3 Reasons the Three-Day Rule is Absolute B.S.

Written by Rebecca Carvalho 

I was never one for rules, so when I first got into the dating game at the tender (yet some might consider late) age of sixteen, the Golden Rule of Dating I was told to stick to never seemed to make much sense to me.

This Golden Rule was the Three-Day Rule, an obsolete rule of the dating game: wait three days to contact someone after getting a number or after your first date with said person. More importantly, if it was an “I slept with this person and don’t know where we stand” kind of situation, the Three-Day Rule was even more absolute.

The first question I asked when I was sixteen, and still wonder to this day, is: why three? Why not two? Four? Six? Eight? (Why must a good shag or date wait)?

I understood the appeal: the game that we play when we implement the Three-Day Rule is exciting and builds up a tension that is thrilling and infuriating, nerve-wracking yet a shot of adrenaline.

But, this game is also maddening, frustrating, and absolutely unnecessary.

I’m here to tell you that why the Three-Day Rule is long expired.

1. The Most Dangerous Game is the Waiting Game.
The entire thing is a game, which is what we consider as part of the thrill. Okay, no arguing with that logic. There is something exciting, something that reminds us of the first time we realized we had a crush on someone back in kindergarten.  I get it. I get why that rush makes it something so easy to thrive on, makes the wait a palpable force that dares you to reckon with it. But, think about it: does anyone really like to wait? No. This whole process is excruciating, and can drive anyone to be mildly paranoid about the situation. Why is there any reason to have to wait? I’m not saying call this person immediately after meeting them or after a wonderful first date. But three days? I’m going to say no.

2. It’s 2014, and Losing Interest Happens Fast. 
I know this is going to sound harsh, but with constant communication out there, time is of the essence. I’ve had way too many friends either turn someone down or get turned down because they waited too long to contact someone they were interested. Yes, even after three days. With access to everything and a demand for immediate attention, a lot of people are starting to move on before they even get to know someone. It’s not something I wish was happening, but if you meet someone and fall off the face of the planet, there’s a chance they might give up before anything even starts to happen. Three days feels like a week, so waiting a day or two before contacting them is a new norm. Speaking of new, fast technology, shoot them a text if you’re that much of a stickler of not wanting to reach out in a more personal way, like a phone call. But for the love of this fast paced world, show a slight sign of interest.

3. The Three-Day Rule is About Desire, Not Love.
My biggest issue with the Three-Day Rule is that it’s purely about not wanting to seem too excited or desperate. What I never understood is, why is it perceived as such a negative thing that someone is excited about seeing someone they might be interested in? Excitement is part of the experience! There’s no shame in being excited and happy that you got that number or had an amazing date or hey, even an amazing lay. There’s no reason to hide a feeling of wanting to get to know someone. And plus, if Urban Dictionary refers to the Three-Day Rule as “and outdated piece of dating technology” in one definition and as “a rule used by douchebag guys” in another, it might be time to ditch this rule.


Rebecca is a recent grad from Iona College in New York who decided to become a writer when her hopes of being a Spice Girl were dashed at a young age. Her love for music thrives, as well as her love for travel, fantasy fiction, and art. Brutal honesty, dark humor, and black coffee are the ways to her heart. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram @RebeccaEstherrr

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