Dear Tamar,

You made a few mentions of when it’s OK to break “The Rules” and give someone “a pass.” Here’s my problem. I’m 66 and was married for 43 of those years. My wife died a year ago. I haven’t dated since we got engaged, a year before we were married. Frankly, I’m not even sure I was aware of all “the rules” even back then, and I’m positive that I don’t know what they are now. So where can I find a brief summary of “the rules”?

Dear Rules Shmules,

I’m sorry for your loss and I do hope you find someone special to spend the rest of your life with; I’m happy you’re on JDate looking. But, I’m glad you don’t know what “the rules” are! “The Rules” was a bestselling book telling women how to date in order to get married. It told women not to accept a phone call after 2 days, not to accept a date for the weekend after Wednesday, and so forth. I met my husband at a bar and moved halfway around the world to be with him a week later, so obviously I didn’t follow ”the rules”, nor do I recommend that women (or men) should. That said, the idea behind them isn’t bad. For the most part, the book told women to hold tight to their standards, but most men find a strict rules Woman to be obnoxious. Count yourself to be among the lucky ones that your dating demographic doesn’t know about, or follow, the rules. If you like a woman, call her. And if you want to see a woman, ask her out immediately.  If a woman is following the rules by the book, you probably don’t want to date her anyways. Good luck!