I recently read James Clear’s book ‘Atomic Habits’. It gave me reminders of effective good habit building and how to stop bad habits – plus new insights, inspiration and ideas of how I can improve.

What does this have to do with your love life and The Rules (TR) books? The Rules give us specific actions to take as women to meet the man of our dreams and get married to Mr Right. These actions are a healthy set of habits you can build up to create healthy boundaries and a healthy love life.

Some people may feel TR are extreme or harsh. My thoughts on this are that the authors – Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider (E&S) have broken TR down into everyday steps to make it very clear what you have to do, but individually these steps may come across as harsh. But they are not when viewed through the lense of healthy boundaries, respect and long term healthy relationships. E&S help women to take a step back from the whirlwind, hormone, emotion filled time that is romance! They are advising us to think and have some self restraint. Now others may say this is boring or it takes all the fun, excitement and romance out of romance! But if you’ve followed TR you’ll know that it actually adds magic – just like a good film builds on suspense!

TR are a thinking woman’s guide to dating and finding Mr Right. Each rule that E&S lay out in their books is not only a lesson, but a habit that can be learned, practiced and mastered. A good trick is to focus on one area you feel needs the most work first and then build on that. For example Ellen said to me that alot of girls need help not to message so much. This is definitely something that can be worked on. Do whatever it takes. Many people are addicted to their phones and feel the need to instantly respond to every request, message and email.

James Clear states there are four parts to a habit which is a continuous cycle we are running called a ‘habit loop’:

“In summary, the cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue. Together, these four steps form a neurological feedback loop—cue, craving, response, reward;”

In Clear’s book he suggests various methods for creating good habits and breaking bad habits going into detail about how this can be approached at each stage of the habit loop. So for instance if you’re addicted to your mobile and / or you can’t help yourself when a guy messages you, you want to message him back instantly and spend all night on the phone to this guy. You could remove the cue (seeing your mobile phone) and give it to your Mum or your flat mate to look after for you with instructions of when you’re allowed it back. You could take a drastic approach like Jake Knapp and delete your apps. I recently read his article “Six Years With a Distraction-Free iPhone” Knapp deleted the apps after he realised he had an addiction to his phone that was taking time away from his family.

A good tactic I have used in the past is to keep delaying a message and asking myself if one was necessary at all. I often found the message I was telling myself I had to send actually wasn’t needed at all. This was a real eye opener for me. Oftentimes it is a need to connect or perhaps procrastinate and distract ourselves from something we’re consciously or subconsciously trying to avoid. It could be you want some male attention, an ego boost. Try it as a challenge – unless it’s absolutely essential – do not reply, even when you think it is essential – delay as long as possible, you may be surprised to find you don’t need to send a message after all.

What Rules do you want to improve on and make a habit of? What ones have you already mastered? Please share in the comments section below so that we can share ideas as a Rules community.

Question and Answer

Do you have a question for me about The Rules?

I will be doing a question and answer blog soon, so please send me your questions. You can post them here on my blog, on my FB page or you can send me a private message via my FB page or to my email debbiesedgley@gmail.com


Have you thought about getting coaching? Coaching kicks things up a gear. It gives you the opportunity for reflection and to ‘get clear’. It offers direction and gives you knowledge and empowerment. As a coach I have years of study and practice of The Rules and have direct experience going from Rules Breaker to Rules Coach. If you are serious about finding your Mr Right and having a happy, healthy relationship contact me via email at debbiesedgley@gmail.com

#habits #therules #rulesgirls #atomichabits #mrright #messagemarathon #addmagic #romance #dating #delaybeforereplying #debbiesedgleyrulescoach #upcomingqna


Clear, J 2018, Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, Cornerstone Digital

Excuses and Expectations

Do you find yourself regularly making excuses for a guy?

If he isn’t calling, messaging and making dates to see you then he’s not that interested.

Don’t make excuses like – he’s just got out of a really difficult relationship or his work is just really busy right now. It doesn’t matter. If you were the one – these things will not matter to him. He would chase after you regardless.

If things are difficult in the first three months especially – the early stages and in the first year, they’ll likely only get worse. Don’t think you can go to couples therapy or give it time. It should be easy at the beginning of a relationship!

At the beginning – if it’s a Rulesy relationship, he will be chasing you like mad and you’ll have trouble pacing things he’ll want to move so fast. But take stock, I know you want to get married but make sure you’re with a guy for at least four seasons before you accept a marriage proposal. It takes a long time to really get to know someone. Don’t accept any man or proposal! You’ve noticed he drinks too much sometimes but you let it go. You notice he takes drugs when he’s out with certain mates, but it’s not that often, so you let it go. You really like him but he’s flakey and cancels dates frequently. He’s a great guy but he’s got issues, if only I could get him to go to counselling.

Don’t expect a man to change or try to change him – this is such an important rule. E&S tell us The Rules are a thinking woman’s guide to dating. Use the time to observe his actions – does he do what he says he’s going to do? Record it in a journal.

Going into a relationship thinking you can change someone is really deluding yourself, it will likely end in tears – your tears, plus it’s actually manipulative and immoral.

