The Five Rules of the World, Date Smart! Chapter 2.4

Monday, May 25, 2009 12:00
Posted in category Date Smart
<div class=\"postavatar\">The Five Rules of the World, Date Smart! Chapter 2.4</div>

Post written by Rick Doyle and Dave Coleman (See Relationships page for author information) *Special thank you to Tom W. Lecture Colorado I.C.Y.P.A.A. 1995. Sunday Morning Spirituality Lead

The Five Rules of the World

Date Smart! Chapter 2.4

When you avoid dating for personal or social reasons, you may end up dealing with overwhelming feelings of self-doubt as you ponder what’s okay, what to do next, what’s acceptable, and how to re-enter the dating scene. You may have become so desensitized to being alone that the outside world alienates you because you lack a significant other. The world may seem to have a perfect set of rules, and any unpleasantness, pain or deviation from perceived norms are not tolerated. These feelings are what we call “The Five Rules of the World.”


Attempting to live by “The Five Rules of the World” can cause conflict, chaos, a broken heart or lost soul. You may begin to believe you no longer control your choices because it feels like the world is beginning to make them for you. Society says you should be dating the right person, with the right income, in the right career, and with the correct lifestyle and image. Reality dictates that what may be perfect for us may not live up to society’s expectations for us. We’re left to deal with the responsibility and pain. The five rules don’t allow for external support for failed relationship choices. Magazines, talk shows, and conversations with family and friends set you up for disappointment as your past picks or current selections do not live up to their expectations. You experience pressure to attain and maintain perfection at all costs. It may feel like the world is judging you by what’s outside, while you’re judging yourself by what’s inside and your best intentions.


The Five Rules of the World

1. You can’t have anything wrong with you.  You must have the right car, friends, job, and money; live in the right place; live the right way.

2. If you do have something wrong, get over it quickly.  “We don’t want to witness, hear about, or deal with your problems.  We don’t care.”

3.  If you can’t get over it quickly, fake it.  I pretend, act happy, put on a happy face –I am F.I.N.E. (Fearful, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotionally Evasive).

4. If you can’t fake it and you can’t get over it quickly, at least have the decency to leave.  “Pain, pain, go away, come again some other day. . .but come back fixed.”

5. You can’t have anything wrong with you. If you do have something wrong, get over it quickly. If you can’t get over it quickly, fake it. If you can’t fake it, go away. Finally, if you aren’t willing to do any of those, at least have the decency to feel guilty.  “This problem is probably all my fault!” Apologize for things that you have no control over. Take the blame and practice over-responsibility. Try to make others happy without increasing your own self-esteem or happiness. 


The combination of unrealistic external expectations and internal remorse has left you caught between a double standard. You’re trying to serve two masters: society’s expectations and your own true needs. One way to conquer those rules is to improve your picking: You must recognize the causes, conditions, and characteristics that have caused you to maintain unhealthy relationships or sabotage healthy ones and why you let outside pressures block your progress. The “Legacy of Parental Picking” exercise Date Smart! Chapter 2.2 focused on the motives for why you pick certain people. The “Relationship Readiness Questionnaire” in next week’s post will help you identify the characteristics and behaviors that keep you in an unhealthy relationship or allow you to sabotage a healthy one.


Please come back each week as we will post the next piece of each chapter broken down into posts that you can comment on, ask questions or share your thoughts. We will eventually update and post the whole book Date Smart!

*Special thanks for co-writing this article goes to Dave Coleman AKA The Dating Doctor. Dave and I wrote Date Smart! back in Jan. 2000. The publication rights have now reverted over to us equally and, with Dave’s permission, I have edited the book and modernized some of the ideas we originally wrote. The book, Date Smart! is still available through some stores and you can contact Random House to request the book be reprinted. With enough demand they might just contact Dave and I to republish and possibly write another one. We are basically giving you the book to read in posts and encourage you to visit both Dave’s website and of course all parts of our website Neither the posts nor the book are in any way to be republished or sold or used without our express specific written permission and all posts are copyrighted and protected (ISBN-10: 0761521739, ISBN-13: 978-0761521730). Dave and I have written a number of articles together as well and so this serves as the byline. A huge thank you to Dave for sharing both our efforts and time to write what we hope are insightful, intriguing and informative articles that we share the creative collaboration and credit for working on over a number of years.

You can contact Rick by posting or by emailing:

askrickhead [at] topicisland [dot] com or read posts at Ask Rickhead

You can write Dave at:

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3 Responses to “The Five Rules of the World, Date Smart! Chapter 2.4”

  1. Readenour1061 says:

    July 26th, 2010 at 3:06 am

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  2. Laverna says:

    March 23rd, 2010 at 4:00 pm

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