11 Signs To Know The Right Time To Say “I Love You”

When it comes to expressing heartfelt feelings, the right place at the right time is key.

Reviewed by Sarah Kenville, MA (Marriage and Family Therapy) Sarah Kenville Sarah KenvilleMA (Marriage and Family Therapy) facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach Sneha Tete Integrated MA, Certified Relationship Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , BSc Reshma Latif BSc linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Last Updated on

If the question ‘When is the right time to say I love you?’ is troubling you, you are not alone. Many people wonder and wait for the longest time to profess their love as no moment or occasion seems to be right for it. But fret not. We are here to help you figure out exactly when you can confess love to your partner and when you should not.

You can take the relationship to the next level whenever you feel your partner is the perfect one. There is no particular timeline that one uses to confess love. Some confess their love in weeks, and some in years. In this article, we have put together some signs that show you are ready to confess your love to your partner and the moments when it is okay to do it or not. Keep scrolling to get the answer for your question of when should I say I love you!

When Is The Right Time To Say I Love You?

What is the right time to say I love you
Image: Shutterstock

There is no rule that defines a timeline for taking this significant step in a relationship. Some people think you should date for at least a couple of weeks before you say, “I Love You.” Others feel you should wait for three or six months.

It takes time to know any person. When you love a person, you do not just love their appearance – you love them for who they are. You love their good qualities, the smallest annoying habits, thoughts, and behavior.

I love you – These three words hold so much weight A blogger shares her personal experience of saying and being at the receiving end of these three words. She writes, “Uttering “I love you”, for the first time is a defining moment in a relationship, for both involved. Saying it first could be like ripping your heart out and showing it to your partner and risk the words escaping into a vortex never to be reciprocated. Being on the receiving end of those words adds weight on your shoulders. Pressure to say it back before you are ready (i).”

Once you decide to proclaim your love, there is no going back. You commit yourself to date them exclusively and expect the same in return. Moreover, they should also feel the same about you.

For this reason, it is advisable to think hard before proclaiming your love. Try to understand if you truly love them, and make sure it is not the adrenaline rush because you are in a new relationship. Take your time to know the person and understand if you see your future with them. Similarly, give them time to know you better and fall in love with you.

Ideally, you should go on at least five dates or spend at least three months before you say “I Love You.” Try to wait out this period even if you feel it is love at first sight. Of course, saying that you fell in love when you saw your partner makes for a great story straight out of a fairy tale. However, being cautious in love can protect you from pain and heartbreak.

Also, try to gauge their feelings for you. Both of you must be on the same page and equally serious. Say it when you can feel it in your heart and can no longer hold it in.

If you are looking for more cues, here is what you can consider before you say these three coveted words.

11 Signs That You Are Ready To Take The Leap

1. Saying “I Love You” Has Been On Your Mind

You must have seen umpteen movies where the protagonists confess their love in the first couple of meetings. It hardly ever works that way in real life.

However, if it has been on your mind for a long time, you will feel much better by getting it off your chest. Give yourself and love a chance when you know your feelings are true. If your partner does not reciprocate the feelings, you will at least know what to do next.

2. You Complement Each Other

You compliment each other
Image: Shutterstock

As human beings, we have an emotional need for companionship. We need partners who can help us embrace life, support, and uplift us through our tough times and make this crazy journey called life a smooth sail. As this happens, you will know in your heart that your partner is the one.

If you and your partner are in a space where you complement each other and enrich each other’s lives, it could be the time to take it to the next level.

3. You Have Already Started Talking About Future

Are you referring to you and your partner as ’we’ when talking to your friends and family? Has your partner also transitioned to “us” from “you” and “I” while referring to both? Have you already discussed if you will have a dog or a cat as a pet?

If yes, there is no reason to hold back your feelings. Perhaps you are scared, but your relationship is in a safe zone, and confessing will bring you closer.

4. Say It If You Are Impatient

Say I love you if you are impatient
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Say it because you can no longer hold it in, and you want an answer and want to be able to figure things out.

Before you say, “I Love You,” consider the possibility that you may not get to hear it back. Perhaps your partner is not ready at this point or is taken by surprise. They may need more time to think about it, or worse, they are not looking for anything serious.

Whatever may be the case, consider all the possibilities.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Do let your partner know they can take their time and give you an answer only when they are comfortable. Do not rush them, or they may have second thoughts.

5. You Have Been On At Least Five Dates

If you have only been on one or two dates with this new person you are hanging out with, it is too early to say you love them. You are probably infatuated with them. It is advisable to meet them a couple more times to understand your feelings. By then, you will grow out of this phase and know if this is true love.

