Saying I Love You First Time – 13 Perfect Ideas

Love and Romance | | , Author &Ghostwriter
Updated On: December 18, 2023
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“I love you” – these are the three little words that are enough to take your breath away. Yet, it can give you a jittery feeling when it is time for saying I love you first time. Falling in love is quite easy, we never ponder over it. Most of the time, we fall in love when we are least expecting it to happen. Our hearts pound and flutter, though, when it’s time to confess. We’re talking about the herculean task at hand – saying I love you the first time.

Expressing your love for the first time can get really tricky. This is one of the situations where even people with the gift of the gab can fall short of words. So, if you are feeling tongue-tied and getting goosebumps before the big day of confession, you’re not alone. We feel you. And this is precisely the reason that we have come up with a couple (well, 13 actually) of creative ways to say I love you the first time. You’ll find here some romantic, unique, creative, and cute ways to say I love you for the first time.

Why Is It So Hard To Say I Love You For The First Time?

Saying I love you the first time is really difficult. We aren’t trying to discourage you. But let’s face the truth – it is intimidating to express your feelings. You want the moment to be perfect, you rehearse it well, yet you get conscious and perturbed. Things can get really unsettling if it is the first time ever you’ve said ‘I love you’ to anyone at all. There could be a number of things on your mind, distracting you from your track. Right from the fear of being rejected or receiving a disinterested response, to that odd feeling of the relationship coming to an abrupt end, or the much-dreaded ghosting– all this and more could unnerve you and put you in a tight spot.

You look for the right words, the right place, and not to forget, the right moment, and yet everything seems elusive. And for this reason, we have here this list of 13 ideas that you can use to say I love you the first time. We promise you, these are way better than shouting from the rooftops to declare your love. So, let’s initiate your love story with this specially curated list of the best ways to say I love you for the first time.

Wondering If You Should Say It First?

“Should I propose and confess my feelings?”, “Why should I say it first?”, “What if she doesn’t say it back?”, “Is it okay for me to take the initiative?” – The questions on your partner’s mind if you’re dating an overthinker. But to be honest, matters of the heart can make anyone think every single thing over and over again, lest you mess with your romantic relationship. While we all know that there are no rulebooks to abide by, we still tend to overthink just to make sure that our special moment is not ruined. And rightly so! After all, those three words deserve the right expression of love.

There is no straightforward answer to the question: “Should I say it first?” Just go with your instincts. Trust us, it might sound like a big deal in your head, but in reality, it is much simpler. Listen to what your heart says and see if you feel ready for dropping the L-word. If you have been on the same page with that special person for a while, and given enough time to your new relationship to bloom, you should put all your nagging thoughts to rest and consider coming out with your feelings. When you are in love, it does not matter who is taking the lead as long as it leads to mutual happiness and contentment. So, make your mind, and gear up with these cute ways to say I love you for the first time.

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When Is The Right Time To Say “I Love You”?

This is something subjective and varies from one person to another. But, ideally, the right time to say “I love you” is when:

  • You feel deeply connected to your partner
  • Both of you are on the same page
  • You are completely sure of your feelings, and have witnessed their consistency for days or weeks
  • You’ve asked each other’s definitions of love and relationship
  • You feel comfortable spending time with each other
  • You see clear signs of a relationship starting
  • You have given the right time for your relationship to flourish

If you can tick these boxes, then go ahead and go through our list of the best ways to say I love you for the first time. The timeline for this can range from anywhere between a few weeks to a few moths or even years! What matters is your commitment and seriousness to take things forward.

13 Perfect Ideas To Say I Love You For The First Time

We know you are too eager to reach out to your bae, expressing how you feel for them. But you need to hold your horses. You don’t want to meddle with the special occasion by ending up with a fumbling, clumsy expression of love. For now, just sit back, read on, find the idea that you think your partner will like the most, and take the plunge.

1. Whisper and say I love you the first time

Imagine this scenario – you are snuggling with your partner, all cozy and comfortable. You pull them closer to you, gently caressing them, and softly whispering in their ears, “I love you,” while wearing a coy smile on your lips. Your partner is sure to be surprised and amazed at this demure yet personal expression of love. Saying I love you first time need not be lavish and grand. Keep it simple and profound.

