What the Rules of Dating Really Are

"Bite me!" said my friend upon hearing choice excerpts from "The Rules" (Warner Books), the popular man-snaring guide for women.

(I think it's fair to say she took exception to the bestseller by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider.)

Well, the parody "Breaking the Rules" (Career Press), by Laura Banks and Janette Barber, might be more my friend's kind of book.

Whereas "The Rules" shamelessly advises women to play hard to get, "Breaking the Rules" shamelessly advises women to break the rules--all of them.

To wit:

* "Let him know you've a mind to be reckoned with. . . . Quote articles from the latest issues of Cellular Microbiology and obscure Czech literary essays. . . . If you're smarter than he is, you might as well rub his eyeballs in it."

* "Be available AT ALL TIMES. Don't EVER give him the excuse of not being able to reach you. If he is not available when you want him, threaten his pets."

* "Treat every date as a free therapy session. It's your chance to thoroughly review your past with an eager listener who's hoping only to get laid."

* "Keep him on the phone by telling him everything you can about yourself. If he actually tries to do any talking himself, let him know in no uncertain terms that just because he's paying for the call doesn't give him the right to ruin a good rant."

* "You may feel cruel keeping him on the phone until his ears bleed, but you're actually doing him a favor. When he finally sees you in person, he'll be thrilled and delighted. At least when he's with you, he knows you won't be calling him."

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