The “3-6-9 month rule” is an informal rule that some people follow when they are in a new romantic relationship. To break it down to you, it is about the first three months, a phase when you are getting to know each other, the second set of three months when you are building a deeper connection, and the last set of three months when you should have a clear idea of whether the relationship has long-term potential. This rule is not a one-size-fits-all approach and it should be taken with a pinch of salt, however, it comes in useful when it comes to relationships.
The first 3 months (The discovery phase)
The initial three months of a relationship are all about the excitement and getting to know each other. During this period, you are exploring each other’s interests, hobbies, values, and quirks. This is the phase where you assess whether there’s a strong initial attraction and compatibility. You’re learning about each other’s past, sharing experiences, and enjoying the new romance. Communication is essential during this phase. You also have fun, go on dates, and create lasting memories together. However, the first three months are considered the “honeymoon phase,” where you may be seeing each other through rose-coloured glasses.
The second 3 months (The deepening phase)
Between the third and sixth months, the relationship starts to deepen. Couples move beyond the initial infatuation and start investing more time and emotional energy into the connection. This is the phase where the couple navigates challenges and disagreements. It’s a crucial period for building intimacy, as you become more comfortable with each other and your vulnerabilities surface. During this time, couples may meet each other’s friends and family, solidifying their presence in each other’s lives. They begin discussing things like future goals, shared values, and long-term plans.
The final 3 months (The evaluation phase)
The last three months of the 3-6-9 month rule is when you should evaluate the long-term potential of the relationship. You get to know how compatible you are. It’s essential to have conversations about your future together and address questions like whether you both want similar things from the relationship.