What Should "I Love You" Mean if It's the Real Deal? ...

You shouldn't say those three little words unless you're serious about them, because there are a few big things that "I love you" should mean. Some people throw around the phrase without thinking about what it signifies, but you should take the time to figure out if there is meaning behind your words. Never tell someone that you're in love with them when you're actually unsure about your feelings, because it's not fair to lead them on. Here are a few things that "I love you" should mean:

1. I Want You to Be Happy

If you're in love with someone, you'll want them to be happy, no matter what that entails. If they need to break up with you, you'll be okay with it, even if it kills you inside. You value their happiness above all else, and would do anything you could to cause them happiness. One of the most important things that "I love you" should mean is that their happiness is your happiness.

2. I Love Being around You

You can't date someone you hate hanging out with. If you're in love, you should cherish every moment you get to spend with your partner. Even if you're sitting on the couch in silence, each reading a separate book, you should enjoy begin with them.

3. I Want This to Last

If you're in love with someone, you'll do whatever you can to make your relationship last. You don't want to lose them, so you'll try your hardest to make them happy to be dating you. Your goal is to keep them around, so you always aim to keep them smiling.

4. I Respect You

You should respect your partner, no matter what. Never demean them by talking down to them or by physically abusing them. If you love them, then you would never intentionally hurt them physically or mentally. Before you do anything, you think about how they would feel about it, because you don't want to disrespect them.

5. I Find You Beautiful

Your partner should think you're beautiful inside and out. They don't have to give you daily compliments, but they should make it clear that they think you're incredibly attractive, sweet, and fun to be around. You should never have to question whether your mate finds you beautiful, nor them you.

6. I Trust You

Millions of relationships have fallen apart due to a lack of trust. If you're truly in love with someone, you should trust them not to break your heart. You should also make it your mission to get them to trust that you'd never hurt them. It's the last thing you'd ever want to do.

7. I Care about You

Above all else, "I love you" means that you genuinely care about the other person. You want them to be healthy, safe, and happy right by your side. If anything happened to them, you'd be devastated. You want them in your life for as long as they're willing to stay, because you care about them more than anything else in the world.

If you're in love with someone, make sure you tell them. Even if they already know how you feel, it's always nice to hear the phrase. Did you say those three little words first, or did your partner say them?