7 Signs You're Ready to Say 'I Love You' to Your Partner
Since it's such a major milestone in any relationship, saying "I love you" to your S.O. can be really scary.
It's a decision that's almost always marked by panic that they're not going to say it back. And beyond that, it can be really difficult to know if you're ready, or if it's even the right time to take such a major step.
If you want to be sure that you're not rushing things, keep scrolling for seven signs you're ready to say "I love you" to your partner.
You Feel Like You Can Be Yourself
When you have really strong feelings for someone, you usually want to do everything you can to impress them. That's why partners are often on their best behavior at the beginning of the relationship. However, only showing your best side can't last forever. And if you're going to tell someone you love them, you need to be sure that they have a clear grasp of who you are, at your best and at your worst. If you feel like you can fully be yourself around your partner, it means you've passed the initial honeymoon stage of the relationship and created a romance founded in a genuine understanding of the other person. If that's the case, then saying "I love you" is a natural next step.
You Trust Them Completely
Telling someone you love them requires a lot of vulnerability. You're essentially jumping head-first into the romance, and you need to be sure that they're willing to catch you, even if they're not ready to reciprocate your words. Trusting your partner is a necessity for telling them you love them. Not only is trust crucial for a healthy, lasting romance, it also ensures that they'll treat your confession with the care and affection it deserves. If you feel like you can trust your partner completely, then you can confess your love and know that things will be okay, whatever their response may be.
You Can Rely on Them
Sometimes you can feel really strongly about someone, but you just don't have what it takes to build a functional relationship. Someone who isn't present for you, who doesn't make you a priority or who can't give you what you need out of a relationship isn't someone you should be with, no matter how much you care about them. Before you tell your partner you love them, make sure they're someone you can rely on. Otherwise, you're pushing your relationship into serious territory without really thinking through the potential consequences.
You've Given It Time
There's really no hard and fast rule about how long you should wait to say "I love you" to your partner. In general, however, saying it too soon is the wrong move, as it could potentially scare them off or rush your relationship forward before you're ready for things to get serious. Since we can't give you a specific time frame, we generally recommend that you give yourself at least two weeks from the time that you feel like you want to say it until you actually say it. Then, you can feel out if your feelings are genuine or if you're just caught up in the excitement of a new romance. You may decide your initial thoughts were misguided or you may realize that your feelings are stronger than ever, but either way you've given it time before you make your confession instead of just blurting it out in a moment of passion.
You've Made the Necessary Introductions
No matter how strongly you feel about someone, telling them you love them without testing out your compatibility in other aspects of your lives is risky. After all, meeting friends and family can be a make or break moment in any romance. Not only will it allow you to glean outside opinions from the people closest to you, it will also give you a glimpse into who they really are, outside of their relationship with you. It's not that you can't love someone without meeting their friends and family, but it's probably safer to reach the "meet the family" milestone before you tackle the "I love you" milestone.
You Struggle to Hold It In
When you really love someone, you'll find that the urge to tell them builds slowly. If you wait long enough, you'll usually discover that it becomes more and more difficult to stop yourself from blurting it out. At that point, it's better to just say it in an environment you can control, rather than allowing it to slip out during an inopportune time. If you're constantly biting your tongue to keep from saying those three little words, it's time to face your fears and confess your feelings.
It Feels Right
As much as you should keep an eye out for other markers in your relationship, saying "I love you" is mostly based on how you feel. It's an emotional confession, which means you need to be aware of what your actual emotions are trying to tell you. Nerves and anxieties are common, but if the thought of telling your partner you love them makes you genuinely agitated or frustrated, it's probably not the right time. As lame as it sounds, when the moment comes to tell your partner you love them, a part of you will know without a doubt that you're making the right decision. Wait until you have that feeling, otherwise you may be moving too quickly.
On the hunt for more dating advice? Click HERE for seven questions you should ask someone before you start a relationship with them.