Follow this 15-Second Rule in Dating

Because it takes that long to decide if you want a second date

Let me tell you a story about one of my terrible dating experiences…

When I was dating online, I met a man who was wonderful! Through our virtual conversations, we clicked. Talking to him on the phone went smoothly and we got along great.

In his photos, he was handsome. He was a musician (sexy!) and he was interesting. All initial signs pointed to a promising start. I made a coffee date and for the first time in months, I was excited to meet someone.

As I was waiting for him and drinking my coffee, I watched a single man walk through the door, only to say to myself:

“Dear God, please don’t let that be him”.

It was him.

He was disheveled as if he just rolled out of bed. He carried himself in a lazy way. When he introduced himself and sat down, he showed no warmth or friendliness.

When he talked, it was barely a whisper and as I tried to inch closer to hear him, he leaned backwards and further away from me. It was a frustrating nightmare.

After 15 minutes, I told him thank you and left. When he texted me later to ask me out for dinner, I told him ‘no thank you.’

This dating experience made me realized that my initial “please don’t let it be him” moment happened with all of my dates; I knew whether or not I was attracted to my date the instant he walked through the door.

That’s when I decided to apply my 15-second initial attraction to all my dates as a primary key to deciding if I would pursue anything further with a man.

Within 15 seconds, you’ll know whether or not you’re attracted to a man you’ve just met. Let me be more blunt: within 15 seconds, you’re gonna know if you wanna fuck this guy.

Most people have this unconscious first impression and then push it away, only to find out later that they were right all along. Applying the first impression of sexual attraction to a first date may sound harsh, but it works.

The 15-second dating rule is a concept I realized as I pursued my dating relationships.

In the first 15 seconds, I could tell whether or not I was attracted to a man, would go on a second date with him, and decide if I’d want to be in a romantic relationship with him.

This was based on my first impression; I received instant validation from the man in front of me to determine if there was enough initial physical and emotional attraction to keep me interested in pursuing him further.

If I ignored this initial gut reaction and continued to date the man, it was worse for both of us when it was time to break it off, leaving misunderstanding and hurt feelings.

I started living by this rule religiously so I didn’t waste either of our time pursuing something that I knew deep down wasn’t going to work for me.

I also realized that even if I had a lot of promise and high expectations before we met in person, all of that could go out the window if he didn’t pass the 15-second rule.

It takes only 15 seconds of experiencing a man in the flesh to get a positive or negative feeling, which sets the course for the rest of your interactions with him, and to ultimately decide whether or not you’ll want to pursue him beyond this first meeting.

To break it down further, there are a few specific impressions I take into consideration. Understand, this usually happens organically and instantaneously. After all, it’s only 15 seconds, I’m not tallying up a sheet of pros and cons in the process. This is how it goes:

As he approaches, I take in his essence and let my body tell me how I feel about him:

How does he look physically?

Is his body appealing to me?

Does he have a sex appeal that I can relate to?

Does he have a nice face?

Is it a kind face or does he look angry?

Does he smile?

How does he hold his body?

Does he show confidence? Is he overconfident?

Does he look me in the eyes?

Does he shy away from me?

How does he interact with me and the people around him?

Is he warm and approachable or cold and dismissive?

What are his mannerisms and does anything stand out?

How is his voice? Is it pleasing to my ears?

Does he overall seem to be a man that I’d be interested in getting to know better?

Would I have sex with him?

Understand this all happens within 15 seconds, it’s looking at the man as a whole, how he carries himself, what he looks like, his physicality, his face, his tone of voice, his sexual attraction and how my body reacts to him, whether I’m attracted or put off.

This is initial chemistry.

This isn’t an indicator of whether you’re going to have a great love affair with this man, or if you’ll be with him forever.

This is only the first step of initial attraction. Take that first 15 seconds and really look at him. Let your body tell you if you’re interested. This is crucial.

When I was dating, I met a man in front of a local pub, he was standing outside the front door. I got along well with him online and was really excited to meet him. As I came walking up to the door, my first reaction was, “Oh, no. Nope. Nah-uh. No thanks.”

We sat down and had a beer together. He was the greatest guy. I really liked him. He was sweet and a gentleman. He was funny, and we got along well.

I did not waste the time I spent with him, but I knew in the first few seconds that I was not interested in dating him, no matter how nice he was and how well we got along. There was no sexual attraction and that doesn’t work for me.

The next time I met a man, he was standing in the same place, in front of the same pub. As I approached him, my first reaction was “OH YES! Hell yes!” The way he stood, his kind face, his physique, how he greeted me, and other things I can’t even put into words, made me very attracted to him.

I ended up marrying him and am attracted to him more now than I was when I first saw him.

If there’s no initial attraction to a man in the first 15 seconds, then there’s no reason to continue with any further dating relationship with this man, and stick to your 15-minute date.

If you don’t, it will only get harder down the road when you let him know you’re not interested. You might find that he might be a good friend (careful!) and you might find you have common interest, but the initial attraction is absolutely critical to continuing a dating and possibly intimate relationship with this man.

So, savor your precious time, be discriminating and follow the 15-second rule. You won’t go wrong.

And if you get all green lights from those 15 seconds, dive in and get to know this man in front of you who has the potential to become part of your future.

Michelle Jaqua is a blogger on She writes to inspire people toward emotional healing, personal development, and living a passionate life. Sometimes she just writes about life.

If you’re interested in some of my other projects, please join my mailing list, and I’ll send you my 10 strategies to build an amazing relationship. Let’s keep in touch.

Written by

Advocate for Women / Editor of The Virago

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