In the past, I mentioned and explained the 3-Date Rule here and here but there seems to be some confusion surrounding the details of the concept. Some of you may think it is rather restrictive or unnecessary. Some of you may be confused about the details and reason behind the practice.
I knew I had to dedicate a post to the topic when a girl emailed me and asked if it was okay to talk to her Mom about a guy prior to having 3 dates with him. I was so touched by the closeness she has with her family and so I wrote back and let her know that of course she can talk about a prospective date with her Mom.
Note: Please don’t confuse this with the secular 3-Date Rule which refers to sexual conquests. You know, if a girl won’t sleep with a guy after 3 dates, then he dumps her. Stupid, yes.
For clarity, the 3-Date Rule I am referring to is this:
“..The next time a guy flirts with you, don’t say anything to anyone until this guy has taken you on 3 dates….”
“…Do not even consider a guy or allow him to occupy your heart or thoughts until he has taken you on 3 dates. Yes, 3 real dates where he pays and impresses you…”
I am not a big believer in Rules unless they serve a purpose. When you hear about dating rules, they are usually rules that are imposed upon the guy by the girl. This rule, however, is a rule you impose upon yourself.
The purpose of the 3-Date Rule is to help you practice Emotional Chastity. Emotional Chastity is an apprenticeship in self-mastery. Being self-contained means having mastery over your passions and your speech and not allowing your emotions to dominate you. It means keeping yourself intact (unity of the persons) and having integrity in all you say and do. It means avoiding duplicity in your speech and presenting your life in a way that is truthful. The 3-Date Rule keeps your words contained which in turn can help keep your emotions contained.
Emotional Chastity is a virtue that keeps you from getting ahead of yourself. It allows you to see this new blossoming romance honestly. It prevents you from attaching yourself to a Fantasy Relationship.
Not A Formula
Keep in mind that what I am suggesting is simply for your benefit. It is not a formula for ensuring a certain outcome. Not talking about a guy until he has taken you on 3 dates is not a guarantee for dating success.
The emotional chastity that results does, however, have the potential to make a positive impression on the guy. Instead of adding pressure to the budding romance, you are confident and at peace. Instead of allowing your emotions to dominate your actions, you are happy and responsive. It allows you to just enjoy and assess the romance. This is a great impression to make!
Family, Age and Temperament
If you are young, living at home or extremely close to your parents, then I think it is fine for you to mention to them that you are about to go out with or that you have had a couple of dates with a new guy.
If, however, you have been out on your own for a while and have been single longer than you have ever imagined you would be, then 3-Date Rule helps to keep yours and everyone else’s hopes contained. It helps reduce the pressure.
I have sort of a reserved temperament and I tend to keep things to myself until I can figure them out. In my case I knew Gregg for over four months before telling my parents about him. I had been living on my own for a number of years. And, I was single for a long time. Even if my loved ones did not intentionally cause the pressure, after a certain age, I felt pressure. A benefit of the 3-Date Rule is that it keeps this outside pressure off of you and allows you to discern the courtship.
What About Friends?
I am not trying to be an extremist by suggesting that you not tell your friends about a guy until after he has taken you on 3 dates. It is sort of like not eating meat on Friday. Is it a requirement? No. Instead, it is a spiritual discipline. This discipline keeps things between you and your Lord. It allows you to hear Him rather than yourself and your girlfriends gushing over (or complaining about) a new guy. It saves you from having to embellish the details in order to make things sound juicy.
If you are the kind of girl who can talk in a ‘matter of fact’ manner about a new man, then I see no problem with you sharing with your family and friends that you have had a couple of dates.
But, if you find yourself chatting a little too much about a new guy and building things up beyond reality or if you find yourself asking your friends if they think a guy likes you even before he has taken you on the first date…..then, the 3-Date Rule might be a good spiritual discipline for you to try.
God love and bless you!
Coming Up: I get the best emails from girls asking great questions and so far I have been responding to them privately. Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing their questions and my answers. I will, of course, change the details! I also have some exciting guest posts planned!
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