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

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Sculpt

Active member
Apr 18, 2021
352
129
43
#21
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 think that "rule" is pretty obvious... I mean, I'm not going to ask a woman out on a 4th date unless I want to pursue a relationship.

A 4th date is like, "yes, so far! Let's keep getting to know each other." It's not deciding to be exclusive or engaged, right? That's why I'm saying, isn't it obvious?

Unless of course I was someone who just dates for fun. Those people are out there. I've dated them. Sometimes they're honest about that, sometimes they aren't going to tell you... or worse, they probably know you're investing serious attachment to them, and they just don't care if you get hurt. And of course the Hedge Bettors... they'll string you along while they're looking for something better.

I'd like to say I never dated for fun... but when I was in college I dated a girl for more than 6 months, mostly because she made things easy, and I was comfortable with her. She never asked to be exclusive, so I suppose I was content to keep seeing her. When she asked me to get engaged the convo lead to me saying I didn't see myself ever wanting to marry her, and she broke-up with me within a few days; and she was upset. If I could go back, I would have told her where I was sooner... that I didn't see marriage in our future.

So I'd say after 3 dates... or after 1 date... if you want to know if they are dating you for fun, ask them.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
14,106
4,020
113
#22
It's been very interesting to read about how different things work for different people -- many thanks to the people who have been sharing here.

I am definitely a "slow dater" -- I have a lot of unique situations in my life that I know might be difficult to handle, and I'm up front about that because I don't want to lead anyone on.

It has surely cost me the opportunity for a relationship at times, but I've learned a lot and have made some amazing friends along the way.

I've had some instances in my life in which I thought people would disappear because I couldn't meet certain deadlines -- and it was shocking to me when they reassured me that they weren't going anywhere because they weren't setting any deadlines to begin with.

I know this approach won't work for anyone who, say, wants to start a family by a certain time.

But I have to say that for myself (and I understand that other people are different,) things really changed for me when God gave me peace over not absolutely having to have kids.

He then introduced me to other singles who are in the same situation, and I haven't felt pressured or rushed ever since, which has opened the door to its own kind of freedom in itself.
 

EmilyNats

Senior Member
Jul 28, 2016
1,367
186
63
#23
I've never heard of the 3 date rule, and I do think it's a little obsolete in this day and age where everyone texts and stuff so much. BUT I do definitely believe that the majority of people dating who are from the younger generation waste way more time and emotion than is even remotely necessary. It took me literally no time to figure out who I WASN'T going to pursue a relationship with. When we stopped talking in that sort of "getting to know you to see if we are a match" type of way, there was no weirdness or hard feelings, as there often is when people claim titles of BF/GF for a long time before breaking up, because we hadn't done any of the weird romantic stuff that most people are eager to do these days. But the trick is that you need to know both what you need and what you will absolutely not tolerate in a prospective spouse.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
17,230
5,810
113
#24
sometimes its actually a hassle being pursued but on the other hand sometimes you cant be bothered being the 'pursuer'

and both men and women can be be both. But its kind of weird because sometimes its like men are expected to be one and women the other, but if its the other way round, is it wrong?

I know of many women who were the ones who called, rang, or proposed and they got their man, while the ones who hung back and expected the man to do all the pursuing eventually lost out to another woman who pursued (even if they married them!)

but on the other hand i know of some men who calld and called and called, eventually wearing down their woman to convince them to go out with them and they evntually got married cos the guy didnt give up and the gal gave in. (I didnt hear from the gals side of the story though, she might have told me something different)

I never know of anyone who both decided on the spot, 'well on the third date, we are officially engaged' UNLESS they produced an engagement ring or changed their flower to their left ear or whatever.
 

I_am_Canadian

Senior Member
Dec 8, 2014
986
298
63
#25
Would it not be easier just to be honest about your feelings in the first place and just save your self a whole lot of hassle of risk losing someone you like to someone else.
 

ankagirl

Active member
Feb 10, 2021
125
109
43
#26
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 think that, in general, no one should enter a relationship with anyone unless they are seeking to explore the idea of marriage with them. The relationship should be able to continue as long as there are no red flags. I do not think it is a wise idea to have a deadline.
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
8,768
828
113
#27
Never heard of that rule before. Sounds pretty dumb.
 

