Please don’t tell me you’re sitting by the landline waiting for the cute guy at your cousin’s Thanksgiving inner to follow up on your delicious flirtation and call. Well into the 21st century, traditions are crumbling around us and new norms replace the old. And yet, odds are good that you are staring at your messaging app in reluctance to make the first move. Because you know the rules (still!) dictate that the woman waits for the man. She waits for three days after the first date to text. She waits for him to initiate sex.
This adds up to a whole lot of lost time spent waiting. Yet even now there seems to be resistance to ditching outmoded dating rules despite evidence these passé customs need to disappear. Here are three waiting rules we need to toss out the window and why.
Wait for the Other Person to Make the First Move
An often-cited study of 87 heterosexual students in 2011 found that “more men preferred to be asked out (16 per cent) than there were women who preferred to do the asking (6 per cent.)” The statistics suggest that “10 per cent of men may be waiting quite a while for a woman to ask them out on a first date.”
Women on dating sites who message men first tend to find more attractive prospects than those who wait to receive messages from men, says an OkCupid report. Daters who message first tend to seek out those more attractive than themselves, according to OkCupid. Those who wait could be settling.
Men also are ready for you to make the first move when it comes to sex. A University of California San Francisco study found that “72 per cent of men would love women to be the first to initiate sex,” according to sex expert Tracey Cox. Yet only a quarter of the women the men spoke to made the first move.
Wait Three Days to Call or Text
We hear more and more that people like people who actively like them. There is the old rule that you don’t text someone the next day after your first date or meeting at a party. Seems as though this one is designed to prevent you from appearing too needy. But interest is just that—interest—and you won’t seem desperate if you keep it light.
Wait and Don’t Sleep with Someone on the First Date
Some research suggests that people who sleep together quickly have relationships that turn out less that idyllic. According to a survey by dating site Match, there’s a 35 percent chance that people who have sex on the fifth date will be happier than those who hop into bed on the first date.
Relationship experts, however, tend to think it’s not the timing but the reliance on sex instead of building emotional bonds that causes misery. “When sex comes early, unless you work at building emotional intimacy too, people tend to rely on the sex for a connection, and sometimes it doesn’t develop beyond that,” says one.
Keep in mind that sexual chemistry doesn’t mean there’s no chance for long-term potential. Many people who have sex on the first date end up in relationships. It’s the emotional connection that counts.
Read More: Does Waiting to Have Sex Make for Happier Couples?