You either like the guy for who he is or you move on – “Next!”

Don’t waste your time thinking you can wait for him to change or try to change him. It will likely not work or he will end up resenting you for it.

You would not want to go into a relationship with a man knowing he doesn’t want you exactly as you are. What if he expected you to dress a certain way, act a certain way?… Basically be someone else! So don’t do it to guys.

The only person you can change is yourself. Don’t look outside of yourself if you’re already in a relationship and have problems. Don’t point the finger saying, if only he would… it’s his fault… You can only take responsibility for your own actions and you can only change yourself. Look within and ask yourself what you can do. Do you need to stop breaking The Rules? Do you need counselling? Did you go in to the relationship knowing certain things about your partner but now you want him to change? Do you need to end the relationship?

I’m not saying to stay in a toxic relationship or blame yourself for any of his poor behaviour. But don’t stay stuck and powerless by blaming him or everyone around you. That’s not going to change your situation, in fact it will keep you stuck. What can you do? Be proactive and get help and support. Focus on what actions you can take. That is the power you have and The Rules give you the formula for healthy relationships that last.

I urge you to consider Rules coaching. It was a game changer for me. Coaching is an investment in yourself. Skills and knowledge are something that will give you the power to reap rewards over and over again.

If you do have a partner with any serious addictions, is abusive (emotionally, verbally or physically) or you have any other serious problems please seek professional help from addict support groups, doctors and psychotherapists. Close friends and family need as much support as those with the problems – don’t stay silent – get help!

#noexcuses #excuses #expectations #therules #therulesbook #rulesgirls #lookwithinbepowerful #donttrytochangehim #personalpower #thinkinggirls


What actions are you taking right now to meet Mr Right? It’s super important to make the effort to go out and socialise if you want to increase your odds of meeting Mr Right. E&S make this clear in Rule 13 from the complete book of rules.

The Rules provide guiding principles to follow as you’re dating potential suitors, what to do once you’ve met a good one, how to act in a relationship to ensure you’re on the path to marriage and what to do once you are married.

I really want you to take some time to think about your actions or lack of actions. Please take a minute to answer these questions. Even better if you write them down and put them somewhere you will see or refer to them often:

  • On what days during the week are you going out to socialise and meet new single guys in person?
  • What type of social activities are you taking?
  • What rules do you need to improve on?
  • What one rule from the above is most important for you to focus on?
  • What rules do you do well already?
  • Are you doing online dating?
  • If not, what date are you going to start?
  • How many online dating sites/apps are you a member of?
  • List the sites/apps
  • What do you need to do more of?
  • What do you need to do less of?
  • How can you improve on what you’re doing now?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made romantically and how can you use it to motivate you to improve on The Rules?

Hopefully this list and your answers will give you some food for thought and a resource to reference daily or weekly to help you make progress. If you’re serious about meeting and keeping Mr Right interested then it’s time to take action.

Using a journal can be extremely helpful to keep you accountable. I discussed this in an earlier blog I wrote ‘Observe… The Rules Work‘. I encourage you to use one. You can write the answers to the questions above in your journal and reference them whilst keeping track of how you’re doing. In addition make sure you’re making a log of his actions. Actions speak louder than words. It’s not so much what a man says but what he does that counts. Men (and women for that matter) can have great intentions and talk about them, but it doesn’t mean they’ll actually do what they say. Keep note in your journal! It’ll likely show you patterns you might overlook had you not written them down.

#Therules #Rulesgirls #Actions #Mrright

Less is More

When it comes to doing ‘The Rules’ the easy way to know if you’re following them correctly is to do less.

Sherrie says always do less than he does.

Here’s a list of things to do less of:
Gift giving (rarely)
Pay on dates
Drink alcohol
Sexual encounters

And Sherrie says always do everything back versus initiate. And then always do less back too!

Men thrive on challenge, they love the chase and excitement. Even if they say they don’t – watch what they do! Perhaps the guy you like isn’t initiating – unfortunately you’re probably not his type. When a man really likes a woman, even if he is usually ‘shy’, he will find a way to talk to you, make you laugh and ask you out. When a man is attracted to someone you’ll know about it. If you initiate and he thinks you’re attractive and can have a little fun with you or is flattered by your attention then he may sleep with you. He may take you for a few dates or chat to you for ages but it will likely fizzle out pretty quickly.

If you’re following ‘The Rules’ you wait for him to talk to you first and initiate, you talk back to him but talk less than he does. After all, he has to make the effort to impress you. You are a CUAO! Men want a challenge and they want to work for your attention. They get bored easily by the girl who suddenly divulges her life story or who interrogates him with questions about whether he’s looking for marriage and kids! (If you want to see him bolt out the door then do the latter!)

If he texts, you text back but you don’t initiate and you only text back at the appropriate time (refer to the text back chart in the latest rules book – ‘Not Your Mother’s Rules’ in the US, AKA ‘The New Rules’ in the UK.) And you text less than he does.

