Saying “I love you” is a huge step in a romantic relationship. Often you know that you love someone long before you say the words to them… it just takes a while because you’re too afraid to be vulnerable. It’s okay to be scared – admitting your feelings can be a completely nerve-racking experience. That last thing you want is to look deep in your SO’s eyes, say, “I love you,” and see a wave of panic rush over their face.
There are some wrong times to say, “I love you” as well. You shouldn’t say it as a way to manipulate the other person into doing something for you. *tsk tsk* Also, avoid saying it before, after, or during sex (I’ve made that mistake) because it usually makes seem less sincere. Be wary of saying it too soon into a relationship as well, as it could be lust and not love that is doing the talking!
With all of those rules, it can be hard to figure out when you should actually say it! If you feel it, you should go ahead and confess those three magic words. Some women feel like they have to wait for the guy to say it first. Come on, ladies! There are actually no rules, guidelines, or gender roles you need to follow when expressing your true feelings to the person closest to you. As long as it’s honest and said without the expectation of getting a response back, say it.
Still not sure? Here are some signs that you should take the plunge and express your love to your SO:
You Happily Compromise For ThemAre you driving an extra two hours a week just so that you can see them? Do you make them cookies or buy him gifts while you're at the store? Do you find yourself spending time helping them work through problems they're having? These are all signs of love. You're constantly demonstrating your love, so you should feel comfortable saying it. Source: iStock
They Show Their Love Through ActionsMaybe your SO has never said that he/she loves you, but in your heart you know that they do. Why? Because actions speak louder than words. If they're constantly doing selfless things that only someone who loves you would do, you can be comfortable opening up to them with your true feelings. I remember the exact moment I knew my boyfriend loved me. I was really sick and throwing up, and my boyfriend rubbed my back, got me medicine, and tucked me into bed. He hadn't said the words yet, but he didn't need to. Source: iStock
You've Been Together For A WhileThere isn't a timeline to these types of things, but if you've been romantically involved for a few months and you're thinking about saying those three words, go for it! Maybe you feel like the window has passed in some way. "We haven't said, 'I love you' yet and now it would be awkward to do it." RIP THAT BANDAID OFF, GIRL. Source: iStock
You Feel Like You'll Be Okay If They Don't Say It BackYour SO might respond to your confession with a "thank you." That's just how it works sometimes. Be honest with yourself: if you can be vulnerable enough to say, "I love you" and get nothing in return, it's a sign that you should say it. On the other had, if you think you might lock yourself in your room and never come out, maybe you should hold out until you're more secure. Source: iStock
You Guys Talk Seriously About The FutureYour SO makes plans with you for the next summer. Maybe you've talked about spending holidays together and they've made a point to introduce you to their family. Maybe you've even planned a vacation for a few months in advance. These are all great signs that the relationship is here to stay. Time to let your SO how you feel! Source: iStock
They Have Said It To YouJust because your SO has said, "I love you" does not mean that you have to return the sentiment. Consider why you're not saying it back, though. Is it just because you're afraid to be vulnerable? Have you never said it to anyone before and you're holding back? Are you trying to hold some weird sense of power over your SO? These are all bad reasons to hold back expressing how you truly feel. When your SO tells you that they love you in an honest way (and you think you love them, too), you should say it back! Source: iStock
You're Really Ready For The Next LevelYou're not pining over your ex or fantasizing about that guy that sits next to you in chemistry. If someone where to ask you if your relationship was serious, you'd say, "Yes" without hesitation. YOU'RE ALL IN, so you might as well take the plunge! On the other hand, don't say it if you're having serious doubts about the relationship. You may need more time to figure out if you're ready to say, "I love you." Source: iStock
You Really Want To Say ItDon't overthink it. You can stress over timelines, read countless articles (like this one), and basically drive yourself crazy trying to figure out if it's the "right time" to say those three special words, but you know better than anyone if you should! If you're dying to say it, SAY IT. Source: iStock
Have you been the first one in your relationship to say, “I love you?” How did it go? Let me know in the comments below!