* jazzyhands *

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I have been thinking more about "The Rules" (see last entry) and I think what makes the concept so offensive is the emphasis is on women changing their behaviour.

Because, when you think about it, changing your behaviour to fit a specific situation is something we all do. I must add something I am not so good at. For example, behaving differently at work and at home.

The whole concept of changing your behaviour to fit into the workplace is something I have struggled with in the past. I remember one of my supervisors telling me to look like I'm working. "I know you're working, you know you're working, but to everyone else it just looks like you are slacking off," were his exact words. I expected to be judged on my performance not my behaviour. I learnt the hard way that this is something that seldom happens.

To digress completely for a moment, in high school I couldn't understand that line in To Kill a Mockingbird about Atticus Finch behaving the same on the public streets as he does at home (to paraphrase). I couldn't conceive of this being a matter of honour since I was constantly being slapped and berated by my mother for doing the same thing.

For most people, our behaviour is constantly being self-monitored and adjusted to some degree in most social situations so why not in a dating context as well?

One of the pieces of advice, "a rule", that does make sense on reflection is to play things "light and breezy" - rather than being constantly available, let guys think that you are squeezing them into your tight schedule. It does any harm to let guys realise that you have a life outside of them.

Often I spend considerable time of an evening on the computer -- writing, looking for work, chatting to friends and family, posting blog entries -- so if I get an email from a guy or a chat request then I am respond immediately. With emails in particular, I usually reply straight away because that is the polite things to do. That's how you operate with friends and business associates.

It has now dawned on my addled brain that, just because I know that I am online for a muliplicity of reasons outside of them, doesn't mean that the men in question realise this. They login and see a woman who is always online, always returns their emails within minutes and is always available to chat. They aren't seeing someone who has any other life.

Now I am questioning why I am so readily available. Sure I am online but if I am doing "me" things then I should be concentrating on these things rather than chatting or answering emails.

Quite often I sit down to write and, at the end of the night, realised my whole time as been taken up with chat sesssions. I feel resentful that these guys have "wasted" my time. Of course, it isn't them. It's me. I don't need to make myself available to them at all.

I just it is just a question of time management. I like to multitask. I like to have five things going on at once. But that makes it too easy to have one thing dominate, which isn't necessarily the thing that should be dominating. From now on I am going to be more focused in my computer based activities. If I am planning to write then I will not be available to chat or to email until I am finished writing.

Even outside of the whole dating thing, this is something that will benefit me.

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