most noble number on the planet, it's the most famous (infamous?) number in history. So it shouldn't be a hard one to remember. And that's good because it turns out it comes up pretty often in online dating. (And well, dating in general.)
As if meeting the love of your life isn't hard enough, (and soon enough that you can share a good percentage of your life with before one or both of you hit your expiration date...get it?...expiration *date*?) time is not on your side.
So here is the break down.
1. A message you send to someone should be a minimum of 3 lines long. 3-6 sentences is ideal. That message should include 3 separate thoughts and one of them should be an open ended, engaging question. Also, all of the thoughts and questions should be about the person you are writing to, NOT about yourself. The best messages ask three completely different questions. For example:
I am so impressed that you read John Grisham books and actually know who Andrew Belle is! Do you also listen to Greg Laswell? How long have you been doing photography and do you have a site with your work on display? As an avid snowboarder where would you recommend someone just starting go to try it? Have a great day~
2.You have 3 days after getting a message from someone to respond, or after sending a message to someone to determine whether they are going to respond. Past this 72 hour period of time, chances are good they are not and you are not. If they do respond, make sure you keep up your end of the conversation. Ask engaging questions. Talk about your shared interests. Discuss meeting in person and make sure that your end game goals are the same.
3. If you don't hear back from them after 3 messages they're really not interested. There is still a chance that the person will respond after your first or second message if you change your tactics or wait a week or so before trying again. Possibly they overlooked your message because it wasn't eye catching enough or because you caught them at a bad moment in their life. (And please, spread them out over some time. Don't send them back to back within hours or days of each other!) After three un-replied messages though, they're probably just getting ready to block you for annoying them.
4. Exchanging additional contact information (social media sites like Facebook, cell phone number etc.) should take place around the 3rd message. Giving out contact info before that seems either eager, lazy or otherwise suspiciously too soon to have developed any real comfort with this person. Wait longer than that and either they're going to give up on you and move onto greener pastures, or they're hoping to make this an online pen-friend thing. Do you really have time for that?
5. 30 minutes is how long you should be able to chat on the phone with someone before you agree to meet in person. If either of you are struggling to find anything to talk about over the phone, chances are good you'll struggle in person to find things to talk about. Also, if they are hiding something (like being a different gender, a much different age than they claim) this is a good way and time to find out before going to the trouble to meet in person.
7. 30 minutes is roughly how long you can be late to a date before the other person will ditch, delete and block your sorry ass for not being on time. It is not recommended that you test this theory!
8. Most guys need only 3 seconds in the presence of a woman to decide if they're interested in banging her. Women will give most guys closer to 3 minutes to decide. This if further proof that women and men are motivated by different factors while dating.
9. Even if the chemistry isn't spot on at first, you have around 3 minutes to turn that around with whatever other great characteristics you might have. Roll out the charm, witty banter, clever humor or whatever allows you to really shine. Most people agree that spending time around someone and liking their personality, developing rapport, they actually discover they find the person more attractive than they previously did. Generally speaking though, your lasting impressions of each other will be fix in the first 3 minutes of knowing each other. So relax. There's no pressure right?
11. The first kiss is usually expected to take place in the first three dates. I'm not saying you should, just that one or both parties is going to be expecting it. Kissing on a first date seems to have become this custom that honestly I think is a horrible idea. And sleeping together on the first date is an even worse idea. Typically that shuts the door on anything genuine and long term. While there may be rare exceptions to that, generally what people get too easily they don't have any value for. This definitely applies to easy kisses and easy lays.
Understand though that when choosing to not kiss (or get naked) on the first date, you'll learn a lot about what the other person's priorities are in meeting you. If you want to get to know them before merging parts of your bodies together (even if it's just your lips) and they get angry, impatient or pouty about it... Ditch them immediately. They're never going to respect your opinions or personal choices later if you get into a relationship either.
12. People typically decide before the 3rd date whether they like someone enough to want to keep seeing them. If you make it date number 3, it's either because she's holding out sex and he's still hoping to get laid (smart girl) or one of them is happily using the other for free meals/ outings/ sex and aren't ready to give up the gravy train (shame on that person), or they both genuinely like each other (here is hoping!).
13. 3 weeks of knowing/ dating each other is generally the time frame when both parties decide (or don't decide) to stop seeing other people. If they don't it might be because one isn't done making sure the grass isn't greener somewhere else, or because something between the two of them hasn't quite gelled yet. If you've stopped seeing other people and the person you are dating hasn't, it might be a good time to ask a few questions to yourself and them.
3 Bits of Bonus data:
1. The average, reasonably attractive, reasonably fit, mostly not crazy, mostly serious dater will find someone also average, reasonably attractive, reasonably fit, mostly not crazy and mostly serious in a three to six month period of time. People who still fit that demographic but are outside that time frame of finding someone have something else going on. This could include but is not limited to:
still getting over the last relastionship
not physical available (out of the country for a time)
overly picky/ very high standards
2. Three months is how long most trial run relationships last. It's just enough time for faking who you really are to become too much work and people finally start showing some of their true colors. Don't be fooled though. Some people can keep up the facade for much longer. For the best long term results, it is strongly recommended that you date someone for an entire year before tying the marital knot. (Long distance dating during that time doesn't count sorry.)
3. If you've been dating for three years or longer and both sides are not serious about marriage, it's time to admit that it's likely never going to happen. It's possible that something is just holding one person back and with the right motivation and prodding they'll pop the question (or agree to that question).
But, if for whatever reason it's not working out, just wait three months (about how long it takes for the average person to be ready to move on) and try again.
As always, if someone does not return your interest or attraction, please be mature about it.