Men and Their Money: The Three-Date Rule

Most of what I know about money, I learned from men. I learned how they count it, how they spend it and what they spend it on. They use money to keep score, define their self-worth and to acquire women. I learned about the three-date rule after a couple of dates with one man who was an out-of-town business man.

I was surprised to learn about the three-date rule. I had married young and had not learned of this particular dating etiquette. When I was young, I considered myself rather informed, as I had read Cosmopolitan magazine as a teenage girl and, therefore, considered myself a contemporary woman. It seems I was wrong, at least according to some men.

I learned of my ignorance after dating this out-of-town business man for a couple of months. About a week after our third date, he called me at home one night with a definite purpose on his mind. After the usual introductory comments, he blatantly told me that if I did not “put out,” he was going to quit taking me out. He told me that he had already spent too much money on me and was not going to spend another cent until we had sex.

This particular late-night telephone conversation occurred after he had shared with me that he was married, but getting divorced.

Then, on our second date, he had confessed that he also had a mistress back home in Pennsylvania. He was conflicted about which woman to have sex with when he returned for the holidays. It seems I was causing him additional concern because he was relocating from Pennsylvania to Denver and, therefore, wanted to have sex with me before he returned home to finalize his divorce and break-up with his mistress. He explained that he could not make any further decisions about his life until he discovered whether he liked having sex with me. This seemed to be the deciding factor. He also asked questions about my sexual preferences in an attempt to determine whether we were sexually compatible and, therefore, worth any more of his time or money.

As a recently divorced woman, who had only recently entered the dating scene, I was beginning to get a little more practiced at conflict negotiations and chose to let him talk before answering his questions. When he finally finished telling me how things were going to be before he spent any more money on me, I almost laughed. I almost laughed, but held my tongue until it was my turn to speak.

After he finished explaining his major complaint with me, I asked him how much money he had spent on me and what exactly did he expect in return. I informed him that we had not negotiated price prior to my acceptance of a dinner invitation and, therefore, he would have been wiser to clarify his assumptions before making random invitations to strange women. I then recited the number of times we had gone to dinner, how much the total tab was and, to be specific, how much of the tab was actually spent on my meal and not only his drinks. After mentally tallying the costs, not including tax or tips, I calculated that he had spent approximately $60 dollars on me over the course of two months and three dinner dates. Remember, of course, he always got to choose the restaurant and each of these three times, we went to the same steak house. I may have even neglected to include fuel costs since I drove from Colorado Springs to Denver in order to meet him closer to his corporate condo. I also asked what the current rate is for an exclusive call-girl because, according to my estimates, any high-class hooker would at least get dinner and cash.

The mention of cash must have caught his attention because he realized that he had insulted me and began to apologize. It was too late. Therefore, to resolve his confusion, I suggested that he return home, have sex with his wife, have sex with his mistress and, maybe then, he would feel compensated for the money he had spent on me. Besides, I added, the wife gets a house and three kids, the mistress gets a free car and some cheap jewelry and all I got was a free steak and some lousy conversation. I further advised that he get his sex where he spends his money. I think this is when I hung-up the phone.

The three-date rule is non-compulsory.