Waiting For Sex: Does the 3-Date Rule Still Apply?

by supercutesecret

on Jan 10, 2017

Waiting for Sex Does the Three Date Rule Still Apply

We all know there are supposedly those unspoken 'rules' regarding sex and dating, and while some of us subscribe to them, others regard them as a complete fallacy.

Even for those that have no interest in restricting themselves and their love lives to those imaginary rules, the topic of "when should I?" pertaining to sex can often make one pause for thought.

But in a world much changed from what it was a mere few decades ago, we have to wonder if these beliefs are still relevant.

Casual and non-traditional relationships are much more widely accepted, and being open about individual sexual needs without necessarily needing a relationship has become as easy as clicking a button on your phone.

So, is it still 'best practice' to wait 3 dates before sleeping with someone you want a relationship with?

The best way I can express my views on the matter is to take you through some of my past experiences and their varying results…

Waited for sex, ended up in a long-term relationship

This was with my first boyfriend. He was much more experienced than me at the time and I had never had anyone look at me twice before him. Due to this, my nerves were what stopped us progressing faster – I was scared about kissing him, let alone anything else!

Waiting was definitely a good idea in this instance. It helped me become more comfortable in myself and relax completely when it did get down to taking things further.

The first time we had sex was awesome, and we were together for nearly three years, so in this instance, waiting definitely worked out.

Waited for too long, lost the spark

In this case, we left it too long between dates, which just meant that we ended up bypassing any potential for taking things further than some kissing.

Waiting for 3 dates is fine, provided the dates are not so far apart it causes that initial spark and attraction to die out.

I do believe there was potential in this case, and had we had more opportunities to see each other in a shorter amount of time, it definitely could have ended up as more. Sex without waiting may well have given things the push they needed.

Didn't wait for sex, became a one-night stand

I will be honest, there are a few for me who fall onto this list, though I am not ashamed and was not expecting them to be anything more.

This is the scenario that a lot of people have found themselves in at least once. If you do not know the person too well, it could be difficult to gauge if they are viewing you as relationship potential or just a way of satisfying their physical needs. It's because of this potential result that the "3 Date Rule" is even a thing at all!

Didn't wait for sex, remained friends

Not all people who you do intimate things with will necessarily fall into the "dating" or "hook-up" categories. I have also remained good friends with some people who I had fun with the first time I met them. Although a romantic relationship did not form, we're still on friendly, non-awkward terms.

Obviously, this isn't the best method for making new friends in general! But if you decide to not wait for sex, it doesn't have to result in either extreme of getting deeply romantically involved or never seeing them again. Much like with a date that doesn't end in sex, you may potentially stay friends with the person afterwards without anything else developing.

Didn't wait for sex, ended up in a relationship

I am now currently in a relationship with someone who I had sex with the first time I met them. We'd talked online for around a week beforehand, and after a couple of meet-ups it was clear that we wanted to be together 'officially'.

Even despite my reluctance to commit for the first couple of months, he still hung in there waiting for me, and now we're together. This just shows that not every potential partner will rule out a relationship just because you have sex early on.

As you can see, I have had much experience with mixed results and the only conclusion I can come to is: there is no correct answer either way. It does not matter what the supposed rule is, or what you should be doing – judge for yourself on each individual basis with each individual person. Trust your own instincts, know your own worth and the right partner will not judge you either way on your choice of timing for passing the sex milestone.

Blogger supercutesecret is an established sex and relationships blogger, who studies Maths & Statistics at the University of Warwick.

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Written by supercutesecret.

Originally published on Jan 10, 2017. Updated on Aug 5, 2020