IMPORTANT!  - If you want to avoid a whole hell of a lot of misery in your life then print these rules out, staple or tape them up where you can reference them and commit your social life to following them.  If you do, you'll be a lot happier.  Trust me.  Also be aware that while these rules are set in stone the use of excessive alcohol and / or illicit drugs may make these rules (in hindsight) seem flexible, especially while you are under the influence of said alcohol or illicit drugs. 

Be warned! 

These rules are not flexible.

If you bend them (or worse, break them!) then prepare to pay the consequences that come with your decision to do so.

(learned the hard way from 1984 to 1992)

1.       The apple doesnít fall far from the tree.  Remember this!  There are very few exceptions to this rule and those exceptions are very far and very few between.  If you think youíve found the exception to this rule Ö you havenít.

2.       Never make someone a priority in your life when you are little more than an option in theirs.

3.       You canít change a person so donít try.  What you see is what you will get, now and forever.  Donít fool yourself into thinking otherwise.  In fact, what you see now is that person on their best behavior.  It gets worse, probably much worse, as time goes by.  
Don't date "projects" ...  If you consider them to be a "work in progress" then let them be someone else's work in progress.

4.       Never give anyone a second chance.  Ever.  No one is worth a second chance.  No one.  It may hurt like hell when it happens but years from now youíll thank yourself for having a spine and dodging a whole bunch of misery that was heading your way.  Life is too short to give second chances to habitual losers.

5.       Never date anyone who has more emotional baggage than they can carry.  Life is too short to be someone elseís emotional pack mule.  
Don't ever be anyone's stepping stone, their emotional life raft or their beast of burden / pack mule for all of their emotional baggage.  

6.       You canít save everyone so donít try.  Chances are you'll be lucky to save yourself.  

7.       Never take anyone for granted.  Never allow yourself to be taken for granted either.

8.       Avoid people who have more problems than you have.  Financially.  Emotionally.  Intellectually.  Period.

9.       Donít go slumming.  Ever.  Financially.  Emotionally.  Intellectually.  Ever.  Period.  In other words, use yourself as a benchmark and never accept less than what you are capable of in anyone you intend to spend a good part of your life with let alone plan on spending the rest of your life with.

10.   Avoid anyone on the rebound.  Life is too short to be someone elseís emotional trampoline that they can jump up and down on until they feel better or until they get their life back in order and decide to move on.

11.   Avoid the immature, the emotionally stunted, the psychos, the medicated, the codependent, the needy and the clingy.  All the makeup in the world can't cover up crazy.  You have been warned.

12.   If they're willing to leave somebody for you then theyíll be willing to leave you for somebody.  Donít be surprised when this happens.  After all, if their ex couldnít trust them to stay when something better came along how can you ever hope to?

13.   If they drink or smoke more than you, move on.  If they drink or smoke more of your stuff than you do, move on with a quickness.

14.   If they canít let go of their ex Ö if they still have feelings for them, feel sorry for them, wants to meet with them for lunch or repeatedly talks to them via phone / email / texting then move on and donít look back.

15.   If they are divorced with kids, tread carefully.  Their kids will come before you.   If their kids donít come before you then youíre looking at the wrong kind of person.  Multiple kids by different people (especially if they were married at the time that they had them) should be your immediate cue to avoid saying anything deeper than ďSorry.  Just not interested.Ē

16.   If they're materialistic or focuses only on one aspect of your life (your guitar playing, your car, your motorcycle, etc.) Ö move on.  Fast.

17.   No one is worth your tears and the one who is won't make you cry.

18.   If they say any of the following then leave skid marks from your shoes on the pavement when getting away: ďIím not like all the others.Ē, ďI wonít hurt you.Ē or ďI wonít lie to you / cheat on you / leave you.Ē

19.   Donít waste time playing silly or stupid games.  Life is too short to play silly or stupid games.  If they want to play silly or stupid games then let them Ö with their selves and by their self.

20.   If they suddenly walk out on you and what you both have for no really good reason then just remember; they're someone elseís misery now.  Get on with your life and forget them.

Bonus Rule!

21.    Never date anyone who drives a vehicle that you can't afford to replace.  If you do then you're the toy.