Signs You're Not Ready to Say 'I Love You' to Your Partner

Saying those three little words is a huge decision.

Communicated within a relationship, "I love you" implies a deep level of affection and commitment to your person—one that won't be easily forgotten if things don't work out. While you should follow your feelings and revel in the ability to express yourself, saying "I love you" should be a conscience decision that you make with confidence.

So how do you know if it's the right time to bring the L-word into your relationship? Keep scrolling for five signs you're not ready to say "I love you" to your partner.

It's Early

We can't tell you exactly how long you should wait before saying "I love you" to your partner. Every relationship moves at different speeds, so there's certainly no designated amount of time that needs to pass before dropping the L-bomb. That said, if it's too early in your relationship, confessing your love will likely scare your partner away.

At the beginning of a relationship, your feelings are all over the place. You may think you love your partner, but you have to give yourself time to make sure those feelings are real. Don't rush into saying "I love you." If the two of you have only been dating for a week, you should probably give yourself a little more time before saying the L-word.

Stranger Things: Eleven and Mike dance at the Snow Ball

(Stranger Things via Netflix)


You Feel Insecure in Your Relationship

Love implies more than just a feeling. It's a decision to care for another person for everything they are, good and bad. In order to do that, a sense of stability and a genuine understanding of your partner is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, your feelings are more of infatuation rather than love.

Doubts and uncertainty are normal in a relationship, especially at the beginning. Struggling to understand your partner and come to terms with their flaws isn't a bad thing, but it's a sign you're not ready to drop the L-bomb. If you still feel a sense of insecurity in your relationship, it's not the right time to say "I love you." Wait until you're confident in who your partner is before you bring love into the equation.


You Just Want to Hear It Back

Anxiety and nerves are so common in a relationship. By caring for another person, you're opening yourself up to potential pain, so it's understandable to worry about how your partner may feel about you. Love can feel like a safety bubble that protects you from future pain and hurt. If your partner just says they love you, you can relax in the knowledge that your relationship is going to last. Not only is that untrue, it's also the worst reason to confess your love for someone.

You should confess your love for someone because you feel it, not because you're looking for reassurance about their feelings. If you're only saying "I love you" because you want to hear it back, it's not the right time to say it. 

Riverdale: Toni and Cheryl Looking Into each other's eyes

(Riverdale via The CW)


You Think It Will Fix Things

Sometimes people toss out the L-word because they think it will fix the problems in their relationship. You and your S.O. have been fighting a lot, so you think saying "I love you" will magically mend the broken parts of your romance. That isn't true.

You and your partner have to fix things together—saying "I love you" won't eliminate your problems. Not only that, saying the L-word because you're trying to push your relationship back into a good place implies that you don't actually mean it. You're using it to get what you want, rather than expressing your affection because you actually feel it. Those three little words are wonderful, but they won't magically fix problems that already exist. Don't try to use them in that way.


You Don't Feel Confident in the Words

Saying "I love you" can be really scary. It's vulnerable, honest and a major step in a relationship. However, when you really feel it, confessing your love to your partner should be easier than you ever imagined. Actually saying it might be scary, but you're able to relax in the knowledge that you know how you feel and you're ready to express yourself—unless you're not sure where you stand.

Love is a process. You can be pretty sure that you love someone, and still not know with 100% certainty that you're in love with them. If you're not yet confident in the words, don't say them. It's better to wait until you can express yourself with certainty than to say something in the moment and realize later that it's not actually how you feel.


Now you know when you shouldn't say "I love you," but how do you know when you should? Click HERE for seven signs you're ready to say "I love you" to your partner.