Men are confusing, I’ll give you that. I shake my head all the time wondering wtf just happened.
But this is simple: the three-stage dating rule and the assumptions you can make based on behaviour.
Dating is a way for us to get to know someone and decide if we want to spend more time with this person. It’s like interviewing for the role of mate, whatever version of that rings true for you.
Date #1: This determines if the person is hygienic, a weird/psycho, properly socialized, polite, and generally tells us firsthand info about the person in front of us. If a man likes what he sees, he will ask for date #2 right out of the gate. But if he uses the word “should” as in “We should do this again” then, my friend, date #2 will likely not happen. That is passive language. Men go after what they want, though I am finding men today are rather beta and passive (across all ages), and want women to do much of the pursuing and legwork, which is causing a lot of crossed/mixed wires (at least for me!), and making books like The Rules even more inaccurate.
Date #2: If you actually get to date #2, bravo. It means the interview session went well and you both liked what you saw. So this date is to confirm what you thought on date #1 and to gather more information, because we all know guards come down incrementally and their “real” personality–not the one we put on with first encounters–will come through more.
Date #3: Way to go! A third date means you are both pleased with what you see and hear and are really interested. It usually means you’re on the way to exclusivity on some level and are properly dating now.
So if you get a third date, know it means something and is a very, very positive sign.