The Right Time To Say "I Love You" (According To Men On Reddit)

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When Is It OK To Say I Love You? Answers From Reddit AskMen

The scariest three little words known to mankind.

Trying to decide when it's the right time to say I love you to the person you've been seeing is a torture somewhat unrivaled when it comes to the romantic travails of humankind.

They are just three little words, right? For some people, the happy phrase rolls right off the tongue. Most of us even say them to our friends, our parents, our siblings, heck, even to our co-workers, our pets, and that one dude who makes the best bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich in the neighborhood. 

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But for some people, making such a statement within the context of a new-ish romantic relationship can not only be scary, but it can tricky! When is "too soon" to tell someone how you feel about them?  When is it too late? Is it a good thing or a devastating thing to be the first person who says it? 

And by the way, if you think this is something that only women agonize over, I've got some shocking news for you... it's not. Men worry about when about how and when it safe to declare their raw emotions too!

That fear of the potential for rejection and humiliation that comes with the possibility of such a vulnerable exposure of your authentic emotions is universal, my friends!

In fact, lots of men have some very strong opinions about the circumstances under which one should utter those words to their special lass, and as proof, I went out and rounded up the most sage advice I could find from the men on Reddit's AskMen forum.

Here's what 11 of those extremely guys had to say about when it's the right time to say "I love you" for the first time and how to know when that time arrives.

1. There's no right time. You just know. 

"I say it when I am in love with them. You just know. There's no it happen after 3 months 5 days and 2 hours or anything, it just happens when it happens."

2. When you realize they make your life complete. 

"For me, it was less a feeling and more a realization that she made my life complete. I wanted to grow old with this woman, and make her happy, and protect her no matter what. Then, of course, she broke up with me a couple months later. So that was great."

3. When you have already confirmed it with your actions.

"I like the George R.R. Martin phrase, 'Words are wind.' Saying it is nothing if you can't make her feel it. When you say it, it should be to confirm what she already knows because of all the things you've already done for her. I'm not talking about flowers and gifts. Listen to her babble about her day, plan out a whole date to amuse her, think of the most random thing she ever said in passing and treat that like her deepest desire, for fun. Tease her, make her laugh, she's supposed to be a friend under it all. And most importantly, do not change whom you are because that is the person she wants to love her. And if it's not, move on brother, she's not for you."

4. When it causes you physical pain NOT to. 

"When I realized I loved the person I'm seeing now, every day I saw them and didn't say it felt like having a giant pit in my stomach."

5. Whenever. It's not a big deal.

"I don't wait long. I'm an affectionate dude and it comes out naturally sometimes. I don't treat the word like a priceless vase. I just like saying it. People act like it means the same thing for everyone. Like it's a huge step in a relationship. What does it mean? If she says she loves me does that mean she won't cheat? Nope. Does that mean she won't break up with me ever? Nope. The word is subjective. To be honest, the only person I've ever loved unconditionally is my little brother. But I tell a lot of other people I love them because I do feel a deep caring for them. To make it a special moment in the relationship is often insincere and forced. This fairy tale set up that means two different things to the person who said it and the person hearing it. A girl I've been seeing for longer than a month just swallowed my cum and we're laying in bed together after? I love you baby. You just said something during dinner that was incredibly witty and cute? I fucking love you. And once it's already out there, I say it as often as I want."

6. Only when you absolutely mean it. 

"Only when I absolutely mean it. If I tell a woman I love her, I'm not fucking around. It wasn't sudden, there was a long process of me spending time with her and caring for her more and more until I loved her. Once you know, however you figure it out, you just know." 

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7. After she says it for the first time. 

"After she says it first. I'd like to say 'I say it when I feel it because I'm so secure in myself' Nah, I say it when I know it won't backfire."

8. Don't choose a specific time. Just let it happen. 

"Like the others have said, when it happens it happens. As soon as I realise it, I'll say it. That could be a month in, it could be 4 months in. Really depends. I'm terrible at explaining the underlying reasons for it though."

9. Never.

"I ain't saying it ever. If it gets said to me im gonna give them a thumbs up and hopefully find a post about it in askmen titled "my boyfriend gave me a thumbs up when i told him i loved him. What does this mean?" to which the answer will be: his love for you can be calculated by dividing the amount of days youve been dating by your weight and multiplying that by the number of times youve sucked his ****. If the number exceeds 100 he loves you."

10. Almost Never.

"Rarely. That's some powerful shit. People say it all the time and diminish it's power. When I say it, I mean it, and she knows it. She'd like to hear it more often, but I'll hold some of that back. I think that makes me an a**, but that's the way I feel. Edit, spelling."

11. After three months.

"With my gf it was about 3 months in. We had been saying "I like you" or "I really like you" but it wasn't enough. Then one evening at the beach I had her in my arms in the water watching the sun go down. I knew I wanted to say it but I was nervous. Then I felt a warm sensation all over my body and I just had to blurt it out. She said it right back and we had a very passionate kiss. Turns out she had just peed on me. No regrets."

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a sex, humor and lifestyle writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cat, Batman. She hosts the sex, love, and dating advice show, Becca After Dark on YourTango's Facebook Page every Tuesday and Thursday at 10:20 pm Eastern. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr.