Three-Date Rule? Make That Eight.

September 30, 2017

A new study by Groupon of 2,000 singles has found that both women and men prefer to delay sex much longer than previously assumed. No doubt you’ve heard about the three-date rule – the number of dates before both parties expect to have sex. If you’re a woman, you’ve probably had guys inform you of the three-date rule to persuade you that three dates is the norm.

Instead, Groupon found that people wait an average of eight dates before having sex. Not surprisingly, male and female preferences differ. Men prefer to wait five dates before having sex, while women prefer nine. Since female consent drives sexual activity, the average is much closer to the female preference.

Some additional findings:

Is it OK to sleep together on the first date?

Men saying yes: 9%

Women saying yes: 1%

Is it OK to sleep together within three dates?

Men saying yes: 30%

Women saying yes: 8%

These responses are considerably more conservative than I would have predicted, especially for men. The three-date rule is clearly bogus.

Not only that, singles reported that on average they wait five dates to “become official” in entering a relationship. That means that the majority of respondents established a formal dating relationship before having sex. That’s important because research shows that hookup culture is predicated on the belief that the route to a relationship is through the hookup.

Other findings were similarly conservative:

Kissing On the First Date

On average, people wait for the second date before they kiss.

  • 17% always kiss on the first date.
  • 39% kiss on the first date if it goes well.
  • 45% never kiss on the first date.
  • Men are more than twice as likely to want to kiss on the first date.
  • 97% of women want men to initiate the first kiss.

Planning a Second Date

  • Overall, respondents wait three days to get in touch to plan another date.
  • Millennials wait just two days.
  • Women wait three days.
  • Men wait two days.

These last findings are also interesting, but nowhere near as stunning as the responses about when to have sex. I’m frankly amazed, especially because the sample group is so large.

The three-date rule is not the norm. What this means for you personally is that you can reject any and all pressure to have sex before you feel comfortable. In fact, you should not encounter much resistance if you choose to delay sex until you’re in a committed relationship. Yay!

If a guy pressures you for sex early, feel free to quote this study and send him here. If he’s not happy about that, kick him to the curb. He’s not the type to stick around anyway. Bullet dodged!