Knowing When It's the Right Time to Say, I Love You

Couple Looking Towards One Another
Christian Vierig / Getty Images

Whether you’re dating someone or are in a relationship, you may develop very strong feelings for your partner. In fact, these feelings may become so powerful and overwhelming that you’re actually falling in love with this person. But is there a right time to tell this person exactly how you’re feeling? Saying those three little words can make a very big impact and shouldn’t be taken lightly. With this in mind, here’s how to determine when the timing is truly right to say, “I love you.”

You Really Know Your Partner 

If you’re trying to figure out the right time for you to say, “I love you,” it’s important that you take a closer look at your connection with your partner. In other words, you should make sure that you really know this person on a deep and significant level and have pushed past the superficialities. For instance, while you may be completely enamored with your partner, it’s important that you take the time to get to know the real person underneath so that the love that you have for him or her is based on who he or she truly is and not who you think this person is or who you want him or her to be.

You’re Past the Honeymoon Phase 

Along these lines, if you’re wondering when you should say, “I love you,” it’s crucial that you and your partner have been together long enough to have faced both ups and downs as a couple. Specifically, you and your partner have had your share of disagreements and disputes, but your connection is strong enough for you to problem-solve and resolve conflicts together.

In a word, when your feelings of adoration and affection for your partner remain strong even after facing and overcoming certain challenges as a team, you’re in a much better position to tell your partner that you truly love him or her.

You Don’t Feel Pressured To Say It 

When you’re trying to figure out when you should tell your partner that you love him or her, it’s imperative that this important decision comes from you and you alone.

After all, if you’re not entirely sure of your feelings but are sensing pressure from your partner and/or you feel as though you’re supposed to say it because of the amount of time that you’ve been a couple, you’re not yet prepared to take this kind of major step. In addition, if your partner has said that he or she loves you and you feel obligated to say it in return, you’re setting yourself up for failure and heartache by making this type of grand gesture before you’re truly ready to do so.

You’re Fine With Whatever Your Partner Tells You In Return 

If you’re trying to determine the right time to say, “I love you,” it’s important that you’re totally okay with how your partner may respond. Specifically, while you may be hoping that he or she says, “I love you, too,” there are other possible replies that you need to consider before you tell him or her exactly how you feel. For instance, your partner may not be sure how to respond and may simply say, “Thank you,” “That’s so nice of you” or “I love what we have together.” And if you’re not going to be satisfied or interested in hearing anything other than your partner loves you in return, it’s in your best interest to wait until you’re more confident in your partner’s response.

You’re Truly In Love With Your Partner

When you’re considering telling your partner that you love him or her, it’s important that you look internally and do a little self-reflection to make sure that you’re really in love with this person. After all, it’s entirely possible that you’re simply lusting after your partner, are trying to convince yourself that you’re in love with him or her when you’re really not and/or are merely in love with the idea of being in love. In addition, you may feel compelled to tell your partner that you love him or her simply as a means to keep your relationship moving forward. However, when the timing is truly right to tell your partner exactly how you feel, you’ll know in your mind, your gut and your heart that this is the right decision. Remember, when the timing is really right for you to say this powerful phrase, it’ll feel right, too.