Love moderately: long love doth so; Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow. ~Shakespeare

When it comes to dating, the Bard got it right. Moderation is key. It keeps you from moving too quickly or too slowly when you’re getting to know new men and what they bring to your table. And the most powerful way to achieve moderation is by using the Dating Program of Three.

The Program of Three is exactly the opposite of the urban legend “three-date rule,” which dictates that you must decide by the third date if a guy is the potentially the One and have sex or lose him forever. On this dating program, you avoid that pressured decision and its aftermath: a Flame Out that usually kills the relationship. Instead you date three men at the same time without having sex with any of them. By not seeing any one man too often, you find the men who are really into you and who will stay the course. Plus, you break out of your prison of deadly dating patterns and maneuver more skillfully in the dating world. By following this program, you build your self-esteem and find men that are much more fulfilling.

Although the idea of finding, much less juggling, three guys may sound challenging -- if not downright impossible! -- let me reassure you: it won’t be once you begin using all the tools you’ll learn in this dating program.

Why It Works

There are sound biological reasons why the Dating Program of Three rocks!

First of all, it helps you avoid the number one mistake that single women make: the addictive moth-to-a-flame over-involvement with some new guy who is supposedly the “One,” which I call the Flame Out Deadly Dating Pattern. As Helen Fisher, the renowned anthropologist, describes in her fascinating book, Why We Love, romantic love is a real addiction. It is like shooting up cocaine or heroin, which means reason often goes out the window. When we “fall in love” our brains make large quantities of dopamine and norepinephrine, which also happens when you take speed! These brain chemicals create the excited, exhilarated and focused state that allows us to have eight-hour dates and remember every detail about what our new hottie did and said. These speed-like chemicals also can drive up our levels of testosterone, which increases sexual desire.

Second, when we fall in love, serotonin levels fall and resemble the levels found in people with obsessive-compulsive disorders. So we tend to ruminate, fantasize and obsess about our new (drug-like) boyfriends. The new love is in our thoughts all day and in our dreams at night. Your brain says, focus on him, focus on him, focus on him.

Once this process takes you over, you become like a craving coke addict. You lose touch with reality, seeing only the positives. You lose self-control. Instead you are locked on the target, the fix—hotwired and ready to do outrageous things, sometimes self-destructive things, whatever it takes to be with him. One look, one sweet word is all it takes. Even if you don’t really know him. Even if it is not in your best interests. And as you continue to spend more time together the addiction intensifies.

You fall prey to: …the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible—magic to make the sanest [wo]man go mad. ~Homer

If you move too quickly into the pulsing rush of love, you put yourself at risk for an agonizing withdrawal if this man rejects you. Then sleeplessness, crying jags, over- or under eating, obsessive and upsetting thoughts, all mess with your brain chemistry even further.

The Dating Program of Three safeguards you against all these dangers of love addiction. On this program you will see the new hottie less often and have a measured coming together. You will be less likely to lock on to him with a singular focus that puts you at risk. In this way you elegantly avoid getting physiologically and emotionally devastated if it turns out that he is a player or all wrong for you.

The Program of Three also stops you from having sex prematurely. Why is this so important? Simple biology. When you have sex with someone, your body drives up the levels of oxytocin both during the whole sexual act and after you leave the scene. Oxytocin, which has been called the cuddle, bonding, or tend-and-befriend hormone, creates a strong biological attachment. This means that your body may automatically start the attachment process with almost anyone you bed, whether or not you want to be in a relationship with him! Add that chemical to any dopamine surges and you’re desperately waiting for his text, email or phone call. Jumping into bed too soon means you open yourself to premature infatuation, dependency and a kind of pseudo-intimacy that almost always backfires. Then, caught in the chemical soup of dopamine and oxytocin, you will likely lose yourself.

