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Third Date Rule: What It Is and 10 Reasons Why It Works So Well

If you’ve never heard of the third date rule, where have you been? It has been around for a LONG time – and for a very good reason. Find out why here.

third date rule

The third date rule is something that we’ve pretty much all heard of before. If you haven’t, I’ll make it pretty simple. It’s the idea that you wait until the third date before sleeping with someone. Some people say it’s pointless and you should just have sex whenever you want, others swear by it.

So what makes certain people say this is the golden rule? Well, that’s what we’re here to cover. The third date rule is often a guideline for women to use in order to make a man want to keep coming back for more. It also helps to ensure the man wants a serious relationship and not just sex. However, guys can use this rule, too.

Why you need to set boundaries for yourself – and others

Everyone needs to have certain boundaries in their love lives. It’s okay if you want to have sex with someone after the first date and are ready to do so, but it might still give the wrong impression to the other person. Therefore, you have to set boundaries in order to establish your value.

When someone sees that you won’t just put out for anyone who takes you out, they see you in a better light. They have more respect for you. The people who stick around until the third date are then worthy of you. [Read: Boundaries in dating – How far is too far?]

The golden rule – Wait the full three dates

This is crucial for making this work. If you just say you’re going to wait three dates and then only wait two, it will certainly send the wrong message. Firstly, they won’t take you seriously with much else. Secondly, it shows you’re willing to give in if pressured enough. Neither of which are good.

Why does the third date rule actually work?

This is the big question we have to ask ourselves when we consider implementing this rule. Why does it even work? We know by now that it definitely does since it’s highly popular. But we just don’t know the details of why it’s so effective.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should stick to the third date rule, we can help. Here are all the rules regarding this technique and why it works so well with so many people.

#1 You set your standards early. The success of the third date rule really falls on the shoulders of standards. When you set your expectations and your standards early, it’ll only attract the right kinds of people.

You won’t have people who just want to get laid wasting your time. When you have this rule in play, you’re telling other people that you have standards. And if they fail to meet those standards, they’re not worth your time. [Read: 16 signs to know if your date’s only interested in sleeping with you]

#2 It shows that you’re not looking for a hookup. All of that being said, it also shows people that you’re in it for something more serious. Some people even decided to extend the third date rule and make it a five date rule or even longer.

This will let people know right away that you want more. It will make them see you as someone who can be in a serious relationship. You’ll avoid that awkward moment when they try to get you in bed because they’ll already know they can’t. [Read: Dating material vs. a hookup – how to tell the difference]

#3 It lets you see if they want a relationship. When you take sex off the table, it forces you to weed out the people who want something real. When you explain this rule or mention it and they get uncomfortable and act like they’re unhappy, then they’re not for you.

It’s a really quick way of knowing whether or not someone is in it for the relationship. When they accept your rule without question, you know they’re someone worth your time. [Read: 15 signs he definitely wants a relationship with you]

#4 It brings out their respectful behavior – or not. Respect is everything in a relationship. Without it, you can’t possibly have a healthy and happy relationship with someone. Therefore, you want to know if they’re respectful right away.

In order to do that, the third date rule helps. When someone learns of this rule, their behavior right after will tell you all you need to know. Are they respectful about this rule or do they roll their eyes and complain? I think you know which is preferred. [Read: How self-respect affects you and your relationship]

#5 You’ll be able to get to know them better first. I think we need to touch on the fact that there are always risks when it comes to having sex. You could get an STD and even get pregnant. Do you really think having a child with someone you know nothing about is a good idea?

Probably not. That’s where the third date rule comes into play. It allows you to spend time getting to know someone better before having sex.

#6 You’ll feel more comfortable when you do have sex. Having sex with someone when you barely know anything about them is generally not very fun. It’s uncomfortable and awkward. And honestly, you feel a lot less confident.

But if you wait until your third date, you’ll already have an idea about how much you like this person. It’ll just make the sex much better in general. Which can also leave someone coming back for more.

#7 It makes them work harder to win your affection. Effort is something each relationship needs to have on both sides. When you implement the third date rule, you’ll force the other person to put forth that effort.

They’ll try extra hard to win your affection and it can really make your relationship with them so much better. [Read: How to talk to your crush and make them want you more]

#8 It fosters a respectful relationship. Relationships should be built on trust and respect. When you announce that you respect yourself and hold others to just as high of standards, it fosters that type of relationship.

If your relationship with them grows, it’ll be based on the fact that you respected yourself and that they respected your wishes and your rules.

#9 You’ll be able to see the real them by the third date. The first date is all nerves. The second is a little better, but not too much. By the third date, you’re always more comfortable around them and you can let your true self shine.

This is especially important to see before you have sex with them. Why? Because when you see the real them, you’ll be able to decide if they’re the person for you. [Read: 60 questions to get to know someone better]

#10 It clears your head so you can make sound decisions. Sex has the ability to alter the way you see someone. You end up bonding closer with someone you’ve slept with – and that’s not always a good thing.

The third date rule works because you’re able to have a clear head about how you feel about someone. Your real feelings can come through so you’ll know if they’re someone you even want to sleep with.

 [Read: 13 warning signs to keep a look out for on the first three dates]

Whether or not you believe in the third date rule, you can’t deny how much it’s worked for people in the past. Thanks to this rule, many couples have gone on to have great relationships.

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Bella Pope LovePanky
Annabel Rodgers
Annabel is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog,...