When you say, “I love you,” for the first, or even the hundredth time, it can induce butterflies, fear, or ecstatic joy, depending on the situation. How do you know when it’s the right time to keep your feelings to yourself, share, or just let caution to the wind?
If you’re in a relationship and you’re aware that you both have connected with the other, it might still not feel “right” to share that you love someone. When it does feel like it’s the only thing you can say, and you want to scream it from the rooftops but are scared too – that’s the time to share. It could be an intimate moment between just the two of you, or at a crowded stadium, but you know when it feels right, and when your love is received openly.
What if they don’t say it back? That’s okay, because you’re saying I love you not for them, but for you. You’re sharing how you feel, and if you truly, unconditionally love this person, it won’t matter if they say I love you back or not.
Of course it’s nice if they do, and perhaps they will, when they feel the same way.
Maybe you weren’t feeling loving in the moment that they shared their love for you, and that’s okay. Or maybe you wanted to wait for a better time, a more important event, or to share your love with the world. Whatever the reason, now you’re ready to say it, and your partner has (hopefully) been patient with your process.
Just like in the last situation, you have to wait until saying I love you feels natural, “right”, and for the right reasons. If you’re questioning whether you’re in love or not, stop, and wait a bit longer until you share those wonderful three words.
Of course, you want to keep on sharing that you love this person whenever you feel it. What if it’s feeling stale though, or that you’ve said it so much, it’s starting to irritate your friends and family? Try one of these suggestions instead:
Hold on, wait, stop.
If you’re just friends or perhaps this is someone you’re in a workplace interaction with, you need to look at the risks and advantages of telling this person how you feel. Before you say anything.
Wait even longer if it’s someone you have an outside, relatively close friendship with. Say, your best friend’s ex, your partner’s best friend, a friend’s sibling, or something else along these lines.
Friends with benefits, or something else more casual and less connected? Wait, wait, wait. Take no action, you need to get clear-headed before doing anything. Searching for this article (while I love that you found me!), tells me you’re still confused. Totally okay, and perfectly normal.
Instead, have a conversation with a trusted friend and/or counselor, and work through what it is you feel. Take the Is It Lust… Or Love? Quiz, too. (It’s free!)
Then, ask yourself:
The last one is the trickiest, and the one you’ll need to really sit with. If you want to say I love yo3u to elicit a response, want them to reciprocate, or otherwise control/manipulate their response – get raw and honest with yourself here – now isn’t the time to say I love yo4u. To anyone.
Other than perhaps your Self.
That’s another article – self love, and feeling you need to get it from someone else in order to feel loved. (You don’t).
For now though, I’ll say this. If there is ANY question about your motivations, or theirs, keep your feelings to yourself. Not to hold back or stifle yourself, but rather, to get to a point of clarity and purpose before you share something life-changing.