As any single can tell you, dating is the absolute worst it's ever been! And if you're feeling frustrated with your search for love, you're not alone. In fact, new research from Match has found that only 9% of singles are satisfied with their current relationship status. That means 91% of people out there are either single, thinking about being single again or wishing they were still in a relationship! I don't know about you, but those numbers seem pretty scary to me.
I finally decided there has got to be a better way to go about this. Then, as luck would have it, I stumbled on an article by NYC-based dating coach Amy Nobile about the 3-4 rule for finding the ideal partner. It was enough to make me say aloud, "Waitaminute!" after reading it.
Dating Before vs. Now
Not too long ago, we would meet someone at a bar, go on a few dates before deciding whether they were "the one." This is kind of risky in itself since sometimes you were wrong about them being "the one." Nowadays, most people meet someone through a dating app. So we're not even having real conversations anymore; our "chemistry" is based on an algorithm and text message! And as much as people hate to admit this, that whole swipe right or left thing isn't always accurate.
The 3-4 Rule: The Foolproof Way of Finding Your Match
Elite dating coach Amy Nobile says the 3-4 rule will save singles time and energy. She also says it's a foolproof way of finding your match. And while many of us will never be able to afford her $10,000 for 4 months of services (unless she guarantees a wonderful spouse for a lifetime, maybe), I see the merit in her words. If you’re like me, you’re all about saving time and energy!
What is the 3-4 Rule for Dating?
In the past, I looked to have a connection with my date —chemistry if you will. Nobile says that’s not enough, and that singles should learn four key principles— tenets, as she calls them— about their prospective match by the conclusion of the third date. The first one is chemistry (hey, at least I got something right!). The other three tenets that make up the 3-4 rule for dating are emotional maturity, core values and readiness.
The 3-4 Rule Focuses on Four Non-Negotiable Tenets
The four tenets, according to Nobile, are non-negotiable, and they allow you to find out if you have chemistry with the person, along with the likelihood of long-term compatibility. She says that many singles focus solely on chemistry. She adds that they “learn months or years into a relationship they aren't well-matched.”
Why the 3-4 Rule Works
According to Amy Nobile, her four principles work because the process lets you “take a more holistic look at romantic relationships.” She also swears by limiting your first date to a short amount of time at neutral locations like a coffee shop. Here’s why, and what she says you should do during the date:
- Keep the screener date to 30 minutes long max and have it take place at a café, coffee shop or juice bar.
- During the 30-minute date, compliment something about them once you arrive.
- Screen your date during that half-hour to ensure that you get along.
- If you liked that date and it shows potential, use your body language to signify interest in joining them for a second date. Nobile stresses not to extend the date past the 30-minute mark though.
The Road Map to Lasting Love: The Four Tenets
It’s not enough to meet someone through a dating app. You need to be able to screen them and know if there is real chemistry; otherwise, it will just fizzle out in the future when you discover red flags —such as how they don't want children or that you aren't compatible on core values.
Here are the four tenets that she says will help you find "the one:"
- Chemistry — Nobile says that chemistry is not enough, but it must be there! She also adds that “we need to look at how we work as a couple and if our life goals align.” What does this mean? If your date isn't willing to change their mind about something, then you need to decide if it's worth continuing the relationship.
- Emotional Maturity — Are they emotionally mature? This means that people should be able to express themselves without being defensive or argumentative. If there is no emotional maturity in your partner, this will cause problems down the road when one person has to deal with the other's anxiety and insecurity.
- Core Values — Nobile says that “your core values need to be compatible, or it’s not going to work out in the long run. It can take years for a couple who doesn't share similar beliefs about money, parenting, religion etc. to adjust.” All couples need to share core values or you will wake up many years later without those shared beliefs and wonder what went wrong.
- Readiness — Nobile says, “The person has to be emotionally healthy enough for a relationship” which means they have dealt with their past before entering into a relationship with you. This also means that they are emotionally ready for a relationship and psychologically mature enough to be in one too.
If the date doesn't check these four boxes, Nobile says it is probably best to move on.
What to Do on Date 1 and 2
The idea of a thirty-minute date is to see if there's chemistry and compatibility with the person. Be on time or at least five minutes early so you can check out where they are going for your first meeting while giving yourself enough time to get ready before heading over.
You may freeze up once you start eliciting personal information from someone else, but Nobile says that asking "specific questions" during the dates can help. Good questions to ask include:
- What is your career, and what are you passionate about?
- Why did you choose to live in this city or state?
- What they've learned about themselves over the past year.
Nobile says first and second dates are also good times to ask about their family. She also recommends asking open-ended questions, rather than closed ones. Closed questions can be answered with yes, no, not really etc. Open-ended questions are the kind that requires more thought and time. In short, you'll find out more about them.
What to Do on Date 3
By the third date, it's time to see if there is potential with this person, Nobile says. You do that by getting the specifics about relationship deal breakers such as communication, marriage and family planning. You should also get on the same page about intimacy and what you are looking for in a relationship, Nobile adds.
If all this preparation and inquiry seems nerve-wracking, Nobile said "self-love and practice help."
I can’t truthfully say right now that the 3-4 rule for finding the ideal partner is a game-changer in the dating field. After all, the article was only published on Sept. 7 (less than a week ago). However, I do believe Amy Nobile’s dating advice is sound and much better than just relying on chemistry alone. Her process of finding the right person by playing by certain rules seems plausible.