The 3.6-date rule? Sex on the first date

Despite the explosion of dating sites and apps in recent years, we’ve found out that the ‘three-date rule’ still holds true for most singles in the UK.

How long after a date would you sleep with someone?

Britons wait an average of 3.6 dates before even considering sleeping with a partner, with that figure increasing to 4.3 dates among British females. Dating apps have traditionally been associated more with ‘hook-ups’ than meaningful dates or relationships, but the findings suggest that the mobile revolution has not radically altered Britons’ attitudes towards sex and dating.

Has mobile dating made a difference?

Our members use the match.com app more than any other country in Europe, and 67% now use their mobiles to find dates: a 30% increase on the same time last year. In spite of the surge in mobile app usage, just 39% of Britons surveyed said they had had sex on a first date, although men were almost twice as likely to have done so as women (48.8% of men, versus 28% of women).

Do different regions have different attitudes towards sex on the first date?

There’s also regional differences in the attitudes of respondents. Scotland is the area of the UK most likely to have sex on a first date (46%), while the Welsh are least inclined to do so (32%). On average, those North of the border wait an average of 3.14 dates before considering sleeping with a new partner, whilst those in Wales will hold out for 4.04 dates, with all English regions falling in between the two.

Kate Taylor, dating and relationship expert at match.com, comments: “These findings show that, far from creating a ‘hook-up’ culture, dating apps are simply making it easier than ever for young singles to meet one another. Modern daters are empowered enough to make their own decisions about when they sleep with a new partner, whether it happens after date one or on the wedding night. Sex is an important part of dating for many people, but it’s by no means the be all and end all.”