When Should You Say "I Love You"? Here's How Long Most People Wait

Ad failed to load

If I had to choose one word to describe saying "I love you" to your partner for the first time, I'd have to go with... hmm, exciting? Nope. Thrilling? Hardly. Terrifying? YES. Exactly. Saying "I love you" for the first time is terrifying. What makes it so scary, you ask? Well, I'd have to say that the most petrifying part of it all is the unknown factor. What happens after you say it? What if your partner doesn't say it back? And then, there's the biggest question of them all: how do you even know when to say I love you?! Is there a right time?

Well, unfortunately, I can't answer a lot of those questions for you. I don't know if your partner loves you, too, and I definitely don't know how it's going to go for the two of you after you say it. BUT, I do have a small piece of science-backed wisdom to offer you in terms of when to drop the L-bomb. Mattress Online surveyed 1,000 British individuals to figure out when people are ready for all sorts of relationship milestones, from the first time they choose Netflix over sex to the first time they say I love you.

Ad failed to load

Let's start with the big one. When is it time to finally say I love you for most people? (Well, the real answer is whenever you're ready, and you mean it, but...) The survey found that the timing of this varies greatly, depending on the person. For example, more than half of those surveyed said that they would wait at least three months before admitting the depth of their feelings to their partners. That being said, men are reportedly more than twice as likely as women to say "I love you" after having known someone for just one week. (Five percent of men said they'd do this, compared to only 2 percent of women.)

Meanwhile, 33 percent of women and 29 percent of men found themselves somewhere in between, saying they'd say those three fateful words somewhere between one and three months into their relationship.

Again, just because the majority of these people would wait over three months, doesn't mean you have to! You reserve the right to say "I love you" whenever you so please.

Ad failed to load

All right, now, let's talk about some other relationship milestones. Like that moment when you swap "Netflix and chill" for literally just watching Netflix on the couch with your bae. No sexy time involved. A pretty significant 40 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds say this happened in the first one to three months of their relationships. The significance of that percentage is highlighted when compared to only 22 percent of 33- to 40-year-olds who said the same.

If you're comfortable enough to mutually opt for TV over sex, I would assume that you're also comfortable enough to wear sweats around each other, but... that's not the case. Actually, over a third of women in the study said they would wait an entire year before they would "start dressing down in front of their partner." So it looks like they're marathoning Stranger Things in whatever they deem a cute outfit.

Ad failed to load

Now, let's talk about exes for a second — as in, when is it cool to start talking about them with a new partner? Well, when it comes to how many "past lovers" you've had, 20 percent of respondents agreed that the right time to bring that up is... well, never. That being said, dudes tend to be more down to talk about this. Over half of them said they shared their numbers with partners within six to 12 months. The same cannot be said for women, as only 10 percent of them would do the same.

What if you still keep in touch with your ex? Hold on to your seats, people, because these numbers are about to shock you. A whopping 41 percent of men will tell their partner they still chat with their ex before six months. I know, I know... you're wondering what makes the number 41 so "whopping." Oh, well, it's because only 3 percent of women said the same! The vast majority of women (59 percent) would rather wait six to 12 months before bringing something like that up.

Ad failed to load

Something else women don't love talking about? The fact that they cheated. Most women (65 percent) agreed that they would never tell their current partner that they cheated in a previous relationship. Surprisingly, over half of men didn't say the same. In fact, 51 percent said they would share that info with their current partner within the first two years.

Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

Ad failed to load

Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

The Perfect Festival Look For You, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

It's officially spring, but the only season that's really on my radar is festival season. April showers bring May flowers, and it's a good thing because I need all the daisies in the world for oh-so-chic and classic crowns. You've scrolled through th…
By Marisa Casciano

Here’s Everything Coming To Netflix In April

Another month, another batch of new shows and movies to binge on Netflix. The streaming service just released its full list of the iconic favorites and new originals that will be showing up in your Netflix queue in about a week and a half, and it als…
By Dylan Kickham

Why It's Totally OK To Not Have A Game Plan In Your 20s & Just Wing It

One of the worst questions you are faced with in your 20s is: What is your 10-year plan? It's like people expect you to hand over a detailed map of your destiny when you reach a new decade in your life, and want you to be able to elaborate your coord…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

These 10 Dreamy Travel Quotes Are Perfect Tattoos For The Girl With Wanderlust

Travelers are curious, wild, and free. They're always in pursuit of the next big adventure and they never fail to share the value of discovering the unknown. However, sometimes life gets the best of us. Sometimes, our greatest passions get pushed to …
By Ciara Johnson

