Saying 'I love you' for the first time can be a seriously scary experience. You're scared they might not love you back and you're not even sure what the hell love actually is. But once you know, you know. If you feel like it's the right time, get out there and say it. Here's what 'I love you' means at every stage of a relationship. Time to get sappy kids....
You like where this is going, but three months is still pretty fast, so you can't be sure if it's true love yet. It still feels different and special though and you might have said it a bit too early, but if it feels right, it feels right. Every relationship is different and moves at a different pace, after all.
This means that you want to be taken out of your comfort zone. Maybe it's to try some new sex moves or maybe you're starting to feel a real connection with this person. You feel safer with them than anyone else, so step by step, you're learning to let this person in.
You're very close to the end of the honeymoon period. When you say 'I love you' now, you're letting the other person know how important they are to you. This 'I love you' is starting to get exciting, as they clearly want you to be a bigger part of their life from now on.
You two are now getting infatuated with each other. You're in a completely difference place to where you were three months ago. You tag each other in posts and they're really starting to know who you are and what makes you laugh.
The more time that passes, the more you're gonna keep falling for this person. No longer do you care who paid for dinner or drinks, you just want to be with this person as much as you can. The 'I love you' will now hopefully be mutual, so it's something you're likely to hear a lot more often.
By now, it's likely that you've had your first proper fight. It's a horrible experience, but it happens to every couple. Many 'I love you's' were exchanged afterwards and you start to realise that this person really is worth fighting for.
You're now starting to feel like this person is your best friend. By now, being together feels more natural than being apart. The 'I love you' has some serious weight behind it now. Whether you say it in a text or in person, you know it's special.
Once you've hit the anniversary day, you know this person is your world. It may sound sad and sappy, but to be involved with someone for a year takes real commitment and love. You're starting to think you can't picture this person not being in your life. You feel safe and unbelievably happy.
A year and a half
You win together and you lose together. You love knowing anything and everything about your other half even though you're still living separate lives. You'll make sacrifices you never thought you'd make for your partner now. Their happiness is your happiness and vice versa.
Things just aren't the same as they were at the beginning of your relationship. You're not so concerned with all the details of your past. Now you're looking to the future and when you say 'I love you', you're telling your partner that you love what you two are now and what's to come.
By three years and depending on your age, things will start to get way more serious. Instead of 'I love you' just being something you say, it's a statement of commitment that you're not going anywhere and that you really want to start building a life with this person. 'I love you' barely does this love justice anymore. It's more of an abstract feeling. It's love.