The words are nearly falling from your lips, but saying “l love you” for the very first time is tricky. You may be unsure if the feeling is mutual, if it’s too soon to share such an important message, or whether or not it is truly love that you’re experiencing.

Only you know what’s in your heart, but expressing it can lead to anything from embarrassment to exhilaration. You feel the butterflies batting away in your belly, your mind is always preoccupied, and when you are with your significant other, you’re in a state of bliss. It’s a beautiful thing, but is it love? Could be.

The right time to say “I love you” is different for everyone, but certain principles apply universally. Before you blurt it out, be sure you’re ready, and prepared for whatever reaction will follow. You’re taking a chance, but it’s worth it, especially if the person you’re in love with loves you just the same.

 

Infatuation or The Real Deal?

Is your attraction more than skin deep? And even if you adore your significant other’s personality, are you simply smitten or struck by Cupid? Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if you’re head over heels or if your heart is really in it.

If you think you’re at the love stage, consider all facets of the relationship, your significant other’s attributes and attitude, and where you see the relationship going. If it’s just a fling, forget about saying, “I love you.” It’s premature, and probably a surefire way to end the relationship abruptly. However, if you have deep feelings that hit at all your emotions and engage your soul with happiness, love may be where you’re at.

 

A Private Moment

The very first time you say, “I love you” will be meaningful and memorable. Make the moment special by being alone and intimate. The last thing you want to do is shout it out at a crowded bar or in front of others, which can be awkward, to say the least.

Find a place that’s private, look into their eyes, and reveal your truth. Your heart will pour out honesty, as they take it in and process your profession. You may get an “I love you too!” in return, which would be the ultimate response, but don’t go in expecting to hear those words. Some people need some time to take it in and figure out how they feel. Don’t be discouraged or regretful, as your sentiment will mark a serious step in your relationship.

 

On the Other Hand…

Sometimes, overthinking can drive you nuts. If you think you’re in love, shout it out from the rooftops. Life is short, and if you think you’ve found “the one,” they ought to know it.

While this approach may be risky, if you’re the impulsive type, you’re willing to lay it all out on the table. That said, hopefully you don’t fall in love too easily. One Tinder date isn’t the basis for falling in love. If it lasts, then you can look back at that first “swipe” with a smile!