Swipe, date, invest: Inside the rise of the $2,000 three-date rule in 2023

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Updated Jan 5, 2024 at 03:23 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

If you’re out there trying to decode the mysteries of modern romance in 2023, you’re not alone. The dating scene is a wild ride, with new rules and lingo popping up faster than you can say “swipe right.” However, there’s a new player in town. Enter the ‘three date rule,’ where a man supposedly needs to drop a cool $2,000 before even thinking about getting a smooch.

Now, before you start checking your wallet’s pulse, hang tight, because columnist Jana Hocking has some thoughts on this peculiar dating phenomenon. In the writer’s recent piece for News.com.au, she’s not just dissecting the trend, she’s actually warming up to the idea.

Initially, Hocking explained that this theory challenges the conventional wisdom of time-based decisions and introduces a cash-centric approach to intimacy. However, while the knee-jerk reaction might be outrage or concerns about equality in bill-splitting, she encourages us to take a pause and let this sink in. Could there be merit in linking investment to intimacy?

Firstly, Hocking suggests that a guy willing to invest such a significant amount in multiple dates is likely genuinely interested and invested in his potential partner. In her view, enduring numerous dates demonstrates a level of commitment that could be indicative of a long-term connection: “The first reason why this new rule is kinda growing on me is that if a guy is willing to go on enough dates to warrant $2,000 out of pocket expense, then there’s a fair chance the guy is properly invested in you.”

Secondly, the journalist proposes that spending substantial time together without the distraction of physical intimacy could allow both individuals to navigate potential deal-breakers early on in the relationship. This perspective implies that taking the time to build a connection without the immediate focus on sexual aspects might contribute to a more substantial foundation.

“I mean, if a libido can withstand that many dates, then he’s a keeper.” Hocking stated, before continuing: “I let my mind wander to the couple of gents I’ve jumped into bed with after three to five dates and I thought, ‘sheesh if I was living by that theory I could probably have avoided a couple of mistakes’.”

The internet has become a battleground of opinions regarding this trend. Some have lauded it as the best solution for modern dating, others have deemed it a method that not only turns romance into a monotonous transaction but also potentially perpetuates the idea of shaming women for having sex early on in a relationship.

@thebertshow

How y’all feel about the new dating theory that a woman shouldn’t sleep with a man until he’s dropped $2K on her?! #dating #relationships

♬ original sound - The Bert Show

Well, if you ask me, I’m still not entirely sold on this idea. What if a guy is rolling in money, and thinks nothing of dropping $2,000 on dates, but then turns out to be a total arsehole? Money can’t buy decency, right?

And let’s get real for a moment, am I the only one feeling a subtle wave of dark cringe here? Setting a price tag on dating feels like wandering into an awkward territory. I mean, what’s next? Negotiating rates for different relationship milestones? It’s a bit like wading through uncharted waters, and I can’t help but wonder where this financial dating journey might lead us.

While the idea of a significant financial investment before intimacy may have its merits, it’s essential to approach this idea with a nuanced understanding of its potential impact.

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