When To Say ‘I Love You’: Signs The Timing Is Right

You know you like each other a lot, but you haven’t really verbally declared your feelings beyond that yet. Knowing when to say “I love you” for the first time can be tricky, especially when you’re not sure your partner will say it back. If you’re trying to decide whether to just blurt out those three little words and get it over with, here’s how you know the timing is right.

You’ve been through something major together and it’s only brought you closer. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a traumatic event, but that certainly qualifies. If you’ve been through something life-changing and profound with your significant other and instead of dividing you, it’s pulled you closer together, you know your relationship is built to last. How people deal with grief, stress, and other trying emotions says a lot about them and about you as a couple. You’re safe to say “I love you” because you know you truly do.

They’ve proven themself to be trustworthy. You can’t love someone if you can’t trust them. Unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that someone is reliable, dependable, and keeps their word, there’s no way you can love them. If, however, you never doubt the fact that they’ll be there for you no matter what’s happening in your life, what you have with them is the real deal.

You’ve seen them at their worst and it hasn’t put you off them. You know it’s the right time to say “I love you” when you’ve seen your partner’s less than flattering side and your feelings for them are just as strong. At the beginning of a relationship, we always put our best foot forward to reel the other person in. It’s once you get comfortable together that your real self can come out, and that’s not always that pretty. If you’ve seen the ugliness and still want them, you’ve got it bad.

You feel completely comfortable being yourself around them. How can you love someone if the version of yourself that you are when you’re with them isn’t authentic? There’s only so long you can pretend to be someone you’re not, and why would you want to do that anyway? It’s being able to hang out with them in your rattiest sweatpants, with your hair unwashed and no makeup on, that true love is built upon.

You can see a real future with them. When you close your eyes and think of your life in a year from now or even five or 10 years from now, is your partner there? If so, there’s a good chance you love them and should just say so. This way, you can start building the life you dream of together without delay.

You feel like you’re going to burst if you don’t say it soon. If you feel like you’re going to die if you don’t say “I love you” soon, what are you waiting for? Let them know what’s in your heart and chances are, they’ll probably say it back. Think of how amazing that will feel!

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