What's so special about the third date? Sometimes, absolutely nothing at all. It may be nothing more than just another date.
However, the third date can have some meeting, depending on how the relationship is unfolding. According to some people:
The first date is getting to know one another and being on your best behavior
The second date is often having fun and becoming a bit more familiar
The third date is about setting expectations and deciding to move forward or not
However, this isn't written in stone. It's just that these conversations tend to happen around the third and fourth dates. So, if you aren't ready to have this conversation or find out if you and your current partner are on the same page, keep reading anyway. This third date advice still applies. Use it whenever you are ready to hold that third date conversation, even if it's on the tenth date.
Here we'll talk about some third date tips for having a great time, but also approach some frank conversations. No, you don't have to make a commitment or plan for the long-term future. However, you should be concerned that you both see your relationship in the same way.
Look. We can't talk about the third date without mentioning the third date rule. This is an outdated and sexist rule that states any sexual activity should be withheld until the third date.
The idea is that the first date is for introductions, the second date is for getting the person interested, and the third date indicates that the relationship is "valid" enough that it's okay to have sex.
Unfortunately, the reasons behind the third date rule are pretty sexist. First, the expectation is almost entirely placed on women. Second, the message is that women who don't wait for that magical third date are slutty, and that men will never be interested in someone who will have sex before that.
In LGBTQ+ circles the third date rule is often used to shame people for when and how they choose to have sex. This often plays into the notion that gay people must strictly adhere to straight cultural norms in order to gain acceptance.
Ignore this outdated rule. Have sex after one date. Have sex after three dates if that is what you want to do. Just don't feel obligated to obey some outdated three date rule. It doesn't matter how many dates you go on. It only matters if you are safe, sane, and sensible.
Are there differences between a third date and a first date? The answer is often yes. While both are still within the first few dates, you will probably have some different insights on the third or fourth date that you didn't on the first or second date.
Feeling freer to share opinions
Having shared funny or awkward moments
Learning on another tastes and interests
Having engaged in some physical affection or sexual intimacy
Uncovered common interests
In general, by the third date you've gotten past some of the awkwardness, and "being on your best behavior" which tends to define your first two dates. If things have gone well, you should have a solid foundation for communicating about how each person feels or plans to move forward.
Before you do anything, remember that your third date is still early in your relationship. Also, you are going on a date with someone. It is supposed to be fun for both of you. Yes, you can have a discussion about a potential relationship, but don't drag things down. You should still be focused on enjoying spending time with one another.
Keep things enjoyable on your third date and get to know the other person a bit more by choosing something that is a bit active. People often let their guards down bit in these situations. They tend to be more open and conversational. That creates a perfect atmosphere in which you can share stories and share more of yourselves with one another. After all, this is still the get to know you stage.
If it's nice out, the third date is a perfect time for a hike and a picnic. A day at the beach or a bike ride is also wonderful. If the colder weather dominates try bowling, a trip to a vintage arcade, or one of those escape rooms.
On the third date, try to do something that involves getting out and interacting with the public. There are a few reasons for doing this. In many cases, the first couple of dates tends to be very intimate. What you see is how your date interacts with you, often when they are trying to make a good impression. It's important to see how they interact with other people.
Do they get very quiet in crowds? That's good to know. Are they nice to you, but rude to service workers? This gives you a very clear idea about the kind of person they are. Basically, it's good to see how they interact with the world. It truly helps you get to know every aspect of the person you are dating.
Then again, don't spend so much time on the third date having fun and socializing that you can't have a serious conversation. Your date could be ready to talk about the next steps, expectations, and deal breakers too. Don't waste this opportunity. This is a good time to plan a date that is a bit longer than usual. You won't get much talking done with a quick dinner on a weeknight. Make plans so you can really interact with one another.
This is the ideal date to start asking some important questions. But don't be overbearing. People tend to respond poorly to that. Also, you have gone on two dates at this point. It isn't as if you should be talking about lifetime commitments or moving in together. You may not have even experienced physical intimacy at this point. Read the room. It's not a big deal if you save some of the deeper questions for date number four or five.
You don't have to cover these topics on the third date, but these are all subjects to approach before you can feel comfortable taking things to another level:
Kids - do you want them or not?
How important is religion in your life?
Do you see marriage in your future?
Will this dating relationship be exclusive?
What are your sexual interests?
How do you handle your finances?
Are you okay with waiting to have sex?
Remember that as part of the LGBTQ+ community, you have some other important issues to address. Specifically, you may want to ask them if they are out, and exactly how out they are. Don't assume that anybody is open to their coworkers or family of origin.
If they aren't out and don't plan to be, are you okay with that? This could add some complexity to your dating life. On the other hand, couples have perfectly satisfying relationships when one person is still in the closet. Just don't assume that you will be able to talk someone into coming out before they are ready.
Remember that this is your new flame's third date with you as well. Their experience on your third date matters too. They may have questions about where things are going and want to know more about you as well. The third date is the perfect time for you to start being real and authentic as well. Is there something important you want to share? Be a bit willing to put yourself out there, and your date might reciprocate.
Feel free to take what you need from these third date tips, and leave the rest. If you are perfectly happy with allowing things to continue to play out, go for it. There is no magical thing about third dates. It's simply the third time you have spent time with another human being. You don't need explicit permission to simply continue spending time with one another without having tense conversations.
At some point in time, you may need to have a conversation with the person you are dating about the future of your relationship. However, that doesn't have to happen on the third date. It really is just a number. You haven't failed at any relationship simply because you aren't making life plans. Also, forget about what you've heard about relationships and dating rules about commitment and your third date.
On the other hand, if you want things to progress, you have to take action. You have to communicate. Otherwise, you will continue to experience the same dates and the same relationship that you have had all along. If you need to know where you stand, then you have to ask your partner.
You may experience painful rejection. You may also find that your partner is feeling the same romantic pull and sexual tension that you are. It's okay to put off important conversations, but you could be missing out on some really rewarding interactions. Taking a risk could mean moving your partnership to the next level
Let's not forget that there is another person on the other side of this relationship. They have their own expectations, concerns, and questions. It's important to approach this with empathy and understanding for their position as well. They may not be ready to have deep conversations, or they may be feeling vulnerable and unsure of themselves. Pay attention to their feelings and reactions. Don't push for answers. Be honest if you aren't ready to discuss being serious. They deserve your honesty as well.
Unfortunately, the third date is often the time when people begin to reveal their true personalities. The mask comes off in many ways. Often, that's a good thing. Sometimes, this stage in a relationship can uncover some dating red flags.
For example, is the person you are dating unreasonably possessive? Do they tell lies or implausible stories? Are they freaked out about you meeting their friends? Does your entire relationship seem to be a secret?
It's one thing for someone to be discreet. Be wary though. These red flags could mean somebody is cheating on their partner, or that they are a scammer. Some signs could be an indicator that the person is abusive. Whatever you do, be careful. Don't be suspicious, but also don't be naive.
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