When Should You Say "I Love You" In A Relationship?

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You and your partner have known each other for a while now. You have gone out on a few dates, you think you are in love, and you want to express your love with those magic words “I love you”. However, you are unable to muster up the courage to say it as you are doubtful if you are truly ready yet.

You keep asking yourself: Should I say it now? Should I wait for them to say it first? Isn’t it too soon, or rather, too late to say it? What if they do not reciprocate?

If you are grappling with these questions, it means that you are in that stage where you think you should take your relationship to the next level. Dropping the L-bomb on a partner is considered a high point in a relationship. However, most people find it difficult to ascertain the right time to say it.

In this post, we tell you 15 tell-tale signs that suggest it is time for you to say “I love you” to your partner.

15 Signs It Is Time To Say “I Love You”

1. You are comfortable around your partner.

What we typically call love is only the start of love.” —Alain de Botton

Say those three words out loud when you know you have reached that stage in your relationship where you are comfortable around your partner, and they are comfortable around you. In other words, you accept each other’s flaws and quirks. This happens once you are past the phase of infatuation. Drop the L-bomb on them now and let them know you are ready to take your relationship to the next level and step into a more stable form of love.

2. You trust your partner.

The best proof of love is trust.” —Joyce Brothers

Ask yourself if you trust your partner completely. If the answer is yes, it might be time for you to tell them “I love you.” Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship. Without trust, there is no love—it is as simple as that. Being able to trust your partner means that you can confide in them and feel secure in your relationship. Trust gives you the reassurance that you and your partner can weather the storms in your relationship.

3. You are not worried about the reaction.

Not everyone develops love or expresses it at the same pace.” —Aaron Ben-Zeév

Say the three words when you feel you are emotionally ready to accept any outcome. In a worst-case scenario, your partner may not reciprocate at all. Do not worry, and never regret saying it. The fact that you have been open about your feelings is what counts. You should be ready to accept the fact that different people fall in love at a different pace. Give them the time to process their feelings and patiently wait for them to open up.

4. You’ve been together for a few months.

Saying “I love you” to your partner is a serious matter. And therefore, make sure you have been together for a while before you say these three words. Emotional intimacy, love, and respect take time to develop. If you have spent enough time together—safe to say, a few months—to get to know each other’s likes, dislikes, behaviors, and values, and are confident that you have each other’s back, then it might be time for you to let them know that you love them.

5. You have developed a deep emotional intimacy with your partner.

Emotional intimacy is what allows you to share your deepest feelings, even the uncomfortable ones, with your partner. You make yourself vulnerable to the other person, knowing that you will not be judged. In other words, you trust them and feel safe opening up to them, even to the extent of revealing your weaknesses and secrets. If you feel you and your partner have this deep emotional intimacy, it might be time for you to drop the L-bomb on them.

6. They have confessed their love for you through their deeds.

Your partner could be in the same situation as you when it comes to confessing love. In other words, they too may not be sure when to say it. Before saying those three words, you would want to make sure they have feelings for you. One of the ways of knowing if they love you is by noticing their actions. If they confess their love for you by showering you with gifts, spend quality time with you, help you with your tasks, or do things to make you feel special, it might be time for you to tell them, “I love you.”

7. You have moved from “Me” to “We.”

It isn’t always about you. Relationships work on interdependency and companionship. When you start accepting that the needs, wants, and desires of the other person are just as important as yours, it might be time for you to tell them, “I love you.” Using the word “we” over “me” indicates that both of you are serious about your relationship and, more importantly, supportive of each other.

8. You are best friends.

Do you enjoy spending time together as friends? Do you include each other in your weekend plans? Do you enjoy doing childish things together? Do you know and accept each other’s flaws? Are you able to be your true self around them? Are you able to tell each other everything? If the answer to these questions is yes, it is time you say, “I love you.” These are clear indications that you have built a strong foundation for a long-lasting relationship.

9. You’ve been introduced to their parents.

If your partner has introduced you to their friends and family and includes you in their family plans, then you can be sure that they are serious about the relationship. Someone who isn’t serious about you would not welcome you into their private life, would they? However, before you utter those three words, reciprocate the act. Let them also get to know your loved ones, and see how things go from there.

10. They support your goals.

Is your partner your support system? If they offer you moral support and advice to achieve your goals and motivate you to become the best version of yourself, they deserve to be told “I love you.” When someone truly loves you, they will challenge you, cheer you up, and stand beside you to help you succeed. Falling in love means understanding each other’s dreams and goals and supporting each other to achieve those as a team.

11. You’ve discussed the future.

Having hard conversations around finance, jobs, sex, social life, expectations, having children, etc., helps you know if you are compatible with each other and have a future together. If you’ve talked about your future, then it is time you say “I love you” to your partner. The fact that you have discussed the future shows that you take each other seriously, and you know each other’s hopes about what to expect from each other in the relationship.

12. They comfort you.

We all have our bad days and good days. Is your partner is someone who you can lean on in times of distress and pain? Do they comfort you when you are down and make stressful situations easier to deal with? If your partner is your go-to person—someone that you can pour your heart out to or confide in—when you are down or having a bad day, then they might be the one for you, and it might be time for you to say it.

13. You respect each other.

Respect involves accepting your differences and opinions, appreciating each other’s achievements, admiring each other’s abilities, making each other feel valued, listening to each other, giving each other space, not taking each other for granted, putting up with their habits, being honest to each other, sharing your true feelings, and seeing each other as equals. If you do all of this in your relationship, it might be time for you to tell them “I love you.”

14. You have had healthy fights.

Every relationship has its share of ups and downs. As couples, you are bound to fight and have disagreements. If the fights that you and your partner have are healthy fights, and you both usually resolve conflicts amicably while respecting each other’s feelings, then be assured that you are in a healthy relationship. It also indicates that it is time for you to tell them that you love them and look forward to a lasting relationship.

15. They’ve made you a better person.

Is the relationship making you a more caring, understanding, and loving person? And does your partner help you to become a better person without putting pressure on you? If you feel you have become a better person because of them, and if you think the changes around you are healthy and you have a more positive outlook to life, then they might be the right person for you, and it might be time for you to tell them “I love you.”

Love takes time to build and needs constant nurturing. Give yourself enough time before you say “I love you” to your partner, and more importantly, give your partner the time to open up to you. Saying “I love you” is a huge deal in a relationship, and, therefore, it is imperative you know your feelings are real. We hope this list helps you know if you are ready to drop the L-bomb on your partner and embark on a serious and long-lasting relationship.