Your heart races faster than you thought possible when they are around. You begin to miss your partner as soon as they leave. Every time your phone rings, you’re hoping and praying it’s your partner. Though you may be convinced you’re in love, saying I love you too early can still be detrimental for any relationship.
All of us have experienced the intense feeling of infatuation (yes, it’s probably infatuation and not love) at one point in time. But saying “I love you” means a lot more than you can imagine. And spelling it out too soon can spell disaster.
While there is no fixed length of time to say the magical three words, it always helps if you have attained a certain level of understanding and commitment before you do. If you’re currently debating letting the words roll off your tongue, take a look at how giving in and saying it too soon might kill the whole thing.
What Happens If You Say I Love You Too Soon
How harmful can it be, right? Wrong! Saying “I love you” too soon can literally put a full stop to a fledging relationship. In your current state of mind, the idea of anything stopping your budding romance may seem absurd. Hence, a declaration of love as pure as this is definitely the right thing to do, at least to you.
But then again, there has to be some truth to “Only fools rush in,” right? Still confused about how it might possibly be bad for your dynamic? Here’s what happens when you say “I love you” too soon:
1. You’ll be the one they gossip about to their friends
Sadly, saying I love you too soon will make you the butt of all their jokes, not just to their friends but maybe to yours as well. Even if this person might be close to feeling the same emotions as you, saying it too soon can make you seem like you’re desperate for love, which isn’t really going to end up too well for you, at least socially. So, hold your horses, buddy.
2. They won’t say it back
There is a strong chance they might not tell you they love you back. Think about it, in your infatuation, you’ve only convinced yourself that you’re in love, not the person you’re talking to. They might still be trying to take things slow or may not even be anywhere close to experiencing feelings as strong as yours. There’s a good chance that saying “I love you” too early will not be received well and it definitely won’t be reciprocated. Moreover, dealing with saying “I love you” and not hearing it back is another ball game altogether
3. You’ll experience some heartbreak
You’ll probably realize it was too early to say “I love you” when this person doesn’t respond. You tell yourself it’s no big deal if they didn’t say it back but you know, deep down, it hurts. Denial is the first step to acceptance, though.
Related Reading: Know When To Say ‘I Love You’ And Never Get Turned Down
4. There’s bound to be lots of confusion
Once you say those three words a little too early than you should, it might throw your partner off and make them doubt the pace and direction this relationship is going. You’ll be confused about the status of your relationship, as will your partner.
Is it going forward or will it take a backseat? Are there a few expectations that need to be addressed or should you sweep this under the rug? Saying “I love you” too soon can shift the dynamics of a smooth sailing relationship
5. Things will get awkward
This is one thing we can guarantee will happen. How do you think this person is going to respond to something as serious as this? They probably won’t want to say it back, and trying to figure out how to respond is definitely going to lead to a lot of awkward silences you will wish you never have to go through again.
Things will get awkward and you’ll have no place to hide when you’re both silent. Past the initial awkwardness, things are bound to get weird once you both talk after this incident as well. When it’s too soon to say “I love you”, the awkwardness after saying it will definitely hamper communication, thus damaging your bond.
6. They might get cold feet
If you’re dating a commitment-phobe, it’s best to ease into things before hitting them with an “I love you” that is bound to give them cold feet. It happens all too often, especially with guys when they get freaked out by their partner rushing in too early.
Though you might think all you’re doing is cutely telling them what you feel about them, you might actually end up pushing them away rather than bringing you closer together.
7. They could re-evaluate the relationship
When someone gets cold feet, they start to re-evaluate their relationships and decisions. This means they will certainly re-evaluate dating you. Think about it, when you let your emotions get the better of you and immaturely say something as serious as this, it might make your partner question your intellect.
They may start believing that you let your emotions dictate your actions, which isn’t always a good thing. All you can do is pray they don’t come to a terrible conclusion.
8. It won’t be special when you say it next
Saying “I love you” too soon will take away the charm of saying it at the right time the next time around. It’s a moment to be cherished and only to be given voice when you’re absolutely sure of your feelings. That usually makes it a lot more special since it’s obvious you’ve given a lot of thought to those feelings. So, when you finally say it at the right time, it might not be as special anymore.
Now that you know the damage saying something like this too early can do, the next logical question is to try and figure out when is the optimal time to do so. Read on to know how soon is too soon to profess your love, and when you should go about doing it.
Related Reading: 11 Dating Tips For Beginners
How Soon Is Too Soon To Say “I Love You”
Yes, we know that once you think it, it’s almost impossible to keep that “I love you” to yourself. But trust us, you don’t want to be the butt of all jokes, trying to figure out how to not let things stay awkward after you messed up.
You should be afraid to say “I love you” too soon because it can make or break your relationship. So, if you can relate to the points mentioned below it’s too soon to say “I love you”:
If you just started dating
Time is crucial. Simply because it gives you a chance to know your partner better as a person. We know your heart thinks they are great and they are the one. But the truth is that you still have a lot to learn about this person. You might not even truly know that you are ready for this relationship yourself, you could just be letting your infatuation get the better of you.
Slow and steady is the way to go, my friend. Falling in love too fast and saying “I love you” too soon can be detrimental to your final goal.
