I love you…those three little words that cause such complications in relationships and lives. Depending on what those words mean to you and depending on what they mean to somebody else, they can have a multitude of connotations. With so many meanings for every single individual and the timing of when it is said and by whom, those three little words have been known to cause as much trouble and heartache as they do joy and total elation. So when is the best time to say I love you?
We all know people who just love everything – those shoes, that little dog, “Oh I just love babies/milkshakes/stilettos/the colour blue” they gush. So for them saying I love you is just part of that group right up there nestled between the Brussel sprouts ~ or is it? Being in love and loving things have different variants for everyone, but at the end of the day when it comes to relationships and declaring love for another person, it has the potential to be the stickiest situation of all.
There are mass debates about when is the right time to tell someone you love them for the first time. If you say it too early you may cause all sorts of humiliations and anxiety while the object of your affection, feeling smothered and suffocated looks for the first opportunity to flee. But if you leave it too long, the object of your affection may not be that for much longer and you will slide into the friend zone, with the opportunity lost forever.
When NOT to say I Love You
Well, this part should be a no-brainer and much easier to figure out than when the actual right time is, but if you are still not sure – here are some ideas to help you save serious face.
1. Post-Coital Bliss
After sex is possibly the worst time ever in the history of love, to say I love you. Damp and sweaty declarations of love at this point are just tacky and shallow and very possibly a listed cardinal sin.
If you thought declarations of undying love after sex were bad, then this one takes it to another level of revulsion. Telling someone you love them for the first time, for the sole purpose of getting on some slap and tickle are absolutely abhorrent – the karma camera is watching you and will never, ever forget you. It is shameful and disgraceful behaviour and if you are worth any slice of integrity you won’t do it.
3. When You Are Drunk
Ah, yes you – that would be all of us – each and every single one, totally guilty of this one at some point in our lives. And ladies, this one is particularly hard, as we love people anyway. Add PMS and a few cocktails we are all going to be sobbing during the insurance ad, so the I love you bit is just a ticking time bomb away. Restrain yourself at all costs, because you can be sure that although you feel totally sincere, that 3am post girls/boys night out phone call or visit to tell somebody you love them is not going to go down at all well. And if they are very sober and in their pyjamas on the pavement, well you are all on your own there.
4. As a Way to Say Thank You
This is particularly tricky, emotions and gratitude getting all tangled up with those three little words. But now is not the time to say it for the first time – even if you are trying to say thank you for a large, grand gesture or gift. A thank you will suffice and really your delighted reaction as the receiver of the gift or gesture will be all the thanks they need. Go old school, bake a cake, write a card – just leave I love you out of it for now.
Always Mean It
Don’t ever use the words I love you to get something, don’ t use it to get into a position of power and don’t, no matter how hard it is, say it to because you think or you know how much the other person wants to hear it. If you say it and you are not sincere, the other person will know deep down, they will simply know. And somewhere down the line, the karma bus is going to pull on up and collect you and it won’t be a pretty sight.
Actions and Words
Love is actually a doing word – anybody can tell someone they love them, but then they are not able to follow through with their actions or behaviour. Show someone they love them; it’s all about the small, intimate gestures, the sincerity, and the empathy. It’s much less about monetary gifts, sweeping gestures, chocolates, diamonds (well diamonds are accepted as a currency of love, we don’t judge you). It is more about the actions. And never before has a truer saying been more applicable here – actions really do speak louder than words.
No Going Back
Once you have said it, it’s out there. You can’t unsay it, you can’t take it back, you can’t throw it in somebody’s face, it’s there in the universe and that karma bus is driving on by watching you. Don’t rush, enjoy the pace of the relationship, let it unfold and come together in its own time. Get to know each other, get comfortable in each other’s space – having sex with someone doesn’t mean you know them. You need to spend time with the person, do stuff together on your own, talk and find out who the other person is. Remember, you can’t just love some bits of them; when you love someone you love it all – lock, stock, and barrel.
So listen to your intuition; it’s there for a reason and if you learn to tune in, you will realise that it will never ever let you down. So maybe a week is a bit too early, but 3 months might be too late – listen to your inner voice and just go with the flow.