Generally we don’t give guys cards or gifts – even if he gives them to you all the time. You can give him a simple card for his birthday. Don’t sign it “with love” – this can be enough to scare a guy. If in doubt don’t even get a card, your company is enough!

Don’t pay on dates. If he asks to split the bill then do but this guy will likely always be bartering with you over something. This may seem like an equality issue and I totally understand where you’re coming from. But this is not actually about the money. It is about the effort this guy is making and his wish to spoil you. Allow him to pay. He doesn’t have to take you to the most expensive restaurant in town, it’s not about how much, it’s about the effort he makes to give you a nice experience. As a side note, notice the effort he makes, be grateful and say thank you on the date and do not complain if things go wrong. You can read more on my blog about why not to go Dutch on a date.

Don’t sleep with a guy too soon, avoid too much kissing in the beginning (it often leads to more!) and with other sexual acts – not too much too soon. Less is definitely more here. Guys will usually want to move fast in a relationship at the beginning and often in the bedroom. It’s down to you to pace the relationship and the first three months are the most important. They often set the tone for the rest of the relationship. If you give too much too soon often guys will lose interest and pull away.

Avoid too much alcohol. Make drinks less potent and longer by adding a mixer. Have a non-alcoholic drink in-between drinks. Limit your consumption or avoid altogether if one is never enough. E&S say alcohol makes you messy and stupid and it makes it difficult to follow TR. Just think of a night(s) you regret and hopefully this’ll help you to avoid getting drunk!

Doing less is not always easy. Oftentimes it takes effort to restrain yourself when you want to chat endlessly to the guy who just starting talking to you. It takes effort not to text back a guy you like immediately and tell him every tiny detail of what you’ve been doing. It takes effort not to drink too much and end up sleeping with him too soon. Your efforts will be rewarded when you meet Mr Right!

#Lessismore #Rulesgirls #Therules #Dating #Debbiesedgley #Debbiesedgleyrulescoach

Maternity Leave & July 2017 Q & A: Religion & Dating, Working Near Your Boyfriend / Date, Dating an Ex & Girlfriends Getting too Friendly with your Boyfriend

Apologies for the delay, here’s my final blog before going on Maternity Leave – it’s the July Q & A.  I hope this helps those who’ve contacted me with questions and others who may have similar problems.

Q.  I’m trying to stay within my own faith when I date but, my pool is sort of small. I go to any social events I can, am very active within our church (mostly since it’s an opportunity to hang out with my friends), and am on a dating app that just came out for people in our faith. I have a Tinder and OkCupid as well but, am not sure if I should keep using these since none of these guys are within my faith. Should I keep my OkCupid and Tinder as well or just keep going to social events and using our app?

A.  I think Ellen and Sherrie would advise to take as many opportunities as possible to meet singles (being safe of course!).  It may be worth signing up for a paid online dating website as these tend to be much more tailored to your specific requirements.  I wouldn’t advise against using any dating apps or websites but be aware that ones like Tinder will likely attract a much larger crowd of men looking for something casual (so you will have to weed out a lot more guys!).  So spend more time focused on the more reliable online dating services and activities were you can meet men in person.  I would make it very clear in your profile that you would like to meet someone of the same faith if this is a ‘deal-breaker’ for you.  If you absolutely wouldn’t date or marry a guy from a different faith because this is a top priority for you then you will just be wasting your time and the guy(s) you’re dating if you don’t make this clear from the start.  Be careful not to use this as excuse though – to avoid stepping out of your comfort zone and meeting new people outside of your usual group of friends.


Q.  I would really appreciate some advice on a dating matter I am currently dealing with! I met my crush through work as I own a clothing boutique & he has an office in the building upstairs from me. He began pursuing me in November and we just began dating in March (I turned him down a couple of times first). Now, he comes to visit me everyday (I’m open 6-7 days per week), bringing me coffee and checking in to see how my day is, etc. My worry now is maintaining being a mystery and him getting too much too soon or being overwhelmed by me. I’m keeping our conversations short & light, mostly ending them first, and seeing him only 2-3 times per week after working hours. Do you have any words of wisdom for my particular circumstance to ensure he doesn’t tire of me too quickly?

A.  You have the right approach here in a tricky situation.  Continue to limit your contact with him in whatever way possible when you are working and follow The Rules guidelines for the number of times you see him per week.  If at all possible avoid disclosing your schedule at work to him, so when he turns up you’re busy and can’t get away.  Avoid making it too easy for him to see you when you are at work (I know it probably feels nice that he is seeking you out but do your best to be happy and busy when he turns up so you do not make yourself too available, he has to ask you out in advance if he wants your time).  When you’re at work you’re working, so don’t feel the need to stop what you are doing to make time for him when you are at work.  You don’t need to be rude or come across as annoyed, just politely say something like “it’s lovely to see you, I’m sorry I can’t get away at the moment as I’m just in the middle of ‘X’ right now”.  Don’t counter offer a better time for him to pop-in, just leave it at that.  This is tricky, but just do whatever you can to limit the number of times he has access to you.

