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How Soon Is Too Soon to Say “I Love You” & Why It Sucks to Say It Early!

Many people wonder how soon is too soon to say “I love you.” There is no set time, but saying “I love you” too soon can be a major problem. 

saying i love you too soon

When you first meet someone, it’s hard to differentiate between love and lust. Both emotions are super-strong! It’s also hard to hold yourself back from telling them how you feel. The problem is, saying “I love you” too soon is the wrong start for any relationship.

How soon is too soon to say “I love you?” And why is it better to wait a while instead of blurting it right out when you feel like it?

The issue lies in the fact that there is no hard and fast rule to adhere to. Some people fall in love quickly, tell their partner how they feel and it all goes wonderfully well.

However, others utter those words and then everything falls apart. Not everyone moves at the same pace.

You also have the fact that you might be someone who moves quickly and you’re with someone who’s a little scared of commitment and wants to go slowly. Can you see why this is such a huge issue? [Read: When should you say ‘I love you’ for the first time?]

The first flushes of love feel incredible

Falling in love is overwhelming. It is uncontrollable. And it is magical. But, is saying “I love you” the moment you feel it too soon? Really, how soon is too soon to say “I love you?”

If you say it too soon, you might scare them away. But say it too late, you might make them impatient and think that you don’t love them. 

So really, timing is the most crucial factor here. You’ll know it’s the right moment when you feel in your gut that it’s the only acceptable thing you should do at that moment. [Read: When to say I love you for the first time in your relationship]

Is there a set time to say I love you?

Sadly, there is no formula for when to say those three little words. You can’t add how many dates you’ve been on and divide it by when your first kiss was, multiply that by how many nights you’ve spent together and get an answer that fits your relationship! [Read: When should you say “I love you” for the first time?]

Love is not a science. It isn’t something that suits everyone the same way. You may be ready to say it and hear it back, but it could be too soon for your partner. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when trying to figure out how soon is too soon to say “I love you.”

Only you’re going to be able to tell when the perfect timing is. However, you can analyze your relationship and figure out how soon is too soon to say “I love you” for your unique situation. [Read: How to know if you’re in love and it’s not just butterflies]

What happens if you say I love you at the wrong time?

This doesn’t go for everyone but for most people, if you say it when they’re not ready or don’t feel the same way, things can get awkward and messy. Your relationship can start going downhill if you say those three words a little too fast. 

Maybe you said it when it’s only just been a few dates or you said it after so many months when you should’ve said it earlier.

The timing when you say you love them will define everything in your relationship. It implies that you don’t just like each other, you’re not just having fun, and you’re not just infatuated with one another. 

Love is the most profound emotion there is, so saying it should never be taken lightly. 

[Read: New love: Should you say “I love you” first or wait to hear it?]

You might think it’s love, but it’s probably just hormones

You might be reading that heading and thinking that we’re just being super-negative. The thing is, when you fall in love, it all comes down to chemicals and hormones!

You can’t always trust the sensations you’re experiencing at the start because everything seems so exciting. You’re literally walking around with your head in the clouds.

The bottom line is that love always takes time. It has to evolve naturally as you get to know one another. When you first meet, you’re on your best behavior and so are they. You don’t know their negative traits – everyone has them! how can you know that you really love someone when you don’t actually know them that well?

You may be madly infatuated by someone you’ve met on a date once, or you may think you’re in love after your first kiss. But it’s not really love at all. It’s just the first of several stages in that mushy thing called love. [Read: The 9 relationship stages all couples go through]

What makes falling in love with each other so magical is the tension and the confusion. It’s the insecurities and those stolen moments of passion that build as two people start wooing each other.

But if you do say “I love you” before you and your new date can feel the excitement of actually falling for each other, you could ruin the happy moment.

You could turn it into something far more serious before both of you have even had the time to evaluate the potential relationship. You need to be ready – both of you! [Read: How to fall in love slowly – 28 steps to create your very own fairy tale romance]

Is it always wrong to say it too soon?

Many people think that it’s never wrong to say “I love you” too soon. After all, if you feel it, you feel it. What’s the point in hiding your feelings for someone? That’s certainly true in many ways.