  • Catch your partner in your embrace, give them a romantic hug, and utter the L-word
  • Express yourself while you two are drifting to sleep
  • The sweet nothings gently whispered in the ear exude an endearing vibe that will tug at your love’s heartstrings
  • This will be the perfect moment to capture in your memories as your first expression of love

Related Reading: 21 Secret Ways To Say “I Love You” In Text

2. Play it cool (yet romantic) with a curated playlist of love songs

Can’t muster enough courage to speak up about your feelings? Need help with some cute ways to say I love you for the first time? We totally get it. Love can scare you out of your wits. This playlist idea of saying I love you first time is just perfect for you. You can compile a list of songs that both of you love listening to, add in a couple of romantic songs, and finish off with one song that lays bare your heart. What a cool idea it would be to propose and say I love you the first time with a special Spotify list!

One of my colleagues came up with a creative way to say I love you for the first time. He was too shy and couldn’t find the right way to express himself until he stumbled upon this clever idea. He played a list of the most romantic songs which also had a personal recorded message in between. This sweet gesture of an intimate declaration of love saw both of them crooning to P.S I Love You, You, You.

stories on falling in love and more

3. Go old school with a hand-written letter

Saying I love you first time over text is quite prevalent, but noting it down in a hand-written letter is THE way to go. Go old school with your expression of love and scribble down your ardent emotions for your bae. There is something remarkable about handwritten love notes that never goes out of style. Saying I love you for the first time in a long-distance relationship becomes easier when you have your feelings bottled up in a love letter. Take out those fancy, colorful, and scented stationeries that you’ve been hoarding for special occasions. Nothing can get more romantic and special than a personal message of love.

Love confessions in hand-written notes make for great keepsakes too. My friend Eliza ditched the millennial/Gen Z way of saying I love you first time over text. Instead, she wrote her heart out on a letter and sneaked it into Ryn’s book. Ryn was ecstatic knowing that Eliza felt the same way as she did. Her love found its perfect reciprocation and the two now fondly remember the moment encapsulated in that well-preserved love note.

4. Drop them a text to say I love you the first time

If writing a letter is not your thing, but you are good with written words, then the idea of saying sweet things to your partner on text is a great way forward. Opt for the millennial way of saying I love you first time over text. At first thought, it might not seem like a good idea to confess your love over a text. On the contrary, it might actually help you express yourself freely and confidently.

Despite being an extrovert guy who has a way with his words, Shaun found himself dumbstruck and speechless while confronting his lady love, Mandy. He finally thought of saying I love you first time over text, and boy, was he articulate! On a text, he was able to communicate the fervor with which he loves her.

Nervous about sharing your feelings with them in person? Just write down your feelings in a latter format, put in a couple of emojis, sign off with something cute, and ace the game of hearts saying I love you the first time. Brownie points if they are in the same room while reading your text. You can even see their reaction to receiving and reading your love message.

Related Reading: Cute Places To Leave Love Notes For Your Boyfriend

5. Visit them unannounced to surprise them with your love

This one is particularly effective for saying I love you for the first time in a long-distance relationship. Things can get tricky if your love interest is far away from you. But fret not, we have just the right idea to act cupid for you two. Make your long-distance relationship work with a little effort.

How to say I love you for the first time to your boyfriend in a long-distance relationship? Check out this list:

  • Visit your love interest without informing them, but check their availability
  • Spend some quality time together
  • You can catch them off-guard as you’re suddenly saying I love you first time
  • You can even rope in their friends/family to help you arrange a surprise visit
  • Make it all the more romantic with a couple of gifts to say I love you for the first time. Pick up a bouquet of red roses on your way to meet your love
Perfect Ideas To Say I Love You

Not only will they be happily surprised by your visit, but it will also make your moment of truth all the more special.