Q.  I have problems of being impatient and I lash out too quickly, when a guy doesn’t respond.  I’m trying to follow The Rules and although I’m finding it very hard his behaviour seems to be changing as a result of my new actions.

I got back together with my ex and the reason it didn’t work out before was because he wasn’t over his ex girlfriend.  I was also very controlling, impatient and very quick tempered and when things didn’t happen I would get out of hand.

Now I’m leaving him to do the work and by me keeping quiet he is changing and responding more.

My boyfriend said he went to go look at rings after the first date and he’s planning something very special for me which is hard to believe.

When we were together before I was bad mouthing him to his friends, his work friends and partner at work, I even messaged his Dad.  I told the people at work and the landlord.  So will a guy really be happy if a woman does all those things?

Is there a chance he would really marry me?

My guy is very shy and very sensitive also.  So for me to believe he bought a ring is very hard for me to tell.  But he’s not rushing to get into bed with me this time and so it’s so confusing.

Can guys tell you they got a ring?

Also before, my best friend of twenty two years was basically encouraging us both to have sex before the ring.  She was practically telling him how to treat me.  She took his number and in a way was kind of flirty with him as well.

He wanted to plan a party at his Dad’s house and she was supposed to take me there with her boyfriend to calm me down and she kept cancelling it and encouraged him to watch movies at my house over night.

A.  Ellen and Sherrie do give advice on what to do if you want a chance at getting back together with an ‘ex’ in ‘The Rules II’ and ‘The Complete Book of Rules’ (the latter is a compilation and update of the original ‘The Rules Book’ and The Rules II’) in their chapter ‘Second Chances – Rules For Getting Back an Ex’.  The same Rules apply here, you can make one call for closure and then he must pursue you and you must then follow The Rules just as if you were seeing a new guy.  You are starting from scratch and getting to know this guy all over again.  Don’t be tempted to rush into anything with your ex or any guy for that matter.  Guys will always want to go fast at the start and it will likely feel like a whirlwind.  You must pace the relationship – Ellen and Sherrie advise you only see him once or twice a week in the first month, two to three times per week in the second month and three to four times per week in the third month and never more than four to five times a week unless you’re engaged.  Ellen and Sherrie also advise you date a guy for four seasons before getting engaged.  So if you have only been on one date this is too fast and I would strongly advise you follow The Rules very strictly with this guy and ensure you are pacing things as per The Rules books.

There is a lot of history between you and you broke a lot of Rules.  It’s not good that you were controlling and bad-mouthing your ex before, sometimes if you’ve broken too many Rules or too extremely it will be hard for him to believe you’ve changed and he could hold resentment toward you.  Guys can forgive, but be aware for signs that he may hold any resentment towards you as this could sour the relationship.  How you got back together is important here.  Other than ‘one call for closure’ – for it to be a Rules relationship E & S advise that he must initiate everything after that call and you must then immediately follow The Rules very strictly.

He may have bought you a ring, perhaps, despite your troubles.  He can tell you these things and perhaps he may have good intentions – but it doesn’t make them true.  Sometimes guys say stuff like this and there’s no truth to it – for example some guys may say things like this to get you into bed, so be careful.  The only way to tell is to stay cool, pace the relationship, watch for buyer beware signs and observe both what he says and most importantly what he does.  What are his actions?  Make sure to keep a journal so you can keep a close eye on your relationship.  The only way to really know if he has bought you a ring is if he presents you with one, otherwise he may just be paying you lip-service.  The same applies to him planning something special, there’s no way of knowing unless he actually does something about it.  By following The Rules strictly and observing his behaviour you will be able to tell if things are moving in the right direction.  Does he contact you regularly?  Does he treat you well or is he displaying ‘Buyer Beware’ behaviour?  Does he make promises to you and keep them?  Does he do what he says he’s going to do?  Is he reliable or flaky?

With regard to your ‘best friend’ – this sounds quite odd on her part.  What friend would push you to have sex with someone?  This guy needs to be strong enough to make his own decisions and not get involved in strange situations with your best friend.  If she had previously always been a good friend to you and you were to give her the benefit of the doubt I would ask yourself – is this what she does in her own love life and expects she has to do to get a man to like her?  Perhaps she doesn’t know any better.  And if you were to give him the benefit of the doubt then perhaps you would ask yourself, did he do this because he didn’t want to be rude to your friend?  Either way it’s odd behaviour, for what reason was she contacting him / he contacting her?  Was he encouraging her and being flirty as well?  Is she overly- friendly / flirty with everyone / all guys? – Surely your boyfriend would be off-limits?  Practice The Rules with her and this guy if you are unsure.  Is this really the kind of friend you want?  Is he the right guy for you if he’s flirting with your best friend?  Don’t just accept any behaviour from men or women.  Observe their behaviour and you will soon see who you can trust / who is a real friend.  If you do not wish to sleep with a guy before you are engaged / married this is your personal choice and your guy must respect that (although E & S advise that you let him know this if it’s your preference.  If he doesn’t want to wait then he’s a ‘Next!’ since it means he doesn’t like you enough to wait and you should never feel pressurised into sex).