At times, revealing your love for someone may be the best thing you could do, especially if they love you back already. But what happens if you’re dating someone who’s still evaluating you as long-term partner potential?

If you rush it by professing your love for someone who’s still not ready to love you, you may end up losing the relationship. You might have been perfect for one another, but now you’ll never know.

So if you can hold off a while, it’s always better to wait, rather than rushing into something and potentially ruining it. [Read: The many different ways to say ‘I love you’ without saying a word]

Reasons why saying “I love you” too soon sucks and questions to ask yourself

If you truly love someone, or are waiting to say “I love you” for the first time, keep these reasons in mind and test your own potential relationship. At the end of the day, you know your own heart and mind. We can’t tell you what to do versus what not to do, but we can advise.

So, if you feel like you stand a good chance and are not rushing into love even after reading these tips, then go right ahead and say those three magical words to the one you love!

1. The guessing game is over

The excitement of playing hard to get with each other is what makes falling in love so much fun. Both of you like each other a lot, can’t stop touching each other, and feel so good inside every time both of you meet. You’re not in a relationship yet, but both of you are falling hard for each other already.

If you say “I love you” too soon, the excitement of wondering what’s on each other’s minds would end overnight.

It’s not a bad thing, but a longer courting almost always gives a better chance for a longer relationship because both of you waited before taking the plunge. [Read: New relationship advice to have a perfect start in love]

2. Are you an obsessive lover?

Some people are obsessive lovers. They jump into a new relationship with someone as soon as one relationship ends because they can’t stay single.

They love being in love, and need love to feel complete. These kinds of lovers end up saying “I love you” even without realizing whether they’re really in love with their date.

And as you meet your date often over time, instead of trying to build the love, you may spend many of your dates trying to convince yourself that you’ve actually met the one!

3. When there’s no reciprocation

If you say “I love you” and your date doesn’t respond with the same sentence, it makes the whole relationship go backward. It’ll leave one of you confused and the other angry.

And that builds insecurities and fills the air with a lot of awkwardness. Unless you’re completely smitten by this person you’re dating and don’t care whether they love you back or not, avoid saying it too soon. [Read: Saying “I love you” and not hearing it back – Why it hurts to accept it]

4. A big misunderstanding

If you say something this serious very early into the relationship, your date may think you’re not really in love with them, but are just saying it to please them. That’s really the worst thing, because your three magical words have just lost all meaning to your date.

5. How well do you really know each other?

People get infatuated with each other at first sight. They don’t fall in love! If you really need to love someone, you need to love them for who they are.

So what do you know about your date? Do you know about their exes, how many relationships they’ve been in, their likes and dislikes, and the kind of person they are?

Always make sure you actually like the real person you’re dating for their personality before professing your love to them. [Read: 196 fun and deep relationship questions to test your compatibility instantly]

6. Are you insecure?

Ask yourself this question sincerely. Are you saying “I love you” to this special person just to cover your insecurities?

Some smitten lovers say those words just to beat any competition out of the way, or arm-twist the one they’re dating so they can feel more secure about the relationship.

If you have to profess your love, do it for the right reasons.

7. You might end up stuck in love

If one of you says “I love you” too soon, and the other person accepts and responds with the same line without really thinking, one or both of you may feel stuck in the relationship because it all happened so fast.

If you say it too soon, your lover may even get angry with you if they jumped in too fast and reciprocated by saying that they loved you too.

Instead of focusing on love, your new partner may have to spend all their time wondering if they really need to be in a serious relationship with you. [Read: 30 super sexy ways to keep a guy interested]

8. Pressure doesn’t always work, it sometimes backfires

Once you say it, the secret’s out in the open for you and your date to see. And you can’t take your words back again.

What if your date just wants a casual relationship with you and doesn’t want anything serious just yet? They may really love you, but they may still be unsure about doing anything about it.

And remember, there’s no going back once you say it. If your date’s uncertain about the future of the romance, saying “I love you” will force them to think about it.

And the extra pressure on deciding immediately may just force your date into turning you down or walking away if they’re not ready to be held down in a serious romance.

9. Prove your love

If you really want to say ‘I love you’ and hear it back from your date, then learn to play it safe. Don’t say how much you love your date, but show it through your romantic gestures.

