What began as a suspicion is now a full-blown certainty: you’re in love! Congratulations. You’ve found someone who hopefully makes each day a joy, who challenges and fascinates, whom you adore and adores you. Saying “I love you” is an important step in any relationship, though it can be one of the most daunting bridges to cross, especially if you’re the first to say it. Anxieties run through your mind: What if I don’t hear “I love you too?” Should I let them say it first? What if it’s too soon?
While being in love is a wonderful thing, saying it out loud can be terrifying. So, before you stammer out the words, take the time to get used to them, the way they feel in your mouth. Think about saying them to your partner and how potentially exciting it may be. Once it’s out in the open, you can work on making that love grow.
While you may be certain in your love, you’re probably uncertain as to when or how to share your feelings. Here are a few tips:
Before you say you love them, take the time to think why you feel the way you do. How do you feel around this person? Does he or she make you better and happier? If it’s your truth, share it. In a healthy relationship, it is crucial to be able to take risks and express your emotions with your partner.
Don’t feel pressured to get it off your chest. Instead, the words should come out when you’re at your most comfortable. The same goes for if your partner has already said it, but you’re not feeling ready. Make sure that you’re saying it for the right reason—that you’re in love.
There’s no right “amount of time” to wait before you say it.
When you know, you know. But be considerate of the “big picture,” and try to discern whether your relationship is developed enough to support your proclamation.
Don’t say it just to hear it said back to you.
If you want to say “I love you,” hopefully you’re at a stage in your relationship where you feel secure. Don’t say you’re in love just to feel loved. Also, be careful that your motivation doesn’t come from your desire to hang onto the relationship.
Don’t end the relationship if your feelings are not reciprocated.
Sure, it’s really awkward. But have patience. People fall in love at different rates and in different ways. If your partner doesn’t have the response you quite hoped for, keep doing what you were doing before you drop the L-bomb. Just be yourself, and have faith that your partner is on their own journey and will figure out their feelings in due time. Be proud of yourself and forge ahead knowing that you did a positive thing by expressing yourself. Your declaration will help your partner figure out whether your two are on the same relationship path.
Elena Nicolaou, Relationup Staff Writer