Around three months is the ideal perfect time to confess your love for your partner. It allows for enough time to really understand each other and to have met some significant people in their life. By this point it is also reasonable to assume you would have had some memorable experiences together which would help you to bond.

The biggest fear is that if you say I love you too soon it may not be reciprocated which would make things awkward between the two of you, or even worse, it could scare them off completely. Rather than putting a specific time frame on it, it is better to consider if you really know the person well enough to actually be in love with them. For example, you should have met some friends or family, you should know what has shaped them as a person, their upbringing and moments in their lives that have been great and others that have been challenging.

The most important thing is that you mean it when you say it. If you are saying it after a few weeks, it is possible that you may be more in love with the idea of a relationship than actually being in love with your partner. Equally, if you’re not feeling you are there after a year of dating then perhaps, they aren’t the right person for you, or perhaps you have commitment issues.

A few points to consider which might indicate that your partner has strong feelings for you:

  • Have they introduced you to their family or friends?
  • Have you made plans for the future, for example: are you going on holiday together?
  • Are they emotionally available? For example, someone who married but separated and not divorced probably is not ready to fall for someone new yet.
  • Have you talked about wanting a life-long partner or marriage?
  • Have you had the chat about exclusively dating or being in a relationship?

Of course, this list is not exhaustive and even with all the above factors it does not guarantee that they will also be in love with you. I was once dating a guy who had introduced me to most of his close friends and booked a holiday for us only to realise when we were there that he was not over his relationship with his estranged wife! They had apparently been split up for 6 months with no chance of a reconciliation, however I realised when I was there this was not the case. Following that awful experience my advice to anyone would be to not date anyone who has been married until they are divorced! Even if the relationship is definitely over, they will probably be grieving for it and do you really want to be a rebound fling? No way!

If the last two points are checked off the list, then at least they are showing signs they you are both heading in the same direction and they are committed.  You do not want to get yourself in a situation where you assume that they are looking for true love only to find out the other person is just wanting a friend with benefits.

My husband and I agreed that we were exclusively dating at the end of our second date and one month later I met his parents and his sister. I had made sure he wanted a long-term relationship and children right from the start, as I would not have wasted my time on anyone who didn’t want the same things as me.

Signs that it might be too soon to drop the ‘L’ word:

  • You have not been dating for at least two months.
  • You do not feel like enough time has been invested into getting to know each other. A solid foundation has not been constructed for your relationship to be at this stage.
  • You have not slept together yet. Be careful, they may just be saying this to have sex with you.
  • They are not ready for commitment. Be wary of someone who says they love you but doesn’t want an exclusive relationship with you as something is not adding up.
  • You have experienced a life changing event together and the ‘L’ word is used straight after. Emotions are high and you may not be able to think rationally.

Another consideration is that it also should not be left too long to declare your love for your other half. If you are leaving it over 6 months your partner might assume it’s not going in the right direction and you are not serious about the relationship. Also avoid saying it before, during or after sex.

Dating Ed:
How soon is too soon to say LOVE YOU?

The truth is there is no exact science to when to say ‘I love you’. It should be said when you genuinely feel it and you cannot keep it to yourself any longer. I would try to pick up on the vibe to see if they were feeling the same as me before I dropped the ‘L’ word! I ended up telling my husband I loved him in a Mexican restaurant when we were having a meal with friends, it was not planned but having a few drinks definitely helped me to show my true feelings! I had felt that I was in love with him for a few weeks and I was bursting to get it off my chest and it just came out during a conversation.

Revealing your true loving heart makes you vulnerable and could put the other person in an uncomfortable situation. However, if it is reciprocated, it will bring you both closer together. It is important to hang off for at least two months because different people fall in love at different paces. There is however no correlation between the pace at which one falls in love and their level of commitment. After all it could be the person that falls in love quickly who falls out of love just as quick. As well as the different paces that love develops, there are the different pace at which people express their love. Outgoing people are more likely to express their love sooner than those who are shyer.


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