Telling someone that you love them is a huge deal.
It’s an indicator of a deep level of commitment and a promise of devotion.
However, it is a well-known fact that not all relationships end with “happily ever after”.
From infidelity to emotional abuse and even physical violence, countless couples separate ways even after uttering the words “I love you”.
So, when should you say the “three words” in a relationship? How can you tell if it’s the right time? Today, we’ll unpack everything you need to know in light of God’s Word.
Loving others like Christ loves us
The Bible has much to say about love in relationships. We are instructed to love one another as Christ loved us (John 13:34-35).
However, the Bible doesn’t give us a specific time frame for how long we should date before saying “I love you”. So, how can we know when it’s the right time?
Here are a few things to consider:
First, take time to really get to know the person.
Spend time with them in different environments and scenarios.
Seeing them in different seasons of life can help you understand who they truly are and how they handle stress and hardships.
Second, make sure that your love for each other is rooted in God.
According to 1 John 4:8, God is love. Therefore, if your love for each other is not based in God, it might not be real love at all.
Third, pray for discernment.
Ask God to give you wisdom and direction about the relationship.
If you feel like God is leading you to say “I love you”, trust that he will confirm it in your heart.
Fourth, be mindful of the season of life you are in.
While there is no specific time frame, it is generally wise to wait until you have been dating for a significant period of time and have formed a deep level of emotional connection.
This typically takes longer than a few weeks or even months.
Lastly, have open and honest communication with your partner.
Be vulnerable with them about your feelings and listen to their heart as well.
Consider their love language and what they need from you in order to feel loved.
Pray for Discernment
As Christians, we understand that everything starts and ends with God.
Before thinking of saying “I love you,” it’s essential to pray for discernment in determining if the relationship is God’s will.
Take a moment to seek God’s face, and ask Him to reveal the right time to share your feelings.
Also, pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s leading regarding your relationship.
As you pray together and separately, you will know better when it’s time to move to the next stage of your relationship, including saying “I love you.”
Wait for Quality Time
There are no strict rules on when to say “I love you.”
However, it’s essential to take time to know each other’s worth and determine if you genuinely love the person.
Rushing to say “I love you” too soon can lead to complications and hurtful breakups.
Hence, it’s recommended to spend a quality amount of time in the relationship, getting to know each other’s interests, values, and beliefs before taking the relationship to the next level.
Waiting for the right time to say “I love you” allows you to develop a deeper bond and solidify your love for one another.
Know the Indicator of True Love
We all know how exhilarating it feels to be in love.
However, while the feelings and emotions are essential, they are not enough to confirm genuine love.
True love involves actions, commitment, and sacrifice.
It is essential to ask yourself if what you’re feeling for the person is genuine love that will lead to a lifetime commitment.
When you know your relationship is based on Godly love that exhibits selflessness and sacrifice, that’s the right time to say “I love you.”
Be Honest and Vulnerable
When it genuinely feels right, be honest about how you feel.
Sharing your feelings with your partner is a vulnerability that should not be taken lightly.
When expressing your feelings, be open, honest, and sincere.
Speak from your heart and make it clear that you genuinely mean it.
When you’re authentic with your emotions, you create a safe space for your partner to reciprocate and share their feelings as well.
Saying “I love you” in a relationship should be taken seriously and with much thought.
It is not a decision that should be made quickly or rashly.
As Christians, we should always seek to love others in a sacrificial and Christ-like way.
If you have taken the time to truly get to know the person, have a rooted love in God, prayed for discernment, been mindful of the season of your relationship, and communicated openly, you will likely have a stronger foundation for expressing your love in a way that honors God and each other.
Remember, true love, is not just about words – it’s about actions and commitment.