Love you — whether it’s romantic love, platonic love or the love you feel for a close friend or family member — can make you feel good. It can boost your happiness levels, even when you’re experiencing a setback. In fact, it can even help you overcome adversity, explains research published in the journal Psychological Science. Happiness is a complex experience that’s influenced by a combination of things, including biological factors like hormones and neurotransmitters, as well as your life circumstances and your own subjective sense of well-being.
When it comes to love, no two people are alike. Some couples may fall in love after just a few dates, while others might have to wait for a while before saying those magical words. Regardless of how long it takes, only you and your partner know when you’re ready to say those three little words. And it’s not just about the right moment; you also need to be sure you can honestly mean them, as well.
A few studies have found that, in the context of a relationship, saying “I love you” is often interpreted as a request for increased commitment. This can lead to a fear of rejection or a feeling of pressure to reciprocate the sentiment. For this reason, many people are hesitant to say those three words until they’re sure their partner feels the same way.
However, if you want to make a clear declaration of love, there are ways to do so without risking rejection or hurting your partner’s feelings. For instance, you can try complimenting your loved one on their unique qualities and reaffirming what you see in them as important. This can show that you appreciate them, not just what they do for you, which is a sign of true love.
Similarly, you can show that you’re committed to the relationship by continuing to take care of yourself. This can include exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and eating well, spending time with friends who aren’t in the relationship and even taking steps to be more independent from them. It’s also a way to prove that you really do value them, even if you don’t always feel gushy when you think about them.
Finally, you can tell your partner that you love them by doing things that demonstrate your care for them, such as taking them on special dates or sending them a thoughtful gift on Valentine’s Day. This shows that you’re invested in the relationship and that you want to keep it growing.
In a study conducted by the online service BetterHelp, participants were asked to rate how happy they felt when they heard someone else say those three little words. Although they were told that they weren’t in a real-life relationship, the results were interesting: Men were happier to hear “I love you” from a woman than vice versa, and those with less sex were more likely to be happy to hear it.