The rule is as follows:
After shagging the object of your sexual affection for the third time in a row, ye shall have a conversation about what ye expectations are regarding fidelity and future shagging arrangements.
The reason why this peaked my interest is because I have just done a Cherries and Bananas post for Ramblings of a Semi-Mad Man about an office affair where the guy wanted to confess his feelings to a woman he was having a fling with at work after 10 months. They had not had any discussions about feelings or expectations at all as yet.
Now just thinking about it all – it makes a huge amount of sense to have a talk about expectations at certain intervals of a relationship. And as per the rule, after the third sexual encounter is probably a good place to start.
By this point you know if you you are compatible in the sack and you have a fairly good idea if you want to continue having sex with said person. And having this talk now is much easier than having it when one of you has very different expectations to the other further down the line.
This is not a conversation about where you see yourselves in 5 years or how many kids you want to have. This is a basic conversation about agreeing the terms of your current status – i.e. are you just fuck buddies / are you seeing anyone else / where you stand on exclusivity / are you open to looking at where the relationship goes etc.
It is a way of saving yourself some pain down the line and getting everything out in the open upfront. It doesn’t mean you cant change your mind or feelings down the line but at least you know what yours and your partners expectations are at that time and as you get to know each other better, you can renegotiate the terms.
There is nothing worse than thinking you are an exclusive couple only to find out 6 months down the line that you are not the only one your partner is seeing – especially if you have never spoken about being exclusive. Exclusivity for a lot of people goes without saying but is not a given in today’s world so rather than being heart broken down the line, why not put it out there right near the beginning and agreeing the terms.