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What Is the Three-Day Dating Rule?

The 3-Day Rule Is the Worst Piece of Dating Advice, and We Should All Stop Following It

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Picture it: You go on a first date, the conversation is flowing, and you can already tell you have some sort of connection with this person. They're someone you hope to see again, and you're pretty positive they feel the same way. However, there's just one thing — you have to wait three days to talk to them again. Why? Well, because of the well-known and long-standing (but pretty much outdated) three-day dating "rule."

If you like someone, tell them. If you didn't feel a connection on the date, tell them. Talk to them when you want to talk to them instead of waiting because of some stupid rule.
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The guideline came about to direct people on how to handle communication following a first date. After all, you couldn't possibly contact someone too soon without running the risk of looking desperate, especially a woman reaching out to a man first (the scandal!). Texting or calling someone the day after a date? Forget it. What about the second day? No, you still look too eager. But day three is just right, according to this rule.

This led to the mentality that you have to keep a person guessing how you feel about them, because if they knew how much you liked them, or that you even liked them at all, that would come off as unattractive. This kind of childish thinking is what can kill a potentially good relationship. These days, with social media, texting, and a culture that's seemingly always connected, why are people still fueling an I'm-so-cool-I-didn't-contact-you outdated game?

When I used to be on dating apps, I thought if a conversation died down for a few days, at least one of us wasn't really feeling it. That was fine, but then if the person reappeared, well, that was just a back-and-forth situation I was not there for. The truth is, with so many options at our fingertips (thanks, Tinder), how do we know if someone is actually following the three-day rule or just forgot about you for a minute while they talked to someone new?

Let's keep it simple: the three-day dating rule is straight up a waste of time. If you like someone, tell them. If you didn't feel a connection on the date, tell them. Talk to them when you want to talk to them instead of waiting because of some stupid rule. There's no benefit in playing hard to get if you, in fact, want some sort of future with the person. So let's make a new rule: if you're into someone, don't be afraid to be the first person to reach out following a great first date. Life is too short to play unnecessary games. The worst that could happen is they don't feel the same way, and if that does happen, you can rest easy knowing you didn't waste more time thinking about someone who wasn't right for you. It's a win-win.

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