How To Decide When To Say I Love You - The Perfect Moment

Updated January 21, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

The phrase "I love you" is powerful. For couples, the words can be a constant reminder that the two of them care for each other. These words often confirm that the relationship has become serious for two people. The phrase can be genuine and charged with meaning or signify nothing at all.

When it comes to dating, these three words have long been a subject of debate. When will you be ready to say I love you to your partner? You may experience some fears about this. If you've had feelings for them for a while, you may have been thinking about saying it for a while now. However, this person may not feel the same way about you, and those three short words could scare them away.

This phrase also extends beyond the realm of dating. If you admit them, they may not feel quite the same way, and there will likely be awkward tension. If you don't, you may end up losing out on having a relationship as fulfilling as it could be.

Not Sure If You’re Ready To Say “I Love You”?

Relationships are complicated, and we don't often formally learn how to do them "right." To a large degree, that's because there is no straight time frame, and it's dependent on unique situations and contexts. Our earliest relationship models are the adults in our lives and how they act in relationships.

If you look up advice on the matter, you'll get conflicting results. This is because, ultimately, there is no single correct answer. However, there are ways to work out when the best possible time may be to let someone know how you truly feel. In this article, we'll discuss the importance of timing and how you might increase your chances of receiving an "I love you, too" in return.

The Importance Of Timing

It's impossible to guarantee what might be the best way to say I love my boyfriend or girlfriend as it's a situational and complex thing. One way to increase your chances of "success," however, is to work on natural timing. If you say those words when the moment isn't right, it can greatly hinder your relationship. While there is no perfect timing, you can follow a few rules, including the following.

Wait, But Don't Wait Too Long.

This can be not easy because it requires a happy medium between two extremes that aren't quantifiable. If you have feelings for someone on the first date, admitting that you love them will likely creep your date out. You probably do not genuinely love someone after only a few interactions. Try not to let your feelings of attraction or infatuation confuse you into telling someone that you love them too soon.

That said, if you wait too long, there's a possibility that your partner will think you do not care about them and want to move on. They should communicate these feelings, however, before simply assuming.

Finding that happy middle is important. For some, that will be after a couple of months of dating. For others, it may be a matter of weeks or even a year or more.

Don't Say It During An Inappropriate Situation.

One way to ensure a good shot at good timing is simply by not having bad timing. For example, if your date is angry about something, admitting you love them will throw them for a loop. If you are upset, you may end up letting it slip out before the moment is right.

When you say, "I love you," you want to make sure that the two of you can both handle it. It's probably best not to say it for the first time when either of you have strong emotions or during or after sex. 

Look For The Signs

It can be helpful to check for verbal and nonverbal signs when you want to say "I love you" for the first time. Most of us will display subtle signs through body language, actions, or words.

These signs may not be the perfect indicator that they love you, but they can give you a better idea about the likelihood that the person feels similarly.

  • Eye Contact - If your partner is always looking at you, then there's a chance that they have feelings for you. However, some people hate eye contact regardless of if they love you or not.
  • Going Above And Beyond - Most people who don't have strong emotions for you will take the time out of their day to do something special for you. If they do, there's a chance they feel a powerful emotional bond.
  • They  Stay In Frequent Contact - If you don't respond to them in your usual time, they may wonder if there's something wrong and worry about you.
  • The person who loves you can open up to you and express their deepest emotions. While this may also be a sign of friendship, it may indicate love combined with the other signs.

The person cares about your interests and wants to spend time with you to learn more about you. Showing interest in your friend and family is an especially strong indicator that they may have more than just minor romantic feelings for you.

Don't Overthink It!

This may sound like contradictory advice as so far, we've taught you different ways you can deduce whether or not it's appropriate to say those words to someone. However, it's essential not to overthink. Thinking some about the right time to say the phrase and its circumstances is smart. However, by thinking about it excessively, you may psych yourself out and never say it. Your mind may look for any reason why you shouldn't say the words, even if the situation is good, and you will prevent yourself from saying it. You could also confide in a good friend about how to tell that person in your life to get some advice.

What If They Don't Love Me Back?

Nothing stings more than mustering up the energy to say "I love you" to someone, only for them to sound uncertain or outright tell you they don't feel the same about you. It can be heartbreaking and cause you not to think straight.

If this person doesn't love you back, it's a sad resolution to your romance, but one that happens all the time. It's natural to feel a slew of emotions, from sadness to anger, but you need to think as rationally as possible.

First, you shouldn't try to change the person's feelings. Sometimes, feelings can change, but this happens organically. They aren't obligated to love you back, and if they don't feel that way, trying to manipulate them into doing so will not work.

Instead, give them time (if you both still want to pursue your relationship). If you don't want to stay together, give yourself time to have some space. It may be best not to talk to them until your feelings have subsided.

If They Are Unsure

Instead of "I love you, too," or "I'm sorry, but I don't feel that way," they may not know what to say. They may be facing a lot of emotions as well and need time to process everything.

Continue pursuing the relationship but give the person time and space to answer the question. If you're dating, continue to date. This may help the person figure out whether or not they love you. If your dates continue to go well, they may say it themselves. The most important thing is to continue having open and honest communication and realize that it's okay for people to progress at their own pace.

How Counseling Can Help

Not Sure If You’re Ready To Say “I Love You”?

You may have many questions about when the moment to say "I love you" is right. While there is no correct answer, a counselor from ReGain can look at your situation and give their expert advice.

A relationship counselor is more than just a friend telling you their opinion about dating. A counselor has studied how people express love and will help tell you whether or not it's the right time to say, "I love you," as well as answer any other questions you may have.

Love is a complex emotion, and it's no surprise that saying "I love you" can feel so complicated. There is no magic answer, but by knowing a few rules, you may have a better chance of that special someone saying, "I love you, too."

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