Sign saying 'love you more'

When should you say 'I love you'?

By Rose Odengo June 11, 06:00 am
Three words that paralyze, solidify or make people flee relationships. But why does it have to be so awkward to say those words?

Is it about what it means, or what you interpret when your partner says them?

What is love?

You need to ask yourself what 'I love you' means to you. Does it mean marriage, moving in together or just that you treasure the person you are with? Is it a warm fuzzy feeling like a blanket in Nairobi’s July rains or is it just something to punctuate an orgasm? The meaning of these three words varies so intensely from person to person.

Before you go blurting it out based on an ‘ideal’ time in your relationship, first ask yourself, what does 'I love you' mean to me?

Love is action

Being in love isn’t just something you 'know' – it is something you do. Love is action. You can say it; but does your beau experience it by the way you treat them, talk to them, think of them? Love is an action that comes incrementally. You can only love someone you know; spend time with, learn to understand – it’s not a glance in a corridor. That glance in the corridor that makes your heart skip a beat is infatuation, it helps you zero in on a potential mate.

Love is work

After infatuation, you get to the hard work of getting to know someone. Really get to know them – their strengths, weaknesses, convictions, pet peeves – you get the spiel.

Forget the movies; it is hard work.

As you build this connection, you are steadily growing toward that point of knowing and appreciating someone, flaws and all. This is love. Now that you finally know that you are in love, when do you say it?

When to say 'it'

The reason why we feel pressured about the timing or the need to say ‘it’ is based on two things: fear of rejection and social constructs which put a time frame on when you need to say it.

Saying 'I love you' shouldn't feel like you will miss the bus if you don’t say it.

It really is all about saying it when you are ready.
Now a quick disclaimer here: you need to communicate how you feel at any given time in your relationship. Some say it faster some slower you need to be patient and considerate of each other.

Related: Men say ‘I love you’ first

Just the two of is

Does it change the dynamic of your relationship? It may or may not. It really depends on the two of you and that’s what this is about.

What love means to you, how you build up from infatuation to love, and how you communicate your love really boils down to the both of you. No one can give you strict timelines: you decide for yourself when you need to hear it when you need to say it, and what it will mean for your relationship.  

When did you say I love you? Share your stories below or on Facebook.

Did you learn something new?

Sat, 06/06/2020 - 08:46 pm
people now days have made the word love useless or meaningless they utilize it even where it's not necessarry for me i think you should say that word when you are meaning it but not to lure up your babe

Hi Godfrey, thank you for your input. The word should also be accompanied with actions, no? It is true that some people use the word as part of emotional blackmail or violence. However, a lot of people say it when they mean it.

I have two boyfriends, the one I have met a month ago, says it and he asked me if I did, because I wasnt planning on saying it, but the t9is I felt it. My other boyfriend has never said it, we are on a long distance relationship for two years now, but have never met, he's super supportive of my needs, plans and dreams. We're meeting soon, I broke up with the guy I just met, but I find it hard to spend a day without talking to him, I miss him. I do not know where love is for me, I like them both but have to sacrifice one. The one i said i love, do you think i will regret it?

Hi Diana, 

This is totally up to you. Remember, not all men will say I love you but they may show you love through their actions. Not everyone is vocal (or obvious) about their feelings, and many of us often find it difficult to express those deeper emotions. Remember, the fact that that the other man said 'I love you' does not mean that he does. For some people, it is easy to say it even if they do not mean it. Also, consider that it could be that he really loves and cares for you. In the end, decide what you want for your  love life and it will become easier to choose the right man for you. Read this article to learn more about saying I love you: When should you say 'I love you'

Add new comment


  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang>