How to Say “I Love You” When it’s Not

Saying the words “I love you” is a huge milestone in any relationship, and one that’s often seen as a marker for when true love has kicked in. However, it’s not necessarily a sign that the relationship is healthy or on solid ground. Some people are cautious about expressing how they feel, especially if they’ve been burned by past relationships or come from families where saying those words was discouraged. Others simply have a hard time recognizing the moment when they’re ready to share those feelings. But regardless of why you’re hesitant, it’s important to know when it really is the right time.

If it’s not the right time, don’t be afraid to ask yourself what’s holding you back. Ultimately, whether you’re unsure or just waiting for that magical moment, happiness is a process and not a destination. You can choose to be happy by actively practicing steps that help you thrive in the midst of life’s craziness and uncertainty.

1. Practice gratitude.

Studies have shown that happier people are more satisfied with their lives, and a big part of that is because they’re thankful for what they have. They also make a point of acknowledging the little things their partner does for them, like making coffee or washing dishes. This simple strategy can help you see your partner in a different light, and reminds you of all the reasons why you fell for them in the first place.

2. Understand the difference between love and infatuation.

It’s easy to confuse love and infatuation, especially early on in a relationship. But according to Manly, it’s important to keep in mind that these feelings aren’t the same. Infatuation is a feeling of attraction and fixation, while love involves feelings of intimacy and closeness. “You can only truly love someone if you’re willing to see them for their strengths and weaknesses, and if you want to be with them forever,” she says.

3. Be clear about what you value in a relationship.

Manly adds that it’s important to define what you value in a relationship and discuss it with your partner. “Understanding your values can help you identify when it’s the right time to say ‘I love you,’ and what behaviors aren’t loving,” she says. “This can also help you avoid jumping into ‘I love you’ too soon, which can be chaotic and create unneeded stress in the relationship.”

4. Recognize that love is a choice.

Some psychologists and researchers believe that love isn’t an emotion at all, but rather a basic physiological drive similar to hunger, thirst, or sleep. Other scientists agree that it’s an emotional response, but that the intensity and duration of the feeling can be influenced through behavior. A 2017 study found that small acts of kindness and physical touch are some of the best ways to express love, while controlling behaviors like jealousy or monitoring activities are not.

Whatever definition you choose for love, it’s crucial to work on maintaining a healthy relationship every day. It can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding.

By adminkeren
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