Love is a powerful word.
For some, it’s an overwhelming word that wells up happy emotions.
For others, it’s an awkward and discomfited silence.
A lot of us place a lot of importance on the word, love, especially when it comes to saying it to a new significant other.
If you’re in a new relationship or have started dating someone recently, you’d find yourself wondering about the right time to take that next step, especially if you’re already in love.
[Read: How to prove your love for someone the right way]
When is the right time to say it?
When you feel it, say it. It’s that simple really.
But as simple as it may seem, there are a few things you should remember to make sure your loving words have the impact you desire.
Firstly, before you say ‘I love you’, you need to have a vague idea about your date’s feelings towards you.
Saying ‘I love you’ is like a binding contract, even if just one person says it to the other. And once you’ve said it, there’s no turning back.
Your date has to accept your proposal at some point of time or the whole things gets called off.
But you don’t have to be scared though. Love is a leap of faith, and there’s no point in playing safe in the world of dating and love.
Saying it too early will lose the value
If you think you love someone, that’s a great sign. It’s not too easy to find prospective lovers with whom we can fall deeply in love. But even if you think you’re already truly, madly and deeply in love, wait a while before expressing your lovey emotions.
If you say it too early into a relationship, you may make the whole thing feel trivial, like you’re used to saying ‘I love you’ to anyone you date. Take your time, build the romance and say it at the right moment.
Saying I love you for the first time
Here are 10 tips you need to keep in mind before saying ‘I love you’ for the first time. It’ll make the whole loving revelation much more smoother and meaningful.
#1 Let your date know. Your date should know your intentions much before you actually reveal them. Let your date know just how serious you are about the relationship. When you get some time to speak with each other, talk about how special you feel when they’re around and how romantic and meaningful your life has become since they’ve stepped into it.
If you’re dating someone who’s only looking for a fling thing, they’ll know it’s time to back off. [Read: 10 types of love you’ll experience in your life]
#2 Be nice. Let your romantic gestures reveal your intentions. Casual daters don’t go out of their way to do something nice for each other. If you truly love someone and are only waiting for the opportune moment, start to treat your date like you would treat your lover. Your date will instinctively know where the relationship is heading. [Read: 25 sweet romantic gestures for everyday life]
#3 Test your compatibility. Can you visualize your date in your arms five years from now? Do you really love this person you’re dating, or is it just an infatuation that’s clouding your mind? Love isn’t a trivial thing. Before you say ‘I love you’, you need to be sure that you would want this person in your life as something more than just a weekend date.
#4 Who says it? It’s usually a man’s job to profess his love and control the direction of the relationship. So all you men out there, man up and make a move, will ya?
*See how easy it is to make a guy feel important? Just say the wheels of the relationship is in his hands and he’ll feel flattered. But as much as the man holds the wheel, the woman is the navigator who plans the directions.* [Read: How to get a guy to ask you out in 9 sneaky ways]
It doesn’t matter who says it first. But generally, women play with their cards closer to the chest as evolution has trained them to play hard to get. After all, women have one egg a month to share with a man. Men have billions of sperms in every casual shoot. Who do you think needs to protect their resources here?
#5 Go out on at least five dates. You think five dates are too soon? Well, it is early, but completely acceptable. The ideal time to say ‘I love you’ would be a couple of months. Wait for two months if you can hold your emotions in and try to figure the direction of the relationship. If you still love every moment you spend with your date, perhaps it’s time to take the plunge.
#6 Don’t wait too long. Listen to your gut. Wait too long, and you may even lose the relationship. Sometimes, your date may get tired of waiting, especially if the girl’s waiting for the guy to say the three magical words! It’s always better to express your love earlier than later.
#7 The right way to say I love you for the first time. There are many ways to say ‘I love you’ for the first time. You can create a special memory, or you can say it in the middle of a conversation. But for the best ways to say I love you, read the whole list of ideas and tips in ways to tell a special someone that you’re in love with them.
#8 Don’t expect a response immediately. After you’ve used the tips in #7 to say ‘I love you’ in a manner you like, don’t push your luck. At times, your date may just not be ready to say anything back or perhaps, they just need more time to say it back to you. You’ve poured your heart out. Enjoy the moment when you’ve revealed your thoughts and sit back. The response will come when it has to.
#9 Don’t apologize. Most people go wrong here. If you confess your love for someone, and they don’t respond back with anything, don’t apologize. Apologizing after asking someone out just to cover up the awkwardness will only make things feel worse.
You’re saying what’s on your mind. Why should you apologize for that? If your date isn’t ready to hear that, they probably have their own issues to deal with anyway. [Read: 25 relationship rules for successful love]
#10 Don’t respond on their behalf. Awkward silences are fine here. You’ve made a big revelation. You’ve just told your date that you love them. And that means you wish to become an exclusive couple, which means you may get married some day and have babies together. You see, there are a lot of things your date has to think of the minute you say ‘I love you’.
Give enough time for your date to think, and don’t go mouthing something just to cut the silence. Don’t say things like “I know it’s too early…”, “I should never have said that… what was I thinking?” or “Don’t worry about it, I just said what was on my mind, you don’t have to say anything back to me”.
If you answer on your date’s behalf, your date may just smile at you awkwardly and talk about something else. You’ve just helped your date squirm out without giving you an answer. Unless you intend to keep proposing your love every weekend, avoid answering on their behalf.
Confessing your love for the first time can be tricky, but not if you use these 10 tips on when to say I love you. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be able to get the message across and say ‘I love you’ in the perfect manner, at the perfect time.