8 Things You Should Say Before “I Love You”

It’s important to tell the guy you’re with how you feel, but there are things you should be saying before “I love you” that’ll definitely show a guy that you’re committed, dedicated, and feel lucky to be with him. Before you drop the L bomb, you’re going to want to drop these first:

  1. “You have a kick ass sense of humor.” If you don’t think he’s funny, you’re going to have a boring ass relationship. While humor isn’t a key quality for every woman’s dream guy, if you’re turned off by the fact that he loves tasteless potty humor, that doesn’t really bode well.
  2. “You really look great in (insert color here).” This’ll show him that you’re interested in his fashion choices, and note when he’s looking especially attractive. It’s also way less jarring than a simple “you’re hot,” since, while attraction is extremely important in loving relationships, looks often fade with time. This shows you don’t just care about his six-pack, but think he’s adorable overall.
  3. “Thank you.” Guys can be really sweet sometimes — chivalry totally isn’t dead. Thanking a guy for being a gentleman shows that you’re not in this relationship solely to be pampered — a simple “thank you” goes a long way, and lets him know that his kind actions are being noted, and the relationship isn’t just for convenience.
  4. “I really like spending time with you.” Even if you sit around and watch Netflix together, this proves that you’re comfortable with him all-around, and don’t necessarily need fancy dates and nuts activities to enjoy your time together. The best couples can be content while doing nothing, and being restless while doing nothing means that you might not be able to handle a full-blown relationship with him long term. A simple nod to his amazing presence shows that you’re at a level with him that’s way stronger than “like.”
  5. “Would you like to meet my parents someday?” Scary, yes, but it’s definitely proof that you see him being in your life for a while, and don’t just want to hit it and quit it. It’s possible he might not be ready to take this step yet, but at least he’ll know that you find him to be parent-worthy. If you fear the introduction yourself, you might not be ready to enter the love-zone with this guy. Even if your parents are wierd, you’ll know in your heart that the right guy will see past that.
  6. “I trust you.” If you don’t trust your partner, you’re not totally in love with him — you’re just in love with the idea of who he could be. If you don’t have trust in a relationship, you have nothing. If you truly love someone, you don’t feel the need to troll through their phone (and if he loves you, he won’t give you any reason to troll through his phone).
  7. “You make me happy.” Does your mood improve when he’s around? Does he always find a way to cheer you up, even if your day was utter dog poop? Does he try to find the sunshine in even the darkest of situations? Sounds like he’s on the verge of love, if not already there. Tell him how happy he makes you. While even couples deeply in love tend to get into petty arguments every once in a while, your guy should never make you feel worse.
  8. “You’re really thoughtful.” In a perfect world, your guy will shower you with flowers and cards filled with loving poems on a daily basis. But that’s not how life works — and you’d all be incredibly spoiled and entitled if it were. A thoughtful guy will grab you some M&Ms while in line at the grocery store, since he knows they’re your favorite candy. He’ll give you a call to see how your day is going, if he knows you’ve been stressing out about a huge workload. Make sure he knows that it means a lot to you. Thoughtfulness is a stepping stone to love, and it’s always important to acknowledge the little things.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.