Have you ever been afraid to tell someone you love them because it might be "too soon?" What if you've left it too late and the other person breaks up with you because they don't think it's serious? When you get right down to it, there's no definitive time to say those three words. Sometimes you'll be in a relationship for years and never say it at all. Every couple is different, so you should just say it when it feels right. Just in case you're still clueless though, here are some indications that the time is probably right to say "I love you".
1) You're Already Thinking About Their Birthday
The old myth of forgetting someone's birthday doesn't really apply when you're truly in love. You're browsing about online, or shopping in town, and then you see a site or pass a bookshop where they do first editions. Wasn't 'Matilda' their favourite book as a kid? You could get a first edition for them maybe, right? And maybe a surprise party? This slowly evolves until you're in private cinema, booking a private screening of Matilda (1996) five months in advance. And that's not weird, because you love them.
2) Tiny Things About Them Make You Smile
You're working away on an essay or assignment or something when you suddenly, out of nowhere, start thinking about the last time you were with her. You giggle a little to yourself when you think about the way she says "Stooooooooopp!" when you deliberately annoy her but then you think of that really cute freckle she has on her cheek. "What are you grinning at?" someone asks. "Nothing," you reply, still grinning.
3) Your Girl-Friends Can't Stop Smiling At The Two Of You
And just in case you think it's you being caught up in the moment, you can always get a good idea of where you're at by looking at your girly friends. You're talking about something he said, getting really caught up because you're remembering how much he cared about it. Suddenly you realise that your friends have tilted their head to the side and are smiling at you in something that looks like pity. They know you've been utterly lost to love.
4) Your Guy-Friends Have Said "She's Cool, Man"
The guy equivalent of that is the guys having a drink and when you're talking about how cool she is, they nod, smile and say "Yeah, she's really cool, man, you're lucky" And they mean it too. There's definitely a bit of jealously that you've found someone who makes you so happy, but they're not complaining about her. That's as close to a blessing as you'll ever get.
5) You've Stopped Trying To Impress Them
You've stopped telling them how you spend so much time learning to cook new things or texting them, pretending that you've just been out jogging, when really, you just took the bin out. Instead, you're honest with them, you tell them that you're sitting at home, watching Netflix and wishing she was there so you could have pizza together and pretend-argue over the last slice.
6) You Get Very Aware Of Your Heartbeat When Looking In Their Eyes
This doesn't apply in the first few weeks of your relationship. You're going to get really pumped up around them during that period anyway. But what if you've been going out for months? You'll be sitting on the couch one day, listening a story she's telling when you slowly stop listening and just start thinking how amazing her eyes look. The rest of the world has gone all blurry and the only noise you hear is a *thump thump* in your chest. "I'm crazy about you" you think to yourself. "Yeah, totally," you say out loud, when she's finished talking (and you hope she didn't notice).
7) You Can Think About Them Endlessly
If you're sitting in a lecture, waiting for time to pass, you might find your mind wandering towards the date you guys went on the other night. You can almost feel his arms around you, you start thinking warm thoughts of your next date....A date under a duvet cover. You start thinking about graduation. Nothing is certain afterward, except the fact that he'll be there and by that time, you'll definitely have said you love each other. Which is usually the exact moment you realise you're in love.
8) Your Legitimately Can't Explain Your In-Jokes
There's some random word that you guys constantly shout at each other, or some phrase and it means absolutely nothing at all. Something along the lines of "Don't forget Arnold Schwarzenegger's mustache!" (Sounds random, but honestly, think of some of your own in-jokes!). After a while, they start to build up until you're basically just speaking in in-jokes. And you can't even begin to explain them.
9) You Pretend To Be Angry At Each Other All The Time
When hanging out, you guys bust each other's balls constantly. You'll argue over something ridiculous, like something she said being racist, or something he does that implies that he fancies old women. Anything at all, but you will constantly be picking on each other, mocking each other in front of other people and basically making it look like you have nothing in common. Despite that, anyone who looks at either of you just has to see the way you look at each other and smile....and they know what's actually going on.
10) Bad Days Don't Exist When They're Around
You might have had the worst day in the history of your existence. Maybe everyone was an asshole to you today and you got no sleep the night before. Maybe you lost your wallet with all your money in it. But when she shows up, all of that is suddenly back then and not right now. Suddenly, it's just another funny story to tell, it's just something you don't have to worry about. Because all that matters is that you're with the person who makes you happy just by smiling at you.