From your high school crush to the current love of your life, you’ve probably experienced a time in your relationship when someone said, “Do you love me?” The answer can make or break a deal. That’s because saying those three words suggests a desire for increased commitment in the relationship.
It’s important to gauge the temperature of your relationship before you ever say those words, experts say. Psychologist Jenn Mann, host of VH1’s Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn and author of The Relationship Fix, says that it’s often too soon to say “I love you” if your bond doesn’t have a steady warmth or feels more like a slow-burning ember of mutual commitment. It’s also important to understand the difference between love and infatuation, expert says. “Loving someone means you see them with all their strengths and weaknesses and are committed to being with them,” she adds. It’s not something that can be generated through a handful of short dates or fabulous sexual encounters, she says.
A person who really loves you is patient and respectful of your needs, according to Mann. They will respect your need to take things slowly and may not pressure you to say those three words before you’re ready. But, she notes, if the person you love seems to be pushing you to say those words before you’re ready, that can be a red flag. “That person is trying to control you and is putting too much pressure on you,” she says.
In addition to taking your time, it’s a good idea to communicate that you love them by your actions. This could include sending them sweet texts or relationship quotes throughout the day or even letting them know you’re thinking about them. It’s also a great idea to give them a big hug every now and then. “A hug can be a way to express your love and tell them you are always there for them,” expert says.
Despite the fact that there are billions of words in the world, it can still be difficult to find the right ones to describe how much you love someone. Luckily, there are some quotes out there that help to put that feeling into words, expert says.
Many people find it useful to turn to a loved one for advice and guidance when it comes to relationships. That’s why there are so many online dating resources available, including a number of reputable and popular therapists who offer professional relationship coaching. There are a number of different ways to find the right therapist for you, expert says. You can check out therapists’ websites, read reviews on social media or ask for recommendations from friends and family members. Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to do your homework and make sure the therapist you work with is qualified and experienced, she says. It’s also a good idea to get a referral from your doctor or a trusted friend, she adds.