When Is It “Normal” to Say “I Love You”?

The jig is up…we now know that the average length of time before the first “I love you” is 97 days into a relationship, a.k.a. just a little over three months. YourTango.com believes that anything under is a bit too soon.

I totally agree that saying the big three words before three months in is way too rushed, but even the three-month mark seems a bit early to me. When someone says “I love you” in a relationship, to me that is equivalent of saying “I could potentially see myself spending the rest of my life with you,” and I don’t think I could make that decision in only three months. Of course, every relationship is different and some are more fast-paced than others.

On the other side of things, how long should you wait? YourTango.com also reports that it should not take a whole year to take that next step—it may mean your man has some commitment issues. But I beg to differ. Maybe he just wants to be absolutely sure that he loves you before he says it (or maybe he wants to ensure that you love him before he puts himself out there).

This brings us to the much-stressed issue of who says it first (read what you should do if he says it first and you aren’t ready to say it back). Personally, I’ve never said it first and I don’t think I ever will, but I sure am impressed with the ladies who have! (Also, I like seeing the guys sweat it out and get all nervous before they do it…it’s pretty cute.) I know, I know, it’s the 21st century and gals can speak their minds and not have to succumb to old-fashioned traditions. But clearly I haven’t gotten there quite yet.

Read more on [YourTango.com].

-Amanda Mactas

Girl Talk Time: What is a good amount of time to wait before saying “I love you”? How long is too long? Do you think the man should be the first to say it? Dish here!

26 Comments

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  • Jessica:

    My boyfriend and I are bearing the three month mark now. I’ve met his parents, we often have dinner with them, we text all the time when we can’t see eahothwr during the week, and when our schedules allow it we see each other 4-6 times a week. It has been like that since we started dating in January. He gives me total respect, makes me laugh, accepts my flaws, tells me I am beautiful every morning and every night and tells me when he is upset or having a bad day. He works hard to make me happy and says he wants to move in together next march and that he wants me to be happy and feel cared for. I haven’t said I love you yet but he has a lot of my trust and at this point even though I want to say it I don’t want to say it too early. It’s ironic because he acts and talks like he is so much more invested in the relationship but I’m the one wanting to say I love you. My best advice to anyone is don’t rush it, gage where you’re at and only ever say it with sincerity.

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  • Denise:

    I honestly don’t see the big deal in saying I love you even in the first month sometimes you like a person so much love is what you feel, it’s not like you’re saying you’re in love with them.

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  • Khat:

    I am currently in this situation. My bf and I have been dating for about 6 months (and we have known each other on and off for about 8 years). In the past, I feel I have been a little too casual using those three little words, and I do not want to make that mistake with my current bf. We really have something with strong potential. We do something 3-4 nights a week, we’ve met all the family, met the best friends, and even have “we” schedules. (He’ll say things like “I don’t think we have anything that weekend, do we?”). I can feel that I am ready to say those three words to him, and we have had some really great sweet moments to where I know he is almost ready to as well. He wouldn’t take something like this lightly though. This is serious business and won’t be said before he is certain that he is certain and I feel the same. So, I am doing my best to be patient, because as much as I like to be the strong woman of the times, I want him to say it first. And I know him well enough to know he will want to say it first too. Any advice is welcome! But, I really wanted to say how relevant this was for me (and share a little).

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  • Aidan:

    I think what’s more important than the length of relationship is the intensity/length of time spent together/getting to know one another. Some relationship could start casual only seeing each other a couple times a week for the first few months and others are more intense where you could spend every moment in dialogue with each other and every night together more or less from the beginning. In the latter circumstance, it’s definitely not immature or inappropriate to say it within a month – due to the strong connection that will have been formed.

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  • Elizabeth:

    I’m a bit more stayed with my emotions, I know there are couples out there who feel it is perfectly fine to say it after a month, that’s nowhere near long enough for me. In the relationships I have been in, guys who say ‘I love you’ within the first three months tend to be more emotionally cavalier, not only is saying it within three months premature, but it is also a bit immature, probably because they don’t know what it means yet. When a guy said it to me after only dating for four weeks, in my mind all I could think was “PFFT! Yeah right! HAHAHAHAHA” Six months seems like the least amount of time, because after about five months is when the ‘honeymoon’ stage of a relationship starts to waver. My parents have been married for over thirty years, and it took them a year and three months of being in a relationship to say it to each other. For my aunt and uncle, it actually took them three years before either of them said it, and now they have been married for 19 years. Take your time, and make sure you know that other person feels the same way about you. A relationship is not one-sided.

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  • kim91:

    I had a lot of bad relationships and It is taken me time to heal

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  • xomelissamarie:

    I think you shouldn’t say I love you unless you are really sure that you do, to me i have no problem saying it first as long as I feel it and the timing is appropriate.

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  • Beebee:

    My bf an I have been together 4 months this Thursday. We said I love you within the first 6 hours. We are 13 and are more in love than any adult could imagine 2 teenagers ever being. He was my first kiss, my first true love, and those gorgeous blue eyes are mesmerizing!

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    1. Sarah:

      And you two are still together……….?

      Ha! Didn’t think so ;)

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  • amber:

    to long is like 2 3 years to soon is like 1st week i mean you can tell when you 1st meet the person if you will be with them for awhile or not. as of the man saying it i think that if the girl wants to then she should and not be scared to say it. its nice to hear the guy say it 1st

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  • amandac2010:

    I dont believe there is a time frame because sometime you just know when it is right. I said it to my current boyfriend after about a month. we have spent one night apart and have already talked about getting married in the future. This Sept it will be a year that we have been together and we couldn’t be happier.

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  • mwilson11:

    the article is very interesting, and i like reading others opinions on this.

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  • laurita:

    we have been together for over a year. I told him I did love him because I want him to know how I feel about him… but i am not going to be the girl that says it everyday until he is sure he loves me and tells me. Does that make sense? He knows how I feel but I won’t say it. I just dont want him to feel pressured. he does have committment issues but I do feel part of his life so I am not worried time will come/prove he does love me. and if it doesnt…. it doesnt. just dont pressure him !!!

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  • avatar
    Roxie D:

    I don’t think there is a “normal”. Say it when you feel it’s right. My bf and I were “official” for less than a month (we had been dating for a little more than a month before making it “official”) when we said it… and now we’re planning our wedding!!! To each their own happy heart :)

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  • jane14:

    i totally agree with waiting until he says it first…yes we are in the 21st century but men still need the chase…and women need to feel pursued…regarding the amount of time before saying “I love you”, well that shouldn’t be determined how long you’ve been together it should be said whenever the feelin occurs. There’s ways in saying it that won’t freak out your partner and well if the relationhip has a trong base even if it is a new one those words will be very much appreciated. =)

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  • thefrugalsavvy:

    In my opinion there is no time frame for something like that. Sometimes you just know you love a person, and there is really nothing wrong with that. :)

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  • morsey72:

    I don’t think anyone can put a timeframe on someone saying I love you…

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  • evafairchild:

    Hmmm…

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  • avatar
    noki22:

    I don’t think anyone has a time frame on how long it should be to say “I LOVE YOU” the individual just know. Let’s just hope that both parties feel the same LOVE about each other.

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  • vickyjib:

    I don’t know for everyone but for me I say it when i feel it from them and for them, however Lind or short that takes.

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  • attractivebymark:

    I think it’s best to wait at least 3 months. People get scared to easily otherwise

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