the rules of three: spacing

In “Attachment,” you will have noticed that limiting your in-person, physical contact is vital to keeping an “other” from being “significant”.

And while I encourage you to keep encounters to a once-a-week basis, I am also aware that some folks just have a bigger appetite than others. To you, I would say, another Rule of Three is all-important:

Space out the intimacy. Separate sexytime by a minimum of three days.*

For the longest time, I wondered what was so magical about that three-day number. Two day-ers seemed prone to thinking about me more when I wasn’t around, sending me the ever-endearing No-Reason Good Morning text. But now, I know. Because science.

Most actual couples only do the horizontal tango once every few days. A recent study suggests that sexual afterglow lasts two days for a reason: to keep couples together in the time between intimate sessions.

The keyword here is “together“.

If you don’t want this person to slowly become a fixture in your life, then wait for the afterglow to wear off before seeing them next. That way, when you next encounter them, you will be fully cognizant, and not still swimming in the fog that your brain produces to trick you into propagating the species and ensuring the health and survival of your young.

See, sex takes a lot of energy and makes you drop your guard (not just against unwanted relationships, but also against things like sabre-toothed cats. Yes, I’m talking evolution now.) This 48-hour afterglow period is designed to keep mated pairs together while minimizing the amount of time spent vulnerable to external threats. And yes, from the get-go, humans had better chances at survival when they were partnered up, or in groups. In other words – eons of evolution want you to settle down.

Don’t let it win.

Your body doesn’t care if that other person is boring, or uninteresting, or financially unstable, or incapable of forming a deep emotional connection with you, or fulfilling the needs of the many facets of your personality. If you’re not looking to spend a very long time with the person you’re currently sleeping with, your brain needs to be your body’s overprotective older sibling, and tell it not to make a habit of being with someone you don’t like.

Habits are hard to break. But if you prevent the habit from forming, you win by default. Don’t fuck the same person more than once every 3 days.


*The only way to circumvent the three-day rule is to have multiple sexual partners. This of course makes things quite a bit more complicated, and will need to be covered in a different section.