Another benefit of the Program is that dating multiple men usually gets the guys’ juices flowing. Some men (especially achievers) are wired to compete and win in the courtship game, so competitiveness gets them aroused. When his reward (you) is not easily gained, his brain will pump out more and more of the rapturous chemical, dopamine. Extra dopamine intensifies his feelings of being swept away by love. As one love researcher puts it, “…those who want to trigger romance in a would-be lover might artfully create some mystery, barriers and uncertainty in the relationship.” When you are on the Dating Program of Three, you do not have to fake this quality of not being so available—the program automatically accomplishes this desirable state.

As one of my Love in 90 students discovered, “Now I don’t have to pretend. I am hard to get.”

Dating three guys helps clarify what you want and need in a man, because you can easily and instantly compare and contrast. So for example, when Friday rolls around and ‘Sean’ is cheap and miserly, Saturday’s date with ‘Randy’ will more clearly showcase his giving nature. When you come from abundance in the land of men, you can give yourself many possibilities rather than just one.

The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little. ~Ben Sweetland

Program of Three dating is challenging, but it’s truly empowering. It allows you to be long-sighted and keep your eye on the prize: a lasting fulfilling relationship that’s just right for you. It helps you end your Deadly Dating Patterns, frees you from the “three-date rule,” and keeps you protected from all the scenarios designed to break your heart. Of course, there are definitely obstacles to creating a Program of Three, but I’ve helped thousands of women do this already, and you’re no different. You can do it, too!

Getting Started on the Dating Program of Three
I can hear you already. “Dr. Diana,” you might be thinking, “I’m still trying to find ONE man to date. How can I find three?” First of all, listen up, ladies: there are more than 41 million single men just in the U.S. right now and different ones are coming on the market all the time! And every year, there are new online dating sites that bring in whole new crops to choose from. There are men out there. No matter what your age, weight or “problem” is.

What if you have special challenges because you are African-American…over 45…a single mom… or so highly successful you scare men away? In my book, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love I devote an entire chapter to this population group. In it, you’ll find the latest research that dispels many of the urban legends that we have about finding a lasting love relationship.

In fact, every student I ever had who was willing to consistently work the principles, no matter what her challenges or deadly dating patterns were, has been able to create a successful Dating Program of Three.

It’s not as hard as it seems. Drew, a 42-year old single executive with weight issues, was the highest bidder at a charity auction where a mentoring session with me over lunch was the prize. Here’s what she emailed me about a year later:

I particularly thought the point of ‘dating three guys at once’ was amusing at first, but then you know.... it worked. Even though at times I knew some guy wasn't going to be the love of my life, it was still a diversion from getting involved with another guy too fast before I knew it was the right thing. I think this is the best advice ever and have passed it on to several of my friends. Last summer, I joined a large online dating site and ended up meeting a really nice guy, although at first not necessarily what I thought I was looking for. We get along great, have tons in common, and it’s by far the most mature and healthy relationship I think I have ever been in. We got engaged this past October while on vacation in Florence. He proposed in front of the Fountain of Neptune in the Piazza della Signoria. We are planning a wedding for next June on Martha’s Vineyard.

When you begin dating three men at once, you’re shifting the balance of power to be more equitable. Starting now, take a stand for yourself, a stand that says you deserve a great partner. Take your time, learn what is possible in a relationship, and start playing an active role in choosing who you’re with. Don’t wait to be chosen. Now, with all the online and offline possibilities you have an abundance of men at arm’s reach, you have the ability to pick and choose for yourself. In Dating Three to Find the One: Part II, we will detail the nitty-gritty of working the Program.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Diana Kirschner is a psychologist who has helped thousands of singles get the love they want. Dr. Diana’s dating and relationship advice have been featured on the Today Show, where she is a frequent guest & the 90 Day Love Challenge on the Fox Morning Show. Her PBS Special, was based on her bestselling book, Love in 90 Days. Love in 90 Days is now in paperback with a new chapter, Dating Games Men Play! And to celebrate the launch be among the first 500 to order and get $100 in FREE BONUS GIFTS! Visit

Dr.Diana's brand new Ultimate Secrets to Finding the Love you Want text message subscription program is also now available! Receive her ongoing love support, inspiration & powerful relationship tips on you cell phone for only pennies a day. And the first 500 subscribers get $500 in FREE BONUS GIFTS!
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