If You're Not Ready To Say I Love You, Here's What To Say Instead

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New relationships are just so powerful and full of pleasurable emotion. Every glance, every smile, and every touch is imbued with new energy and infatuation. That being said, it's incredibly easy in those heady early days to slip up and drop a big fat L-bomb before you’re actually, personally ready to say I love you. While there is no right or wrong time to say I love you (it all depends on what feels right for you), it’s easy to get caught up in a moment and and let the L-word slip when you don’t intend it, which can be awkward. Fortunately, there is a solution for dealing the too-soon "I love you" and that’s to have a few go-to things to say instead of "I love you" to bust out when you feel like you're on the verge of letting those three little words spill out of your mouth before you’re ready.

But how do you know when you’re ready? As Trina Leckie, a relationship expert and host of the Breakup BOOST Podcast, previously explained to Elite Daily, the way to know if the time is right is to just trust your own instincts. "I think the best thing to do when it comes to this is not to overthink it," said Leckie. "If you feel like you want to scream it from the rooftops, that's a good indication of a good time to say it because it shows how excited you are to tell that person [and everyone else] how you feel about them." Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couple's therapist in Los Angeles, agreed that when you’re deciding whether or not the time is right, it's not about relationship milestones, it's about what your heart and mind are telling you. "The key milestone is when you genuinely realize you love the other person. That's the best milestone there is," Dr. Brown previously explained to Elite Daily.

What if you’re not quite there but you still want to let someone know how deeply you care about them? Well, good news, because there are plenty of ways to express what’s in your heart without saying anything loaded. These sayings are also really handy to keep in your pocket should you not be the one who let “I love you” slip too quickly. Because, let's be honest, it's just as awkward to be on the receiving end of a love declaration that you're not ready to reciprocate. So, if you find yourself in either of those scenarios, give these little sweet nothings a try instead.

Tell Them How You Feel About Them

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1. "You mean more to me every single day."

2. "To me, you are perfect." — Love Actually

3. "I really care so much about you."

4. “It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” — The Fault In Our Stars

5. "I really love how you [insert a character trait or action]."

6. "I never get tired of looking at you."

7. "There is no one I would rather be with right now than you."

8. "I love your body."

9. "Nothing makes me happier than when you're happy."

10. "You complete me." — Jerry Maguire

Tell Them How Being With Them Makes You Feel

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11. "I can't get enough of you."

12. "I am so glad I met you."

13. "I love spending time with you."

14. "You are really special to me."

15. "You make me so happy."

16. "I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you." — Dirty Dancing

17. "My life is so much better with you in it."

18. "Being with you just feels right to me."

19. "No one makes me feel the way you do."

20. "I feel the most like myself when we are together."

Say Something Sweet, Light, And Breezy

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21. "I feel so lucky to have you in my life."

22. "You are my person."

23. "I know." — The Empire Strikes Back

24. "You know I like you a lot, right?"

25. "You are the bees knees and the cat's pajamas."

26. "I prefer you to pizza. Yeah… I said it."

27. "Maybe it is our imperfections which make us so perfect for one another." — Emma

28. "If you were a booger, I would pick you."

29. "You're my number one."

30. “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” — The Notebook

There is nothing wrong with telling someone you care about how you feel about them. Just be sure to save the actual "I love you" for when you're really good and ready.

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