3 day rule

Do you use the 3 day rule? Modern dating etiquette explained

by Eharmony Editorial Team - May 18, 2016

Use the 3 day rule or reply to that text straightaway? In the ever-changing dating landscape, it’s hard to know which rules apply. Here’s our go-to guide to navigating modern dating etiquette with ease

It’s a scenario we can all relate to: you’ve had a great date, you want to see them again but you’re wary of coming on too strong. Does the 3 day rule still apply or should you tell them how you feel immediately? And how long should you wait for a call before accepting that they’re really just not that into you? Navigating the modern dating scene can be challenging but you can trust our guide to modern day dating etiquette to steer you in the right direction.

OUT: The 3 day rule
IN: Constant communication
Waiting three days before following up on a great date used to be one of dating’s most stringent rules but in the modern scene, anything more than a day is considered rude. In fact, most of us are permanently connected to our smartphones and are becoming accustomed to a culture of constant communication that extends to our dating lives. The one positive to come out of this change is that it’s no longer thought too keen to send a follow up text immediately after a date so we all know where we stand that much quicker. Plus, it typically means we find out a lot more about our dates before and after we meet them, meaning that, if sparks are going to fly, they will start much earlier.

OUT: Taboo subjects
IN: Healthy debate
Until recent years, discussing serious subjects on a date was considered to be a serious taboo, but these days, if you tend to stick to small talk on a first date then it’s unlikely you’ll form that deep connection that great relationships are built on. Granted; a discussion of politics or religion may not be everyone’s idea of great date conversation but if you feel passionately about them, don’t be afraid to bring them up. You may even find that your date enjoys the debate, even if they don’t necessarily agree with everything you say, and we guarantee that you’ll feel much more comfortable – and have more success – if you’re being yourself!

OUT: Wait for the man to make the first move
IN: Go on, ask him out
As dating becomes less about game playing and more about being straightforward about your feelings, the rules around making the first move have relaxed too. It used to be virtually unheard of for a woman to ask out a man, but today the split is definitely more even. Whether it’s sending that first smile on eHarmony or asking that handsome barista for his number, women are increasingly taking the initiative and calling the shots in their dating lives. And you know what? Most men love it. And the ones who feel threatened by a woman going after what she wants really aren’t worth your time anyway!

OUT: Don’t talk about your exes
IN: Acknowledge your past and move on
It was once the golden rule of dating, never mention your ex. But in the age of social media, extensive digital footprints and general oversharing, it’s virtually impossible to keep your past relationships hidden from potential partners. Our advice? Don’t even try to. Almost everyone you’ll meet will have a history too, and in all likelihood, that experience will have made you a better person to be in a relationship with as you’ll have learned from your mistakes and be wiser as a result. So, don’t sweep your past under the carpet, be open about your failures and it’ll make those dating successes sweeter.

OUT: Long distance relationships don’t work
IN: Technology is breaking down boundaries
We can’t overemphasise the impact that technology has had on our dating lives; from the way we meet to the way we deal with a break-up, every aspect of our relationships is influenced by technology.  One of the most positive changes that tech has brought about, is the way it has changed long distance relationships. Not too long ago, moving across the country spelt the end of a relationship, but today, there are so many ways to stay in touch that moving a few miles away doesn’t have to mean disaster. From enjoying a virtual date over Skype to updating Snapchat stories to keep your partner up-to-date with your day, technology has eliminated many of the pitfalls of long distance dating and opened up more possibilities for finding love, near or far.