When you fall in love, your hormones can have a dramatic impact on your mood. These changes can make you feel euphoric, lightheaded or excited at the merest thought of your partner. This is often referred to as the honeymoon phase, when feelings of elation and lust can make you want to spend every moment with them. This can last a few weeks or months, and eventually fade as your bond deepens. But if the early euphoria hasn’t faded, and you’re feeling closer than ever before, you may be in love.
However, it’s important to remember that not everyone experiences love the same way. It’s a complex and varied emotion that can vary depending on your circumstances, and not all people are ready to say “I love you” at the same time. Rather than waiting until your relationship has reached its full potential, it’s more important to gauge the passion, trust and intimacy in your relationship. This will help you determine whether your connection is a slow-burning ember or if you’re in the middle of a fiery affair.
While the word love has a variety of definitions and meanings, most of us think it’s about more than just physical attraction. It can also be about caring, commitment and empathy. “I love you” can mean a lot of things to different people, which is why it can be difficult for some couples to tell each other how they feel,” explains dating coach Ashley Del Hierro. “When one person isn’t on the same page about what they mean by those three words, it can create a lot of tension in a relationship.”
So how do you know when to say it? While there’s no specific timeline, many experts agree that you’re probably ready to declare your love if you’re experiencing a deep bond and are committed to each other. This could be reflected by your daily activities, such as making sure you greet your partner when they walk through the door or doing chores without being asked. It can also be a result of your shared goals and values, such as wanting to be healthy together or having similar interests and hobbies.
You may also notice that your partner acts differently when you’re in love. For example, they might pick up your socks, cook dinner or take out the trash. They might go out of their way to show you affection, like hugging you or kissing your hand. They might stop flirting with other people and focus on your relationship. They might even make sacrifices to support you, such as putting aside their sun-drenched vacation plans for a sick friend.
In addition, you can ask your partner open-ended questions to find out what they value in a relationship and how they would define love. For instance, you could ask them what makes them unique and how they can be the best version of themselves for you. This can be a great way to connect and build mutual respect, says Arango.