The three-date rule is apparently out.
That adage holds that a trio of get-to-know yous is the right amount before a pair of singles gets intimate. Clearly, one-night stands happen and then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are couples that wait far longer before taking things to the next level, perhaps even to marriage.
The three-date premise is not a perfect system, mind you, but it’s some kind of rule of thumb that’s long been a standard, if such a thing exists.
New research, though, is changing up that number. A study of 2,000 singles, commissioned by dating site singles247.com, found that the average woman needs four dates to decide whether the guy is worth getting busy with.
Five, it seems, is the new three.
The number barometers don’t end there. Researchers ascertained that ladies are going through a mental checklist on these dates plotting things, like whether the man will make her feel comfortable about her body. Also, before she’s ready for sex, they said that she tends to expect the following things to take place:
• They’ll have 12 text conversations.
• They’ll take part in 5 long phone chats.
• He’ll purchase flowers for her.
• They’ll share 7 passionate kisses.
• They’ll eat 4 meals together.
• They’ll watch 3 films.
First of all, yowser. That’s a heavy and detailed list. I would think there’s some overlap on these enumerated criteria. Say, a meal and a movie on a date, kissing while watching the movie, flowers leading to some texting.
The biggest surprise that struck me was the obligation to have, not just phone conversations—an endangered species in a texting, chatting era—but long phone conversations. More than one per date experienced.
If even my first two weeks on Tinder are an indication, there are plenty of men trying to get into ladies’ pants—and to do it quickly, easily, without much flattery, courtship or effort involved.
Perhaps the research shows that it’s not working. Or maybe the bigger force at play is increased scrutiny.
There may still be an expectation that the man takes the lead, pays or is the initiator in romantic relationships for the most part, but the female dictates when sex happens. So maybe my gender is getting ever-so more discriminating about who, and how soon, to let companions into her bedroom.