The phrase, “I love you” is rather short, but to people who are in a relationship, those three words are arguably some of the most important, or at least some of the most anticipated.
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Because of their significance, some people put a great amount of pressure on themselves to say the words at a time that seems right according to societal cues. But, as we’ll soon see, you can’t go by what you see in a romantic comedy if you’re trying to decide when is the best time to declare your love.
There are several factors that can and should play into your decision.
Whether The Feeling Is Mutual
For some people, being let down is one of the worst feelings in the world. It can make a person deflated if he or she professes love for another person, only to find that individual does not feel the same way. To avoid disappointment, it’s a good idea to determine whether the person you feel love towards appears to feel the same way you do.
For example, are your signs of affection reciprocated, and does it seem like the relationship is on relatively equal footing? Generally, if a person is not into you as much or nearly as much as you like them, it will be painfully obvious.
As your relationship progresses, signs of affection will likely increase too. You may find that your partner seems to enjoy your touch more than at the start of the relationship and goes out of the way to be as close to you as possible.
When you are fairly confident that the feelings of affection you feel towards someone are being returned to you, that is a good time to utter, “I love you.”
Is The Level Of Commitment Similar?
Making this important profession of love should also be dependent on whether the person you want to say it to has about the same level of commitment you do. For example, if your main goal is to find someone to spend the rest of your life with, and your partner is still just content to take things more casually, that may be a deciding factor in whether it’s time to say that you love the person.
It almost certainly won’t be immediately apparent whether you’re with someone who has a level of commitment that’s similar to yours. Rather, you will probably discover whether that’s true over the course of many conversations in which you discuss deep matters and think about a possible future together.
It’s important not to tell someone you love them if the main reason you’re doing so is because friends, family members or other well-meaning people think you’re at the point where that’s the right thing to do.
You may read dozens of relationship articles that try to help you pinpoint whether now is the right time to say the words, but the people who are closest to you may have an even stronger influence.
For example, someone may suggest that since you have been with a person for a certain number of months and everything has gone relatively well so far, now is the time to make that statement of love. However, keep in mind that there is no clear-cut timeline for knowing when to say “I love you.” Friends may have good advice, and by all means, you may find it’s worth listening to, but it’s usually not a good idea to let someone else be the main influence on what you say and to whom and when.
Telling someone you love them is a very personal gesture, and you should be the only one who makes the final decision about when to say it.
Is The Love Felt In Your Heart?
Put simply, the first time you say, “I love you” should be when you truly feel it in your heart. If there is any doubt that remains, now is probably not the right time to say it. Rather, remember it’s better to wait longer than others might feel is necessary and only say the phrase when it’s a genuine expression of what you’re feeling.
Otherwise, your declaration may sound fake, and then your good intentions could actually make the person who is hearing the words feel terrible. It’s probably fairly easy for your partner to tell if what you’re saying is the truth. If you feel love in your heart, the words you speak will come across emphatically and resonate strongly with the other person.
Don’t Avoid Saying It If It’s The Truth
When someone really feels strongly for another person, sometimes they will avoid making statements about love out of fear of scaring the other individual. However, when you’re in a relationship, that’s generally not a good time to hide your feelings away to the point where you’re concealing the truth.
If you honestly feel love towards the other person and want to express that emotion vocally, do it. You’re the best judge of whether what you’re feeling is real, especially if you’ve been in love before and are no stranger to what that’s like.
Say It When The Moment Is Right
Setting the right mood is important when on a date, and the same is true if you’re planning to tell a person you love them. For example, you definitely don’t want to blurt it out in desperation after the two of you have just had a fight, and it’s also not appropriate to say if your body language indicates you’d rather be distant from the other person than close.
For example, if you are holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes, that may be a wonderful time to make the statement. Keep in mind that the time and place when you say those three little words may be remembered almost as clearly as the statement itself. That’s why it’s so important to be choosy when expressing your love in this way.
Accept The Consequences
When you tell someone you love them, there is always a chance that the statement won’t be returned. If things don’t go as you hope, don’t apologize for the words you said or try to take them back. There is no need to be ashamed of them if you meant what you said.
Furthermore, don’t expect the other person to respond right away. They have to weigh the same sort of factors you did when expressing feelings, and you don’t want to create chaos or stress by expecting an immediate answer.
As mentioned previously, the words “I love you” are perhaps some of the most important you will ever hear or say. Hopefully these tips help you feel more confident about speaking about your love in a way that’s right for you, and feeling good about the words you say.