Things change so quickly in the dating world that it’s hard to keep track of what’s what and what you should be doing half the time. The 3 month rule in dating provides a good blueprint for how a potential relationship should be progressing. So what is it all about and does it really mean anything?
What is the 3 month dating rule?
In layman’s terms, it basically means that you should wait three months before you start dating after your previous relationship has come to an end. You shouldn’t break up with one person and then immediately start dating another one the next week or even the following month.
But why is this a rule?
At first glance, it might seem like it makes sense. You should give yourself some time in which to deal with your feelings and get closure after a relationship has expired. It can help you to heal from what happened and give you the time you need to lick your wounds before you jump straight into a new relationship.
It can bounce your baggage.
It can be useful to have a deadline in your mind of how long you should process what happened with your ex. You can also tie up loose ends with him/her before you start something new with someone else. In this way, the three-month dating rule can prevent you from carrying baggage into your new relationship. It can also save it from going bust because you have unresolved issues, such as feelings for your ex you haven’t investigated or properly dealt with.
But it’s not a strict rule!
The thing is, the three-month dating rule isn’t something to follow too closely because it does have some problems. For starters, if you tell yourself you only need three months in which to deal with your feelings after your last relationship, this might not be enough. Imagine you’ve just come out of a five-year relationship. Three months probably isn’t going to be enough for you. Or, it might actually be too much. You just can’t put a deadline on how long you should grieve the end of a relationship. This will vary depending on the relationship and it can also vary from one person to another.
The rule can also apply to sex.
There’s a variation on this rule that states you can go ahead and date someone new after your relationship has come to an end. However, you should wait at least three months before you have sex with them.
More about the 3 month rule in dating
Is this worth it?
There are some benefits you might gain from following this aspect of the rule and waiting before you jump into bed with someone new. For example, if you want to have a deeper connection with someone and build an exclusive relationship, it might do you well to take your time. Get to know them before you jump into the physical aspect of your relationship.
What’s the downside of waiting to have sex?
Of course, the thing to bear in mind is that you might not want to wait three months before having sex. It might feel a bit outdated for you. Or, it just might not feel like it works with the momentum you and your partner currently have. It’s better to go ahead and do what feels right for you instead of thinking you need to stick to some rule that won’t always feel like the best decision.
The 3 month dating rule can also include your ex.
What makes the three-month dating rule even more interesting (or potentially frustrating) is that some say it’s a rule both you and your ex should follow. Basically, this means that you and your ex should both decide not to date anyone else for three months after breaking up.
Is this a way to get closure with your ex?
When used in this way, the 3 month dating rule can be a bit like a separation instead of a proper breakup because it can help you to take stock of your relationship. If you and your ex realize that you both actually still want to date each other, then using those 12 weeks can help you to figure out your feelings.
So wait, it’s not really a breakup but taking some time apart?
If you and your ex both decide to take three months before you break up and move on, it might feel more like you’re putting your breakup on ice for now. But doing this doesn’t make sense if you know a breakup is your best bet. If you stick around for another three months to suss things out, this can actually be worse for you and cause you more pain. Sometimes you don’t need time away from each other to see if you still want to be together – you just want to GTFO!
Warning: this rule can keep you stuck.
An important drawback when using the three-month dating rule in this way is that it can hold you back. Instead of making a clean break from your ex, you might be holding onto your feelings or allowing yourself to get stuck in the relationship all over again instead of moving on and finding a brighter future for yourself. And, if you’re dealing with a toxic ex, you really don’t need to wait around and deal with more drama. Seriously!