People always say, “When you know, you know.” That’s what happens when it comes to falling in love, but exactly how to say “I love you” can be a little difficult. Whether it’s your first time expressing those types of feelings to anyone (or even just with this person), you may be a little unsure about how to go about it. First, take a deep breath and remember that there is no perfect place or time for you to do it. Those three little words are enough in themselves to make the moment special. Forget whatever you’ve read in books or seen in movies since that’s not real life. You don’t need to interrupt a baseball game (or a wedding) to profess your love. Below, we’ve rounded up the steps for how to say “I love you.” Give yourself a little pep talk and then just do it!
Decide Exactly What You Love About Them
Telling your person how you feel will be easier when you count all the little ways you love them. Maybe it’s that you feel secure or more confident when you’re with them or maybe you love the way they listen to you when you’ve had a long day. Confirming the many reasons why you feel the way you do will make it easier for you to blurt out that special phrase—and mean it. If it helps, make a list of all the reasons you love them and peek at it right before you have “the talk.”
Prepare Not to Hear It in Return
Chances are if you love someone, they feel the same. But people are sometimes taken off guard when you say something so serious, so don’t expect to hear it back—at least not right away. Never put pressure on your S.O. to repeat these words back to you. You need to know they feel comfortable saying it back on their own time and in their own terms. "Love is a beautiful feeling, and if you feel it and have thought it through, share it! Even in the off chance your partner isn’t ready to say it back, it is still a beautiful sentiment to receive," says Rebecca Hendrix, an LMFT Holistic Psychotherapist.
Choose Your Method of Communication
The most common way to say “I love you” would be in person when you’re sharing a special moment. You don’t have to plan an outrageous date, but find a few seconds after dinner or cuddling on the couch to look into your partner’s eyes and say those words you’ve been thinking about. Hendrix recommends adding in some words that further define what those feelings mean to you, to avoid any misunderstandings.
Although we’re still on board with the in-person method, if you’re super shy, you can send your partner those words in a text message (as long as you’re already talking and the mood is right).
Give Yourself a Mini Pep Talk
Yes, it may seem like a big deal, but you’ll always regret it if you don’t tell your S.O. about how strong you believe your connection is. Finding a way to say “I love you” can be overwhelming, but if you look at your list of reasons you love that person, you shouldn’t have any doubts. Plus, once you say it, it will be so much easier to say it again and again.