It takes the average adult 1.5 years to get to know someone. I mean to actually get to know someone. I am encouraged by this statistic, because it means that in our culture of impatience and overindulgence, we still have to let personal relationships develop over time. There is no fast-food drive thru to get through a relationship quicker or easier. No easy way to get to know the person you are with. You will have to get out of your car and spend the time doing your due diligence to make work.
In American culture the three words, I Love You, are a way for us to express when we have intense feelings for someone. (I am talking about in a romantic context). We go from liking someone to loving them. We skip, I like you a lot; I like you a whole bunch; I like you a ton; and I like you an immense amount. There is no specific time-table when you have to say, I Love You. I will let you be the judge of that in your own relationship. A good rule of thumb is to let the other person say it first if you are unsure. There is nothing that will stop you from sharing your affection for someone in other words rather than those three.
If you are ready to express, I Love You, to your partner then you should follow some simple rules for how to say I Love You the first time.
How to Not Say I Love You
- In an email
- In a text
- Via Facebook
- During a flight (there is just no way to defuse the situation if it goes badly)
- At a noisy bar or restaurant
- Through a friend (you have to vocalize certain things yourself)
How to Say I Love You
- In person
- In a quiet place
- In a comfortable setting
The verbal expression of I Love You, should be accompanied by genuine expression, eye contact, and touch. Engaging the person and making them feel comfortable is a part of sharing our feelings with one another and feeling comfortable enough to do so.
You shouldn’t spout out ‘I love you’ every time your toes tingle. But when is the appropriate time to use those deeply sincere words? Worst of all, what if your partner doesn’t say it back?
When? You will just know. No, I am kidding, although you might “just know” some of us need more help than that. If you are unsure and it seems too early the best thing you can do is let the other person say it first. Also be patient and let there be plenty of time for your heart and head to agree on what your mouth should say.
What if they don’t say it back? Yes, Ouch! This one will hurt, your heart as well as your ego. If it is apparent that you feel love and your partner doesn’t it is time to move on. In successful relationships the partners have an equal or near equal connection with one another.