When Should You Say 'I Love You' For The First Time? 10 Women Open Up

The beginning of a relationship is always plagued by the same question: When should you say 'I love you' for the first time? Obviously, it would be great if we could just come right out and say it the moment we felt it, but considering the fact that it's pretty much one of the most vulnerable positions we could ever put ourselves in, it can be scary. Several factors come into play before deciding to say the words out loud.

I remember when my boyfriend first said it to me. We had just gone out to dinner and were laughing about something at my apartment afterward, and he just sort of blurted it out. I remember being taken aback because he said "I'm in love with you," which was more awkward for me to respond to. Do you go with "I love you too"? Or do you go with, "I'm in love with you too"? TBH, I don't remember what I ended up going with but, in some way, shape, or form, I did say it back. It's funny because I'd known I loved him for a few weeks before he said it — I was just waiting around for him to say it first.

Unlike me, these women who responded to a recent AskWomen thread on Reddit were totally unafraid to say it first. Read along and marvel at their bravery.

She said it right after they first had sex.

Bustle on YouTube
Our third date, just had sex for the first time and I had uncontrollable word vomit and hated myself during the awkward silence that seemed to last forever (probably only one second) because I was sure I'd chased him away by being to clingy too fast. But he told me he was glad I said it first because he'd been in love with me since we'd first met the previous summer. Whew.

/u/madisonpreggers

She accidentally let it slip, then he said it for real.

Bustle on YouTube
I technically accidentally said it first but he truly said it first.
We’d been going on dates for a month and half, officially dating for 3 weeks. Just laying in his bed being my goofy self I asked him something along the lines, “would you still love me if I didn’t like (insert whatever goofy thing I was talking about)” and then I quickly backtracked “haha, I didn’t mean it like that, that’s just the phrase”. He and I had had discussions about how I’d impulsively said the ily phrase too soon in previous relationships (like... 3 days).
Later we were cuddling and he does this wonderful thing where he kisses the tattoos on my shoulders before bed. He scratched his beard scruff up along my neck and to my ear and simply whispered. “I love you. My life has gotten so much better with you in it.”
And I was dead silent. I genuinely thought about What I wanted to say before I rolled over and kissed him a million times. Then finally returned the phrase to him. Our relationship is young but different than any relationship I’ve ever experienced.

/u/MymajorisTrees

She drunkenly said it after a month.

Bustle on YouTube
I think we'd only been together for about a month. We were out at a bar with my friends, I was pretty drunk and when we were alone together I said it. He said it back :)

/u/Ariek928

She blurted it out when he fixed her computer.

Bustle on YouTube
i use the word way too much, so i said it after a few weeks, and it wasnt a big deal. (he helped fix my computer, and i was just like "damn, i love you") he said it after a month and a half.

/u/The__big__L

She purposely waited until she was drunk.

Bustle on YouTube
We were at a house party at his place so everyone was drunk and rowdy. A song came on and he pulled me in to the kitchen to dance, and I just blurted out "I love you" and he immediately said it back. And then all our friends started drunkenly heckling us because they all heard it.
It was about nine months in to the relationship - we got a slow start because we met coming out of long, dramatic relationships so we didn't move very quickly.
I do admit that I had felt it for a long time but waited until we were both drunk so that if he didn't say it back I could blame it on the booze. Maybe not the bravest strategy but it worked out OK.

/u/ittleorangemonkeys

She said it during sex.

Bustle on YouTube
It was like a week after we met. We were having sex and I came and I grabbed his face and was like ‘I fu**ing love you’ and kissed him. Then I was like, ‘I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said that’, and he was like...’why not?’ I said ‘it’s too soon’ and he went ‘no it isn’t, I fell in love with you the moment I saw you’ 😭

/u/honeybee96-

They said it at the same time when they first had sex.

Bustle on YouTube
We both told each other while we were having sex for the first time.

/u/MillFish00

She said it not expecting anything in return.

Bustle on YouTube
We had been dating for about 6 months. I realized I loved him at 3 months, but kept it to myself, because I knew he wasn't ready since he just got out of a 6-year marriage. He had texted me one night and said he was having a breakdown. I asked if he needed me, and he said yes. He's very content by himself and doesn't depend on other people like, at all. So I knew something was up. When I got there, I helped him through his breakdown the best I could. I felt so much love for him then, seeing him so vulnerable when he does a good job at hiding it often.
When he'd calmed down, we went to bed, and as we were lying there, my heart was about to burst. I prefaced it by saying something like, "Hey, I know you might not reciprocate, and that's okay. I just wanted to tell you that I love you." He didn't reciprocate, but thanked me.
A week and a half later, in the middle of sex, he stopped and said, "I love you." I cried and said it back. It was really awesome.

/u/highandshaggy

It slipped out during a phone call.

Bustle on YouTube
We had been dating for less than five months. I was out of town for work, and we were saying goodbye, and that is when the "I love you" slipped out. I panicked and hung-up right after I said it. I called her back, and told her I meant what I said, and I just wanted her to know. Luckily, she told me she loved me too.

/u/unsocialworker

She said it on NYE.

Bustle on YouTube
I said I love you the first time on New Year's. We were at his place with a group of his friends getting ready to go out for the night. Everyone was at different states of ready and music was everywhere. I was dressed and almost ready but I realized he wasn't in the kitchen pregaming with the guys. So I went back to his bedroom to find him. I opened the door and and he was standing there ironing his pants on the bed, wearing only a dress shirt and socks. As hilarious as this is, I did not die laughing I just giggle and went to grab something off the dresser. On my way past, I let my hand brush his back and I said I love you. My hands immediately clapped over my mouth and he just smiled. Then I ran out of the room.
I came back a few minutes later and told him I was super immature and that I run from myself. Laughing the whole time. I also told him I didn't need to hear it back because I loved him whether he was ready or not and he loved me whether he knew it or not. The next night or so he started saying it when he thought I was asleep. It took him two more weeks to say it to my face.

/u/Elle_belle32

The right answer? There is no right time. Say it whenever you're d*mn well ready!