Being Modern: The dating game
Valentine's Day, dismissed by many as a cynical Hallmark holiday, actually stretches back to about 498AD, when it was established by Pope Gelasius in honour of the Christian martyr Saint Valentine. But the dating game has undoubtedly changed since then – and, don't be fooled: it definitely is a game.
So convincing was Neil Strauss of this that he made a multi-million-pound fortune based on the very premise. His book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, is a masterclass in manipulation and deceit designed to help men transform themselves from AFCs (Average Frustrated Chumps) into PUAs (Pickup Artists).
To participate in this peculiar love game, it helps to familiarise oneself with the rules – and PUAs meet their match in Rules girls, devotees of The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr Right, the dating book by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider. Its underlying philosophy is that a woman must never pursue a man; rather, she should get the object of her affections to pursue her.
Rule number one, which commands: "Be a creature unlike any other", sets the tone for the rest of the book. Other useful tips have apparently been sourced directly from the 18th century, with Fein and Schneider dispensing such pearls of wisdom as "Don't talk to a man first" and "Let him take the lead".
The modern dating pool is swarming with people under the influence of these "self-help" manuals. But rest assured, they actually play an essential role in maintaining its delicate equilibrium. In a delightful feat of poetic justice, the only type of woman foolish enough to fall prey to a Game-player is likely to be a Rules girl, and vice versa. Thus, they selflessly pair off to enjoy a lifetime of ignoring each other's calls, putting each other down and sitting miserably in stony silence, leaving the path clear for us remaining Average Frustrated Chumps to clumsily court each other. Ain't love grand!
Life & Style blogs
Airline food across the classes: Ever wondered what the other half are eating?
Coachella Festival 2015: from Kendall Jenner to Alexa Chung, stars and festival-goers parade their boho best
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Huawei P8 review: best phones nobody's seen from the biggest company nobody's heard
Alzheimer's breakthrough: Scientists may have found potential cause of the disease in the behaviour of immune cells - giving new hope to millions
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...