Yes, The 'Three Month Rule' In Dating Is A Thing. Here's How To Survive Past It

No matter who you are and what your experience has been with love, we can all agree on one thing: Dating is hard. Dating has changed a lot — even just over the last few years, and sometimes it feels like the rules change daily. It can seem as though everyone who's been in and out of the dating scene has some piece of advice. From warnings against big dating mistakes that you didn't even know were mistakes to rules about when you can and cannot text a new flame, dating is confusing, complicated, and sometimes even anxiety-inducing.

At one point or another, we all get dating advice –– solicited or otherwise –– from folks who have found love. Consequently, chances are you've heard about the 'three month rule.' Surprisingly, there's some truth to this one. But don't worry; this isn't just another restrictive rule to apply to an already complex dating world. This one can actually help you find lasting love and determine if the new person you're dating is a keeper.

What is the 'three month rule'

We all tend to get excited about a new flame. On a first date, it's easy to imagine that we'll look back at this evening ten years from now and remember when we met. In reality, though, we know that most first dates won't still be around a decade from now. They may not even be here in three months.

According to the 'three month rule,' the three month mark is pretty important. Early in romance, we're in the "honeymoon phase." We're excited about our new partner, and at the same time, we don't know them very well. Three months in, you have a better idea of who you're dating. Professional matchmaker, Sameera Sullivan, broke this down for Her Campus, saying, "After three months of dating, you and your partner have gotten to know each other better. As a result, you're more inclined to lower your guard, express your emotions, and be candid about important issues." 

While at this point, you or your partner may start to feel like you're losing the spark, in reality, you're likely just realizing that the time has come to decide to commit to each other or move on. According to dating coach Anna Morgenstern, "The three month-mark in a relationship is usually when you either take the relationship to the next level and become more serious, or you decide that love isn't going to grow and you break ties."

How to persevere through the three month mark

Of course, lots of us want to find lasting love. So, how can we know if a new relationship is built to last? There are signs to look out for, and the 'three month rule' can help. When that three month mark rolls around, you should feel like you and your partner have gotten to know each other and feel comfortable together. Dating expert, Samantha Daniels, told Bustle that three months in, the game-playing should be over. "You should feel no boundaries when it comes to texting when you feel like it, introducing them to your family, and being mad," Daniels explains. "The three-month mark is when the dating games should be stopping, and you can both be your genuine, honest, real true selves." 

You and your partner should be comfortable talking about shared plans for the future, as well as your needs and feelings. You should also make sure that, at this point, you two want to spend time with each other and are getting involved in other aspects of each other's lives.

Ultimately, Sameera Sullivan says, "If you feel like your partner is getting ready to leave after three months, take it as a positive sign and let them go. You would only make things worse if you kept on trying." The 'three month rule' won't ruin happy relationships. Instead, this dating rule can help you find the person who's got staying power.