By Jack Elliot
The number three. It’s essential to math in general, determining when there’s a crowd, counting down to go, ménage a trois, tricycles, and baseball…but dating too?
“No!” you say, shocked as you read this. “Another dating rule? It can’t be!” Well, that’s what this week’s topic will hope to resolve. So, should one hold stock in, cherish, worship, abide by, applaud, and inscribe in stone the Three Date Rule, or should it be thrown out as bogus balderdash? Read on to find out.
For starters, let’s better clarify what the Three Date Rule actually is, so we’re all on the same page. Wikipedian Doctrine states that, “The Three Date Rule is a dating rule of thumb which states that the third date is a milestone in determining whether a woman will consent to sexual intimacy.”
Alright, so there we have it. The way the rule is defined puts the power in the hands of women, which makes sense, because I’m sure the libidos of most males would much prefer a one date or less rule. And I would interpret the rule in general to mean that the way the third date goes will determine if a woman will go all the way with a guy. In short, the third date makes or breaks it. But back to the original question, is this a wise rule to follow?
My gut is telling me that overall, when compared with the massive amount of dating advice and dating do’s and don’t do’s and how to do’s and how do you do’s, the Three Date Rule is pretty good advice. Of course, many exceptions could be made. Think about it. During the first date the two daters should learn the essentials about each other (where they’re from, their job, family, etc.), see what they have in common, see how their conversation flows, and if their senses of humor align. At this point in time, you’re just getting to know the person, get a feel for them. And, if you were to decide to sleep with them here, then it’d establish the relationship as purely physical and take that essential “chase” aspect away- putting you in a relationship that very rarely works out.
But hell, maybe you’re just out looking for a good time, or maybe you have such incredible chemistry with someone that the number of dates won’t matter.
On the second date, you get to dig in a little deeper to the person. You’re more relaxed, know more of what to expect, most likely have a few inside jokes from the first date to run off of, and can really start to determine if you like the potential lover. Now, perhaps if you slept with a guy after this date, a healthy relationship could probably still be salvageable. I mean, if you really know how you feel, then don’t let me stop you. But overall, I still think that it’s just a little too soon and would once again destroy that whole “chasing” aspect. Also, the first two dates will allow you to make up your mind about how you feel with someone and give you the time to weigh if you actually should sleep with them.
Then there’s the third date. By now, you should know the person pretty well. You should be aware of what you’re getting yourself into, should know if you really are attracted to the person, and should have developed genuine feelings for this new person. If this is the case, then I would say that it would be the right time to go all the way with them. You’re comfortable with them, you know them a bit, and you really like them for them, not just for their body or stamp collection.
Now of course, these are just your favorite bartender’s thoughts and there are a million exceptions to the rule. I mean, maybe you have a bad third date, but give him another chance, and have the best fourth date. Everyone and every relationship is different. So my advice is to take the Third Date Rule for what it is: a rule of thumb.