If you don’t share much in common
A relationship is a long-term commitment. It involves spending more and more time together and sharing experiences as a couple. It helps if the two of you have a few common interests and goals to pursue. After all, it’s not just the romance that keeps you in love. Think about this before you end up saying “I love you” too soon.
You have not started discussing the future together
Saying “I love you” is all about taking your relationship to the next level. And the future is part of it. Look out for signs if you are uncomfortable discussing your future plans with each other. Do they like to bring up topics like family and children with you? Do you dream of growing old with them? If you two often steer clear of such topics, it’s best to put on some brakes before saying “I love you” too soon.
You haven’t had sex yet
If you find yourself wondering, “How long should I wait before I say I love you?”, one rule of thumb you should follow is to at least wait till after you have had sex.
A lot of relationships end on a bad note due to sexual non-compatibility. Just like you need your personalities to complement each other, physical intimacy is equally vital to build a strong relationship. Individual leanings towards sex are different and so it is necessary that you know, understand, and respect each other’s preferences in bed. Until then, put a lid on it.
It has to be more than just good sex
“OMG, he said ‘I love you’ on the first date!” You don’t want to be that guy. Yes, great sex is important, but no, it certainly cannot be the ‘only’ reason you love someone. Too much action beneath the sheets does not mean you share an equally intense emotional intimacy.
A lot of times, lust and attraction vanish after a while. If most of your ‘intimacy’ happens in the bedroom, it might just be too soon to reveal your feelings for this person. Also, we often confuse lust for love, and if you’re doing that, you don’t want to go around saying “I love you” too soon.
Now that you have a better idea of how long to wait to say “I love you”, you might reconsider telling your partner exactly how you feel. Even so, there may be that insatiable itch inside of you to say something. Fret not, there are a few things you can say instead of ‘I love you’ that might get the job done in a more subtle manner.
What Can I Say Instead Of “I Love You”?
Struggling with your feelings and afraid to say “I love you” too soon? Here are 10 things you can say instead that will make your partner feel important without freaking them out and giving them cold feet:
1. You’re so important to me
This will make them see that they hold a significant place in your life and they will appreciate that. Saying something as sweet as this will make this person know that they mean a lot to you without freaking them out. Instead, they might just find it the sweetest thing ever.
2. You make me happy
A very cute way to tell someone they mean a lot to you without saying the “L” word. Who doesn’t like making people happy? Once you tell them how much joy they bring you, this person might even end up taking pride in it.
3. I appreciate you
Another great way of letting someone know you value them a lot without making them reconsider the whole thing. Saying “I love you” too soon might jeopardize the whole dynamic, but saying something like this is bound to make them feel special.
4. I love it when you…
Instead of saying “I love you” too soon, try telling them about a particular thing they do that you love. This keeps things casual and yet will make them blush. Bonus points if you manage to bring up something they put some effort into doing without expecting anything in return for it. For example, “I love it when you make sure I feel heard.”
5. You light up my day
This is honestly one of the best compliments you can give someone to show them their significance in your life. When you tell someone they make your day a lot better just because they’re a part of it, it’s definitely one of the sweetest things you can say to them.
6. This world is a better place because of you
Another totally heart-melting compliment that will make them go “aww“. Not only will you end up complimenting their presence in your life, but you’ll also be letting them know you think the world benefits from their presence.
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7. You mean a lot to me
This is you telling them they mean the world to you without actually confessing your true feelings. A lot of people can mean a lot to you, but it doesn’t mean you love them, right?
8. You’re a blessing
‘In my life/to the world’. Basically, let them know how their existence makes you feel more complete without saying “I love you” too soon.
9. Gosh, you’re adorable!
When you literally feel like you just can’t take it anymore and you’re just about to blurt out the “L” word, replace that with this. Telling them they’re adorable is not just a cute compliment, but will also kill your urge of saying “I love you” too soon.
10. I love your spirit/smile/eyes…
The list goes on. Basically, it can be anything that you love about them that can replace the word “you”.
There is a right time to do everything in life. Especially, with relationships; you can’t be selfish and you have to respect your partner and steer the relationship at a pace comfortable to you both. When it comes right down to it, you won’t really have to spend too much time trying to figure out how long to wait to say “I love you”. When it feels right, it feels right.
Even so, you now know that saying it too early might jeopardize the whole dynamic. You might give your partner cold feet and push them away in the process. The paradoxical dangers of declaring your love might achieve the exact opposite of what you wanted it to. Remember this before saying “I love you” too soon.
To stop yourself from saying “I love you” too soon, you must understand the damage that it can cause. Saying these words too soon might end up pushing your partner away from you, which is the exact opposite of what you want.
It might not necessarily be a red flag, but in some cases, it could indicate that this person lets their emotions get the better of them. It’s never a good idea to say “I love you” too early, and not realizing that may signify an oblivious attitude towards consequences.
Taking back an “I love you” can be a little too tricky. You can ask your partner to try and forget about it so you can move on with your relationship, but even so, they’re always going to have it etched in their memory.
If someone doesn’t say “I love you” back, especially after you said it too soon, it isn’t the end of the world. Perhaps they just need more time before they can commit to saying something like that or they’re just not sure if they’re truly in love yet.