When Ellen Fein filed for divorce in 2001, the media pounced on the proceedings [source: Tresniowski]. And who could blame them? A self-proclaimed love expert calling it quits in the relationship department makes for irresistible headline fodder. Six years earlier, Fein and best friend Shelly Schneider had co-authored the runaway hit "The Rules," which promised surefire ways for women to make all of their romantic dreams come true, based on the premise that men are natural hunters, seeking out desirable women like prey.
Akin to strict diets and fitness regimens, "The Rules" edicts didn't leave much room for cheating, either: A woman should never call a man she's interested in, period [source: The Rules Book]. A guy who wants to go Dutch on a date might as well just go home [source: The Rules Book]. And if a boyfriend hasn't proposed marriage after a year of dating, a savvy gal should move on, pronto [source: The Rules Book]. In short, don't court him, he'll court you.
Despite selling more than 1 million copies, "The Rules" left plenty of people skeptical [source: Bittman]. Could long-term romance really be bound by immutable laws? Considering that Fein's own path toward remarriage in 2008 broke one of her cardinal rules (she dated her husband for three years before marriage), the idea that there are must-dos in dating is arguably a myth [source: Brady]. And pop principles about love aren't the only axioms on the chopping block. According to the following five love lies, even conventional wisdom about happily-ever-after may not be so spot-on.