Is The Three Day Rule For Online Dating Still In Effect?

three days rule for online dating

Are you unsure if you should stick to the three-day rule for online dating? Let’s begin at the beginning…

Have you ever sought dating advice from your parents? There wouldn’t be any surprise if the answer is no. It’s likely that dating norms in your parents’ day were vastly different from those in the dating world now. A woman is unlikely to meet a man from the internet. A man may feel offended with a woman who initiates contact. It can be tough to tell which dating norms still apply because dating has evolved so much in the last ten years.

Of course, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to worry about following any rules and could just be ourselves and tell people we like them. The three-day rule is a dating approach that recommends calling your date three days after you’ve gone out. The theory is that waiting three days helps you appear less eager and/or desperate, and gives your date time to realize how much they enjoyed you while you’re away.

Does the three day rule for online dating still apply?

1. In a nutshell, No!

The pace of dating has accelerated. Apps for dating, messaging, and other technology advancements have made dating easier and more convenient than ever before.

There was a time when seeing a new dating partner more than once a week was unthinkable. Some people nowadays go out with a Tinder match they swiped on just hours before. If all goes well, they might wind up spending the entire weekend in bed together.

2. Would waiting for three days be ruining?

While waiting three days to phone (or, more likely, text) your date may not completely damage your prospects, it’s still possible that your date may dismiss you as a hopeless romantic.

There’s also the possibility that in those three days, your date has matched and/or gone out with someone new to whom they’re devoting their attention.

Your date’s other matches aren’t likely to wait three days for a response, so why should you if you’ve already met them and loved them?

Even if your date isn’t conversing with a slew of matches on their preferred app, it’s possible that they’re simply busy. Teenagers and millennials today are busier than ever, according to studies.

Many single people are busy with employment, side hustles, a thriving social life, and possibly a recreational pastime like an intramural softball league or tantra training class in addition to their dating life.

Even if your date is still interested in going out three days later, they may be scheduled for the next two weeks.

3. Many twenty-somethings are unaware of this guideline

I’ll be honest and admit that I had no idea what the three-day rule was when I first heard it, despite the fact that I write about dating for a job.

Instead, I was thinking about the same-named matchmaking service. Then I realized that the three-day rule for online dating is similar to the three-date rule, which states that you should not have sex until the third date.

I’m in my late twenties, so the fact that I had no idea what this rule was is a pretty solid clue that it’s out of date. In 2018, an Elle writer polled her colleagues about the three-day guideline.

4. What is the new standard for texting/calling following a first date?

When I state that I expect a text from my date shortly after, or the morning after, a dinner date, I believe many of my female colleagues will agree with me. I think he won’t send me that cliched “I had a fantastic time” text if he doesn’t do so.

And if he waits three days, I’m guessing he’ll be playing games, which I’m not interested in. Women interviewed for Men’s Health confirmed my sentiments: if he waits three days, they suspect he’s playing games.

In today’s dating scene, it’s also very uncommon to organise the next date while on the first date if things are going well.

For example, towards the end of the date, you may remark, “This was a lot of fun; if you’re interested, I’d love to do it again sometime.” Perhaps we can go to that arcade you’ve always wanted to go to.” If your date says yes, you can send them something like, “Hey!” within a day or two. “Would you like to go to the arcade on Thursday night?”

You don’t have to chit-chat just because you’re texting your date sooner. Getting right to the point shows that you’re interested and allows you to bond in person on the date rather than over text, where things are more easily misread.


While there’s no disputing that being a little mysterious and playing hard to get might work at times, today’s singles are tired of games and are more savvy than our parents when it comes to dating rules. We’re also impatient, and we prefer to acquire what we want with a single mouse click.

Keep the surprise alive by not texting a new match every aspect of your day. Instead focus on creating real plans as evidence that you definitely want to see them again and learn more about them.

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