If your date loves you, they’ll reciprocate with happiness. But if they aren’t looking for something serious, they’d seem uncomfortable with your affection. [Read: How to prove that you love someone the right way]

10. Watch their response to your feelings

You’ll know if your date feels the same if they go out of their way to do something for you too. After you smother your date with romance, wait and watch their response.

If your date really loves you, they’ll start indulging in little romantic gestures like buying you gifts or going out of their way to do something nice for you. [Read: The different types of love you’ll experience in your lifetime]

If that happens, yeah, your date loves you. On the other hand, if your date doesn’t respond in kind, perhaps they just need more time to fall for you.

11. Are you sure it is love? 

Confusing love and infatuation is easy to do. We can get so wrapped up in the romance or passion of a new person that we think we’re in love when it’s really a fleeting feeling. When deciding how soon is too soon to say I love you, don’t just say the words for the sake of saying them or to get things all over with. 

Rather, say it because you really do love them and can’t imagine feeling anything else for them. There’s no rational explanation for why you love someone; you just do. 

So before saying those three words, make sure that it’s really love and you’re not just mistaking it for attachment, infatuation, or lust. [Read: How to tell the difference between infatuation vs love]

12. Are you on the same page? 

It’s probably too soon to say “I love you” if you aren’t both looking for the same thing. If you want a committed relationship and they want something casual, it’s definitely too soon to share those three words. 

It’s possible for them to change their minds but unless they state otherwise, then don’t say those words. Also, why would you date someone with different intentions than you? 

Stop falling for potential – it rarely works out the way you want it to. [Read: 15 signs they’re ready for a relationship and the subtle hints they’re clearly not!]

13. Are you ready to be vulnerable? 

When deciding how soon is too soon to say “I love you,” make sure you’re ready to be vulnerable and naked with them *no, we don’t mean naked in a physical way*. Not to discredit the value of physical intimacy, but it’s much harder to be emotionally and mentally intimate with someone. 

So before you say those three words, realize the implication and meaning behind those words. Can you bare your heart and soul to them? Are you okay with showing them your not-so-pretty sides? Can you tell them your deepest heart’s desires? 

Sharing those words is a big step and it brings you a lot closer which can leave you open to more pain potentially. Make sure vulnerability is something you can provide before you end up saying it. [Read: How to open up to someone you’re dating when you’re scared]

14. Do you trust them? 

Trust and love go hand in hand. You can’t claim to love someone if you don’t trust them to begin with, as that’s how the majority of relationships fall apart.

When that happens, relationships can easily become toxic and dysfunctional because the feelings are there but communication and honesty aren’t. 

You have to trust them wholeheartedly before telling them you love them. Otherwise, what’s the point of love without trust? [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and make it last]

15. Have you had a disagreement? 

We don’t often realize this, but love isn’t as perfect as the movies and books portray. Love isn’t perfect, as we have to come to terms with the ugly parts of love as well.

Now, knowing how soon is too soon to say “I love you” doesn’t require an argument or fight. But, knowing how you handle situations when you don’t agree is important.

This is how you know your relationship will stand the test of time and will persist even through imperfect moments. This is also how you see one another’s flaws and imperfections and if you can handle them. [Read: The very first fight in a relationship – 15 steps you need to follow next]

16. Is the risk of not hearing it back worth it? 

Anytime you share your feelings with someone, there’s a risk involved. The thing about being in love is that it’s worth the risk. If you want to tell someone that you love them but are unsure about the timing because of the possibility of rejection, it may be too soon. [Read: 8 positive ways to deal with rejection in any scenario]

Love is the purest and most unconditional emotion anyone can feel for a reason. This is because when you love someone, you don’t expect to get anything in return. You just say things and do things even without conditions – that’s why it’s so pure. So if you’re afraid they won’t say it back, then maybe don’t say it just yet. 

17. Do you love them or the relationship? 

You may be wondering what the difference is, but it’s a big one. Figure out if you love the fact that you’re in a relationship more than the actual person. If so, it’s too soon to say “I love you.”

Maybe you love the fact that you’re not alone or you’re distracting your issues, but you don’t love the person as they are. 

