When is the right time to say “I love you”? It could be the most anxious and daunting thought of your life. You yearn to tell someone how you feel but worry about being rejected, misunderstood or taken advantage of. And yet, the feeling is so powerful you know you must share it - because the joy of being loved and accepted by another person is too profound to resist.
The stress of deciding when to declare your love is totally understandable. So much hangs in the balance - even your sense of identity and security - which amplifies the fear of getting it wrong. After all, with no guaranteed outcome of happily ever after, it can seem like you’re taking a huge leap of faith into the dark abyss of the unknown.
But that’s the beauty of love! It requires the courage to accept that things can’t always be planned and that ultimately depends on the other person’s response. To be true to yourself - and them - means not holding back just because of the risk involved. After all, the best things in life are worth the risk.
Before deciding to confess your feelings, there are certain ways to question and explore your relationship without making things awkward. For example, if the other person has yet to declare their love, check in with yourself first to ensure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Ask yourself if your love genuinely reflects how you feel or if you’re merely projecting your own insecurities onto them.
If you’ve reached the conclusion that the relationship is solid and the feelings strong, then, by all means, go ahead and express them. But don’t rush into it - try choosing a moment when both of you have the headspace to genuinely pay attention to each other. This creates the perfect opportunity to open up and experience the moment through each other’s eyes.
No matter how long you’ve been together, fear of rejection is still a big issue. If the other person isn’t ready to take the relationship to the next level, respect their wishes and do your best not to take it personally. They may still love you, just not the way you want them to right now. So, maintain an open heart and bring understanding and empathy to the situation, rather than pushing them away.
This is your choice to make alone. Everyone has a different idea about when to share those three little words. Whether it’s on the very first date or the fifth anniversary, falling in love with someone is a leap of faith - one that needs to be nurtured with patience, understanding, and courage. With this comes the reward of discovering the joys of trusting and being trusted, living and loving with a newfound sense of freedom.
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