Sculpt

Active member
Apr 18, 2021
352
129
43
#28
sometimes its actually a hassle being pursued but on the other hand sometimes you cant be bothered being the 'pursuer'

and both men and women can be be both. But its kind of weird because sometimes its like men are expected to be one and women the other, but if its the other way round, is it wrong?

I know of many women who were the ones who called, rang, or proposed and they got their man, while the ones who hung back and expected the man to do all the pursuing eventually lost out to another woman who pursued (even if they married them!)

but on the other hand i know of some men who calld and called and called, eventually wearing down their woman to convince them to go out with them and they evntually got married cos the guy didnt give up and the gal gave in. (I didnt hear from the gals side of the story though, she might have told me something different)

I never know of anyone who both decided on the spot, 'well on the third date, we are officially engaged' UNLESS they produced an engagement ring or changed their flower to their left ear or whatever.
Nothing wrong with a woman pursuing a man. Absolutely some women "lose out" to another woman who pursued the guy she was "hanging back" for. I've gone with women who pursued me, and forgot about who I was pursuing before. If they don't show any interest how the heck are you supposed to know they have any genuine interest?

All you have to do is be courteous and forthcoming and say, "Thanks for the evening. This was really cool. I hope we can do it again some time." ...or whatever your style is. The dude asked you out, and took you out. You have to hit the ball back over the net to start a relationship.
 

ankagirl

Active member
Feb 10, 2021
125
109
43
#29
Nothing wrong with a woman pursuing a man. Absolutely some women "lose out" to another woman who pursued the guy she was "hanging back" for. I've gone with women who pursued me, and forgot about who I was pursuing before. If they don't show any interest how the heck are you supposed to know they have any genuine interest?

All you have to do is be courteous and forthcoming and say, "Thanks for the evening. This was really cool. I hope we can do it again some time." ...or whatever your style is. The dude asked you out, and took you out. You have to hit the ball back over the net to start a relationship.
Girls should not pursue guys.That's just plain WRONG!!!
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
14,106
4,020
113
#30
Girls should not pursue guys.That's just plain WRONG!!!
But Ruth pursued Boaz.

And I have pursued a few guys over the years.

I'm still single, lol, but I've done a lot of trying.

And I've never had a 3-date rule. I think it really depends on the people involved and their situation.

I do tend to break a lot of artificial (human-made) rules, or just ignore them altogether.

I was in high school when a couple of the guys I dated were born.

Except for one, they did the pursuing.

I pursued one because he was in a work situation and I was a client, and I figured that with all the claims of harassment these days, it was better if I took the risk rather than him.

I'd have to brush up on this, but I also believe Martin Luther's wife was a former nun who actively pursued him.

I believe God allows women to pursue in some cases because many guys are too shy or too unaware.
 

MatthewWestfieldUK

Well-known member
May 13, 2021
871
496
63
#31
Can't really do my number. But I do think you need to be careful that one party is not becoming emotionally attached while the other is very unsure.
As a general rule, the younger you are the more patient you need to be
 

ankagirl

Active member
Feb 10, 2021
125
109
43
#32
But Ruth pursued Boaz.

And I have pursued a few guys over the years.

I'm still single, lol, but I've done a lot of trying.

And I've never had a 3-date rule. I think it really depends on the people involved and their situation.

I do tend to break a lot of artificial (human-made) rules, or just ignore them altogether.

I was in high school when a couple of the guys I dated were born.

Except for one, they did the pursuing.

I pursued one because he was in a work situation and I was a client, and I figured that with all the claims of harassment these days, it was better if I took the risk rather than him.

I'd have to brush up on this, but I also believe Martin Luther's wife was a former nun who actively pursued him.

I believe God allows women to pursue in some cases because many guys are too shy or too unaware.
The problem with women pursuing men is that after marriage, they expect the guys to take charge. However, by then, the guy is so used to letting the woman lead that he's not going to just take over. Also, in the Bible, it is very clear that 'a MAN should leave HIS father and mother, and cleave unto his wife'.

As for Ruth and Boaz, I wouldn't say that she was pursuing him. She was simply obeying her mother-in-law, and following the customs of the land by telling Boaz that it was his responsibility to either marry her or find a closer relative than he was.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
14,106
4,020
113
#33
The problem with women pursuing men is that after marriage, they expect the guys to take charge. However, by then, the guy is so used to letting the woman lead that he's not going to just take over. Also, in the Bible, it is very clear that 'a MAN should leave HIS father and mother, and cleave unto his wife'.