You just love what the relationship can provide you and the benefits you get out of it. So if this is the case, then don’t say the words. It might just be the attachment you’re feeling and not love. [Read: How to know what love really should feel like]

18. Have they said it? 

You have probably heard all the advice about never saying those three words first. People say if you say it first, you care more and have less power. But, the thing is, healthy relationships are not about power. They are about respect.

If they said it, it could still be too soon for you, just based on how you’re feeling and your comfort level. 

If they haven’t said it yet, you don’t have to wait for them to go first. Knowing how soon is too soon to say “I love you” is about your feelings, not whether they’ve said it. Most importantly, it’s about being genuine in your feelings. [Read: How to respond to “I love you”… when you just aren’t there yet]

19. Can you hold it back any longer? 

If you are bursting at the seams and just want to scream your love for them from the rooftops, it’s definitely not too soon. When you’re in love, you naturally want to tell the person you’re in love with.

Even if you’re scared of being hurt or not hearing it back, when you can’t hold it in any longer, it’s time. 

If you feel like your chest is about to explode if you don’t profess your love for them, then go for it! Say you love them fearlessly and don’t worry about rejection, as that’s all part of it. [Read: Different ways to say I love you without saying a word]

20. Do you feel like yourself around them? 

It’s not love when they try to control or shape you into their version. The purest form of love is when they support who you are, regardless of what you show. When you’re with them, do they also feel like your best friend and life partner?

If this is the case, then there’s your answer for how soon is too soon to say “I love you.” It’s a definite yes when they allow you to be yourself and encourage you to become someone better. 

21. Do they provide the same effort?

Look, you can definitely love someone even if they don’t show the same effort. However, it’s also human nature that we want what we can’t have. This is why unavailable and emotionally distant individuals are more attractive to some. [Read: Loving someone you can’t have – 15 ways to accept unreciprocated love]

So if the reason you love them is that you’re chasing after an almost impossible person you feel like you have to work for, then maybe it’s not love. Maybe you’re just being challenged to change their minds when that’s not what love is all about. 

22. Do you see yourself with this person?

What’s the point of saying “I love you” if you don’t see yourself with them? When deciding how soon is too soon to say “I love you,” assess whether you have chemistry and compatibility. 

Both these aspects are crucial factors in a relationship, but you can’t control if you don’t have them. So there’s no point in confessing your feelings if you no longer see a relationship with them. [Read: 12 life questions to help you visualize your future]

23. Do you take words lightly?

If you’re the type of person who takes words a little too lightly, such as “I love you” and “I’m sorry,” then you shouldn’t be saying those three words lightly as well. People can tell when you’re genuine and just saying it for the sake of saying it. 

So if you’re saying it to get it over with, or to make up after a fight, or worse, to get them into bed, then it’s not the best choice. It’s the most terrible choice and timing of things. Instead, really think it over if you love them and consider all aspects. 

Even if love isn’t based on logic but on emotions, you should still ensure that you’re not mistaking it for something else entirely. [Read: How to know when you’re in love: 50 signs you can’t ignore

So, when is the best time to say those three magic words?

Express your love when you believe you’re truly in at that point. But at the same time, be certain that your date is ready to hear it.

To some, this may seem like it’s all too fast. And to many others, it may seem like a lot of waiting. But 1-3 months into dating each other is the so-called perfect time to express your love for someone special. The infatuation will have peaked and led to something a lot more beautiful. There is a big chance it could be the big L! [Read: Cute and romantic ways to tell someone that you love them]

Of course, If you wait too long, your new date may get bored or wonder if the relationship’s going anywhere. If you say it too soon, you may ruin your relationship because of all the added pressure and the confusion.

At the end of the day, only you can decide. Simply make sure that you’re not becoming too caught up with the dizziness of those heady first few weeks. It’s always better to wait just a little while and be sure, than to rush in and make a big mistake you can’t take back.

[Read: The first “I love you” – How to say it and get it right]

If you want the experience to seem like a fairytale romance, take your time while saying “I love you” and read the signs. Keep an eye on the budding relationship and take the plunge when you feel like love’s all around in the air.

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Jessica Dawson
Jessica Dawson is guilty of using way more emojis than are necessary, and is a lover of all things British. And when she isn’t working on mastering a fake Bri...
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