A: I have friends who live by this rule, but ultimately the choice is always a personal one. The important thing is knowing what your expectations are, and never settling for less than the consideration you deserve. I was at university when I first dated my husband, and we weren’t able to afford to go out on an “official” date (for me, that means at least dinner) until a month after we became a couple. By then, I already knew that we were interested in more than a casual relationship, so I guess we didn’t technically follow the three-date rule, because who knew when we’d be able to afford to go on a second date? Take as long as you need to decide whether or not you’re willing to take the relationship to the next level, no matter how hot your date is. It should always be your decision—not your friends’, your date’s or anyone else’s—and make it with your intentions clear. The point of the three-date rule is for you to know if your date respects you. If the other person respects you, then they will accept your decision, no matter how many number of dates you require.
~ Ivory Lei, author of How to Wed an Earl