When Is It OK to Say “I Love You” To The Guy You Are Dating?

when to say I love you

When is it cool to say I love you?

By: John Hollywood

If you are like most people, the very thought of saying the phrase, I love you to the guy you are dating can trigger great anxiety.

Can you relate? If so, you wouldn’t be alone.

That’s because when you share deeply held feelings, you place yourself in a place of great vulnerability.

Let’s be honest – nobody wants to expose themselves to being hurt if there’s even the slightest chance of rejection.

After all, unrequited love is perhaps the most painful love of all.

If you think about it, when someone says I love you, they are also asking a question at the same time:

Do you love me too?

Here at the blog, we’ve done a bit of research on this topic to help you better arrive at an answer to the age old question:

When is it OK to say I love you?

What follows are 5 tips. Read them all in context and try not to isolate on just one suggestion. Are you ready?

Let’s jump right in!


1. Wait several months

When you first meet a guy and you start falling for him, there’s a good chance that both of you are getting caught up in the moment.

In these situations, the phenomenon of infatuation can take place, which is not the same as love. Here’s some tips:

  • Wait at least three months (at a minimum) before confessing your feelings
  • Even if you have been holding strong feelings for the man you are dating, it’s best not to share too much, too fast. You may scare him away.
  • Be aware of your own feelings and assess if they have deepened or lessened after the three months pass.

2. Don’t say I “love you” just because he did

Nobody wants to be “that guy” who hurts another person. This is why it’s tempting to say “I love you too” after he shares he’s fallen for you.

In these situations, the best thing you can do is:

  • Gently tell with him you are still figuring things out.
  • Delicately let him know you are not there yet.
  • Express interest but don’t say it unless you mean it.

Related: Top 10 mistakes gay men make that ruin their relationships

3. Realize love is a journey, not a destination

Being in a state of love with someone generally requires you share experiences together. This can only happen as time unfolds.

If you have only been on a few dates, no matter how exciting they were, it’s still too soon to know what you are feeling. Here are some things to ponder:

  • Ask yourself if you are in love with the guy or are you in love with the idea of a relationship.
  • Reflect back on your own relationship experiences. Did you take the plunge too soon, too fast?
  • Ask yourself if you truly believe you are in love or if you are transferring feelings from a previous relationship.

4. Never say “I Love You” during sex

You probably already know this but it is worth mentioning all the same. The worst possible time that you can disclose what you are feeling is during sexy time.

There are a number of reasons for this, including having heightened responses, which in turn can cause a distorted perception of the moment.

  • If you really want to share your feelings during sexy time, do it through your touch.
  • Make lots of eye contact but try not to stare. Think deep gazing here.
  • Be mindful of “love” words that you might want to say, like: I love being with you. This is particularly true if you have only been dating for a few weeks.

5. Remember what love really means

If you truly feel you have reached a place where you want to share your feelings, make sure you have a good understanding of what love means.

There’s no way to properly define this term in a single blog post, however, here are some thoughts:

  • Love means being vulnerable and open to joy and pain.
  • Loving someone means seeing all of the person for who they are – not what we wish them to be.
  • Love and obsession are completely different constructs. Do you know the difference?

Love Final Thoughts

True love happens rarely in life. In many ways, the term has been watered down so much that it’s almost become a cliché.


But when you are truly in love with someone, you will know it. The trick is making it last for the long term.

A great book to consider on all things love is: The Five Secrets of Love by Gary Chapman. Inside, you’ll find page after page of thoughtful insight and wisdom, applicable to all – regardless of sexual orientation.