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Third Date: Third Time’s The Charm With This Awesome Tips

by Eharmony Editorial Team - March 15, 2021

The third date can feel like a milestone for many reasons. By now, you’ve spent a bit of time with the person you’re interested in, enough to know that the chemistry is there, whether you want to take things further, in more ways than one.  And date #3 is when things become a little more serious, a little more official. In this article, you’ll find some third date advice to help calm any pre-relationship jitters.

How To Approach The Third Date

The first date was to see if you had chemistry beyond the initial attraction, the second to be sure you did. The third date is when you get the chance to see if you’re ready for a relationship. Third dates can also feel a little bit like a job interview, where you’re applying (and hiring!) for the very important role of Significant Other. By the third date, you’ll have a good idea of whether this relationship is something you can envision staying in long-term. It’s normal to feel a little nervous before the third date – after all, the societal expectations are heavy here. For all you’re several years out of high school, you might feel like a teenager again, filled with uncertainty and doubt. Don’t let that stop you from finding your happily ever after.

Don’t push the envelope…

When deciding what to do on a third date, stay in your comfort zone. Pick a favourite restaurant, go dancing at a club you’ve been a dozen times before, wear an outfit you know you’re both comfortable and hot in. You’ll automatically be more relaxed, which means you can focus on your date, not your nerves.

… but do go deeper.

The third date is a great opportunity to move beyond superficial discussions, as fun as they may be. Your date may be great fun at the bar, but this is the time to dig deep, open up a little, really get to know them, while letting them know more about the real you. The third date conversation is when you bring up the Big Stuff: religion, careers, kids, politics… all the everyday issues that can make or break a relationship.

Don’t expect sex…

The infamous Third Date Rule. If you aren’t aware, it’s the one that says it’s normal to have sex on the third date. While the Third Date Rule, and third date expectations, are pretty well-known in popular culture, that doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. Some couples have sex on the first date; others wait until the wedding night to do more than kiss. What you and your partner choose to do depends on far more than just simple attraction and compatibility; your beliefs and values play an important role, as does the level of intimacy you want for your relationship. The most important thing is to make sure you and your partner are on the same page, and that enthusiastic consent is given by everyone involved, no matter if it’s kissing, sex, or something in between. Also make sure you’ve both been tested, and have the necessary supplies to hand – better to have and not need than the other way around.

… but do discuss your expectations, in the bedroom and out.

The other thing about the third date that can seem scary is that it’s the Relationship Date, the one after which you are Officially Official, maybe even Facebook Official. Like with sex, communication is key. How many dates should you have before you’re in a relationship? That honestly depends on you and your partner. Some couples know they’re in it for the long haul half an hour into their first date, others take a lot longer to decide. It’s no fun if one of you is mentally picking out wedding china while the other thinks that it’s too soon to be exclusive, so make sure, whether sex happens or not, that you do have the relationship discussion.

Post Third Date Tips for When You’re Ready For A Relationship

Regardless of what happens on the third date, just having one can feel like a huge milestone, a hurdle overcome. You’ve made it past the initial attraction to something that might be a solid foundation for a relationship that will last the rest of your life.

Sometimes, the third time has all the signs of a good date – the conversation flows easily, the chemistry is off the charts, and you and your partner find yourselves with a lot in common. Other times, that’s not the case. Perhaps your picnic was washed out, or the soup at the restaurant gave you food poisoning, or one of you was having a bad day and therefore was less than stellar company. Or worse, red flags popped up: he’s a jerk to the waitress, she won’t stop talking about her ex.

A bad third date doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is doomed; it just means you need to take a deep breath and re-evaluate whether you want to give things another chance with a fourth date, or a serious conversation.

There’s no guilt or shame in not wanting to continue seeing the person – sometimes things just don’t work out. (Don’t ghost them, though, that’s a jerk move.) If you do want to continue the relationship after a third date, as mentioned previously, communication is key. From here on out, things are getting serious, both in terms of physical and emotional intimacy. A good way to deepen the relationship is to start introducing the partner to family and friends, or even make things official on social media.

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Third Date Advice: No Risk Without Reward

Third dates are, simply put, a big deal. They can be nerve-wracking, just because when you’re on a third date with someone, the amount of time and emotion you’ve put in is just enough to make it feel like an investment. Add to that the pressure of showing your date the real you rather than First Date You, not to mention the whole Third Date Rule thing, and it’s almost enough to make you swear off the whole dating thing.But there’s no risk without reward, and a successful third date may just lead to a wedding down the line. And if it doesn’t? Finding someone new is always an option, and eHarmony makes it easy.

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