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Rules, Rules Everywhere
by Ken Monteith

We had a very interesting and entertaining conversation at the lunch table at work today. Now we usually do have interesting conversations and often rather racy, too. Today's was a perfect illustration of why it is so very important — and entertaining — to have diversity in your workplace.

It started out with the three date rule. Apparently it is common for straight people to wait until the third date before they have sex. Earlier, and you're a whore, later and you're frigid. I assume this is all about qualifying the woman, but it was all just so much anthropology for me. I guess this all presupposes that the men are always whores, but I might just be projecting, or hoping.

I was happy when one of the others shared his one date rule: if we don't have sex on the first date, there won't be a second one! Now that seemed a little more familiar to me, at least as far as I can recall…

I had to chime in with this gem — the one year rule — from a friend of mine: if you haven't slept with him in the first year you have known him, it is too late. The Mister has become your sister

And then there's the whole question of how long to wait, after meeting someone or after a date, before you call or otherwise make contact. Is this where the three day rule comes in for you? Or the variation that I heard: the Wednesday rule. You always call on a Wednesday, because you don't want to seem desperate or clingy (Monday) or like you're making some last-minute plans (Friday).

One of the participants in our workplace conversation today had a novel approach, his five-four-three-two-one rule: wait five days after the first encounter to make a follow-up contact, then four for the next, and so on. I couldn't help but ask if he followed up the one-day wait by arriving with his things in a U-Haul! (Shamelessly stolen from a lesbian dating joke.)

I remember arriving home after having spent the night with someone fun to find a message from him on my answering machine. I found that a bit quick, but I should have seized the opportunity and returned the contact. There aren't as many keepers in the sea as we think!

The funny thing is that we don't seem to all be operating under the same rules, and the place that conflicting regimes meet can be amusing or heartbreaking. We're all looking for ways to seem cool, not desperate, while desperately wanting to pursue relationships and simplify our understanding of how it all works.

Nothing will do that. Sometimes you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride and let the rules sort themselves out.

Copyright, republished with permition.