Last Updated 14.04.2023
11 min read

3 Day Rule After Argument: How Does it Work?

Alan Schin (he/him/his) is the Chief Editor at Taimi. He wears several hats daily as a writer, editor, blogger, and content contributor. He began his university studies as a Psychology student but found his passion in Advanced Communication Studies. Alan loves having the opportunity to write and help our content team shine. According to Alan, his education helps him to understand the dynamics behind dating and socialization better. When he isn’t busy with Taimi, Alan works on his first novel, a sci-fi thriller, and creates works of art in his ceramics studio.

Don't go to bed angry. Work things out, by talking over your disagreements with your partner. Spend time together after a fight to prevent resentment from building up and festering. Your parents and grandparents may have given you advice like this during your formative years. 

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    In many ways, it makes sense. Sometimes, you can heal your relationship and grow closer together if you seek immediate closeness. Unfortunately, this philosophy doesn't always work. Have you tried spending time with the one you love right after a fight, only to find that you fight even more? Some couples need a few days after an intense argument. This is where the 3-day rule applies.

    What is The Three Day Rule?

    The 3-day rule is a cooling-off period after an argument that helps ensure that whatever disagreement you have had doesn't get worse. The idea is that both of you have time to process your own feelings about what happened.

    The purpose of this piece of dating advice isn't to both you and your partner time and distance before you talk about the issue that caused your fight. Ideally, that break will also give you an opportunity to calm down and lean on friends or family before you get back together to figure things out.

    Do I Really Have to Stay Away From My Favorite Human Being?

    It's a 3-day rule, not a restraining order. That said, the best way to handle this dating advice is to apply it in a way that works for you. First, consider what is practical. If you live together, you may not be able to strictly apply the 3-day rule so there is no contact. Instead, you can just commit to giving each other space. Also, this dating advice is all about supporting your mental health during a stressful time. You won't be able to do that if you are stressing over the logistics of everything.

    If you aren't going to apply a full no-contact rule, set some healthy boundaries during your break. For example, agree you will wait three days before you address this or any other major relationship issues. If you need physical space during the 3-day rule, consider a spare bedroom or sleeping on the couch. Again, do the best you can for your own circumstances.

    Start Thinking About How You Will Handle The 3 Day Rule

    It's time to put the low or no contact rule in effect after fighting with the one you love. This waiting period can be tough, but ultimately good for your relationship. The most important thing is to approach this in a loving way to make the break as painless as possible. You don't want to stress your relationship even more. These 3 Day rule tips will help with that.

    Talk First

    The 3-day rule isn't just about going no contact or low contact without giving your partner time to understand what happened. They may not even know about the 3-day rule. Instead, have a conversation about waiting for three days before you talk about the argument or anything related to your relationship's status.

    Remember that if your loved one doesn't know about this no-contact rule and how it works, they may assume you're just rejecting them. That may only make the situation worse.

    Take Responsibility For Your Own Feelings

    If you propose the three-day rule, don't phrase it as an accusation or a punishment you are imposing on your significant other. This isn't something to hold over someone's head. Instead, it's acknowledging that you realize you need space to process things.

    If you are upset or frustrated, it's okay to say that. Just avoid using phrases like "you make me so angry" or "I'm too upset to talk rationally because of you". Remember that this isn't a battle strategy, and you aren't trying to win. Ask your significant other if they will get on board with you to take a team approach to improve your relationship by avoiding pointless, ugly fighting when emotions are off the charts.

    Set Sane And Healthy Boundaries For The 3 Day Rule

    This is your relationship. You and your partner know what is best for the two of you. Talk things through, and decide if you want to try the 3-day rule approach at all. If yes, how will you achieve this?

    You may choose to take a more extreme approach and opt not to talk to or see one another for three days. Perhaps, you will even give yourselves a few extra days to get past what happened and calm your feelings. Of course, these things can be hard to do in relationships that involve living together or sharing pets or kids.

    If a full separation doesn't make sense, consider a compromise. You can both give one another space, only communicate when it is absolutely needed, and promise to wait the full three days before you talk about anything that is emotionally charged. This may not be ideal, but will give things time to calm down.

    Do Some Self Work During The 3 Day Period

    If you don't do any work on yourself during this separation, your relationship isn't going to improve. This is your opportunity to engage in some self-examination about whatever happened. Even if you know you were 100% right, you might consider whether this is a viable relationship, if you allowed yourself to be goaded into a fight, or if some of your responses may have been unhealthy.

