The three-day rule of texting says you should give someone three days after a date to text you back. After that, you can give up on expecting to hear from them and curse their name in perpetuity. Three days, though? It’s unbelievable that there are still people doing this. Three days is enough time to go viral, conceive a baby, exercise once, and watch three Netflix series — it’s a lifetime.
With technological advances and the deterioration of my personal patience, I now expect my dates to text significantly faster. Waiting three days is canceled. The following alternatives to the three-day rule outline what events can occur and how much time can elapse without my date texting me, before I declare the relationship over.
The 7-Minute Rule: If you haven’t texted within seven minutes of my leaving your house, you clearly don’t care whether or not I made it to my Uber Pool quickly enough to evade the cancellation fee, and I’m just not down to be with someone that selfish.
The 4-Subtweet Rule: Look, I’m going to subtweet you on the way out of your apartment (barring exceptional, life-threatening circumstances like my phone being out of battery). And I’m going to subtweet you again when I get home. And probably the next time I pee. But if I make it to a fourth subtweet — “guys who still think the pull-out method works are canceled” — and you haven’t pulled out your phone to ask if it was me who looked at your LinkedIn 17 times, then you’re canceled.
The 6-Minutes-of-Browsing-Self-Help-Books Rule: If I’ve had time to check out self-help books online for more than six minutes before you’ve checked in, don’t even bother. Once I read Why You Don’t Need a Man or Carbs, I’m going to be so over you and your lasagna that I stole from your fridge. So you better ask if I want to get dinner this week and/or if I followed your cousin on Instagram before my browsing is done — you won’t get the chance after. And yeah, I followed a few of them. Sorry.
The 2-Taylor-Swift-Album Rule: Yes, I understand that she puts out albums at a startling pace, so if one comes out before you’ve had a chance to text me, I don’t blame you. I mean, she only gave seventeen hours’ notice for folklore — she could feasibly drop one and then announce it the next day. But if we get to a second album and you haven’t had the decency to ask if it was me who reported your Hinge profile to get you kicked off the site — well, you’re just not communicative enough for me to give you my time.
The 3-IG-Story Rule: If you’ve had time to post three Instagram stories but you haven’t had time to text me, “Hey, how’d you get my sister’s address?” — it’s over.
The 8-Therapist-Voicemails Rule: You’ve given me so much time that I’ve left my therapist eight voicemails about how every time I sleep with someone new, they immediately pull away, I just don’t know what’s wrong with me, they seem unwilling to talk about engagement rings or our future joint checking account even though it’s been three weeks, will anyone ever love me like that teddy bear did, etc. Consider my love withdrawn.
The 5-Nervous-Breakdowns Rule: It’s OK if I have one nervous breakdown (glorified crying, TBH, which is an unglorified orgasm, IMO) before you text me. And then it’s OK if I have three more. I am an adult woman who is overwhelmingly proud of herself if she brews coffee without setting off the fire alarm, so, yeah, sometimes breakdowns happen. But if I get to my fifth nervous breakdown, and you haven’t so much as texted me asking if I told your mom that I’m your girlfriend, then I will never be your girlfriend (unless you, like, ask me to).
The 900-Word-Email-About-the-Futility-of-Dating Rule: When I get home from your apartment, I may have some thoughts about the social custom we call “dating.” And I may begin to put them in an email to a close friend, distant friend, professional acquaintance, college kickball team mailing list, or your paternal grandfather. However, if this email grows so long it includes references to Gloria Steinem, Esther Perel, and Lana Del Rey — we’re through.
The Burning-Your-Name-in-Effigy-Cursing-the-Moment-We-Met-Creating-a-Voodoo-Doll-of-You-That-I-Won’t-Use-But-Will-Keep-Forever 3-Day Rule: Sorry, but if you waited three full days you kinda asked for it?
Excerpted from the book I’m More Dateable Than a Plate of Refried Beans: And Other Romantic Observations by Ginny Hogan. Copyright ©2022 by Ginny Hogan. Printed with permission from Chronicle Books.