The New 5 Date Rule: How Long Do You Wait Before Having Sex With a New Partner?

I’ve always felt slightly guilty for almost never waiting until the third date to sleep with a guy I like. (Also: dates? LOL). Now I feel even guiltier: Apparently, the average single lady won't have sex with a new partner until the fifth date, according to a study that surveyed 2,000 women.

Here are some more things that women typically wait for until they deem a man worthy to bone: 12 text conversations, five long phone calls, at least four meals, three shared movie-watching-experiences, and, in a perfect world, flowers.

Check out this graphic from the Daily Mail UK article:

Personally, I find it absurd to set a predetermined number of dates at which you'll allow yourself to have sex with someone. If I want to sleep with a guy, I’ll do it, just like if I want to prepare a family-sized portion of mac and cheese and eat it in bed, I’ll do it. I would never want to be with a man who needs me to artificially hold out to maintain his interest. If having sex — when we both want to — scares you off, then please, by all means, run far, far away. I have too much on my plate to spend time contemplating what men can and can’t handle.

Having said that, I suppose I understand the impulse. In Glamour UK, Dominique Temple writes about how her "number” is eight dates, which she calculated after countless dating disappointments. “It all started when, having been broken hearted, and messed around by numerous ‘players,’ I decided it was time to implement a strategy to my dating plan.” The strategy seems to have worked for Temple, and I respect any and all motions that make a woman feel better about her dating life.

But I know this isn’t for me, and I’m glad one man out there, Hugo Schwyzer of The Huffington Post, recognizes that dating rules can be a bit ludicrous. He writes:

The cultural narrative is a simple one: It's women who want marriage (or its close approximations) more than men. Men, meanwhile, are terrified of being trapped. To soothe that masculine anxiety about being ensnared, women need to disguise their intentions, hide their own eagerness, and above all, avoid any discussion of a "shared future" for as long as humanly possible.

Fortunately, Steve Harvey will resolve all of this for us. He insists that by the third date, you should make sure to ask your partner five key questions: 1. What are his short-term goals? 2. What are his long-term goals? 3. What are his views on relationships? 4. What are his views on you? 5. How does he feel about you? (Apparently 4 and 5 are very different questions).

Sorry, Steve. I know you are notorious for your wisdom, but I’m going to side with Blink 182 on this one: “The three-date theory is getting old / everyone is getting left out in the cold.”

I’d venture so far as to say that all dating theories (and rules) are getting old.