As for Ruth and Boaz, I wouldn't say that she was pursuing him. She was simply obeying her mother-in-law, and following the customs of the land by telling Boaz that it was his responsibility to either marry her or find a closer relative than he was.
I understand your position and wholeheartedly encourage you to live out your own personal convictions.

I have seen other circumstances work out, but I understand why you feel the way you do.

Best wishes to you.

And yes, Ruth was clearly following another woman's lead to pursue an avenue to a husband.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
14,106
4,020
113
#34
The problem with women pursuing men is that after marriage, they expect the guys to take charge. However, by then, the guy is so used to letting the woman lead that he's not going to just take over. Also, in the Bible, it is very clear that 'a MAN should leave HIS father and mother, and cleave unto his wife'.

As for Ruth and Boaz, I wouldn't say that she was pursuing him. She was simply obeying her mother-in-law, and following the customs of the land by telling Boaz that it was his responsibility to either marry her or find a closer relative than he was.
It's interesting that Ruth was also assumedly a newer Christian. When she chose to cling to Naomi instead of turning back to go to her own family, she told Naomi, "Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God."

Naomi was a lifelong follower of God, even being born into His own people, and she very clearly led her daughter-in-law to take specific actions in order to pursue a new husband.
 

JimJimmers

Senior Member
Apr 26, 2012
2,584
70
48
#35
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.
[vid]

I don't think this is the song you meant, but it was the one I thought of.
 

JimJimmers

Senior Member
Apr 26, 2012
2,584
70
48
#36
The problem with women pursuing men is that after marriage, they expect the guys to take charge. However, by then, the guy is so used to letting the woman lead that he's not going to just take over. Also, in the Bible, it is very clear that 'a MAN should leave HIS father and mother, and cleave unto his wife'.

As for Ruth and Boaz, I wouldn't say that she was pursuing him. She was simply obeying her mother-in-law, and following the customs of the land by telling Boaz that it was his responsibility to either marry her or find a closer relative than he was.
Actually I often wonder about that. The bible says Ruth stayed at Boaz's fields all during wheat and barley season, and at the end of that then Naomi told her about how to go to him at his grainery. I wonder if Ruth maybe was kvetching to Naomi about all the hints that poor Boaz missed during two grain harvests. So they decided to take drastic action.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
38,936
15,117
113
67
Tennessee
#37
I think that, in general, no one should enter a relationship with anyone unless they are seeking to explore the idea of marriage with them. The relationship should be able to continue as long as there are no red flags. I do not think it is a wise idea to have a deadline.
During my single years I made it a point to never date a woman that I wouldn't consider marrying.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
38,936
15,117
113
67
Tennessee
#38
Actually I often wonder about that. The bible says Ruth stayed at Boaz's fields all during wheat and barley season, and at the end of that then Naomi told her about how to go to him at his grainery. I wonder if Ruth maybe was kvetching to Naomi about all the hints that poor Boaz missed during two grain harvests. So they decided to take drastic action.
It appeared to me that Ruth sort of seduced Boaz.
 

JimJimmers

Senior Member
Apr 26, 2012
2,584
70
48
#39
It appeared to me that Ruth sort of seduced Boaz.
She definitely got his attention, to me seduction involves sexual relations though. But in the story after Ruth shows up at his bed he gives thanks to God for remembering him in his old age, which makes me think this was his first clue that she liked him.
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
4,197
2,221
113
#40
Actually I often wonder about that. The bible says Ruth stayed at Boaz's fields all during wheat and barley season, and at the end of that then Naomi told her about how to go to him at his grainery. I wonder if Ruth maybe was kvetching to Naomi about all the hints that poor Boaz missed during two grain harvests. So they decided to take drastic action.
Could have just been that when the grain harvests were over so was their source of food? And Boaz knew that he also had a social / cultural obligation to help. But Boaz's position is interesting because we don't know if he already had a wife or wives or if, being the son / descendant of Rahab as it says at the end of the book he was seen as not fully Jewish either and so no one had been willing to let their daughter marry him? Mostly I see it as Ruth (on Naomi's advice) pointedly asking Boaz, " So are you going to fulfill your duty and marry me and take care of us or not?"