When Is It OK to Say “I Love You” To Someone You’re Dating?

romantic couple

Saying “I love you” and timing

Love is a four-letter word that puts fear in many. Just the thought of saying the phrase, I love you to someone you’ve been seeing probably causes great anxiety.

This makes sense when you consider that when you share deeply held feelings, you place yourself in a place of vulnerability.

And let’s be honest – nobody wants to expose themselves to getting hurt when there’s even the slightest chance of rejection.

After all, unrequited love is perhaps the most painful love of all. When you think about it, when someone says I love you, they are actually asking a question at the same time:

Do you love me too?

Here at the blog, we’ve done a bit of investigating on this topic to help our website visitors better arrive at the answer to the age-old question: When is it OK to say I love you?

What follows are 5 tips. Read them all in context and try not to isolate on just one suggestion. Are you ready?

Let’s jump right in!


1. Wait several months

When you first meet someone and start to develop feelings, there’s a good chance that both of you are getting caught up in the moment. In these situations, the phenomenon of infatuation can take place, which is not the same as love.

  • Wait at least three months at a minimum before confessing your feelings
  • Even if you have been holding strong feelings this person, it’s best not to share too much, too fast. You may scare them away.
  • Be aware of your own feelings and assess if they have deepened or lessened after the three-month period.

2. Don’t say I “love you” just because they did

Nobody wants to be “that guy” who hurts another person. This is why it’s tempting to say “I love you too” after they share they’ve fallen for you. In these situations, the best thing you can do is:

  • Gently share with her you are still figuring things out.
  • Delicately let her know you are not there yet.
  • Tell her you like to take things slow

3. Realize love is a journey, not a destination

Being in a state of love with someone generally requires you share experiences together. This can only happen as time unfolds. If you have only been on a few dates, no matter how exciting they were, it’s still too soon to know what you are feeling.

  • Ask yourself if you are in love with this woman or are you in love with the idea of loving her?
  • Reflect back on your own relationship experiences. Did you take the plunge too soon, too fast?
  • Ask yourself if you truly believe you are in love or if you are transferring feelings from a previous relationship.

4. Never say “I Love You” during sex

You probably already know this, but it is worth mentioning all the same. The worst possible time that you can disclose what you are feeling is during sexy time.

There are several reasons for this, including having heightened responses, which in turn can cause a distorted perception of the moment.

  • If you really want to share your feelings during intimacy, do it through your touch.
  • Make lots of eye contact but try not to stare. Think deep gazing here.
  • Be mindful of “love” variations that you might be tempted to say, like: I love being with you. This is particularly true if you have only been dating for a few weeks.

5. Remember what love really means

If you truly feel you’ve reached a place where you want to share your feelings, make sure you have a good understanding of what love means.

There’s no way to properly define this term in a single blog post, however, here are some thoughts:

  • Love means being vulnerable and open to joy and pain.
  • Loving someone means seeing all of the person for who they are – not what we wish them to be.
  • Love and obsession are completely different constructs. Do you know the difference?

Love Final Thoughts

True love happens rarely in life. In many ways, the term has been watered down so much that it’s almost become a cliché.

But when you are truly in love with someone, you will know it. The trick is making it last for the long term. A great book to consider on all things love is: The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (see Amazon).

Inside, you’ll find page after page of thoughtful insight and wisdom, applicable to all – regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

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About Jack Eagle 21 Articles
Jack is a wise but mysterious figure whose exact whereabouts and identifying details remain unknown. What we do know is that he's really, really good at relationship challenges. He’s been on more dates than you can shake a stick at, and he’s here to help men from all walks of life step up their game.