Should You Use the Three-Date Rule to Decide When to Have Sex?
Charlotte York, the prim and traditional friend from the HBO show Sex and the City, popularized the concept of the “Three-Date Rule.” The idea was that a lady “shouldn’t” have sex with a man until after their third date. But our cultural pressure to be sexual has changed this to “you must decide within three dates if you’ll have sex.” That isn’t good for women.
First, the only “rule” you should follow in dating is to be true to yourself. The idea behind being your own Brand of Sexy is to learn who you are and what you want, and then stay true to those values. Second, how on earth can you know a man well enough to make such a big decision after a couple of coffee or cocktail dates, and maybe a dinner or an outing?
It seems that this “rule” has begun to fall out of favor with the younger generation, and surprisingly, they’re sticking to a new five-date rule. This doesn’t really address the problem with what’s wrong with a strict rule. The problem is that women so often feel pressured sexually. What’s the hurry? The focus becomes “giving in” for the sake of keeping a man interested rather than ensuring he’ll treat you well. How does this give a woman power in her relationship? It often doesn’t.
Instead of rigidly sticking to a set marker like three or five dates, it’s more important to check in with yourself and how you feel about this new guy and all of the possible positive or negative outcomes that could happen if you jump into having sex too quickly. If you give into societal pressure to move more quickly than you’re comfortable with, it could lead to your not being true to yourself and what you want. Worse, it could lead to heartbreak and a crash-and-burn relationship. Before jumping into bed with a new guy, you might find it helpful to take an honest look at your feelings.
- Does he want what I want out of this, whether it’s a casual fling or something more serious?
- What if he treats me differently (no more dates, just ‘booty’ calls)?
- What is he’s just not that into me?
- How much will I regret passing on sex if I never hear from him again?
Some of us are blessed with good instincts and good insights into what works for us, and others of us are not. If you’re unsure whether or not he’s a good man or what is going to work for you, it’s probably best to play it safe and wait. We can’t know if a man can really be trusted after only three or five dates.
Maybe you’re worried that if you delay having sex, he’ll grow tired of waiting and walk away. It’s true that this can happen. But ask yourself if he was only there to have sex, was it likely you’d have a healthy relationship with such a man?
Protection Includes Your Heart
There are still plenty of men who want relationships beyond casual sex with women. The trick is learning how to protect yourself from getting burned as you discover what type of guy he really is. Allowing yourself the time to get to know him can help you in this. If the plan is for a relationship instead of casual sex, what difference will waiting to get to know one another make before having sex? Slow can be sexy!
Being your own Brand of Sexy means expecting respect. When you know what you want and what works for you, that’s when you can hold out for the kind of treatment you want and deserve. When you can learn to draw a line, men get clear signals about what you want. So, either they will try to please you, or they’ll disappear. That certainly simplifies the process of learning who’s into you and who isn’t.
In the past, sex was considered “taboo.” Because of this, the point of dating was meant as a way to get to know a guy and see if you were right for each other. Times have obviously changed, but determining compatibility remains valuable. Consider using your dates to build chemistry between you. Let this be the time when you get to know one another. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be better equipped to make the choice about when and if you want to have sex. You’ll feel more in control by choosing your own timeline for sex rather than by sticking to a “rule” that may seem helpful but turns toxic when you feel you must comply.
How Do I Tell Him I’m Not Ready For Sex?
Some women are comfortable with a straightforward response like, “I’m not into casual sex.” Others might struggle with saying that outright; it might feel too confrontational. No matter which side you land on, it’s important to find a way to be true to yourself. That’s what being your own Brand of Sexy is all about.
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