Be advised that E & S also say “Sometimes trying to rekindle an old flame works, but frequently the best advice we can give a woman who thinks she’s still in love with her ex is Next!”  (Fein and Schneider, 2013).  This is because usually a relationship has ended for a reason and sometimes there’s just too much water under the bridge.  You are already dating, so as I mentioned earlier what’s important is how you got back together, whether you are following The Rules now and is he is potential Rules Husband material or not?  Observe and record your actions and his.

I would really advise getting a consultation for your situation if you are serious about this guy.  It’s important to know your relationship in more detail and it sounds to me like a lot has happened.  It’s also important to know why and how you broke up, how you got back together, how you met initially, how things went the first time and how things are going this time.  When you book a consultation I will ask for details of your present and / or past relationships and your current problem or situation you want advice on.  This enables me to tailor my answers specifically to your situation and give you advice on the way forward.

Maternity Leave – I’m now planning on going on maternity leave from the blog, FB and Rules Coaching.  I am not setting a return date as this is my first baby so my husband and I will want to see how we go!  You can still contact me but I will not be checking my social media and email as frequently, so please bare with me if it takes me a while to respond.  I may be able to fit in a few final consultations before baby comes, but I can’t guarantee this.


Fein, E & Schneider, S. (2013). The Complete Book of Rules: Time tested secrets for capturing the heart of Mr. Right. Thorsons, p. 164 (Kindle version).


The information / advice given by Deborah Sedgley as a Rules Coach is not a substitute for professional advice such as a Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, or counsellor. The information provided by Deborah Sedgley does not constitute legal or professional advice neither is it intended to be.

Any decisions you make, and the consequences thereof are your own. I can take no liability for any loss or cost incurred by you, or any person related or associated with you, as a result of materials or techniques, or coaching, offered by Deborah Sedgley.

This information expressed within this blog is intended to be based on The Rules Dating and Relationship Philosophy with respect to common Relationship issues. Information is offered in good faith – you do not have to use this information. The Rules relationship and dating advice is not scientifically proven and there are no formal studies to prove it works, therefore Deborah Sedgley cannot guarantee results.

Nothing in the content materials shall be considered legal, financial, or actuarial advice.

Rules Coaching Sessions are for adults 18 or older.

Results are not guaranteed. Deborah Sedgley holds no responsibility for the actions, choices, or decisions taken or made by readers of this blog.

Diagnosing psychological or medical conditions is for trained medical professionals (Physicians and Therapists), not for a Rules Coach.

Why not going Dutch on a Date is not about money

Do you feel guilty and / or confused when it comes to paying the bill when you’re on a date?

Today I’m going to explain the reason that Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider (E&S) tell us ladies not to go dutch on a date in their series of books called ‘The Rules’.

I often hear people (men and women) debate whether they should go dutch on a date or whether the man or the woman should foot the bill.  Most people think that this is a money and equality issue and why it may seem pragmatic to split the bill, the reality is when it comes to money and dating it’s more about our biological background than about money or sex equality.

E&S explain in their book ‘The Rules for Online Dating’ (2002) that “The three basic premises of this book and all our Rules books are: A man must initially feel a spark for a woman; the man must pursue the woman; and all men love a challenge.”

The key premises relating to paying the bill are – the man must pursue the woman and all men love a challenge.  So when a guy takes you on a date, the reason E&S say it’s best for you to allow him to pay the bill is that if he is the right guy – your Mr Right – he will not want you to pay anything.  As a woman you may feel guilty not splitting and E&S say that if the guy asks you to spilt the bill then pay it, but don’t see him again (they say you can pay for the odd small item here and there such as a tip or short taxi journey).  This may sound like harsh advice but it’s not about the money.  When a guy really likes you he will want to wine and dine you and treat you like a princess.  He wants to impress you and take care of you, these will be his natural instincts.  He wants you to feel special and taken care of – this is about the effort he makes and showing he really likes you.

Now don’t get me wrong there are some men out there who may ask you to pay the bill, make no effort on the date or ask you to spilt the bill.  If this happens E&S say not to date this guy again, he may either be looking for the woman to be a cash cow or he may not be that into you and then there are some guys who may have issues (often there will be more than just money issues and splitting the bill) and he will likely be hard work.  This should not be hard work, he either likes you or he doesn’t.  And it’s not about how much money he spends – it is about the effort he is making to impress you.

So next time you go on a date and you’re feeling guilty about not going dutch when the bill comes along, recognise the effort this guy has gone to and realise the best thing you can do is to thank him (don’t make a big song and dance either when you thank him and don’t send a card / text etc… – this will seem too keen and likely scare him off, men like a challenge remember!).  Just thank him and be sincere at the end of the date.

If you have a relationship or dating problem and would like specific Rules advice for your situation then you might wish to consider Rules Coaching. I am a happily married former Rules breaker turned certified Rules Coach and Neuro-linguistic Programming Master Practitioner. Drop me an email at debbiesedgley@gmail.com for more info or to make an enquiry and / or check out my Consultations page.

