For many couples, saying those three little words is a significant step in their relationship. You may feel that you love them but want to play it safe and wait for them to say it first. Even though there is no right or wrong time to speak your feelings, it can be important to make sure that you truly know the person you say it to. Here are five things you need to know about someone before you say, ‘I love you.’
You Know Personal Details
Communicating fully and openly, without withholding, is a key to successful relationships, says Linda Bloom, L.C.S.W and Charlie Bloom, M.S.W. If you know personal details about your partner like about their family, friends and even about their past, it is a good sign that the relationship is ready for a deeper connection. Knowing everything about a person and still feeling love for them will make you saying “I love you” to them even more special.
What Makes Them Laugh
Romance is important in a relationship, but the little things like laughing together can be as important too. “In general, couples who laugh more together tend to have higher-quality relationships,” says Laura Kurtz, a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina. “We can refer to shared laughter as an indicator of greater relationship quality.” Know what makes each other laugh is a sign that the relationship is healthy enough for everything that “I love you” will represent.
The Status of Your Relationship
You can feel the love that you have for this person but be sure that your relationship is what you want it to be. Knowing where your relationship stands is important to consider because sharing your deep feeling can bring that person closer or maybe even push them away. “The number one thing I wish people would do is really listen to what’s happening and what [their partner] is saying, not hearing what they want to hear,” says Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist. “A lot of times, we hear what we want to hear and we see what we want to see, and that’s when we get hurt.”
Are You a Priority to Them?
Knowing that you are a priority to your partner is a good sign that shows you that they care about you and deserve the love you have to offer them. According to Robert Taibbi, L.C.S.W, there are ways to tell if your partner is prioritizing your relationship. If they check up on you and consider your feelings. They schedule time for you to spend time together. They treat you with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. And that they help solve problems instead of making arguments about them.
Are They Emotionally Available to Reciprocate Your Love?
It is important to know if your partner is ready for everything that “I love you” represents for you. A person who is emotionally available will be able to reciprocate that love for you and will be able to validate your feelings. If your person is emotionally unavailable, they will not express the same feelings that you show towards them. Emotionally unavailable people are “evasive, make excuses, or are just inept when it comes to talking about feelings or the relationship,” says Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT. But if they are the opposite and care for you the same way you care for them, you should definitely consider telling them how you feel.