The Rule of 3: Why 3 Men In Your Life Is Always Better Than 1

by Melissa Copelton

I’ve been developing a theory over the past few months that I think has the potential to better the lives of Gen-Y women everywhere.

A couple of years ago, I read Tucker Max’s "Asshole’s Finish First," and while rummaging through the debauchery and chauvinism, I came across a glimmer of wisdom.

Tucker developed a theorem (putting it nicely) called, “Hot, Sane, Single.” Essentially he detailed that women can only be two of those things simultaneously; thus eliminating the possibility of a single, attractive, mentally stable partner.

I can’t necessarily refute his argument because I do believe that it is difficult to come across an individual of the opposite sex who encompasses all of your criteria. However, I’ve tweaked his argument just enough so that A). it doesn’t completely disparage the female population, B). it isn’t entirely about getting laid and C). I don’t come across like a complete assh*le.

The rule of three is a commonly used literary principle most recognizable in fairytales: three wishes, three musketeers, three little pigs... you get the gist.

In order to feel fulfilled in a relationship, it is ideal to have physical, emotional and mental stimulation. Ideally, this stimulation would come from the same man. Realistically, this is not always the case, thus creating a void.

Instead of carrying the notion that the person you’re dating MUST meet all three of these requirements, it is possible to simply add additional men to your life.

Yes, you heard me correctly; I believe that when dealing with men, women should apply the rule of three.

Before husbands and boyfriends across the globe start freaking out, bear with me. I am not suggesting that women enter romantic relationships with three different men at once (although, I harness no judgment against that), I’m simply suggesting that I see no harm in women surrounding themselves with men who provide a purpose to their lives rather than frustration, disappointment and resentment.

When breaking down each of the three rules, it will become more and more apparent that perhaps you’ve been applying them all along, but I will leave you all to be the judge.


The physical aspects of fulfillment are pretty straightforward. Initially, this man should simply be someone you’re attracted to. Once you’ve got that part handled, it is important to have physical chemistry.

A lot of women are under the impression that “any hot guy” will be good in bed, but that’s not true. Attractiveness and chemistry are not synonymous.

While physical fulfillment is easiest to identify, it is not always the easiest for women to cope with on a societal level. Women are expected to be monogamous before being physical with a man, and that’s pretty archaic in my opinion.

If you find a guy who is wonderful and fulfills all of your needs, you have the right to sleep with him. On the flip side of that, if you find a guy that only fulfills a physical need and nothing more, you still have the right to sleep with him.

You don’t owe anyone an explanation and it is perfectly acceptable to compartmentalize people in your life. So long as all parties involved have agreed upon the status of your involvement together, then why not?

If you want a guy, go get him, and if he’s only good in the bedroom, then that’s where he should stay. Point blank: If men can do it, women can, too. However, I don’t recommend being in a relationship with someone solely based on physical fulfillment. Unfortunately, this rule doesn't stand well on its own.


Emotional satisfaction is subjective. What provides solace for one woman may completely turn another off. However, it is important to realize whether or not the men in your life are being emotionally supportive and encouraging.

The difference between mental and emotional can be complicated. I like to break it down as followed: being emotional is more expressive, whereas mental is more internal.

An emotionally supportive man will encourage you to share your feelings. He will be someone who often checks in to see how your day is going or ask you how a particular situation has affected you.

This man will quite literally ask you, like a therapist, “How do you feel?” He will go out of his way to make sure that what he’s doing is only bringing positive emotion to your life. This guy doesn’t have to be someone you view romantically at all. This man can be a friend, or even a family member.

Women tend to think that if the guy they’re dating isn’t fulfilling them emotionally, they should just complain about him. Why complain, when you can simply seek alternative support?

Think of it this way: If you buy a really great dress, but your outfit is still lacking, what do you do? You accessorize and add supplementary pieces to the outfit to accent the already fabulous ensemble.

It’s really not rocket science, but I think that there’s a pretty big stigma against women who surround themselves with multiple men.


Mental stimulation is the most complicated to understand and by far the most difficult to acquire. Mental stimulation comes easily from a really good book that makes you think on a deeper, more philosophical level.

Whereas emotions are all about expression, mental processes are all about development of thought. You want a guy in your life who presents issues to you in such a way that you stop and say to yourself, “How can I handle this?” or “What does this mean to me?”

This man will ideally be inquisitive and interested in intelligent conversation. He will be adept at challenging your views and opinions not only on trivial matters, but on a more human level as well.

If a guy can mentally stimulate you, he's a keeper. However, mental stimulation is nothing without someone there to encourage your emotional expression.

This further proves that unless you can find a diamond in the rough who provides all three, there's nothing wrong with sampling the buffet.

I don't think the rule of three will be a necessary go-to strategy for your entire life. My hope is that every woman will undoubtedly find a man who meets all of her physical, emotional and mental needs.

In the meantime, why not be proactive and take matters into your own hands?

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