The Three Day Rule

I’ve heard a lot about the “Three Day Rule” lately (or maybe I’ve just noticed it lately), where a man gets a phone number from a woman and he is expected to wait three days before calling. Otherwise, apparently, he is desperate or coming on too strong.

I haven’t really dated since the Reagan Administration, so I don’t know how things are today. When I was young, I mostly slept with my friends, but there were occassions when I would chat a girl up and get her number. I always called her at the next opportunity, though. I considered waiting for no reason to be “playing games.” Playing games was pretty much the only thing categorically forbidden in a sexual realtionship, as far as I was concerned, so I wouldn’t go doing it myself.

If I was unable to reach the young lady, I would wait a couple days before trying again (there was no voice mail, and except for aspiring actors, not many people had answering machines), but I had no interest in trying to make someone think I was busy when I wasn’t, or that I had more potential partners than I did. That may have been because I actually was busy a lot, and had a lot of potential partners. Nevertheless, I’m a little concerned that this sort of nonsense has become standard. If there are new rules, I’ll need to know them, as my friends’ husbands will insist that I not go back to sleeping with them.

I think that rule is crap. If you like someone, call her soon. I dunno about everyone else, but I hate sitting around waiting for someone to call.

Don’t, however, make a pest of yourself. If you call and she’s not in, leave a message. If she likes you, she’ll call back soon. Don’t call ten times a day until she picks up the phone - THAT screams of desperation. If you don’t get a call after 3 or 4 days, call back again, leave a message if necessary. If no reply to that, she doesn’t like you, so go find someone else.

That is exactly what I do. The Three Day Rule is, indeed, game playing bullshit.

I don’t like game-playing either, but the last time I met someone I was interested in, I did wait three or four days. It seemed like the smart thing to do, and it worked out.

I don’t like the idea of dating rules. Treat each person and each situation separately. By all means be wary of rushing, but base that decision on your own judgement. The worst that can happen is that you learn what not to do next time.

Dating is an imporatant social interaction between two relative strangers, so there are going to be rules. I’m just hoping that this is not one of them, since it is so contrary to a normal impulse, and serves no discernible purpose.

I’m repeatedly amazed by the “one size fits all” approach to dating that some folks seem to have. Dating is a social interaction between two individuals: how well you know the person you’re interacting with has nothing to do with the existence (or necessity) of any “rules.” Rules apply to games, sports, and message boards – I encourage you to avoid treating dating as though it is any of the above. :wink:

If I went out with a guy and didn’t hear back for three days, I’d figure he wasn’t into me. If he did call on the third day, I’d be pretty annoyed with him.

Especially not this one. And that rule is crap, Charlie.

I like your thinking, but I believe that you’re in the minority. I think most people expect that there are rules in most social interactions. I don’t mind violating the rules, but I like to do it on purpose, instead of out of ignorance.

What if he made $250K per year and looked like [name of your favorite sexy actor]?

I agree that there are useful general rules governing social interaction - don’t lie, for example. I don’t believe that specific rules for particular situations are as necessary or as useful, especially where different people you date may have different expectations. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

I hate rules that too, but I’ll still follow them. I learned long ago that just behaving the way I think would be best does not work in attracting girls. When you first meet a girl, if she gets the impression that you have nothing better to do than see her, she will probably be less attracted to you. (Disclaimer: The preceding statement is by no means universal, and I’m sure it does not apply to the fine females of this message board, who are way too enlightened to play such games. But it’s still true most of the time.) If you give off the impression that you lead an exciting life without her, and maybe if she plays her cards right she’ll be able to come along for the ride, she’s more likely to be attracted to you.

Now, I hate that sort of thing. It’s not really in my nature to play games or be deceptive. Luckily, it’s only really necessary in the beginning stages. After that, she should know enough about you to accept or reject you based on your own merits.

I think there are “dating rules” but they’re more things like “regardless of your gender, if you are the one to do the asking, you should be prepared to pay fpr tje date” and “don’t flirt with other people while on the date.”

I don’t know about arbitrary time limits and rules like that. They seem pretty silly. Yeah, people who are desparate often call right away. That doesn’t mean that everyone who calls in less than 3 days is desparate.

I have this problem with a girlfriend of mine who is always asking things like “he asked me out on Thursday for a date on Saturday–if I say yes, will I seem like I’m desparate and have no life” or “how long do I wait to return his call so I don’t seem like I’m desparate and have no life”. The problem is that she is desparate and has no life! No amount of following silly rules is going to change that (and most guys find out anyway). The only way to do so is for her to get out there, find interests of her own, and stop thinking that this new guy will make her life complete.

I guess what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t act like you have no interests in the world other than this person. Instead, you should have interests other than this person. You’d like to see him, but if not, your world won’t end. It’s much easier and comes across much better than trying to keep track of and follow whatever rules are out there at any given time.

The person who plays games lies and says “sorry, I’ve already made other plans” then sits home alone on Saturday. The person who has full life actually does have plans and says “sorry, I’ve already made plans for Saturday, but would you like to get together some other day next week?”

As I’ve read on male dating advice websites, the 3 day rule is supposed to make the girl nervous but not pissed. She’s supposed to start wondering why you didn’t call her back so that when you do call her back on the third day she’s the who feels like she has to make herself more interesting in order to get your attention. Unfortunately for whoever made up the 3 day rule, most women are aware of it. I won’t expect a guy to call until the 3 day now. All of the guys I’ve given my number to have followed this rule. I wouldn’t care/think less of them if they called me earlier - if we match, we match.

“You know I used to wait two days to call anybody, but now it’s like everyone in town waits two days. So I think three days is kind of money.”

Or we could just tell you the rules ahead of time and save a few steps. Don’t think of them as “rules”. Think of them as guidelines.

You have to think of it like this - When did you meet? What are you normally doing over the next few nights. What is she normally doing? When is a likely time to see each other? How much notice do you give? Most girls like to have more than a few hours notice for a date.

Generally, Thursday nights you and/or she should be out with coworkers for happy hour or whatever. Fri and Sat you are out with your friends. So there’s a good chance she may already have plans on Sat she might not want to break.

Thurs are more difficult for meeting women because they tend to not want to look like slut in front of potentially judgemental coworkers. Plus if you meet a girl on Thurs she has all weekend to potentially meet someone better. If you meet a girl on Thurs, have her bring her friends out to meet you and your friends wherever you are going. Maybe call her Saturday afternoon to firm things up.

Friday, you can call the next day. You might be able to fast-track things along for a Sat dinner or maybe afternoon coffee, but it night be better to set up something for the following week.

Saturday is the best day because that’s it for the weeking. If you meet a girl on Sat then you should ask her out for that Weds which means call Monday.

If by some chance you meet a girl in a Barnes & Nobel or something on Sun - Weds, set up something for Thurs or Friday.

The three-day rule is a trick to help people follow the true rule of dating: Play It Cool. Playing it cool means projecting self-confidence and having the proper perspective about potential dating partners, namely there’s always more on the horizon if a given one doesn’t pan out so don’t get too worked up too soon. There are some people who naturally radiate this attitude, and they can pretty much do whatever they want. Others…not so much.

Waiting a magic number of days won’t automatically send the right message or avoid the wrong one. Calling too soon (e.g. as soon as you get home, or early the next day) can send the wrong message, so if you’re unsure, wait a day or two. Otherwise, it’s just a guideline, not a rule. It really depends on the situation and the person. So long as you Play It Cool, you’ll be fine.

Course, all you have to do is wave that tongue about and most of the rules go right out the winder, I’d suspect.