6. Keep it simple and sincere

While there can be a hundred creative ways to say I love you for the first time, it is best to keep it simple. Take an honest approach, and be sincere with your feelings. Sometimes, the shortest route is the best to achieve reciprocity in relationship. Honestly confess your love and tell them how passionately you feel for them. In an intimate moment, when you two are comfortable and cozy with each other, you can simply look them in their eyes saying I love you the first time.

Once you realize you are falling in love with that special someone, it is best to be eloquent about why you love them so much. What makes saying I love you the first time daunting is the fear of a negative response, which is absolutely okay. Face your fears and take everything in your stride. Another way to say I love you is to form the letters with the fridge magnets and telling them to fetch you something from the fridge. As they turn to face you in surprise, there you will be, ready with a flower in hand and a smile on your face.

7. Choose gifts as another way to say I love you for the first time

If you are looking for special and creative ways to confess your feelings, then this one’s for you. Pamper your love interest with a few of their favorite things to say I love you for the first time.

  • It can be anything – chocolate gifts and boxes, a framed collage of pictures of you two, their favorite perfume, a gift card, etc.
  • Keep their likes, dislikes, and preferences in mind
  • No need to be extravagant
  • Let your feelings take the front seat this time
  • Go the path oft taken – say it with flowers or a ring, go down on your knees (yes we mean it, it is not even restricted to be a ‘boy thing’ anymore), and say those three magical words
  • Look deep into their eyes and mean every single word that you speak

It is okay if the response is not what you are expecting. There are ways to deal with unrequited love. At least you are speaking your heart out and doing the best that you can.

Related Reading: 10 Best Ways To Propose A Boy [He Will Say Yes For Sure]

8. Include it in a meaningful conversation

You are in the midst of a conversation with your love and you seriously, whole-heartedly, and passionately want to express your feelings. But all that you are left thinking is “How do I go about it? How to say I love you for the first time in my life?”

This is the moment you need to picture this – you are with your love, spending a night under the stars, a gentle breeze is blowing, and you two are busy talking the night away. While gazing at the starry sky, you engage in meaningful and deep conversational topics like love and life, and while you are at it, you pause for a moment, and hold their hand or face gently, saying I love you first time. It can be as simple and effortless as that. The personal moment that precedes will give enough gravity and credibility to your love confession.

  • Striking a deep conversation with your bae might help them make a better and more thoughtful decision since they are already engrossed in a contemplative mood
  • This could even be taken to mean that you two are ready to embark on a lifelong journey together
  • Your love declaration will gain more depth and meaning when it comes straight from your heart in a serious moment like this

9. Make it fun and sassy with a sparkler

You will see the sparks flying, quite literally. You are head over heels in love, and can’t wait to announce it to them. Take them out on a casual date, preferably after sunset to be more effective. Light up a sparkler to write in the air (love is in the air, anyone?) and say I love you the first time. Definitely one of the most creative and unique ways to confess love and far better than saying I love you for the first time over text. The trail of light and smoke will make your love note linger long enough, for your bae to absorb and delight in, making the moment magical with its exuberance.

This idea of saying I love you the first time comes from my personal love story. I took my man out to a beach to watch the sunset together. We were just sitting when I fished out sparklers and air-wrote my feelings for him. I still remember his expressions as he read the smoky confession. Both of us were amazed at the beauty of the moment. And considering that it’s been 9 years that we are together now, I’d say my idea clicked (of course, we also had other core values in our relationship).

10. Spill the beans on the beach

This is another romantic and cute idea for saying I love you the first time. Plan a day out for some sun, sand, and surfin’ (all these proposals offer a good date idea as a bonus too!). While you two dip your toes in the sand, trace those three magical words to surprise your sweetie. Walking on the beach as the sea waves hit the shores is romantic, but even better is writing the L-word on the beach.

Our love doctor prescribes steering clear of the cheesy and cliched idea of writing your names and a heart with an arrow piercing through it. It has been done to death. We are sure you can find another way to say I love you, something that is different, and fun. Make it unique with your personal touch added to it. Follow this with a thoughtful gift to say I love you for the first time and make it a memorable moment for both of you.

