Read this before you plan a third date

You’ve met someone. You’ve hit it off. The chemistry is unmistakable. And now you’re about to meet up for a third date. Should you be nervous?

Guys would be. At least that’s what dating coach Connell Barrett tells Ask Men, because as far as they’re concerned, “The stakes are higher on the third date because it’s the gateway to a relationship. Date 1 is about seeing if there’s chemistry and mutual attraction. On the second date, you get a sense for how comfortable the two of you are together. And on date 3, you decide if you’re a good fit long-term. Think of the first few dates like a series of job interviews: By the third, you’ll know if you want the ‘job’ of being in this potential relationship.”

A third date doesn't have to be monumental

But should we feel the same way? In a blog post for Women’s Health, relationship therapist Chloe Carmichael thinks it doesn’t have to be this way. She says the weight of the third date depends entirely on the folks that are going on it, and that it is different for everyone. “As a relationship therapist, though, I truly believe that the only reason the third date should feel more important than the previous two is that it’s now signifying a pattern,” she says. “At this point, you’re starting to invest time and some amount of energy into seeing them potentially on a regular basis.” 

The pressure is worse if you have yet to get intimate with your date, and you feel the third date becomes a make-or-break, will-we-or-won’t-we scenario.

What important things can you find out on a third date?

To make sure your third date goes as well as your first two, and that it doesn’t prematurely cut off what could end up being a beautiful relationship, Carmichael suggests that you should both be clear about what your dating goals are (do you want a plus one for social events, a shag buddy, or are you looking for real commitment?). 

She says it’s time to work out if you have the same values when it comes to issues like family or religion. A third date could also be the time when you can decide if you don’t want to see a person again.

But if you’re no closer to knowing the answers to any of those questions, there’s no harm in going out a few more times. After all, life’s not exactly a baseball game, and the “three strikes, you’re out rule” doesn’t have to apply.

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