6.  You Have Been Together For a Few Months

Say I love you if you have been together for a few months
Image: Shutterstock

If you have been together for a few months, you have probably introduced your partner to your friends. You are planning to introduce them to your parents, and your parents probably also have an idea about the special someone in your life.

When so much has happened, you know that you can pop the three magic words anytime. And you can also be sure that your partner is very much into you.

7.  Your Sixth Sense Says, “Go For It!”

At times, nothing works as well as your instincts. While your mind may say that you need to wait it out, your instincts may tell you to go for it.

If you feel in your heart that it is the right time, go ahead and let them know. Tell your partner that you love them, but there is no pressure for them to reciprocate immediately. Allow them to process this new information and think about their next steps.

8.  You Accept Your Partner With Their Weaknesses

You accept your partner with their weaknesses
Image: Shutterstock

When you have just started dating a person, you only tend to see the positives. Everything is rosy initially, and you are charmed by your partner.

However, when you become more emotionally invested in a relationship and spend some time with them, you will get to know them better. You will learn about their habits, daily rituals, and every little detail and vulnerabilities. If your partner has let you into their inner circle where you know them in and out, you know you are a part of their life now. That’s the moment you should confess your feelings.

9.  You Are Fine If It Gets Messy

Relationships are not easy. The fights, disagreements, and arguments can make you question your choices. Families may become involved, and you may not see eye to eye with them every time. However, both of you reconcile later and are still willing to invest in your relationship. It shows how much you are into each other and is a cue that you are ready to make it official.

10.  If Your Partner Is Giving Hints

If your partner is giving hints
Image: Shutterstock

Is your partner dropping hints that they like you and are thinking about romance and a future with you? For instance, do they prefer spending time with your parents or insist on hanging out with your friends? Probably, they are trying to get into your inner circle. If yes, this is the right time to reveal your feelings.

11.  You Cannot Stop Thinking About It

Is love constantly on your mind, and are you finding it tough to focus on anything else? Have you been falling behind on your deadlines because you cannot stop thinking about telling your partner that you are in love? Are you daydreaming about your partner quite often? If yes, you are head over heels in love with them, and you should tell them how you feel about them.

When you decide to confess your love, it is also crucial to consider the moment and the time. Here are tips on when you should avoid saying “I love you” to your partner.

When To Avoid Confessing Feeling For The First Time

1.  Do Not Say It When You Are Intimate

Intimacy is an important factor. Although you may have seen it in the movies, never say, “I Love You” in bed. It may land the two of you in an awkward situation. What if your partner is not ready to say it yet? You can save yourself a good deal of embarrassment by choosing another time and moment to confess your love.

2. Do Not Say It In Public

Do not say I love you in public
Image: Shutterstock

Saying that you love your partner for the first time should be an intimate moment that the two of you can cherish forever. Instead of choosing a public place, try to say it at a time and place where you are devoid of company. It will also save you from embarrassment and your partner from the pressure of answering at the moment.

3. Never Say It During A Vacation

Trips and vacations are surreal. They take you away from your responsibilities and allow you to live life in the moment. When you are with your partner, you may confuse the unreal feeling of fullness with love.

Maintaining your current relationship status while you are on vacation is advisable. Otherwise, the trip may become uncomfortable for both of you, especially when sharing a room and having your itineraries planned.

4.  Do Not Say It Because You are Lonely

Do not say i love you because you are lonely
Image: Shutterstock

Are most of your friends in a committed relationship? Do you feel lonely because they always come with their partners? Do you feel lonely because everyone else seems to have their lives sorted?

These feelings may prompt you to say, “I Love You.” Doing so will jeopardize your relationship and put your partner on the spot. Say it because you love your partner and not for the sake of it.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Also avoid saying it while bidding someone farewell. The lack of closure and the looming shadow of what-ifs is not doing anyone any good.

5.  Say It When You Mean It

In the end, try to avoid saying it because the clock is ticking. It is better to wait until you are ready than to rush into it. For instance, it does not matter if you have been on a couple of dates and it is the next logical thing to do. Say it when you mean it, and you can feel the love in your bones.

Saying “I Love You” for the first time is as special as it can get. When you declare your adoration and admiration for them, you indicate to your partner that they have an exclusive spot in your life, and you are ready to share it with them. Say it only when you feel it from within and are very sure about your feelings for them.

6. Understand the Difference Between Infatuation and Love

Infatuation is not the same as love. Infatuation is an intense attraction towards someone, usually based on physical appearance or superficial qualities. If you are in the infatuation stage of a relationship, it may be best to hold off on saying “I love you.” Infatuation can fade quickly, and you may not feel the same way in a few weeks.

7. Build Trust in Your Relationship Before Saying “I Love You”

Loyalty is a crucial aspect of any long-term relationship. Are you and your partner loyal to each other? Do you trust one another completely? If you have any doubts about your partner’s loyalty, saying “I love you” may not feel authentic or secure.

