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Should you wait a certain length of time before telling someone that you love them– How long?
There are no rules with the appropriate length of time before you tell someone that you love them. Having said that, studies tell us that the average length of time for someone to say “I love you” is around the three or four month mark.
The reason why 3 months is the average is probably because this is how long it takes most people to feel as though they know their partner. You can’t be in love with someone unless you KNOW them. If you tell your partner that you love them before you know them, than chances are you are in love with the idea of them or the idea of love, and not the person.
Sometimes when someone first says I love you they are actually wanting to say, can we not date other people? If that is the case, then be sure to ask the question you really want to have answered, instead of using the, I love you, as a way of asking or saying something else.
Should you make it a special moment or just spit it out at any given time? Should you make a big deal about saying it?
Check to see if you have had those I love you feeling moments, prior to saying I love you. Or write them a card and say some meaningful things you haven’t expressed yet, or buy them a special gift, plan something romantic etc…Whatever it is, do the loving things, before you say the Love sentence. Remember love is an action word.
When it comes time to say it, how you say it should reflect your personality. If you say it in a way that makes you feel comfortable than it will be received more comfortably…If you are very serious and are comfortable showing emotion, then you will be comfortable saying it in a heartfelt sentence. If you are a little bit lighter as a personality, you may choose to say it in a more casual, fun way like on a cupcake, in a note, in a light-hearted way like, “oh, I love you!” after they’ve done something cute or funny.
Don’t plan. You’re not purposing. If you plan you are more likely to be nervous or seem canned and the key to expressing I love you is to not only mean it, but to convey that you mean it! Be natural. Say it at a time that you feel it. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to say it the FIRST time you feel it in the relationship, but after you’ve experienced the feeling a few times silently, choose one of the times to express it in the moment.
Should a woman wait until the guy says it? A lot of women feel this way. Should they get over that?
It is important to remember that saying I love you should not be seen as an act of chivalry, which is why many women might wait for the man to say it. So, there should be no gender role associated with this statement.
In terms of the battle of the sexes for the ‘I love you’ plunge, it seems we have it all wrong! Studies have shown that 64 percent of us think that women say and feel it first in the relationship. But actually, 61 percent of the time men say it first and think it up to six weeks before a woman! The average for the ‘I love you’ plunge is three months for a man, and four months for a woman!
What if the person doesn’t say it back? What should you say/do?
The most important thing I can say is that you should only express I love you if there is no expectation to get or hear something in return. It should be your expression, and your timing, and it should not be conditional on what the other person says or does back!
So to avoid an awkward situation and to decrease the pressure of the first, ‘l love you’ plunge, I recommend that you preface or follow the statement with, “and I don’t want you or are not expecting you to say or do anything in return. It is just something I wanted to express to you.” When you do this, it can decrease the pressure associated with expecting something in return for both parties. It allows the recipient the space to hear it and really experience what that statement felt like, and it also serves to make the plunge a little less scary when you take the vulnerability away of awaiting their response.
What if you are the recipient and you don’t, or are not ready, to say it back?
It is really important to wait until you are ready to say I love you back. Saying it before you are ready or because you feel awkward or pressured, will interfere with your feelings and can lead to feelings of dishonesty-a feeling that we never want to associate with the words I love you. So, if you don’t want to say it back, tell your partner that you appreciate that they shared their feelings and thank them for sharing them with you. Explain to them that you are really going to let their words sink in and sometimes this takes some time. Tell them that you don’t want to focus or worry about what to say back, but instead want to really digest what they have shared.
How can we make sure we’re in love and not in lust?
First of all, lust is a mood (fireworks, flickering pulse, attraction etc), and love is a state. But it is very possible to be in both at that same time.
Some tell-tale signs of being in lust:
Tell-tale signs of love:
How does the relationship change after you say it – what are the expectations? Should you say it everyday, every time you hang up the phone for instance?
I always encourage couples not only to say I love you, but to say “I love you because….” I get people to really think about why they love their partner and to include some of these things in their I love you’s. This will disallow the, I love you to become routine. Also, it is always important to think of different and creative ways to say I love you: Sticky notes in house; Washing the kitchen floor; Hugging and holding hands in private; In public…. The key is variety. Saying I love you isn’t enough. You also need to do love, and this can come in many forms.
When not to say I love you?
Don’t say I love you when you have done something wrong as a way of getting out of it or as a way to fix things. Learn to say, I’m sorry instead, and what can I do to make it better in those moments. Don’t couple hurt and disappointment with an, I love you, as this can bring confusing and negative associations to the phrase. Instead, use I love you when the expression is meant to be positive in some way, never to cover up hurt.