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Safeguarding Dating with the 3-Month Rule




If you’re new to dating, it can be overwhelming. How do you know when to commit? Do you have to have intimacy by the third date? What if you end up involved with someone who is not emotionally capable of having a committed relationship with you? These and other questions have led relationship therapists to encourage daters to allow three months to get to know their partner prior to becoming intimate or emotionally attached. Relationships are complicated, and when we set a boundary of three months, it forces us to proceed slowly before making significant decisions that may adversely affect our lives. The three-month rule helps us in several ways, but these are the most important ones:

 

  1. It allows us to discover our deal-breakers so we can set firm boundaries. Boundaries are set to protect our values, and when we violate them, we usually go against our best selves. Having a three-month period before fully investing yourself gives you and your partner protection.

  2. It allows us time to ask difficult questions. When you establish the precedent of allowing yourself three months before committing, you open yourself up to fully getting to know another person. Having deep talks and asking questions during this time is encouraged and expected.

  3. It helps you understand what season of life you’re in and determine if your partner shares a vision with you. When you realize you’re ready to settle down, but your date wants to experience other partners, travel adventures, and have more time to party, you can clearly see that this match will not work for either of you.

  4. It helps you tune into your gut feelings and be aware of red/pink flags. Being fully lustful and physical with someone too soon can blind you to the truth right in front of you. Following the 3-month rule protects you from this happening and helps you be clearer about who this person really is.

 

Within the first three months, keep your own interests and stay active in your own life. Investing too much of yourself too soon destabilizes new relationships and overwhelms both partners. Listening carefully to your date, friends, and family can help you honor your gut feelings regarding committing further.

                                                          

There are no guarantees in dating; however, allowing yourself three months to gather information and relax in each other’s company without the urgency or pressure to commit further or get too intimate too soon helps you avoid committing to partners who may not share your values or vision for a relationship.

 

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