When to Say “I Love You”

Throughout the course of a relationship, many people go from simply liking someone to falling in love and eventually saying “I love you.” This is a big deal. After all, it can be the first time you’ve ever said those powerful words out loud to a partner and the beginning of a new chapter in your lives together. However, some couples struggle with the right time to say those words and it can be difficult to know if you are ready.

There is no one answer to this question because it varies depending on the relationship and its progression, says Sofia Robirosa, a Miami-based therapist and a certified Gottman Relationship Therapist. “How much time you spend with your partner and how well you know them can help you gauge the temperature of the relationship,” she says. “If they seem to be in a state of playful love—or what I like to call young love—which is characterized by feelings of desire, excitement, and vulnerability that may come with an expiration date or even die down over time, then you might want to wait to tell them you’re in love.”

On the other hand, if your partner shows consistent caring behavior and they are committed to the relationship, then it could be a good idea to say those magical words. “You’re in love when you’re making a conscious decision to put your partner’s needs before your own,” explains Robert Holden, author of the book Loveability: Knowing How to Love and Be Loved. “It means putting in the time and effort to make your relationship healthy, being empathetic toward their challenges, and choosing kindness and forgiveness over anger or resentment.”

While some experts believe that love is a choice, others think that love is primarily a biological process that sweeps us up and doesn’t require conscious decision-making. But Elizabeth Earnshaw, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Philadelphia, argues that it’s actually a combination of both biology and conscious decision-making. “The way I see it, love is a cascade of hormones and feedback pathways in the brain,” she says. “But it also requires a deep psychological connection and bond.”

You can choose to show your love by showing gratitude and reciprocating actions, like bringing home flowers or washing your partner’s mug. You can also choose to focus on the positive aspects of your partner, like how they make you laugh or how they support you.

Of course, the words you use to express your love are just as important as what you do with them and how you treat each other. It’s also important to remember that there are different kinds of love, and some are harder to sustain than others. For example, some people fall into “playful love”—also known as young love—and this kind of love isn’t likely to last very long because it can be fueled by the same kind of hormonal triggers that lead to infatuation. However, if you are in a relationship with a friend and you’ve been telling them you love them, then it’s probably safe to continue using those powerful words.

By adminkeren
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