All told, it encouraged women to be a bit more cynical about their happily-ever- afters. When I ring them for our interview, both Fein and Schneider's phones refuse to accept my call because my number comes up as blocked.As the gurus who invented call screening, curtailing any contact that isn't face-to-face as quickly as possible, and good old-fashioned ignoring, this strikes me as particularly apt.Plenty of us have been waiting to find that out for years.The New Rules might not explain the great mystery, but they offer certain coping strategies in the meantime.You do not share your personal phone numbers, real name,place of work,home address, email address or anything relating to your identifying information while emailing until you can establish a reasonable level of belief with the person you want to date.In addition, you should not post your personal contact information in your online dating profile or username."That is not repressive: that is called self-control and smart, effective behaviour.""We are feminists," adds Fein. We say go ahead and run a marathon and buy a condo and start a new business, just don't chase guys.It's not good or bad, it just doesn't work."Such is the crisis that constant contact has caused in our consciousness that Fein and Schneider have also created a chart in the new book that will tell you how long to wait before you text a man back (hint: the lag period increases, the older and supposedly wiser you are, and leave at least four hours before replying to man's initial text, whatever your age)."Don't text him back immediately… Never double text," they suggest."If you want more from a guy, give less."It's good advice, written in the vein of now-famous post-Rules guides Why Men Love Bitches and He's Just Not That Into You; each is predicated on creating an epiphany moment in women, when they suddenly understand what it is that men want or need from them.
(One of these is "my internet is acting funny", which one male acquaintance suggested was about as seductive as Google chatting with his mum).The Rules: Time-tested secrets for capturing the heart of Mr.Right appeared in 1995 and advocated doing pretty much what your mother told you: play hard to get; keep a bit in reserve; remain mysterious.The New Rules: The dating dos and don'ts for the digital generation, (£9.99, Piatkus) published this month, offers their signature sagacious take on the grey area where sex and cyberspace intersect.And it's an important subject to address, given the de-mystification of internet dating and the rise of outlandish digital phenomena such as "sexting".