"The 3-Date Rule." How Do You Know When You Know That You Know?

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
13,873
3,894
113
#1
Hey Everyone,

I was talking to a friend in his 30's who was raised in church all his life, but something he said floored me.

He said that in his generation, it's kind of an understood thing that if you go out with someone 3 times, you should know by the 3rd date whether or not you want to pursue a relationship (something serious) with that person, and if you can't see something serious by then it's time to move on, because you don't want to waste your time or theirs.

I can't remember ever really trying to decide after a certain number of dates -- I completely understand the need for some kind of "deadline", if you will, but what are your opinions about when this deadline should be set?

* Do you agree that if you don't know by the 3rd date, both people should move on?

* Should it depend on a certain amount of time, and if so, how much?

* What other considerations would you factor in to know whether you should keep seeing the person or if it was "a waste of time"?

I'm really interested in hearing your answers because I couldn't help but wonder if the proposed "3 Date Rule" was a product of our ever-impatient "Hurry Up, Swipe Left And Move On To The Next Profile!" dating culture.

What do you think?
 

I_am_Canadian

Senior Member
Dec 8, 2014
921
271
63
#2
Hey Everyone,

I was talking to a friend in his 30's who was raised in church all his life, but something he said floored me.

He said that in his generation, it's kind of an understood thing that if you go out with someone 3 times, you should know by the 3rd date whether or not you want to pursue a relationship (something serious) with that person, and if you can't see something serious by then it's time to move on, because you don't want to waste your time or theirs.

I can't remember ever really trying to decide after a certain number of dates -- I completely understand the need for some kind of "deadline", if you will, but what are your opinions about when this deadline should be set?

* Do you agree that if you don't know by the 3rd date, both people should move on?

* Should it depend on a certain amount of time, and if so, how much?

* What other considerations would you factor in to know whether you should keep seeing the person or if it was "a waste of time"?

I'm really interested in hearing your answers because I couldn't help but wonder if the proposed "3 Date Rule" was a product of our ever-impatient "Hurry Up, Swipe Left And Move On To The Next Profile!" dating culture.

What do you think?
In all honesty I think it only works if your absolutely certain you know what you want in a relationship, and if your older and really mature.

For someone younger who doesn't know what they Wang in a relationship it may take a longer period of time to come to that conclusion.

To put a set time frame or any specifics is misleading because everyone is different every situation is different. It's best to pray and let God lead you in His timing
 

17Bees

Senior Member
Oct 14, 2016
1,262
743
113
#3
I've never heard of the 3 date rule. Honestly, right now I'd take a water pump over date 1. But back in my twenties I would, I guess "date" someone for quite sometime. I can remember someone I dated for a while that I never really had strong feelings for. She was a great person. a lot of fun, beautiful, and at first I think I .......I guess the term would be "I liked her hard". But as time went on (long after 3 dates), I just....what's that song? "I don't know where we went wrong but the feelings gone and I just can't get it back". I simply never had those kinds of feelings for her as time went on. And the awful thing was I am pretty sure she felt as though we were an item and headed for marriage and all was good, so that was not headed in a very good direction.

That being said, I think maybe the 3 date rule has merit. That maybe one should have the maturity and wisdom to know what kinds of hurt longer relationships could cause. That having fun and hanging with a beautiful date for me was not as important as "leading someone on" even when that wasn't an intention.

After 3 dates any pain or hurt is a flame with little fuel, like a page of newspaper. Longer relationships can cause forest fires and then simmer for a long time.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
2,786
1,288
113
#4
When I was single...
I didn't use the 3 date rule...
I used a three month rule.

But it's basically different for everyone. It depends on how well you can get to know each other and know what a future with them will be like. No guarantee that this works.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
4,168
2,194
113
#5
I think I'd like to propose a new 3 date rule: you should be on at least the third date before someone raises the question of long term or exclusivity. During that conversation you should work out when you think when the all - in we're going for it deadline is. I probably could string a willing guy along for a while just because I'm not so good at acting on emotions or wants, but because I know this I'd welcome some sort of deadline that I had to decide by. Enough warning of deadline means I can make a sensible decision and stick to it. Sudden pressure or no deadline and I will err on the side of caution if at all.

Having said that, I'll also acknowledge that there are people who are planning averse and don't like deadlines at all so my preferences don't apply to everyone. But I think limiting yourself to a certain timeframe to make a decision is a good way to not waste too much time on something that isn't going to work out.
 

