People write in to ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR with questions.  An index of all Q&As is located on the ASK MIDLIFE BACHELOR INDEX page. Email your question in complete confidence to [email protected].

  Is it wrong to call a woman the day after you had your first date with her?  Or is the “3 day rule” still the way to go?  I had a great first date with a woman last night, and I’ve been thinking about calling her today.  What say you?  Tom, Age 40, Boston, MA.

MLB ANSWER:  You didn’t tell us enough about the date to make a good call.  Was the date nice for her, as well?  What made it seem nice?  Did you make out (or better) with her?  Have you been single a long time?  Do you date a lot, or not very much?  Where are you personally on the Midlife Bachelor Objective Roadmap?  [I suspect you are either recently divorced or that you do not date too much.]  If you do call her the next day – what would you say?  Are you calling to say you had a nice time, or to ask her out again, or to please not press charges (ha ha),  or ???

In general, I think the best advice is to NOT call the woman the very next day … because you run the risk of annoying or overwhelming her.  I would typically give it anywhere from two to four days – assuming the date obviously went well for both of you, and that you know she is interested in you.  When you do call her, I’d probably keep things very low pressure in terms of your approach and see how she reacts.   Tell her you had a really great time, and that you’d enjoy going out again maybe next weekend … then see what she says.  [If she says, for example, that she has to wash her cat that day then hang up the phone. ha ha]  Seriously though, the last thing you want to do is seem overly eager (see Being Over Eager/The Full Court Press in Fundamental Truths about Women and Dating Today).   Calling too soon or too often is a sign of insecurity, and it will scare a woman off in a hurry.

You mention the “3 day rule” – you are not confusing that with the “Three Date Rule”, are you?   [You can read about The Three Date Rule in the section of this site entitled Develop a Strategy for Midlife Bachelor Success.]  In a nutshell, The Three Date Rule states that you should know after three dates if you want to date this woman or not.  For some midlife bachelors, it also means that if a woman does not put out within three dates, that she is not interested in you – but I do not necessarily buy into that point-of-view.  Either way (3 day or 3 date), it is just a reference point – you should do what you think is best … and if you screw up, then learn from the experience and move forward.    You must periodically re-evaluate yourself, your methods, and your strategy in order to be successful as a midlife bachelor.  [See the section on Periodic Re-evaluation of your Midlife Bachelor Strategy.]   Good luck – and put down that phone for a day or two!

DEAR MIDLIFE BACHELOR:   I have been married for six years to a woman who is a lot of fun and who I love.  She is very independent, and is not the jealous type herself.  The problem is that every month or two, she will fairly suddenly disappear overnight – after having met up with what she says are some of her friends for happy hour.  I don’t get a phone call when this happens – she just shows up the next day, and says she was too drunk to drive home.  We don’t have any children together, so she is not being a derelict mom or anything – but I am curious what you think about this.  Do you think she is cheating on me?  Barry, Age 39, Seattle, WA.

MLB ANSWER:  I’ll try to give you both a biased and an unbiased opinion here.  The biased opinion is – when I was in my mid 20s, my own first marriage ended because my wife was cheating on me in exactly the scenario you just described.  My gut feel at the time told me something was wrong – and I wound up just asking her point-blank if she was cheating on me, and then all hell broke loose from there.  The unbiased opinion is – maybe she is cheating, maybe not.  It could simply be that she is being responsible enough not to drink and drive … but I don’t see why she couldn’t just take a cab home, right?  How about a phone call to you to let you know what is happening?   Have you met the “friends” she says she is hanging out with when this happens?  Are you ever invited to go out with her when she visits them?  Are there men among these friends, and did your wife ever date any of those men before dating you?  The bottom line is that you may or may not need to worry.  Keep your eye out for red flags, and then I’d suggest you simply discuss it with your wife.  Tell her it makes you uncomfortable that she does this, and see what she says.  Hopefully she will work with you on it – in the interest of creating a stronger relationship.  Before you discuss anything with her (and assuming you do in your heart believe she is cheating on you), you should probably decide what you will say and do if you do find out with certainty that she is being unfaithful.  In terms of things to read on this site which might help you – check out the short article on Difference between Criticism and Feedback … which might help you keep your discussion with your wife more positive in nature (feedback-oriented). You could also read the article on Is Cheating Worth It? which could give you some things to think about concerning cheating (or your wife cheating). And finally, if you do think you are going to wind up single as a result of all of this – you can check out the Midlife Dating Advice section to help you prepare for midlife bachelorhood. Good luck!

Avatar of Greg Smith
About the Author

Midlife Bachelor chronicles lifestyle, dating, and relationship experiences and advice to avoid a midlife crisis. Readers like you are often beyond young adulthood in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s that want to understand how dating, sex, relationships, and love fit in with our lifestyles.