Does The 'Three Day Rule' In Dating Still Have Merit?

It may seem counterproductive to show someone that you're interested in getting to know them more by ignoring them for three days. However, the three-day rule in dating has existed for years and was popularized by the classic rom-com. It has been touted as the ideal way of showing that you have boundaries by acting like you're not that available. You may, in fact, be painfully single, but giving someone space ensures you don't bombard them with calls and texts. The last thing you want to do is come off as desperate. Plus, your restraint encourages the other person to initiate communication if they're interested. At least, that's the concept behind the rule.

Once you meet a potential partner and exchange information, the thought of waiting three whole days might seem torturous. However, establishing yourself as not clingy is a very important character trait when it comes to the world of dating. Apparently, looking too eager to talk to someone again can be a turnoff.

Conversely, with many singles wanting transparency and authenticity in a relationship, the three-day rule can sometimes feel like a childish game. Therefore, it's important to know which situations this dating rule would apply to today.

Define the relationship

The three-day rule seems to work for a certain type of relationship dynamic. If you are constantly texting your person first, trying to plan dates, and desperate for their attention or validation, waiting a few days before initiating another conversation might actually be right for you. When a flirtationship progresses to a situationship, things can get messy very quickly. You might be hoping to start something official while they are just along for the ride.

Some say that silence speaks volumes and that couldn't be more accurate when it comes to this rule. By waiting a few days before making contact, you are showing the person you're talking to that there may come a time when you're not around. They might not always be a priority to you, especially if you're not a priority to them. And their lack of effort is a major relationship red flag.

The three-day rule will give you the clarity you need because you'll either send a wake-up call to this person, letting them know that the phone works both ways, or you won't hear from them. While their silence will be painful, it also sends a clear message that they do not value you. Of course, if that's the case, your time is much better spent on those who care, even if that means focusing on yourself for a while.

Don't complicate a good thing

While the three-day rule can provide answers to a complicated situation, it can also complicate something really simple. It's important not to overthink things, especially in the early stages of talking to a potential partner. Emotional intelligence and open communication are signs of maturity and vital aspects of a healthy relationship. "People in mature relationships have learned to value direct communication, active listening, respect, and commitment, along with empathy, accountability, a mindset of making amends, and a harmony of thoughts and actions," psychologist Pragati Sureka told Bonobology.

Therefore, those who have pure intentions really have no need for games. Waiting three days to talk to someone you really like is quite literally a waste of time for many people. If you are lucky enough to find someone that seems to have real potential, why would you risk letting that slip away by acting less interested? Additionally, avoiding communication for multiple days could very likely be emotionally tormenting the other person.

Dating apps seem to be on the same page. With the normalization of online dating, communication dynamics are really shifting. Making your intentions clear in the beginning is what helps establish a good match. If you ignore someone's message for three days, there's a good chance they've matched with multiple other people. Some apps will even remove your match if you take too long to respond. So, while the three-day rule may occasionally be helpful, it's hard to beat the vulnerable connection that comes from open and honest communication.