Another sign that you’re ready to say “I love you” is if you’ve come to lean on your significant other as more than just a romantic partner — but also as a friend.
“You not only feel attracted to them but genuinely like who they are as a person,” adds Dr. Brown.
Is your SO the first person you want to text or call when something amazing or terrible happens? Do you value their advice on everything from how to approach your boss about a raise and how to deal with a family member you’re fighting with? When your boo also happens to be your best friend, you can say “I love you” and hopefully feel both comfortable and emotionally safe. Because a true friend would want to know how you really feel.
So, what if you still feel nervous or skittish about saying it? Dr. Brown advises asking yourself why.
“Is your uncertainty based upon you not being sure that you are in love, or could it possibly be that you are but not certain about the other person’s feelings about you?” he adds.
If you’ve never felt this way before, Dr. Brown also notes that saying "I love you" for the first time can feel like a large “emotional hurdle.”
“If you know that you truly are in love with the person, I would strongly recommend that you take the risk and tell them,” says Dr. Brown. “Otherwise, you may wind up feeling tremendous regret for not having told them, because in telling them the course of your relationship could have changed. The pain of regret is why I have been saying to people for over 25 years: be bold in love. Love requires courage. Follow your heart and settle for more than less. In this case, more would be declaring your love, even if you are not certain how they will respond.”
Only you can know when you’re ready to finally say, “I love you.” But any of these signs should serve as evidence that you likely do have the feelings to back it up. Remember: Expressing how you feel with those three little words is a blessing — both for you and your boo. For you, it will likely feel liberating to boldly declare your love rather than bottle it up, and for them, it may serve as an inspiration to share their feelings in return.