Saying, “I love you” for the first time can be summed up in one word: scary. There’s a lot, if not too much, at stake. If things go your way, you’re in eternal bliss. I love you, you love me, no problem. If things don’t work out the way you want it, it becomes an awkward situation and you can’t help but feel rejected when the person you say it to doesn’t say it back. The consequences outweigh the rewards, so why bother even saying it?
“It is not necessarily important,” said sophomore Irene Jadic of the University of Pennsylvania. “Love is something that you feel and if your partner truly does love you, you will know.”
While showing the ways you love a person is much more important than just uttering these three little words, the act of saying it does mark a major milestone in a relationship. In some ways, it’s important if you want to go forward with someone to say it.
“It deepens the relationship,” said Judith Claire, life coach and creator of topgunlove.com, believes that expressing your love through words can be just as important as showing it through actions. There is no clearer and more straightforward way to show how much a person means to you than saying, “I love you.”
When should you fess up your feelings and when should you keep your mouth shut for a little longer? There is no time limit or an exact date. The right time depends on the person and every situation is different. Claire suggests you consider a few things before dropping the “L” word.
The easiest situation, and probably the most ideal, is when someone says it to you first. “If the person has said it to you and you care about the person and you actually feel it, than say it,” said Claire.
On the flip side, if you’re still waiting for someone to say it, patience becomes your virtue. “If someone wants to say it, they’ll say it. If you’re with someone who is shy, they might not,” said Claire. You can and should never force someone to telling you how they feel. If it doesn’t come naturally, it’s not genuine. Sometime you just have to wait it.
For those of you who want to be the first one to say it, you might have to do some serious reflection on the person you are dating to see if they’re worth saying, “I love you” to. “See if that person is capable of love, loyalty, and respect,” said Claire. “Are you dating this person because you like them? Or are you lonely? Do you just want sex? It depends on what you’re looking for.”
The most important thing to keep in mind is to mean what you say. Nothing hurts more than empty words. “Actually saying it should be saved for special moments,” said Jadic. “Over using the phrase makes it lose it's meaning.”
Love is tricky territory. It can’t be explained and sometimes when you feel it, you just have to trust that gut feeling and be courageous to take that chance.