You’ve been dating for a while and it’s going well”but neither of you has said I love you yet. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there. Sharing your feelings changes a relationship, so here are four things to consider before you profess your love for the first time:
Who should say it first?
Saying “I love you” can be scary, especially if you’re not sure your partner will say it back. If you’re the first one to profess your love, don’t be discouraged if your partner doesn’t immediately reciprocate”some people take longer to feel comfortable enough uttering the words. Likewise, if your partner is the first one to say the magic three words, don’t feel compelled to do the same if you aren’t there yet. If your partner loves you, he or she will respect your need to state your feelings on your own terms, rather than out of a sense of obligation. Don’t say I love you just to hear it back.
How to say it
Are you a romantic? Is your partner? If so, a grand romantic gesture might be appreciated. But if your partner is a more reserved sort, proclaiming your undying love through a singing telegram delivered to the office might not be the best idea. Do what feels natural for you, your partner and your relationship.
When to say it
A friend of mine dated a girl who only ever said “I love you” while they were having sex. He never knew if it was an involuntary utterance or if she actually meant it. If you’re saying “I love you” for the first time, make sure your partner knows it’s sincere.
When not to say it
There are lots of times when saying “I love you” is inappropriate. First dates, for instance. Or as a way to get someone to have sex. Saying “I love you” shouldn’t be used to resolve an argument (though it’s great to say after an argument has ended). And don’t pull out your first “I love you” during a breakup. Whether it’s true or not, it comes across as vaguely manipulative and mildly embarrassing.