One of most empowering and liberating rule in The Rules book by the authors Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider is the three day rule. This rule has prevented much angst and has allowed me to seamlessly maintain a healthy balance between dating, friends, family and every day life.
This particular rule stipulates that unless men are giving you three days notice for a date, i.e calling you by Wednesday for Saturday night then you basically don’t have a date. One, two and most certainly last minute or same day dates are not accepted. In practise this means that if by Wednesday for a Saturday date no confirmation has been received then there is no need to wait around for him to make contact.
I’ve had plenty of practice with the three day rule and in my experience have noted some subtleties particularly during the very early stages of dating when applying this rule:
1) He has called well in advance of three days. A date and time have been agreed but no venue
This is the scenario that I am most familiar with. Most men can’t think of a venue on the spot especially if the date is being agreed on the telephone. With practise I’ve learned to make a subtle suggestion that ‘maybe he’d like to get back to me with a venue’. In every instance I have quite literally heard the sense of relief in his voice at this suggestion.
When I first started applying the three day rule I would get incredibly close to the time of the date only to find that he still hadn’t confirmed the venue. In many cases I’d wonder whether we still had a date and would start getting irritable since I didn’t know where and if we were still meeting.
With time I started to notice a pattern developing. Most men would often confirm the venue two to three hours before the agreed meeting time. I began to expect a call or a text at 3pm confirming the plans for a meeting at 6pm. I have now become so familiar with this scenario that I simply start getting ready for the date fully expecting the venue details to be confirmed on the day of the date. Since I’ve already stated my preferred location I can also confidently calculate the required amount of travel time to the venue.
2) He has called well in advance of the three days. He says that he’ll be in touch with the details
This scenario is simple, basically if he calls well within three days then you have a date. If he hasn’t been in touch within the three days then this date is removed from my diary.
I started the week with two dates lined up for Saturday. Both men had called a week in advance. I had agreed an afternoon coffee with date one and an early doors drink with date two. The scheduling suited as it allowed enough time on Saturday morning to run errands before date one coupled with sufficient time to travel to date two.
By Wednesday date one had been agreed whilst date two was still awaiting confirmation. By Thursday date two still hadn’t confirmed and I now wasn’t planning on meeting him regardless of what contact he made.
On Friday evening I received a text from date two saying:
‘Hey I may be able to do Saturday evening but depends on whether my friend is planning to stay over on Saturday. Will let you know’.
On reading his text I had a little chuckle and gave thanks to The Rules. He hadn’t given me three days notice and I had since accepted an invite from my lovely friend Rachel to watch the comedy in a private box at the O2. He then send another text on Saturday evening saying
‘Sorry I can’t do today, will be in touch to arrange something. Have a nice weekend’.
I then had another chuckle and gave more praise to the three day rule - without which I would have been sitting at home on a Saturday evening waiting for him to get in touch, wondering why he hasn’t and being tempted to call him.
Liberated by the three day rule I was instead laughing at Russell Howards jokes about Justin Bieber which incidentally are still making me laugh.