It's important to take your time and get to know someone before committing to a relationship. On the other hand, you don't want to waste your time with someone who isn't right for you. That's why the fourth date is often seen as a crucial point in the dating process. By this time, you should have a good sense of who the person is and whether or not you want to continue seeing them. The fourth date can be a make or break moment for a potential relationship.
Why Is The Fourth Date So Important?
The "Four Date Rule" is a guideline that suggests that by the fourth date, you should have a good understanding of where things are going with a guy. By this point, you should have had a chance to discuss the more important issues and get a sense of each other's goals and expectations. If you notice any red flags or if it becomes clear that he is not looking for a long-term relationship, it may be best to consider ending things. This rule is intended to help you make informed decisions about your relationships and avoid wasting time on someone who is not right for you.
"At this stage, people start feeling more comfortable, letting their 'real' selves shine — the good and the bad," according to Kate McLean, a dating expert at Plenty of Fish, "For example, while you've already determined that there are no obvious red flags, things that may have been 'yellow flags' may shift to red, or as comfortability increases, you might see positive new sides of their personality, like humor and sensitivity, which can be key to long-term compatibility."
Why The Four Date Rule Is One Worth Following
1. By date number four, you've invested enough
Four dates may not seem like a lot, but when you consider that each one lasts an average of three hours and add in all the time spent communicating via text and other channels, it adds up quickly. If you've already slept together and he still isn't sure what he wants from you, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship. It's important to have a clear understanding of where things stand and to be on the same page about your goals and expectations. If he can't provide that, it may not be a good match.
2. You can't start a relationship by making excuses for him
It's understandable if you're feeling frustrated if he's taking his time to make things official. While it's possible that he may be hesitant because he's afraid of getting hurt or wants to be certain, it's important to remember that you're not necessarily looking for an engagement ring at this point. You simply want to know where you stand and that you're important enough to him for him to want to be exclusive. This is a reasonable expectation to have after a maximum of four dates. It's important to have open and honest communication about your relationship goals in order to ensure that you're on the same page.
3. Actions aren't always enough
Physical affection and enjoying each other's company are important aspects of a relationship, but they alone may not be sufficient to show that he is truly invested in you. It's possible that he is simply having fun and not looking for anything serious. It's important for him to be clear about his intentions and to communicate openly with you about what he wants from the relationship. This will help you both be on the same page and avoid any misunderstandings or surprises down the line. It's important to have open and honest communication in any relationship to ensure that both parties are on the same page.
4. You filter out the freaks
If you're with a man who truly likes you and is genuine, he should be clear about his intentions. You should never have to ask where you stand in the relationship. The "Four Date Rule" can be helpful in this regard because it helps to weed out those who are not serious about the relationship and may be wasting your time. It's important to be with someone who is open and honest about their feelings and intentions and who is willing to communicate openly with you.
5. It forces you to take your blinders off and see him clearly
It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new relationship and focus on all the positive aspects of the person you're seeing. However, it's important to pay attention to any red flags that may indicate that they are not as committed to the relationship as you are. For example, if you've gone on four dates and he still refers to your time together as "hanging out," it may be a sign that he is not as invested in the relationship as you are. It's important to be aware of these signs and to have open and honest communication about your feelings and expectations in the relationship.
6. You can use the rule to give yourself a deadline
It can be tempting to fall into the habit of waiting for the other person to make a move or take the lead in the relationship. However, the "Four Date Rule" can help you stay focused on your goals and prevent you from getting stuck in a comfort zone. If you've been seeing someone for four dates and it's not clear that they are committed to the relationship, it may be time to move on and consider finding someone who is more worthy of your time and energy. It's important to be proactive and not waste time on someone who is not a good match for you.
7. He knows what he wants by now — don't believe otherwise
It's possible that from the very first date, the man you're seeing had a clear idea of what he wanted from the relationship. He may have been considering you as a short-term fling or as a potential girlfriend. If he still seems unsure of what he wants by the fourth date, it may be worth questioning what his intentions are. It's important to have open and honest communication about your relationship goals and to be with someone who is clear about what they want. If he is not able to provide that clarity, it may not be a good match.
8. It's a perfectly reasonable expectation to have
It's understandable if you feel like you might be coming on too strong or being unfair by following the "Four Date Rule." However, it's important to remember that you are ultimately doing yourself a disservice if you don't follow it. If you allow a man to lead you into a dead-end relationship, you are only setting yourself up for disappointment and wasted time. It's important to be proactive and to only invest your time and energy into relationships that have the potential to go somewhere. By following the "Four Date Rule," you can help ensure that you are not wasting your time on someone who is not a good match for you.
9. You've given things a real chance
It's important to remember that you should not feel guilty for ending things with a guy after four dates if he is not meeting your standards or if it's not a good match. You have given the relationship a fair chance and it's perfectly okay to walk away if it's not working out. It's not your fault if things don't work out, and you have every right to end things if you don't feel that the relationship is meeting your needs. The guy you were seeing may have missed an opportunity, but it's ultimately his responsibility and not yours.
10. You're not the settling type
It's important to remember that you deserve to be with someone who is truly special and treats you with respect. Don't settle for an average relationship or a man who doesn't fully appreciate you. If you're ready to end your single status, it should be with someone who is truly incredible and makes you feel like a queen from the start. If he doesn't, it's likely that someone else will come along who will. It's important to hold out for a relationship that is truly fulfilling and worthy of your time and energy.
11. The "Four Date Rule" is empowering
It's common to have spent too much time and effort in the past on relationships that were not worth it. By using the fourth date as a crossroads, you can empower yourself to make a decision and avoid wasting any more time on someone who is not right for you. You don't have to wait around for a man to realize your worth - you can hold your destiny in your own hands and make the decision that is best for you. It can be a liberating feeling to take control of your love life and not waste any more time on people who do not deserve you.
What The Fourth Date Can't Tell You
While the fourth date can be a useful benchmark, it's important to keep in mind that every situation is unique and there may be exceptions. It's important to be open and honest with your partner, and to be flexible and willing to adjust your expectations based on the specific needs and dynamics of the relationship.
1. You still may not have long-term potential
By the fourth date, it's possible that you and your partner may be in a good place and have a strong connection. However, it's important to keep in mind that it's still early in the relationship and it's too soon to determine if you are compatible for the long term. Even if you see each other regularly and have a strong physical and emotional connection, it doesn't necessarily mean that the relationship will last for years. "It's unreasonable to think that by the fourth date, you'll know if you're going to marry the person and live happily ever after," according to MacLean. "Every person, and every relationship, moves at a different pace, so don't worry if your current relationship is progressing faster or slower than previous relationships, or the relationships of your peers – all that matters is that you are happy and enjoying things."
2. You don't really know him yet
Although you may have learned a lot about your partner over the course of four dates, it is not possible to fully understand their entire history or who they are at their core by this point. As you continue to see each other, you may discover additional information about them that could potentially be concerning or incompatible with your own values. It is important to keep this in mind as the relationship progresses.
3. It's not a guarantee
If you and your partner have been on four dates, it is clear that there is interest on both sides. However, it is important to remember that just because you enjoy spending time together and have a good connection, it does not necessarily mean that you will become an exclusive couple. It is important to be hopeful and excited about the potential of the relationship, but it is also important to maintain a realistic perspective and not get too carried away.
4. It doesn't make you beholden to him
The significance of the fourth date depends on how you and your partner choose to approach it. If at any point during or after the date you realize that you are not as interested or invested in the relationship as you initially thought, it is completely okay to end things. You are not obligated to continue seeing each other and it is not a reflection of your character to make the decision that the relationship is not right for you. It is important to keep this in mind as you navigate the relationship.
5. It's not the be-all, end-all
Ultimately, the fourth date is just one milestone in a potential relationship and does not necessarily predict its future success. It is important to consider the "Four Date Rule" as a guideline, but it is also important not to put too much pressure on this specific date. It is not a reflection of your dating life or your character as a person.