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5-Day Dating Rule: How to Speed Up Online Dating and Get Real Dates

By Andrea McGinty May 29, 2022 Dating

Ever heard of the 5-Day Momentum Rule? It’s a very powerful concept.

As a dating coach/counselor with over 25 years of dating experience, I know this for a fact! This rule has gained even more importance in the past five years as our attention spans have shortened due to social media, TikTok, texting, etc.

Very often, a guy is interested one day – gone the next! So, you need to use your 5-day super powers with online dating.

How to Apply the 5-Day Rule?

I speak with my clients weekly, helping them navigate online dating and this is key to actually meeting someone in person – because you are not looking for text buddies, right?

The 5-Day Online Dating Momentum Rule gives you 5 days from first contact to first date to meet in person. If you don’t, the odds of meeting him… ever… drop dramatically to less than 20%. (UCLA study, 2021)

Day 1: Message Volley

When you’re interested in someone, send him a message. If you receive a message, respond immediately. No game playing with online dating. If you remember The Rules or other dating books from the 1990’s to 2010’s, toss them. They don’t apply any longer.

If you hear from the person, that’s great news!

Day 2: Share More Info

Now, share a bit more information – perhaps why you moved to Chicago (or some other place), what you love about two of your interests, upcoming travel plans, etc. The tidbits you share must not be written about in your profile or exist in a questionnaire form on the dating site/app.

This speeds up the process of getting to know each other without writing a novella!

TIP: Do not write about your ex or children!

Day 3: Virtual Call

Time to schedule the 5–10-minute virtual call. You can use whatever app suits or use the video link provided by the dating app.

Why 5-10 minutes? You need to set boundaries. You are not looking for a video/phone buddy, you want to see what the person on the other side looks like; to see their smile, hear their voice.

TIP: Please make sure you’ve made the intention of this call very clear. Here is a good message to establish this with a potential date: “Wow, it’s been fun texting. How about we take this to a 5–10-minute video call to see if we want to meet in real life? I could do tonight at 8:30 pm or tomorrow around 4 or 5pm. How’s this work with your schedule?”

What Did You Establish with This Message?

  • Self-Confidence! And yes, this is sexy!
  • Boundaries: the call will last 5-10 minutes (plenty of time to know if you are interested, and if you’re not, you’re off the hook in under 10 minutes).
  • The call has a clear purpose: to see if you want to meet in person.
  • You have given specific times for the call – after all, you are busy, right? Not just waiting around for someone to ask you out!
  • Your potential date now knows the intent of the video call and may respond with a few other times that work with him – totally fine and reasonable!

Remember, you are at the make/break time with this person.

Day 4: After the Call

From this point onward, a couple scenarios can ensue:

The Video Call Is a Bust

Well, you didn’t waste time meeting them in real life! Easy end to this call call: “Thanks for chatting and I wish you the best.” Then delete them from your app/site.

They Are Indecisive About the Call

Not a good sign! Hey, we are paying money to do online dating, and they can’t find 5-10 minutes for a video chat? You’re a smart person – there’s clearly an issue here, and we don’t care what it is – terminate this person on your account.

They Say They’d Like to Continue Texting/Messaging

Haven’t you exchanged the basic info and established a bit of a friendly rapport in the first 3 days? Be self-confident about yourself and terminate this potential date. Why? Because it’s never going to happen – time to move on. (How do I know? Well, 25 years have taught me a bit!)

TIP: Of course, you shouldn’t be rude. It’s a good practice to text them back politely before you terminate, by saying something like, “Oh, thanks anyway – I’m ready to meet via FT and I wish you the best.” Hit send. Terminate contact.

Day 5: Yay!

Finally, if the video call goes great, and you schedule a date for lunch, drinks, coffee… YAY! You made it!

Why do I work as a dating coach? I like to help singles. I get genuinely excited when you like someone! 5 engagements in the last 3 weeks of dating coaching… That’s why I do what I do!

So, follow the 5-Day Dating Rule and you should see the results pretty quickly!

What is your usual online dating ritual? Do you follow any rules? How have they worked for you so far? Do you think the 5-Day Rule can help you establish a practical routine with dating apps?

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The Author

Andrea McGinty is the founder of It’s Just Lunch dating service. She sold it and founded so she could help singles navigating online dating. In the 2020s, she knows the best way to meet people is through online dating using a professional coach and specializes in singles in their 50s-70s!

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