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We Asked An Expert About That 3-Month Dating Rule Going Viral On TikTok

We’ve all heard of the “honeymoon phase.” You know, that era of your relationships when everything feels like sunshine and rainbows — the “we never fight” stage. For a while, everything is perfect. Until, for a lot of couples, it’s not.

Maybe you’ve caught yourself falling out of the honeymoon stage, maybe you’re still in it, and maybe you’ll be in it forever. There’s no official guidebook when it comes to relationships and their timelines. However, according to TikTok, there comes a point in time when you can tell if your relationship is going south. Enter: “the three-month rule.”

Posted on Sept. 27, TikToker (and podcaster) Taylor Herd posted a video that brought this relationship theory to light. According to Herd, your partner “can’t fake it for three months” when it comes to being the perfect partner.

“After three months, it comes out if they really like you or not,” Herd says in the video. “It’s hard to be consistent with something for three months if you’re not enjoying it.”

The video amassed over 5.9 million views, and the #3monthrule has over 12.4 million views and counting. Using this hashtag, TikTokers are talking about this theory, and even trying to prove it with their own personal stories.

And while this theory is taking over TikTok, it’s really nothing new under the sun. Her Campus spoke to relationship expert and professional matchmaker, Sameera Sullivan, to see if the three-month rule is really a thing for everyone — or if it’s just another TikTok theory.

What Is The Three-Month Rule?

As I said, the three-month rule is nothing new. With articles dating back to the 2010s, the three-month rule has been a staple in the dating game for quite some time. The rule is this: three months is the turning point for a relationship — after three months, you’ll be able to tell if they’re actually into you, and whether or not you need to cut the cord.

In short: in three months, the truth comes out.

“After three months of dating, you and your partner have gotten to know each other better,” Sullivan tells Her Campus. “As a result, you’re more inclined to lower your guard, express your emotions, and be candid about important issues.”

It makes sense: three months, or 90 days, is a lot of time to get to know somebody. At this point, the mask you may or may not be wearing during a relationship can become heavy, and it might just start to slip.

“At this stage, this has the power to make or break a relationship — three months is the right time to get you past the honeymoon stage,” Sullivan adds.

Is the three-month rule real?

Sure, it checks out. But is the three-month rule actually real? Stop sweating it, bestie. According to Sullivan, it’s not.

“Although we may comprehend the rationale behind the three-month rule, there is absolutely no scientific support,” Sullivan says. “Everybody moves on at their own pace; some even begin to do so while the relationship is still technically ongoing.”

There’s no timeline when it comes to relationships, so it’s best to take the whole “three months and they’re gone” theory with a grain of salt. However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll be in the honeymoon phase forever. The turning point in the relationship might come sooner, possibly even weeks into a partnership. However, for some couples, it may take years to finally see the real side of their partner. And for the lucky ones, the turning point never comes — or at least not enough to break them up.

“After all is said and done after those three months, it’s up to you whether or not you want to continue entertaining the person or put a ‘period’ on it early on,” Sullivan adds.

So, what happens if my partner falls within the “three-month” rule?

While the three-month rule is just a theory, it’s never a good feeling to know that your partner is losing interest. Whether it’s three months, one week, or four years, it’s important to know that you deserve better than someone who doesn’t want you back.

“If you feel like your partner is getting ready to leave after three months, take it as a positive sign and let them go,” Sullivan says. “You would only make things worse if you kept on trying.”

So, if you feel like the honeymoon stage is fading away — alongside your relationship — it might be time to pull the plug and find something, or someone, better. Three months, three weeks, or three years in the making, you deserve to feel loved, important, and — most of all — wanted.

julianna (she/her) is an associate editor at her campus where she oversees the wellness vertical and all things sex and relationships, wellness, mental health, astrology, and gen-z. during her undergraduate career at chapman university, julianna's work appeared in as if magazine and taylor magazine. additionally, her work as a screenwriter has been recognized and awarded at film festivals worldwide. when she's not writing burning hot takes and spilling way too much about her personal life online, you can find julianna anywhere books, beers, and bands are.