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Player Guide: The 3 seconds rule

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The 3 seconds rule

The "3 seconds rule" was coined by Mystery (more info at, a PUA and regular poster on ASF. The point of the 3s rule is to propel you to approach women fast enough to keep your internal voice from talking you out of it and avoid hesitation. You do not want a woman to see you hesitate. The longer you hesitate, the more insecure and sappy you appear. Also, hesitation creates an added sense of nervousness to your mental state - a personality trait you do not want to portray when approaching women.

Even if you can't think of any way to initiate a conversation with a woman, whatever you do, don't break the 3s rule! Act in 3 seconds as the default rule, even if you have no idea how you will continue. If you don't have an opener or opening line in mind by the time you're in front of her, at least just say "Hi". If you act in 3 seconds, she will notice it, no matter where she just came in from or where you came from or how you passed by each other. She will see the spontaneity and decisiveness in your approach and it can only work in your favor. If you wait, hesitate, then decide to approach, you are in a weaker situation. Hesitating will give your self-doubt a chance to create imaginary bad outcomes and add unneeded insecurity to your approach.

With the 3s rule, you don't need to wait for eye contact or for her to notice you or for an opportunity to present itself. You simply see something you like and you go right up to it. You are also doing yourself a favor by following the 3s rule. In three seconds, you have no time to become nervous, self-conscious, sweaty, shaky - all the obvious signs of an AFC: lacking confidence, quality, power, or assertiveness, a weakling around women, a pariah to beautiful girls. Even if you start sweating, or getting shaky or stutter while talking to the woman after following the 3s rule, you weren't that way when you initiated contact. The first impression is what counts. If that first impression of you is of a confident and spontaneous man, her feelings for you will be positive from the start, which greatly the minimizes the chance of you turning into a pile of jelly while talking with her. It sets the pace and helps keep your inner voice at bay, allowing you the chance to keep up your confidence.

The 3s rule, though, is not absolute - you may simply not notice her when she enters your environment, or maybe you'll be tied up with something that might in some way stop you from approaching her (real obstacles, not your imagined ones). The 3 seconds start counting from the moment you have spotted her and are free to approach. When those two conditions are met, you really don't have the time to think deep thoughts, or try and figure out whether or not she noticed that you didn't approach her because you were either too preoccupied, restrained, or simply oblivious - the clock is always ticking, so move it!

vampire2727, ASF: "The worst part of not using the 3s rule is when the girl sees you hesitating."

Mike, ASF: "When approaching these chicks, I used Mystery's 3 second rule approach (which I rely on heavily) and tried to pick out something about them to comment on. It could be a book, something they are wearing, questions about something that they MAY (not necessarily DO) have knowledge on, something we have in common, whatever."

Formhandle's thoughts on the 3 seconds rule:

There is a reason it's a RULE and not just a recommendation. In just about any situation, you are better off approaching quickly and without hesitation after seeing the chick rather than waiting around to think about the "perfect" opener or hesitating because of self-doubt. Most AFCs just stand/sit around, gazing at the HB they want to apporach rather than just going up and doing the approach. While they stand/sit there, the voice in their head goes through every possible rejection scenario and scares the hell out of them.  They cause themselves to get nervous and scared and if they finally do get the nerve to do the approach, they are walking up to her as a quivering pile of jelly. Waiting also creates time for a cockblock to appear. The longer you wait, the more time gets created for cockblock scenarios to present themselves.

The rule is not chiseled in stone, though, and some circumstances aren't quite 3s material. You can't just walk up to a chick and chat her up while she's depositing a check at a bank teller window, for example. Also, sometimes you are in a room full of HBs and you need time to scan for ones that you actually want to approach. You obviously can't approach 2 chicks in 3 seconds who are on different ends of a room. But you also shouldn't stand around for too long if you've seen a chick that you DO want to approach. Just go and do it. If you can't think of anything, say "Hi." Usually, it's also better to have a default opener ready for all situations if you want to give yourself more confidence and less reason to hesitate. If you're with a wingman, you may also want to do a Mr. Smooth type approach. If your target is in a group, you may also want to brush up on group approach techniques.

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