MatthewWestfieldUK

Well-known member
May 13, 2021
871
496
63
#6
Date as long as u need to be sure about the traits that matter to you.
Make a list and check for what attracts you and what is a major issue.
Politics, money, art, books, music and how they expes anger and how they show care.
 

Magenta

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2015
42,687
17,635
113
#7
I just....what's that song? "I don't know where we went wrong but the feelings gone and I just can't get it back".
Gordon Lightfoot is a Canadian icon :D


If You Could Read My Mind
 

SimpleSheep

Active member
Jul 15, 2021
235
218
43
#8
I think 3 dates is too short to really get to know someone. I think I would prefer to date a man for as long as I feel right about it. If I am still unsure but don't want to end things, I would continue dating him even if it's the fourth or fifth date.
So I guess it just depends on the guy.
 

Subhumanoidal

Well-known member
Sep 17, 2018
3,070
2,472
113
#9
My first instinct is to call this as BS, but upon further reflection I can see Some merits of using it to a degree. And, really, everyone who goes on dates does this to one degree or another.
You go on a date, and it's a bad date, you don't go on another. But what's been done is taking this idea and making it a flat rule, which rarely works well.

I don't think you can determine how good things will be in 3 dates, but you can determine if they won't be good.

But people try to find shortcuts to dating all the time. This is nothing new. People, including many Christians, believe in magical fairy tale love at first site gibberish. So this 3 date thing seems to just feed into that notion. I'd say it's based on ignorance and perhaps, as Seoul said, impatience. But I actually lean more towards the fairy tale love misconception as being the primary culprit.
 

Tinkerbell725

Senior Member
Jul 19, 2014
4,151
1,128
113
Philippines Age 40
#10
3 date rule does not apply to some people. I know some people who will need only 1 date to know. Some of them have not even dated yet but they know already that they will marry that person. It was love at first sight. Most of them are men.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
20,321
5,946
113
#11
For some reason my brain started playing an old country song:

Is this love
Or only gas?
Will it last forever
Or will it quickly pass?

I heard a different version of the three-date rule. I heard the third date determines whether you're a man or a mouse. If you kiss her on the third date, you're a man. If you don't kiss her on the third date, you're a mouse. Of course I heard it from a story from the 1920's.

Three dates as a hard-and-fast rule may not be a good idea, but I think the principle is sound. Keep your eyes open in the first few dates and don't drag the relationship out after you can see it won't go anywhere. Of course I don't have any personal experience in the matter... Another theory to test if I ever find a date.
 

JohnDB

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2021
2,786
1,288
113
#12
When I was single and young and dumb....
There were some girls I couldn't wait for the first date to be over... others I wanted a second one with but they couldn't stand the sight of me.

I didn't have the most discriminating tastes back then.

I woulda just not done anything until I knew who they really were... about their family and who their friends were before I began to date them.

Yeah...lots of things to have done differently at that age.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
38,524
14,961
113
67
Tennessee
#13
I believe from my own experience and observation that your friend is right on target with the 3 Date Rule. It especially applies as you get older. By a certain point in your life you either know what you want or you don't. You pursue what you want and let go what you're not going to get. I don't believe in long engagements either as why waste precious months and years. If you're the least bit tentative then don't propose. Let go and then move forward with your life once again.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
38,524
14,961
113
67
Tennessee
#14
When I was single...
I didn't use the 3 date rule...
I used a three month rule.

But it's basically different for everyone. It depends on how well you can get to know each other and know what a future with them will be like. No guarantee that this works.
I like the 3 month rule too especially when one is young and just starting out.
 

HumbleOne

Active member
Jul 10, 2021
132
68
28
#17
I was taught that you that don't know someone for at least a month.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
16,536
5,592
113
#18
when comes to dating everyone has their own rules

The book "The Rules' is very out of date. I recall my boss had a copies he was trying to flog at the bookshop, nobody was buying them. When I had a look I could see why. They were published back in the 90s pre internet and cellphones. It talked about calling dates on the telephone.

who even calls people these days. Nobody! you either txt or message.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
16,536
5,592
113
#20
I think for me it depends on the person..dont really have a 'rule'
some people are harder to get to know
And when you are younger you arent concerned or as desperate perhaps

I know sounds stupid but I find dating is different for different people at various life stages. If you know you dont really enjoy being with someone, i.e they make you feel uncomfortable or its even scary... and you dont want to date them again its best you end it sooner rather than later. Why lie?

A date is just two people going out. It may only last an hour or two. If you cant stand being with them for more than 2 hours (or six hours if youve had 3 dates) then dont because you wont get those hours back.