    Don't spend this time waiting for your other half to realize how wrong they are or to miss you so badly they can't function. That's simply not how relationships work. The idea is for both people to wait before engaging one another so a pointless fight doesn't happen because you both need to get a better hold on your emotions. This includes considering your part in things and what you need to work on.

    What Will Happen To My Relationship

    The point of the three-day rule is to make sure that both you and your partner have time to calm down and allow each other to have the space that you both need. However, this period of time apart could lead one of you to the realization that the relationship just isn't working out. The three days you spend apart is a great time for both of you to think things over without others clouding your own judgment.

    Take the Time to Think After you Calm Down

    Emotions can heavily skew your judgment, especially high-intensity feelings such as anger, or excitement. During a period of anger, you may only think of your partner in a negative light which can lead to the harsh decision of breaking up with them. This break may help you see that there is hope for repairing your relationship.

    However fear can also have the opposite effect. You may find yourself in a terrible relationship in which the fear of leaving them can keep you trapped with them. In both of these scenarios, emotions negatively affect judgment in different ways. Therefore it's best to be in a calm mindset before making any decisions. Also, keep in mind that there are other people out there who you may be compatible with. Don't feel as if you have no options. If things end, don't hesitate to use the resources available to chat and connect with others.

    Think About Where The Relationship is Headed

    When you are calm, take the time to think about where this relationship is headed. Is this your very first fight? Or do you both fight all the time? Do you see your life moving in a positive direction with your current partner? Do you see a future where you, your friends, and your partner all feel positive toward each other? Do you feel like you have to deal with being afraid for your future? These are a lot of questions to ask, however, it's good to think of these things without others present from time to time.

    Think Of How You Can Improve

    If you happen to fight a lot this does not mean that you are completely incompatible but that you both need to take the time to resolve your own issues on your own time. Take the time to think of both you and your partner and take the time to write down a list of ways that you can improve as well as ways that they can help you improve

    What Should I Do After The Three Days

    After the three days have passed it can be not easy to decide what step you should take next. However, here are a few steps that most couples can take in order to get the results.

    Go Over Your Thoughts Again

    Those three days were all about spending hours thinking while you were in your own space. It was about you trying to figure things out on your own time after having a massive argument with the person you love. That's a lot of time to calm down after a moment of stress and that time should be used to think things over. As well as take note of any sort of sign or pattern that could appear over time.

    Apologize and Take Ownership Where You Were Wrong

    Remember that in life we have to take responsibility for ourselves. After all, even in a relationship, we are still only responsible for our own thoughts and feelings. Who started the argument in the first place does not matter. Words were said, you both were hurt by the person you were dating. Take the time to take note of your own failings in the situation and apologize for those.

    Talk With Your Partner

    What led you both to the fight and how will it affect your relationship going forward? Will this fight be an ongoing issue in your life? Or will there be ways for both of you to manage your feelings related to the fight in a way that is healthy? Talking with your partner about what happened as well as the ways you can move forward is a great way to step forth.

    Make an Effort To Listen

    It's hard to ignore the issues that lead to arguments, it's also hard to listen to someone saying things about you that can be perceived in a negative light even if what they are saying is honest. Remember though that in life if you want to improve you have to listen to the criticisms of others. Even if you don't like what they are saying. By listening to your partners' honest thoughts on the situation you could listen to them mention a sign or pattern that they have noticed that you either haven't noticed or that you have outright ignored.

    What Should I do if I Need More Than 3 Days

    When you have a fight with someone you love sometimes 3 days just isn't enough. You may want space for just a bit longer to ensure that your mind is absolutely cleared.

    Spend Time With Friends

    A fight can be very upsetting for many reasons and solitude can make you feel like you don't matter in your life. Take the time to get your mind off of the fight you had and spend time with other folks that you care about. It can be a good way to get your mind on other things and can allow you to get the mental health boost that you may need.

    Remember to Pick Your Battles

    There are times when even the smallest fight can lead to an all-out war. However, the feelings you both feel after the fight are still very real and valid. You both may feel tempted to pull each other into more arguments or to continue the argument. Therefore you may feel like you need longer than 3 days apart. During this time, pick your battles wisely.

    Don't Talk About Them

    Remember that when you are out and about doing other things it will be best to not talk about your partner. Negative emotions can have negative impacts on your thoughts about them which can lead you to saying a lot of negative things about them. These thoughts and sayings can potentially negatively impact your relationship and life with them. Which can lead to an even bigger fight in the future.

    This is a Team Approach

    Techniques like this only work if both of you are equally committed to making things work. This is a tool for couples to use as part of a team approach to strengthening their relationship, even when there is friction. If you keep this in mind, this method should lead to more peace and resolution in your partnership.

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