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When Do You Say “I Love You” for the First Time?

May 22, 2008

Many people often wonder when the right time to tell someone you love them is. Do you wait after so many months of dating? The minute you feel that rush of emotions? Is it a magic moment where you just “know”? When to say I love you for the first time?

There are many varying viewpoints on this. Some people will say that if you say the words “I love you” too much, they lose their meaning. Others will say to always say “I love you” in case you may never have the chance to tell the person that again.

There is no clear cut answer for this unfortunately, and of course every relationship and situation can be different. If you think you may be ready to tell someone you love them, here are some things for you to consider:

1. Don’t confuse love with lust: It’s easy to think you are in love with someone, when in reality you don’t have “true love” just yet. Learn the difference between the two and wait until it is love, and not just lust. There is an interesting activity for distinguishing the difference here.

2. Make sure you really know each other: Some people can learn a lot about each other quickly, others it can take several months to get to know each other. The more you know about a person the more you can be sure your feelings are real. Our list of Conversation Starters Ideas can help you get to know one another better.

3. Say it only if you mean it: If you think you might love someone, you may want to wait until you know you love the person. Saying “I love you” should mean you are ready for a serious and exclusive relationship with someone. If you’re not 100% positive about the way you feel, wait until you are ready to burst and know it completely, without a doubt. It should be a fact, not an opinion or guess.

4. Be sure they love you back: Some people may feel nervous or flustered if you tell them you love them too soon. Others might ask you why you waited so long to finally say it! Make sure if you feel like you love someone the feeling is mutual. The longer you are together and the better you know the person, chances are you can be pretty confident if they feel the same way as you do.

5. Remember actions speak louder than words: You can show someone you love them without saying the words. Holding hands, doing a favor for the person, show them you’re thinking of them, listening intently to them, or enjoying their favorites hobbies together are all ways of showing your love. If you do tell someone you love them, you should also be willing to show it. If you don’t show it on a regular basis, the words may seem meaningless.

Do you remember the first time you told someone you loved them? How did you know it was the right time?

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