*Question & Answer With Me – Now in July 2017!

Please note I’m moving my Q & A blog scheduled for June to July as I still need more questions from you.

Please share your problems here in the comments section or email me directly at debbiesedgley@gmail.com with ‘Q & A July Blog’ in the subject line if you’re concerned about sharing something public but would still like an answer. You can also comment and send me private messages via my Rules Facebook page and I will do my best to answer as many questions as I can. #TheRulesBook #TheRules #RulesGirl

*N.B. Please note that detailed and / or very personal queries may not be something I can answer fully in my July Q & A blog and may require a Rules Coaching consultation.


Fein, E & Schneider, S. (2002). The Rules for Online Dating: Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right in Cyberspace. Pocket Books, p. 25 (Kindle version).

Discovering the Solution (‘The Rules’ philosophy) to Your Relationship Problems Through Heart Ache

Unfortunately a lot of us only come to find out about ‘The Rules’ (TR) dating and relationship philosophy when things in our romantic lives have gone wrong.  Or perhaps you heard about them, but didn’t take them seriously and then looked them up after things didn’t work out with the guy you liked / your ex.

It reminds me of the Alanis Morissette song ‘Ironic’ – that you only find TR when you’ve experienced the heart ache and you just know that if you’d known about TR before, taken them seriously and applied them that things potentially could’ve worked out.

Well you are not alone!  Most women who find TR, Rules Coaches and wives have come to TR due to some sort of heart ache.  Even TR authors Ellen and Sherrie shared their bad experiences and noticed that a friend of theirs seemed to have it all figured out.  Thankfully their friend shared with them what Ellen and Sherrie coined TR!

So don’t lose heart, if you’ve found the Rules after experiencing heart ache then use it as a way to propel you to prevent yourself from having to go through it again.  Write down your most painful experiences – this will be a reminder when you are tempted to break TR, of your reasons for following them and putting long term goals ahead of short term gratification.  Read my previous blog Fail Forwards to remind you not to give up and to use your experiences as a way to learn and improve on your Rules journey.

Sometimes when we are in the heat of a moment with a guy it is easy to break TR, but regularly reminding yourself of your reasons for following them will help you when you are feeling weak-willed!

If you are one of the lucky ones who has found TR and not experienced heart ache or maybe you are naturally Rulesy then heed other Rules Girls’ heart ache stories to prevent you from going down that road and breaking TR in the future.  Write them down as evidence for yourself to refer to when you have weak moments.

For some that find TR – you may have found them in time to save things, but unfortunately this is not always the case.

If you have suffered heart ache and are wondering if things may still work out or not and / or if you want to make a change and do things differently next time then consider Rules Coaching with me.  I am a happily married former Rules breaker turned certified Rules Coach and Neuro-linguistic Programming Master Practitioner. Drop me an email for more info or to make an enquiry debbiesedgley@gmail.com and / or check out my Consultations page.

*Question & Answer With Me – This June 2017!

Have you been seeing a guy for a while but you’re not sure if he’s serious? Have you had any red flags? What problems are you struggling with? Are you married and having difficulties? Are you ready to get married but your boyfriend hasn’t popped the question? I plan to do a Q & A this June on my blog. Please share your problems here in the comments section or email me directly at debbiesedgley@gmail.com with ‘Q & A June Blog‘ in the subject line if you’re concerned about sharing something public but would still like an answer. You can also comment and send me private messages via my Rules Facebook page I will do my best to answer as many questions as I can. #TheRulesBook #TheRules #RulesGirl

*N.B.  Please note that detailed and / or very personal queries may not be something I can answer fully in my June Q & A blog and may require a Rules Coaching consultation.



Fail Forwards

Recently I posted on Facebook about the concept of Failing Forward about how to keep going when you make ‘mistakes’.

I recently watched the TV series  – Bear Grylls’ Mission Survive.  You may wonder what I think a survival programme has to do with your romantic life and ‘The Rules’ philosophy… But it has to do with this concept of ‘failing forwards.’

Actually I prefer the Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) concept that I also mentioned in my Facebook post that ‘there is no failure only feedback’.  This can be quite a big concept to grasp – especially if you have great trouble forgiving yourself or others for your / their mistakes and / or so called ‘failures’.  But what this NLP presupposition is conveying is that even our so called ‘failures’ are often part and parcel of the process and / or journey we are personally making.  Oftentimes things do not go according to plan and / or adversity strikes and we face obstacles.  Often these obstacles or challenges require us to grow or stretch ourselves, sometimes you may even ask – why is this happening to me?  These obstacles and / or challenges can help us develop as individuals, much more than perhaps we had originally anticipated. If we are so fixed on a particular plan or route to take to achieve our outcome (for you this may be finding your Mr Right / getting married and / or having a happy marriage) then we may be much more likely to give up and throw in the towel.  This is really about a level of flexibility and perseverance.  It may also indicate how much you really want something and what you are willing / not willing to give up to get it.

In Bear Grylls’ Mission Survive there were two key points he made that really struck a chord with me and that I feel relate to this concept:

Bear said to “Give more when adversity strikes:

  • More energy,
  • More positivity,
  • More effort.”

