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How Soon is Too Soon to Say ‘I Love You?’

Ah, those three little words – they carry so much meaning. Will spitting them out, freak her out? Here’s the advice you need.

Q: I know I’m in love with my girlfriend, but we haven’t been dating that long. How soon is too soon to say it?

A: First of all, congrats on finding someone you see as having real potential. That in and of itself is a big deal, and the fact that you think you’re falling in love? It’s an even bigger deal. (No pressure or anything. Promise.)

There’s no magic length of time for saying, “I love you,” but more a magic level of comfort within the relationship. You need to get past the fleeting feelings of lust and longing, because being in love is about knowing someone inside and out—and loving them fully, regardless.

And because that connection goes beyond being able to recall generic basics, like where she works and what street she lives on? dating expert Whitney Case suggests a simple self-test to decide if you’re truly ready to spill your feelings:

  • Can you list the relatives or friends she likes the least?
  • Do you know what she would do with the money if she won the lottery?
  • Can you list her three favorite movies, books or songs?
  • Do you know at least three of the most special events in her life?
  • Do you know her birthdate, middle name and state where she was born?

If you answered three of those questions with a resounding “yes,” then you are more than ready to say, “I love you.” However, Casey has a few rules to keep in mind as you prepare to profess your feelings:

1. Don’t tell her post-sex. People too often say things they don’t mean right after doing the deed, so the bedroom is not the place to divulge those three little words for the first time.

2. Don’t say it when tipsy, medicated or otherwise intoxicated. You may not remember it if you’re drunk—and it’s hardly romantic, man. Come on.

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