Three words, eight letters — you know how it goes. How do you know when to say I love you?
You would think it would be easy, telling someone you love them. If romantic comedies are to be believed, it should be entirely spontaneous and unbridled, this romantic revelation. Real relationships aren’t as easy, however.
A lot of people find it cliché and corny. Others just think it might push a girl away if they say those three words too soon. The reality is that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to confessing your true feelings. There’s no unofficial guide to figuring out how soon is too soon to say I love you, either.
The good news is that there are signs to help you navigate, at the very least. Here are some helpful “markers” to let you know when to say I love you.
You’ve had time to get to know each other.
Sure, there’s really no timeframe when it comes to falling in love. A lot of people focus too much on the cut off, wondering how long before saying I love you becomes acceptable.
Truthfully, love can come at any time, and you might want to say it right after meeting her. However, you don’t want to come bursting right out the gate. Timing is definitely important, as saying it too soon can make her wonder if you’re even sincere. It can also freak her out and chase her away.
Though there’s really no specific “say it after X dates” guideline, you should at least get to know her a little better before confessing.
You’re not looking for validation.
It can sometimes feel like a relationship is completely one-sided, like you’re the only one emotionally invested. In times like these, it can feel like you’re simply craving a declaration from your partner in order to assuage your insecurities.
Do you know when to say I love you? We can tell you specifically when not to. Don’t say it if you’re just looking to incite a response or wanting to soothe your personal fears. If you’re having anxiety over the relationship’s future, blurting out the words is not the solution.
You might not realize it, but such a strategy can be highly transparent. Your partner will know that you’re not actually sincere. People are often times quite easy to read, and your fears will be easily decipherable beneath your declaration of love. It’s going to backfire, for sure.
You’re emotionally ready.
Saying the words isn’t a casual thing, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself. At some point, you’ll know in your heart when to say I love you, and that’s great!
Even so, you might want to think about what the words mean and how this can affect the relationship. These words are heavy, and you really shouldn’t speak without the emotional readiness to back them up.
Are you able to let go of your baggage from previous relationships? Can you really commit and give your all to a new one? Be mindful of what you’re saying within these three words before actually verbalizing them.
You’re not just reciprocating to be polite.
How long before saying I love you? For a lot of people, the question becomes completely moot once the other party says it. There’s nothing left to do but respond in kind, right?
Saying it back when you’re not actually ready can be a problem, especially if you’re not yet entirely sure of your feelings. You don’t want to mislead her, allowing her to think that the relationship is a lot further along when you’re not quite there yet.
You’re not putting her on the spot.
The last thing you want is to make her feel uncomfortable. It’s the reason why a lot of people argue against saying I love you right after sex. It’s a moment that’s entirely too vulnerable, and telling her you love her can feel like emotional manipulation, or even blackmail. It can be taken out of context completely, and that’s completely the opposite of what you want.
The most important thing in a relationship is to be mindful of your partner’s feelings. You don’t want her to see your confession as either perfunctory or manipulative. You need to understand that timing is highly crucial, unless you want to elicit the wrong reaction.
You know it’s what you really feel.
How soon is too soon to say I love you? When you’re not entirely sure of your feelings but want to offer your partner some kind of declaration just to follow society’s expectations. Unless you are completely, 100% sure that this is how you feel, there’s really no reason to speak up and say those three important words.
Sincerity is really the only important marker for declaring your love. There’s no point saying the words if they’re empty! You’d be doing yourself and your partner a great disservice. Think before you speak, and make sure that you are not conflating other emotions with actual love.
You’re okay with not getting a response.
It takes a lot of emotional maturity, but you know you’re ready to tell her when you can accept any response — or a completely lack thereof.
In a relationship, it’s hard to say both parties have to follow a set timeline of falling in love. You’re not going to be in sync all the time. You can’t force someone to keep pace with you emotionally, and vice versa.
You’ll know exactly when to say I love you when you know deep within you that you can’t accept a lack of response, or even a polite and lukewarm deflection. This is because love is built on understanding, and knowing that you can’t rush someone else.
In other words, you’re speaking out and telling her you love her because it’s what you feel, not because you need her to say it back. It’s a declaration, not a question, and that’s when you know it’s real.
These guidelines aside, the truth is that love is a very personal matter. When you know, you know. The important thing is to be mindful because not everything you think has to be spoken out loud right away. Think of the repercussions and how your declaration can affect your partner. After all, love is about maturity and understanding, and isn’t that the best guideline of all?
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