first married, we fought like cats and dogs. Now I'll get to fighting fair later but man I got to tell you about our horrible communication methods during our first couple of years together. As it turns out it was literally all my fault. Here I thought I was "the man" with my degree in communications and all my psychology classes and I just knew I could solve any marital problems that reared its ugly head. Wrong! Attempting to solve all of our problems WAS the problem.
Rule 9: When you fight, fight fair
When the time comes to call it quits and you want to make amends, it is always appropriate to say you are sorry. You are sorry that you hurt her feelings and that things got to the point where a fight occurred even if you where not in the wrong. However, it is important to stop there. If you say "I'm sorry but here is why..." or "but you made me feel..." you are just starting it up again. You are still being defensive and not letting the healing occur.
Rule 10: Perception is reality
You have to take responsibility for yourself to protect others from hardship and pain on your behalf. That means not acting in a way that you know is hurtful, cruel, or insensitive. You can't make other people respect and like those you care about but you can work to not contribute to that negative perception. The rest is up to them.
Back to the first impression thing I talked about in an earlier Rule. What people perceive to be true, in their realm of existence, is the truth. If people think you are a jerk, in their minds, you are. People's perceptions and opinions of others are based on their personal experience and fact-finding. If their only exposure to you includes you being either "a jerk" or in the above case that "she was a bad mom" they may come away from the experience with a perception that is not widely shared. Similarly, if they hear about you from a friend they trust while never actually having met you, their perceptions will be colored by other's words. Until you provide a stimulus that counters such beliefs, that is how you are remembered...by that person.