For some, it takes a few months before they can say the magic words. For others, it can happen much sooner—perhaps after a couple of weeks or even one day. The truth is, there is no clear-cut timeline to say “I love you,” and it’s largely dependent on the individual relationship. Still, there are a few key clues that can help determine whether or not you’re ready to share those three small words.
During the infatuation phase, it can feel like there’s no way you can live without that person. They’re constantly on your mind, you feel a physical connection with them when you’re together, and you may spend time fantasizing about the future. While it’s perfectly normal to experience this stage in a new relationship, there are some warning signs that you should be on the lookout for.
A major red flag is if your partner seems irritated by you or they make it very clear that they want a more casual relationship. If you notice that your partner is always wanting to keep things strictly casual, it’s a sign that they’re not ready to say “I love you.” They might also have a hard time expressing their emotions or are not very open to communicating.
It’s also important to remember that love isn’t just a feeling—it’s a choice. If you choose to be in a relationship, you’re making the commitment to love that person every day, regardless of the challenges and difficulties that come your way. In addition, if you choose to love someone, you’re accepting that they won’t always make you happy and you’ll have to work on the relationship to keep it alive.
The best way to know when you’re ready to say “I love you” is to turn inward and assess the health of your own relationship with yourself. You’ll need to get radically honest with yourself about your dysfunctional patterns, including any negative self-talk that’s keeping you from loving yourself. Then, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your own relationship moving forward.
When you’re ready to say “I love your,” the words will be genuine, and your partner will likely know that they are loved back. However, the real test comes in how well you’ll be able to handle the ups and downs of life together. You’ll have to work on communication, trust, intimacy, and emotional security if you’re going to be successful in your relationship.
In the end, your willingness to put in the work will dictate if you’re successful at growing and cultivating love in your relationship. So take a deep breath, be patient, and don’t be afraid to take the risk! You might find that the reward of saying those magical words is more than worth it. Then again, you might find that you’re not quite ready after all.