Why Saying 'I Love You' Too Soon Could Be A Major Relationship Red Flag

Saying "I love you" can be a big step in any relationship. Even if you know how you feel about the person you've been dating, expressing a deep emotion puts us in a vulnerable place. And being vulnerable can be frightening. Our minds can race with possibilities: What if they don't feel the same? What if they don't say it back? How will that make me feel? Relationship coach Toni Coleman tells Bustle that when it comes to professing those words, "There is no perfect time or place," she begins. "The right time won't happen because your partner is in a good mood or you are enjoying something special together. It will be the right time because you are both feeling something special for the other, and your connection is undeniable."

It's still true, however, that saying "I love you" can have its consequences. According to Dr. Joshua Klapow, professing those words "redefines the relationship in terms of seriousness and should not be uttered lightly, in response only to what you believe your partner wants to hear, or without thought in mind," he told Elite Daily. Loving somebody enough to tell them you love them is something to be celebrated. But some relationship coaches warn that saying "I love you" too soon could be a red flag. 

A generation desperate for love

On his podcast "On Purpose," host and life coach Jay Shetty discusses why saying "I love you" too soon could stop the relationship from growing long-term. He cites a survey on love-bombing by Shane Co which found that 70% of people have had a partner that said "I love you" within the first month of dating. "Now, I promise you right now, there is no way that in the first month of seeing each other, someone can truly love you completely, fully, wholly. Yes, they can like you, yes they can be into you, yes they can be attracted to you, yes they can want to love you," Shetty says. "And the problem is we love hearing those three words. We want to hear them so badly, and we want to feel them."

"The first red flag in a relationship is when someone says they love us too soon," Shetty continues. "We have to be very careful. We have to slow it down. We have to be thoughtful," he says. 

Shetty advises first to define what it means to love somebody or what it means when somebody loves you before you take that step. And if you are unsure when to say those words, here are a few signs you should not say "I love you" and a few signs you should say "I love you." Listen to your gut and intuition, and remember you are lovable the way you are right now.