And the qualities Bear said he was looking for in mission survivors were:

  • Positivity,
  • Courage,
  • Resourcefulness
  • Determination

In my opinion these skills and qualities are required to pursue any outcome that you really feel is worth your time, energy and effort.  This includes what you want to achieve by putting The Rules into practice.

You won’t always get the outcome you want or perhaps had pictured at the beginning.  The guy you like won’t always like you, the guy your dating may not be your Mr Right, you may have quiet spells and / or challenges applying The Rules, perhaps you keep breaking The Rules and kicking yourself.  Perhaps you feel down on yourself about these things, if you do, stop and say to yourself – “there is no failure only feedback.”  Think about (and write down if you find it helpful)  – what is the ‘mistake’ you have made?  What is the feedback from that mistake, for instance what has it taught you?  How can you improve next time and / or what will you do differently?  Then take Bear’s advice and when these obstacles occur allow it to make you more determined – give more.  In what ways can you give more energy, positivity and effort?  Look to improve your personal qualities so that you have more positivity, courage (maybe you need to move out of your comfort zone and meet new people and socialise outside of your normal group of peers), resourcefulness (what resources do you have within you?  Perhaps it’s to be able to pick yourself up when things don’t go your way, perhaps its a skill you’ve learnt, perhaps it some of The Rules you’re very good at etc…) and dig deep – be determined, is this really what you want?  If so, think about what it is you want, imagine all the good things and use this to positively inspire you.

Above all know that it is possible to meet your Mr Right, get married and have a long healthy, happy marriage and life.

The Importance of Dressing as a ‘Creature Unlike Any Other’ (CUAO)

In The Rules books authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider (E&S) teach the concept and importance of being a ‘Creature Unlike Any Other’ if you wish to capture the heart of your Mr Right.

“Being a creature unlike any other is really an attitude, a sense of confidence and radiance that permeates your being from head to toe.” (Fein and Schneider, 2013)

In a previous blog I wrote Weight Matters I talk about the importance of doing The Rules no matter what your weight and / or size and not to use this as an excuse.

In *Jennifer L. Scott’s book ‘Lessons from Madame Chic’ – she advises readers to “Dress presentably on a daily basis to honour yourself and those around you.” (Scott, 2012)

I feel to dress ‘to honour yourself’ is so important.  It makes you feel good about yourself.  You don’t have to look like a super-model or anyone else, I feel it’s best to make the most of yourself and learn to love yourself and your own personal style.  Check out my blogs on The Importance of Self-Esteem in Happy Relationships and Learning to Set My Boundaries & Loving Myself

So, whatever you look like, whatever your size, it’s important as a CUAO to take pride in your appearance. Do your best to present yourself well. Wear clothes that suit and flatter your figure.

For inspiration for your wardrobe read my blog Letting Go – in it I explain how it’s important to declutter your wardrobe.  When you go through your wardrobe regularly and let go of things that you don’t use and don’t fit you, you’ll end up with more of the clothes you love and it will help you to learn more about your own personal style.  I really enjoy using capsule wardrobes – and feel this is a great way to hone your personal style and feel better about the clothes you wear everyday.  I have used and recommend * Project 333 (a concept created by Courtney Carver) and * The Ten Item Wardrobe (this is the concept Jennifer L. Scott conceptualised and writes about in her book ‘Lessons from Madame Chic’) myself – I love both of these concepts.  I’ve also recently started using * Your Closet app alongside my capsule wardrobe which I’m really enjoying.

If you struggling to get your head around The Rules, have difficulty applying them, have a relationship or dating problem and would like specific Rules advice for your situation then you might wish to consider Rules Coaching. I am a happily married former Rules breaker turned certified Rules Coach and Neuro-linguistic Programming Master Practitioner. Drop me an email for more info or to make an enquiry debbiesedgley@gmail.com and / or check out my Consultations page.


Fein, E. and Schneider, S. (2013). The Complete Book of Rules: Time tested secrets for capturing the heart of Mr. Right. Kindle Edition. Thorsons, page 19.

*Scott, J. (2012). Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris. Kindle Edition. Simon & Schuster, page 116.

N.B.: *Disclaimer: Please note I have no affiliation to authors / businesses with an asterisk (*).

Are You Scaring Men Away?

Generally speaking men do not like clinginess and desperation.  Let’s be honest, do you feel attracted by these characteristics in other people and the men you date?