Related Reading: 25 Gifts For Beach Lovers [Gifts For People Who Love The Beach]

11. Treat your love to their favorite meal and a lot of TLC

We all need some (or a lot!) of TLC. Shower them with your affectionate love and care. Show them how special a place they have in your life. Treat them to their favorite meal. Take them out to their favorite restaurant or if you are feeling adventurous, cook them their favorite dish. These signs of true love will drop hints as to how well you know their taste and preference, and how well you can take care of them.

  • Keep it classy and simple with genuine efforts
  • Saying I love you for the first time over the phone is encouraged only in a an LDR
  • Try to add a personal touch to your love confession
  • An intimate moment when both of you can feel the depth of your emotions is what is needed

Steal the right moment when both of you are enjoying each others’ company and then go ahead and confess. Maybe just as you finish savoring the meal, or right after polishing off the dessert, end it on a sweeter and romantic note saying I love you first time.

Infographic on saying I love you the first time
Infographic on saying I love you first time

12. How to say I love you for the first time to your boyfriend/girlfriend Say it with cake

Who doesn’t love cake? Express your profound feelings for your love interest as the icing on the cake, quite literally.

  • Have your emotions iced on the cake and get it delivered to their home, saying I love you for the first time in a long-distance relationship
  • For those closer home, visit them personally with the cake
  • Brownie points if you can carry along gifts to say I love you for the first time
  • Go for their preferred flavor of cake
  • You can even get it customized by a baker and ask them to hide your personal love message inside the cake

This idea of confessing your feelings is a treat for sure. This is surely one of the exceptional ways to express your love and easily outshines the usual ideas of saying I love you for the first time over the phone or on text.

Related Reading: Thinking Of You Gifts For Your Partner – Ideas For Him And Her

13. Get adventurous with a scavenger hunt

Ditch the cliches. Avoid the cheesy pitfalls. And for god’s sake, don’t even think of saying I love you for the first time over the phone if you meet almost every other day (unless of course, you’re terribly shy or have anxiety). Honor your feelings with a personal and unique expression of love. Lead your partner on a trail with a slew of notes and clues lined up. Perfect idea for the adventurer in them, this cute treasure/scavenger hunt will leave them gaping wide in the end as they ‘discover’ your ardent feelings for them.

  • Put on your thinking caps and set up a small scavenger hunt
  • Work on the clues that lead them toward the big reveal
  • You can add a personal touch to the clues, for example, by hinting at the place you met for the first time or your favorite hangout place
  • As they decode the last clue, add meaning to your words and say I love you looking deep into their eyes

Key Pointers

  • Be sure of how you feel before you take the plunge
  • Saying I love you is understandably difficult but do not get perturbed by the intensity of your emotions
  • Your love declaration need not be grand or opulent. What matters is how genuine and profound your feelings are
  • It is okay if you do not hear I love you back. Respect their answer. The relationship does not have to end just because they don’t feel the same way right now

We are sure the above ideas will definitely help you sail the love boat smoothly. See which idea you are the most comfortable with and get ready to win over their heart.

This article has been updated in February 2023.


1. How long before saying I love you for the first time?

Even though there are relationship timelines you can follow to understand the matters of the heart better, there is no fixed duration or time to achieve the milestones. You know you are ready to say I love the first time when you two are comfortable with each other. There are no appearances to keep, no shallow pretensions. You enjoy being yourself when you are with them. Just trust your instincts and take the plunge when you feel you are ready for it and when your feelings have been consistent for weeks. 

2. When should I say I love you for the first time?

You can move ahead in your relationship and take things to the next level when you trust each other. You can see a future together and fully receive the happiness originating from each other’s presence. Being comfortable in your skin is the right time to say I love you.

3. What to do if you do not hear I love you back?

It is indeed devastating and excruciatingly painful when your love for someone goes unrequited. However, there are ways to deal with the situation even if you do not hear an ‘I love you’ back. Try to see things from the other person’s perspectives, and acknowledge that an ‘I love you’ is not half as important as the comfort and long-term happiness for both of you. Find your love in places where you can find happiness. Grieve if you need to. Don’t blame them. Spend some time with your family and friends. And most importantly, do not forget to pamper yourself with self-love.

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