How Long Should I Wait to Tell Him I Love Him?

Knowing the right time to say I love you depends on your feelings and the qualities of your relationship.
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Deciding when to tell your partner you love him can be tricky. On the one hand, you may not want to hold back your feelings, but psychology professor David Van Nuys warns that the seemingly simple phrase “I love you” is loaded with connotations that can mean different things to different people. There is no single correct answer on how to time when to express your feelings. For some couples, two months may be appropriate, but for others, it might be two years. Regardless of how long you have been together, it is useful to make sure that you truly do love your partner -- and are capable of loving -- before making your proclamation, advises psychotherapist Philippa Perry.

1 Understanding Love

Look at the nature of your relationship and consider whether what you feel is love, lust or infatuation. For example, do you and your partner have a relationship that is built on mutual respect or is it primarily physical? Can you see yourself with this person for the long term? That said, Barbara Frederickson, Ph.D., a researcher in positive psychology, argues that love does not necessarily mean lasting commitment, but rather, shared interests, happiness and a sense of peace and security when we are with the other person. Once you believe that your feelings are loving, share them, but consider going beyond the words “I love you” and explaining what love means to you, even if you have only been together a short time. Even if your partner does not reciprocate you love, he will at least know how you feel about the relationship?

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.