The 20 Rules of Dating for Grown-Ups
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The 20 Rules of Dating for Grown-Ups

We've had to learn them the hard way -- and some of them, we're still learning.

Rules to Date By

1. That dashing sport who pursues you with wild romantic gestures has probably pursued other women with those same gestures in the past -- and will probably do so in the future, perhaps even while he's using them on you.

2. When a man tells you he wants a woman who has "her own interests," that means he wants you not to complain when he golfs twice a week.

3. The little tics of his that bother you at the beginning either become instantly unimportant once you fall in love -- or bug you more each day until you want to blow your brains out.

4. It's not always better to start off a relationship with super sex: The hotter it is at the beginning, the more disappointing the inevitable leveling-off.

5. How much he makes you laugh is more important than how much he makes -- or even how much he makes you happy in bed.

6. Personal hygiene is very, very important.

7. The two questions you should ask early in a relationship are, "How young a woman would you date if you could?" and, "Would you choose a woman with breast implants over a woman with small breasts all her own?"

8. If a man tells you he "loves really smart women," check out how he reacts when it's you all the people at the dinner party are listening to raptly.

9. The most romantic words a man can say are, "I can't wait to hear what you think about this."

More Rules

10. The most romantic words a woman can say are, "Just lie back and relax."

11. Sex on a beach only sounds romantic; the older you get, the more sand doesn't mix with your anatomy.

12. Just because a man is making passionate love to you every night doesn't mean he isn't cheating on you.

13. The man you thought was "too nice" to date in your 20s will look shockingly good at your college reunion.

14. "Bad boys" turn into bad men with drug and alcohol problems.

15. A man who is over 40 and says he "just hasn't found the right woman yet" isn't ever going to find that woman.

16. The eternal relationship dilemma is not "Do you love me?" but "How much togetherness is too much -- or not enough?"

17. If you fall in love with a divorced man whose marriage was terrible, you'll always look better by comparison.

18. Even the most resentful stepchildren eventually grow up and move out.

19. Being single is preferable to being lonely in a relationship.

20. Other couples' relationships, which may look enviously romantic from the outside, are, behind closed doors, probably just as screwed up as yours.

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