What is the 3 Date Rule?

While people like to say that there are no rules in dating and you should just do what feels right, it’s not completely the truth. There really are some guidelines that dictate acceptable dating behaviors, such as footing at least the first date’s bill if you’re the guy and calling your date if you’re going to be late. This last one is a doozy — nobody likes or wants to be kept waiting around, feeling like a loser, even if your car did legitimately get a flat tire. CALL — that’s what cellphones were invented for!

One major question when you start dating somebody new is usually how soon before sleeping together seems right. Personally we feel like 30 seconds is just about enough time but for those of you need higher standards you might not want to head straight to the sheets on the first date. But you also don’t want to have to wait five months. Hence, the 3 Date Rule. This rule basically says that you and your date can have sex on the third date.

How Accurate is the 3 Date Rule?

Since the 3 Date Rule doesn’t exist on paper and there is no signed contract telling you and your date that you MUST have sex on the third date, it’s accuracy is just hearsay. It’s up to the two of you to make your own decisions about the timing of sex in your relationship.

However, since most people have heard of the 3 Date Rule, it does set up an expectation from the very first second you ask a girl on a date. While many people want to, and do, have sex after their first or second dates, by the time the third date rolls around it’s nearly a foregone conclusion that, if you haven’t yet had sex, you’re going to tonight.

Remember that your date is most likely aware of the 3 Date Rule too, and she may have her own feelings about it. If your date unexpectedly cancels out at the last minute, right before Date #3, you can guess that she doesn’t want to go all the way with you. Especially if she doesn’t mention anything about rescheduling the date in the near future.

If she doesn’t cancel your plans, but seems a little different than she did on the past two dates, there’s a good chance that she’s nervous about what the night will bring. Although it’s early in your relationship, if you care anything about her at all and would like to continue dating her past this night, you should be mindful of her feelings and not be a complete jerk with only sex on your mind the entire date. Focus on her and wait for later, later.

What if I Don’t Follow the 3 Date Rule?

There’s nothing written in stone that says you must “obey” the 3 Date Rule. You might be the type who only does first dates, with your only rule being “Sleep with them and move on.” Or perhaps you’re coming off of a painful break-up with your girlfriend of three years and you’re not ready to have sex with anybody else, yet.

Make your intentions clear from the start — remember that she’s got the sex-on-the-third-date expectation too. She might be okay doing it sooner or later, depending on how she feels about herself, how she feels about you, and what she’s comfortable doing. If you like her, but you’re not ready, you don’t want caution on your part to make her feel like she did something wrong or that she’s not attractive to you.

If you’re a girl and are not ready to have sex with a guy after the third date, then definitely let him know. You’ll know from his actions on Date #1 and Date #2 whether he wants to take it slow, and chances are he doesn’t. If there’s no sex after Date #3, you can bet he won’t be thinking it’s got anything to do with him, and he might not call you up for Date #4.

Who Created the 3 Date Rule?

Like most things that just make their way into public knowledge, nobody really knows who first came up with the 3 Date Rule. Some people say it started sometime in the 1960s — that period known for its drug usage and free love. Back then, it very well could have been used as a way to delay sex until you got to know your partner a little better; at least their music, hair-length preferences and STD status.

Today, the 3 Date Rule can also be used as an excuse to delay sex until you know your date a little better; you know, make sure she’s not psychotic or too clingy. It’s also helpful to know that, going into a relationship, your odds of a home run after the third date greatly increase.