8. Gauging Your Partner’s Feelings Before Saying “I Love You”

Another key factor to consider is whether you’re both on the same page in terms of cherishing each other. If you’re not sure whether your partner feels the same way about you, it might be best to wait until you have a clearer understanding of their feelings. Pay attention to their actions and words to gauge whether they’re ready to hear those three little words.

We are all aware that love can encompass a range of emotions, from affection and fondness to intense passion and devotion. It is a deep connection rooted in tenderness that involves caring for someone deeply, wanting the best for them, and being willing to make sacrifices for their happiness. When you love someone, there is often a strong sentiment of endearment involved in it that goes beyond just liking or admiring them.

Infographic: 5 Signs You Are Ready To Say “I Love You”

You are not the only one wondering when to confess your love. It might take you a couple of weeks or even years to figure out that you have found your person. But if you are looking for some signs to help you decide the right time to say those magical words to your love, check out the infographic below.

5 signs you are ready to say “i love you

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Saying “I love you” to your partner can be one of the most significant moments in your relationship. It is a declaration of your feelings, care, and commitment to the person you are with. However, confessing your love for the first time can be daunting. Your emotions are so overwhelming that you can barely contain them. There is no right time to say “I love you” for the first time. But there could be bad timing. This article helps you address your confusion and gives you a few ideas on probable timing to make the perfect confession. However, please be clear in your intentions behind confessing. It would be best to confess only when you are sure that the other person is the right one for you. Please do not confess out of a sense of social or moral obligation. Let it be a special and meaningful moment for you both.

Frequently Asked Questions

How soon is too soon to say “I love you”?

It is too soon to say “I love you” when you barely know the other person and haven’t had enough opportunity to be around each other. It cannot be love if you haven’t seen the good and the bad in another person and do not know if you can keep up with their personality. They would be skeptical of your declaration for the same reason.

Is saying “I love you” too early a red flag?

Yes. If someone who hasn’t known you long enough, or you share no significant experiences with, declares their love for you, it can be a red flag. They could be fixated on you and have not considered realistic aspects of your lifestyle and personality.

Is it okay for a girl to say “I love you” first?

Why not! We live in different times, and it is normal for girls to say “I love you” first.

Is love at first sight real?

Love at first sight may not be true love. It could be merely attraction but feel like true love. Studies show that the chemical reactions in our brains when we feel an overwhelming attraction at first sight are similar to those we feel when realizing the potential of a romantic connection with someone. However, this initial attraction may also turn into true love.

Is it okay to say “I love you” to a friend?

Absolutely! Today, people realize the wisdom in expressing your love and affection for a dear friend, as life is too short and unpredictable. There is nothing wrong with letting your loved ones know that they are special to you.

How do you know when you love someone?

You know you love someone when their thoughts constantly plague you, and you cannot bear the thought of physical and emotional distance from them and feel connected to them despite their little flaws.

Key Takeaways

  • As a general rule of thumb, say I love you after you have been on five dates or seeing each other for three months.
  • Confess your love only when you are sure of your feelings, accept your partner with their flaws, imagine a future together, and believe that both of you are on the same page.
  • Avoid saying I love you for the first time when you are on vacation, during sex or if you feel peer-pressured into it.
when to say i love you

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Discover the delicate timing of when to say those three magical words, “I love you” to a girl. This insightful video offers guidance to navigate this important milestone in a relationship.

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Sarah Kenville
Sarah KenvilleMA (Marriage and Family Therapy)
Sarah Kenville has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and a law degree. She has 8 years of experience and offers premarital counseling and relationship coaching to dating, engaged, newlywed, and same-sex couples.

Read full bio of Sarah Kenville
Sneha Tete
Sneha TeteBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Sneha has a master's degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, a professional Relationship Coach diploma, and over four years of experience in writing. She writes about relationships and lifestyle.Sneha began her career as an instructional designer, shifted to freelance technical and research writing, and self-published a novella on the theme of adolescent mental health.

Read full bio of Sneha Tete
Subhrojyoti Mukherjee
Subhrojyoti MukherjeeAssociate Editor
Subhrojyoti is an associate editor at StyleCraze with four years of experience. He has a master’s degree in English from Presidency University, Kolkata, and has also done a post-graduate certificate course in Editing and Publishing from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

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Reshma Latif
Reshma LatifBeauty & Lifestyle Writer
Reshma is a content writer with a penchant for writing articles on relationships, makeup, and beauty. She started her writing career in 2007, soon after graduating from Mahatma Gandhi University. What began as a love for blogging bloomed into several freelancing opportunities over the years.

Read full bio of Reshma Latif