The Three-Month Rule

Caitlyn Wilson, Staff Writer

Many teenagers have heard of the Three-Month Rule, but are we aware of what it means? I know that I’ve heard it used in various contexts, so I want to clear up the typical confusion surrounding the different stages of the three-month rule.

Before a Relationship

If you are in the ‘talking stage’ for more than three months, the three-month rule indicates that, likely, it won’t amount to a relationship, and if a relationship is what you desire, then you should probably cut your losses and move on. After three months, the spark may die down, and you may grow apart as there hasn’t been any certainty or promise of the continuation of the relationship past this point. For many people, this uncertainty leads to the drifting of situationships and the end of them. 

Uncertainty for so long leads to breaking off the talking stage in a relationship as neither is committed. With no obligation, but to be that far into a talking location is when people start considering that they may get hurt if the other person suddenly decides to end the relationship. To try and combat this, they either confess to the person or ghost first so they don’t get hurt. Either way, the three-month marker is typically a turning point in a relationship, especially in younger people.

During a Relationship 

After entering into a relationship, the three-month rule is the belief that after three months of dating someone, you get to know the true them, unmasked. If you are dating someone and you keep believing that they will change after three months, it is said to be very unlikely to happen, as they will most likely already be showing their true selves. This is often known or considered the “make it or break it” milestone in a relationship because it gives the participants the time to escape the relationship with little heartbreak but gives each participant enough knowledge to gain an insight into what a future long-term relationship will look like. 

Interestingly, oxytocin or the ‘love hormone’ may stop production at the three-month mark of a relationship due to the newness of a relationship dying down; in contrast, however, more production of oxytocin indicates a longer relationship.

After a Relationship

Suppose you want to be respectful of your ex-partner. In that case, it is advised to follow the three-month rule, which indicates that one should wait three months after a breakup to enter a new relationship, giving time to mourn your past relationship and truly process the end before moving on. This signifies that you respect your partner and the time you shared and aren’t in a hurry to forget about them or the growth and knowledge you developed from the relationship. 

This time is an excellent time to reflect on a relationship and realize what happened and what could have led to the end of the relationship. This reflection can help you become a better person for your future partner.