I Rejected The Idea Of "The One" & Found A Whole New Method Of Self-Care

After my third date with a guy I met by swiping right, I had one question burned into my brain before I agreed to a fourth. Was he the one? Now, before you call me a total stalker, hear me out. In New York City, third dates were rare. I'm talking blo…
By Brittany Leitner

I Tried A Laughter Yoga Class & I Nearly Peed My Pants From Giggling So Hard

There's nothing funny about yoga, except for the fact that, if you look at yourself in the mirror while your body twists like a giant pretzel you'd nibble on at a baseball game, you do look kind of funny. Well, actually, you look a little like you're…
By Jen Glantz

12 Dreamy Travel Goals To Shoot For Before Hitting 30, Because Why Not?

Your 20s is a time to find yourself, try new things, meet new people, and see the world. It's a time when you're still figuring this whole life thing out. Your 20s can be tough, but they can still be whole lot of fun. It seems like you're on a never-…
By Ciara Johnson

Experts Say Doing This One Thing In The Morning Will Make You Way More Productive

I don’t know about you, but I don’t initially wake up in the morning feeling like P-Diddy; that whole “up and at ‘em” mindset takes work on weekdays. I will say, however, that I am a morning person by nature, and fully believe in the benefits of stic…
By Julia Guerra

A Psychic Read My Crystals & Said I'd Die Alone, But Then Everything Changed

I love my girlfriend for many reasons. She's the most amazing person I've ever met. She makes me feel safe. She screams the soundtrack to Dear Evan Hansen with me when we're riding in her car. But TBH, one of the main reasons I love her so much is th…
By Theresa Massony

This Instagram Star's Famous Lip Art Actually Has An Incredible Emotional Backstory

In a post-Kardashian world, every millennial thinks they have what it takes to go viral, but few consider what that online fame actually looks like in a person's daily life. In Elite Daily's new series, Life Behind The Likes, we speak with the people…
By Lilli Petersen

A New 'This Is Us' Theory Claims It's All Happening Inside Jack's Head & OMG

Ever since This is Us revealed how Jack died in their post-Super Bowl episode (damn you, Crock Pot) fans have been desperate to know where the show is headed — and if there are any other major twists they should be prepared for. The Season 2 finale i…
By Claire Spellberg

If You're Broke In Your 20s, You're Doing Something Right

It can be pretty disheartening when you're broke AF in your 20s. The silver lining in that constant struggle with currency is that you are doing what you want during this time of your life. Money isn't everything, and creatively and memorably using w…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

How You'll Be Proposed To, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Forever and always starts with getting down on one knee. Wedding season is right around the corner, and with it comes a lot of love stories. When you're watching the two do their first dance, or looking through old pictures, you remember where it all…
By Marisa Casciano

Gen Z Yellow Is The New Millennial Pink, So I Tried Wearing It All Over My Face

A few months ago, everything from makeup to clothes and even home appliances simply needed to be Millennial Pink. Being a millennial myself, I totally bought into the color craze, but there's a new hue (one that technically doesn't represent me at al…
By Stephanie Montes

These Theories About What Khloé Kardashian Will Name Her Baby Are So, So Good

The Kardashian family's future is most certainly female. The world was overjoyed when Kim K introduced us to her daughter, Chicago. We cried tears of joy when we found out that Kylie was in fact pregnant all along and had a baby girl named Stormi. An…
By Karen Ruffini

This Pup Is Going Viral Because People Think He Looks Like A Human

We all know our pups at home are beyond special. If you post pictures of your pet on social media in hopes that everyone notices just how cute your furry friend is, you're really not alone. You probably receive a bunch of comments with people gushing…
By Rachel Chapman

This Is What Staring At Screens All Day Could Do To Your Eyes In The Long Run

By now, you’ve probably heard all about how bad the glaring blue light from your smartphone and computer screen is for your sleep cycle. These claims are true, BTW, which means if technology has the power to creep inside your brain and mess with your…
By Julia Guerra

These 3 Zodiac Signs Burn Through Relationships The Fastest

It's hard enough to find love in this dog-eat-dog world. You write the perfect bio for your Tinder profile, dress to impress, go on dates with strangers that your friends set you up with, even fork over thousands of dollars to a professional matchmak…
By Roya Backlund

6 Things No One Tells You About Moving In With Your Partner That You Need To Know

If you’ve reached the point in your relationship where you find yourselves spending most of your time together — either at their place or yours — there’s a pretty big chance you’ve thought about living together. Taking this next step in your relation…
By Tayi Sanusi

How To Plan A Life-Changing Trip That'll Stick With You Long After You Return

When it comes to traveling, it seems like everyone is doing it for the 'Gram these days. As you scroll through your Instagram feed, it may seem like travel is all about getting that perfect shot or jumping from one bucket list destination to another.…
By Ciara Johnson