Dear Neely,

I have been dating my current girlfriend for over 7 months now. The energy is great, we have an amazing connection, and I even get along with her parents. Needless to say I am head over heels, and now in that danger zone of wanting to say I love you for the first time. I am afraid of either 1.) freaking her out if she isn’t there yet (and creating that awful feeling for myself of not having your feelings reciprocated ) or 2.) waiting too long to say it and sending her the wrong message that I am not serious about the relationship. I have googled this endlessly looking for a rule of thumb, an answer, a prayer…to no avail. How long should you wait before dropping the “L” word? Help a brotha out!

Lover Boy, Boston, MA

Takeaway points:

  • 40 seconds: The amount of time you’ve been with someone is a factor, but try thinking less about WHEN you should say I love you and more about WHY you want to say it and you will have your answer.
  • 54 seconds: There are 3 times when you shouldn’t say I love you. Tune in to hear what I have to say.
  • 2:07: When you can feel really good about saying I love you.
  • 2:47: A lot of times women are advised to let the man say I love you first. I explain why.
  • 3:25: It should be less about gender and more about your motive for saying it.
  • 3:45: The worst that can happen is that the other person doesn’t say it back but if you were saying it for the right reasons, at least you stayed true to the honest feelings you had. See this Seinfeld clip for George’s dilemma:

Submit your dating/relationship questions to [email protected].

About The Author

Neely Steinberg is a Blast correspondent. Follow her on Twitter @NeelySteinberg She answers your dating/relationship questions in her Blast video advice column MP4 Love.

2 Responses

  1. Charlysense

    Great advice Neely —saying ‘I Love You’ should be connected to what you feel and wish to express, while at the same time FREE of any expectations regarding the other person’s response.

    Your greatest asset in knowing when to say I love you is your awareness. You want to be sure that you’re feeling love for the place you are together right now, rather than love for the idea of where you could be, might be or want to be with each other in the future. Then you’ll know that sharing such a thing is relevant to what’s taken place between you and therefore regardless of how the other person chooses to respond —that person will be better able to receive what you’ve shared and feel its authenticity.

    Make sure you have no ulterior motives and you can share your feelings without being attached to a specific response. Without risk in relationships… the greatest rewards are unavailable. When you say those words in an attempt to manipulate, preserve or control a person/relationship, you’re setting yourself (and the relationship) up for failure. Use your awareness, trust your instincts and remember that a great partner for you will never end your relationship or pull away because you’ve said I love you. If they do, they did you a favor and showed you that they may not be as open or capable of having the relationship you’re ready to enjoy. No matter what happens, the truth always sets you free —free to enjoy a deeper relationship with the person you love, or free to re-assess whether emotionally investing in your relationship will yield the fulfillment and satisfaction you’re ready to experience ; )


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