As the founder of the company Love Notery, I’ve written love stories for couples at every committed stage of their relationship, from their engagement through their 10-year anniversary and beyond. In learning about how my clients fall in love, I always ask how they said “I love you” for the first time. And what I learned about how to tell someone you love them for the first time may surprise you. You might think that the first, “I love you” is said in a romantic setting—and it often is—but it also actually happens quite a bit during arguments.
It’s nerve-racking to say those three little words for the very first time. Will he reciprocate? What if she doesn’t feel the same way? All of these questions swirl around in your head while you have this unrelenting desire to express your love for your partner and when emotions are highest, like during an argument, those words can just pour out.
As you can imagine, saying “I love you” for the first time in the middle of an argument stops it straight in its tracks while each person considers the weight of those words and how they feel about what has just been said. Though saying “I love you” during an argument may be more common than you would think, there are also other more fulfilling ways to get this emotional declaration off your chest.
First, let’s address the timing issue.
When should you say, “I love you?”
Say it only after two months. Go on at least seven dates. Never say it first. These are only a few examples of some of the rules you may have heard about when it’s the right time to express loving feelings for your partner, and they all focus on timing. But the truth is that there’s not a specific right time to say “I love you” because the right time is when you feel it.
The better measure of when to say “I love you” is to evaluate how emotionally vulnerable you feel with your partner. Do you trust him? Does it feel good to disclose deeper aspects of yourself with her?
How you feel is the thermometer to tune into rather than any relationship “rules” you’ve heard of.
How do you say “I love you” for the first time?
Words without actions cannot adequately express your feelings for another person. When you’re ready to say “I love you” to your partner, carefully consider how your actions up to this point have reflected your feelings toward him or her.
If all you do is fight, “I love you” may be received by your partner with an eyebrow raise. If you’ve been building intimacy along your dating journey, then “I love you” may likely be received in a more mutual way.
How you decide to say “I love you” is best communicated when you two are connecting in a romantic way, and with eye contact and true sincerity behind your words. Make sure you consider who your partner is. Do they prefer romantic gestures in private for example?
Here are some ideas of intimate moments to say “I love you”:
- Cuddling on the couch
- On a romantic vacation
- During a fireside chat
- Holding hands while taking a stroll in the park or on the beach
- While having breakfast in bed
After you’ve expressed your feelings, you may not have those feelings reciprocated at the same time and that’s ok. Each person has his or her own way to express their love and will do it on their own time. So long as the intimacy keeps building, love is growing.
Saying “I love you” and actively expressing your love has the amazing ability to bring two partners closer together. Over time, with more experiences and emotionally intimacy, your love for one another will go to new depths.