Expressing your love for someone can be done by your actions but those three little words in a romantic relationship can take it emotionally to great heights and bring two people that much closer to each other. However, often times people question when should it be said, especially for the first time. Of course you can simply, “Go with your feelings and say it to someone when you feel love towards that person” but I would follow some general guidelines before dropping the L-word for the first time. I want to point out that like most topics I write about, this is my general opinion based on life experience and there truly is no black and white answer to this one. Just keep that in mind before you proceed to reading this article as not everyone is going to agree with my point of view (and that’s okay–it is okay to agree to disagree and I embrace that).
In terms of who should say, “I love you” for the first time, without a doubt, I believe the man in the relationship should take lead and be the one to say it first. I am sure there are exceptions although I cannot think of any offhand but I tend to lean towards believing this due to gender roles. By that I look at it like this, if a man is capable of asking a girl out, pursuing the relationship, initiating physical intimacy, and essentially keeping the “chase” then I think they are fully capable of proclaiming their love for the first time. Never in my dating life have I been the one to tell a man in a relationship that I love him first. Even though there have been times I felt that way, I still chose not to say it because I also believe that if the relationship is meant to get to that place, then it will naturally happen when the time is right. Sure, I showed it through my actions but I always waited until the man said it first to me. Like many things in life, the wait is well worth it. I am willing to wait for the things that are most valuable to me. I can recall every single time it was said to me for the first time as I have a screenshot in my mind of that exact moment within the course of the relationship. If the man never says it to me, then he was not the man for me anyhow as this is something I do expect to be said over time.
In a romantic relationship, determining when to say it can truly vary. I have been in situations where it was said in as early as a few weeks or where it took many months. I would say this depends on how consistently you see the person so if you see a person a few times a week, then naturally I would expect two people will feel the love sooner because of the frequency of their encounters. In a distance relationship or situation where you might only get to see the person once or twice a month in the beginning, it might take longer to feel the love because you are still getting to know the person so saying it for the first time could very well be a longer process. I would say it is healthy to wait at least two months before telling a person you love them for the first time. I do not think it is necessary to say it that quickly no matter how intense the love can feel because even if you experience it rather instantly, you also want to make sure you still genuinely feel that way after a few months as sometimes it could be infatuation with that person which is not the same as loving someone. If you are dating for months and you are not emotionally in a place to say that yet, give it more time or consider if you still want to be with the person. You do not want to waste anyone’s time if you do not think it has the potential to reach love while you also should not say it for the sake of it and give it the time it needs for the love to grow towards that person. It can take many months or up to a year and that is okay. I would say that if you are dating someone for a year and still do not feel you love the person, you need to ask yourself some serious questions in regards to if the relationship has a future and if not, then the other person has a right to know where you stand or you should possibly consider breaking it off yourself.
Once you have officially said it for the time and it is reciprocated, I think it is healthy to say it on a fairly daily basis. I guess this depends on what is within each of your comfort zone. Some couples feel as though they do not need to say it everyday whereas other couples say it everyday as it has become a daily ritual to do so. I think once you have gotten to the stage where both people feel that way and are saying it to each other, it can definitely be said as often as you would like. Life is too short to not express love and gratitude towards the person you love which is why I think it is good to be generous in the ways you express it–not just verbally but with your actions too.