Should You Care About the “Third Date Rule”?

By: Elizabeth Marie |

It’s no secret that third dates are something of a major turning point in a relationship…or lack thereof. First and second dates are important, of course, but the third date is when things start getting real. If you’ve made it to the third date with someone, it’s established that you’re interested in each other and invested in seeing where your relationship can go. And of course, we can’t forget the third date rule. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? I’m not sure who comes up with these “rules”, but basically it states that the third date is the SEX date…and often insinuates that if a woman doesn’t hookup with a guy on third date, she can kiss him good-bye. While that part of the third date rule is absolutely ridiculous, three times is often the charm for a lot of couples.

So, should YOU have sex on the third date?

YES if…
1. You are comfortable.
Dating is just plain awkward sometimes and it’s rare that you’ll feel perfectly at ease and like you’re able to be yourself on the first few dates. Feeling like you have to be on your best behavior is understandable, but unfortunately it makes for extremely boring and awkward sex, and seriously-is there anything worse? General rule-if there are still uncomfortable pauses during your dinner conversation, it’s not the night to invite your date back to your place.

2. You see a future together.
I’m not saying that you should have your wedding planned and future children’s names picked out before you sleep together, but there is something to be said about hoping to date the person you’re having sex with. Considering that you didn’t have sex on the first date, chances are high that both of you aren’t looking for a no strings attached situation, so if you don’t genuinely like the other person, there is no point in letting them see you naked.

3. You simply CAN’T wait one more day.
The best thing about sex on the third (or fourth! or first! whatever!) date is finally being able to act on the passion that has no doubt built up since you met. If you don’t have the absolute need to have sex with this person tonight feeling, it might be worth exploring why it’s missing before you get down to business.

NO if…
1. You feel pressured.
Breaking news: The Third Date rule is absolutely NOT a rule. The only reason you should sleep with someone on any date-third or twentieth-is if you want to, not because you are afraid of what will happen if you don’t. Trust me, if you feel like you have to have sex with a guy to keep his attention on the third date, it’s not going to get any easier.

2. You are sleeping with someone else.
No judgements here, the more the merrier…as long as you’re upfront and honest about it with all parties. If you’re seeing more than one person sexually, it’s your responsibility to share that information with anyone who might be hooking up with you anytime soon. Safety first, and also it’s just good manners!

3. You aren’t ready for a relationship.
Sleeping with someone does not make a relationship but it definitely elevates things to a new level. Basically, sex complicates things and it’s worth saving yourself and your date the trouble if you aren’t looking for anything remotely serious. There is no harm in taking your time to figure out if this is someone you’d like to see more of. With less on.

There is no one size fits all answer to the sex on the third date question. I can tell you though that most dating rules are meant to be broken, so trust your instincts, listen to your heart, have fun and be safe.

What do you think about the Third Date Rule?

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