Are you feeling desperate right now?

http://www.dictionary.com describes ‘desperate’ as: reckless or dangerous because of despair, hopelessness, or urgency; having an urgent need, desire, etc.: desperate for attention; leaving little or no hope; very serious or dangerous; extremely bad; intolerable or shocking; extreme or excessive; making a final, ultimate effort; actuated by a feeling of hopelessness

When you apply these words to a romantic context they often conjure up images from the film ‘Fatal Attraction’ where Alex becomes obsessed by Dan.  After the popularity of 1987 film the term ‘Bunny Boiler’ has become mainstream.  This is exactly the opposite of the behaviour of a Rules Girl.  If you need to know what not to do then watch it and you’ll see Alex breaks numerous rules in an extreme style: don’t date / sleep with married men, don’t sleep with a guy too soon, don’t have a whirlwind romance and don’t pursue (or in her case ‘stalk’) a guy.  Now you may not boil bunnies or go to the extremes that Alex went to, but perhaps you cannot stop yourself from contacting a guy you like, you might find yourself stalking him on Facebook or other social media and cannot stop thinking about him.  Maybe you had a whirlwind romance at the start and now he’s pulling away and you can’t understand why.  You believe that if you could just get hold of him or see him in person everything would change back to how it was in the beginning…

But men are like rubber bands – according to author John Gray.  As I talked about in my blog last week Men Love a Challenge – Not Hassle – men enjoy the thrill of the chase, they enjoy the challenge, but once they have been intimate with you it is likely within a short period of time they will feel the need to pull away.

“Most women are surprised to realise that even when a man loves a woman, periodically he needs to pull away before he can get closer.  Men instinctively feel this urge to pull away.  It is not a decision or choice.  It just happens.  It is neither his fault nor her fault.  It is a natural cycle.” (Gray, 1993, p.92)

You’ll likely feel uneasy or maybe panicked by this but you need to relax.  The good thing is if you follow The Rules and the guy you’re dating really likes you then he will spring back once he’s pulled away enough. In fact the less you badger him and the more Rulesy you are the likelihood for him to spring back quicker will increase!

Here are some other questions you might ask me:

But what if I’ve slept with a guy too soon? – You can’t change this now, so stop torturing yourself.  You have to play it very, very cool, no contact at all.  Allow the guy to pursue you.  If he doesn’t come back then you can’t do anything to change this and your best bet is to move on and start dating new guys.

What if I’ve done too much for too long?  – So if you’ve been contacting a guy you like constantly recently or for a while then STOP NOW.  Get your friends to help you if you need to and go cold turkey on contacting this guy.  You will scare him away if you keep on badgering him.  Don’t think that your persistence will appear endearing or that you’ll wear him down until he relents.  Contacting him endlessly will do the opposite and scare him away further.  If you’ve done too much you might have scared him off for good, if you don’t hear from him then it’s time to move on.

What if you revealed too much too soon? – Okay, firstly don’t panic if he’s suddenly gone quiet on you.  He may need time to process what you’ve told him.  Your best bet is to play it cool and be light and breezy next time you see or hear from him.  Don’t mention what you discussed or feel the need to bring it up.  If he wants to talk about it further with you then he will bring it up.  If you’ve disclosed something personal and you are scared he’ll reject you then there will be likely be two outcomes – either he really likes you and whatever it is won’t matter or he may like you but he can’t get past what you’ve told him.  If he can’t get past it then it’s not your job to convince him.  You are good enough as you are and if he’s the right guy he’s going to accept you for who you are.  If he’s not the right guy then you can’t change that, he has personal choice and freedom and if you try and convince him otherwise it’ll likely sour things even further.  So just be patient (I know it’s hard!) and wait to see what happens.

What if you’ve quizzed him to the point that government spies’ interrogation techniques look mild?  Sometimes women are untrusting, anxious, suspicious or jealous from the outset and expect men to jump through hoops before they’ve even finished their first date.  Often if you are suffering from these feelings you may have self-esteem or trust issues (from the past).  If you do suffer with these emotions read my blog The Importance of Self-Esteem in Happy Relationships .  Do you ask men questions in the early stages of dating such as: how many girlfriends have you had?  How many women have you slept with?  Are you a player?  Where have been this week?  When you’ve been dating a guy a while it’s okay to open up about these things more, but to start a healthy relationship you always have to come from the side of trust.  If you have come at the relationship from a calm, thinking Rules Girl perspective and have paced the relationship you will notice any odd behaviour that cries out buyer beware.  Make sure you’re not wearing rose tinted glasses.  Record the details of your dating life in a journal and observe his behaviour.  It is his actions you should be observing and recording, not just what he says – as he could be paying you lip service, have good intentions but never follow through or be lying to you outright.  Follow The Rules and you will automatically weed out Mr Wrongs and Buyer Bewares.

Finally, you’ve heard it before, if he doesn’t contact you, he’s not interested.  So even if you’re heart broken, make the effort to follow The Rules and get yourself back out there meeting new guys.  Follow The Rules and before you know it you will have forgotten about the guy you were formerly obsessing about.  Focus on developing yourself, building up your self-esteem and meeting new guys.

If you have a relationship or dating problem and would like specific Rules advice for your situation then you might wish to consider Rules Coaching. I am a happily married former Rules breaker turned certified Rules Coach and Neuro-linguistic Programming Master Practitioner. Drop me an email for more info or to make an enquiry and / or check out my Consultations page.



dictionary.com, (2015). definitions: desperate. [online] Available at: http://www.mms.com/ [Accessed 19 May. 2017].

Gray, J. (1993). Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus. London: Thorsons, p. 92.