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How To Tell If He's Into You...Or Just Your Body

Dating Rules: What To Do About The "Three Date Rule"

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Will I lose him if I don't have sex by the third date?

Dear Annie,

Is it true that a woman should agree to have sex by the third date? Towards the end of my, otherwise delightful, second date with Frank, he began pushing for a degree of physical intimacy that made me uncomfortable.

When I declined his advances, he told me that we needed to get to know each other's bodies so that we could know if we were sexually compatible before making love on our third date. I told him that I generally need to take things more slowly, and he replied that I was out of touch with today's dating rules.

He expressed surprise that I didn't know about the "Third Date Rule," which states that couples must have sex by the third date. He said that he never gets into a relationship with a woman who doesn't abide by that rule. He needs to feel sexually accepted and appreciated before he is able to get emotionally involved.

I told him that I wasn't ready to move forward and our date ended. It's been a week and I haven't heard from him. I really enjoyed his company. Was I wrong to resist his sexual advances?

When I met my husband — I'm currently widowed after a 28-year marriage — there was no such rule. I want to find love again, but I don't want to become sexually intimate without feeing emotionally connected. Is there any place that I can meet men who won't insist on following the "Third Date Rule?" 

— Sally

The meaning of the Third Date Rule

The "Third Date Rule" is in the same category of mating lore that men and boys have always employed to in order to gain a greater opportunity to engage in sex. Some others include, "If we don't do it, my testicles will be incredibly painful (otherwise known as "blue balls"). I'll just put it in for a second to see what it feels like. Let's just lie down, talk and cuddle. I promise that nothing will happen."

In other words, there is no such rule. Frank was giving you an ultimatum. His non-verbal message was, "If you don't agree to have sex now or on our next date, you can forget about enjoying the pleasure of my company. It's my way or the highway."

He gave you a wonderful, if somewhat painful, opportunity to learn about his values. He let you know that he is interested in getting what he wants without considering the needs of others. He is open to manipulating and bullying people if he doesn't get his way.

If he's not willing to compromise, negotiate and respect your point of view this early on, an ensuing relationship can only promise more of the same. His attitude sends the message that he's only interested in a sexual relationship with you.

How to tell if he's interested in all of you...or just your body:

It's no wonder that many women find men's sexual signals confusing. A man won't ask a woman on a date unless he's sexually attracted to her. But, women have a difficult time figuring out if a man is only interested in a purely sexual encounter or if he is also interested in pursuing the possibility of a deep, intimate relationship.

A man who is only interested in a sexual relationship will pursue you until he decides that the cost of pursuit, whether in time or money, outweighs the possibility of success. His strategy may include trying to manipulate you by saying that you're not available, adventurous or open enough to be with him.

A man who is interested in an intimate relationship with you won't risk rejection by giving you an ultimatum. He'll respect your values and needs. As long as you let him know that you are interested in the possibility of closeness and intimacy, he will take the time to get to know you and be patient while you make up your mind.

If a man is interested in pursuing a relationship, encourage him. Playfully tell him that, while you need to take things slowly, you're excited about the prospect of becoming sexually involved when the time is right.

A big part of dating is sorting out which men see you as a possible partner and which ones see you as someone to enjoy until you get too serious. You'll spare yourself a lot of unnecessary heartbreak by meeting different men, exploring the possibility of an emotional connection and walking away from those who want a relationship based solely on sex.

About The Author:  Dating Coach, Annie Gleason teams up with single midlife women and men and guides them as they transform their dating lives from frustration and disappointment to into happy, successful relationships. She has helped hundreds of clients move through her exclusive Get A Love Life One on One Coaching Program for Women. As they progress, they quickly become increasingly confident as they move towards a successful, loving relationship. Annie supports them as they use new ways to effectively attract, date and build a rewarding, lasting relationship with a high quality, compatible mate.

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This article was originally published at Get A Love Life. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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