Finding the Courage to Say "I Love You!"

Updated on July 4, 2018
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Sadie Holloway is a workshop facilitator who teaches interpersonal communication skills to help people strengthen their relationships.

How do you say "I love you!" to someone when you are scared? Perhaps you grew up in a home where hearing "I love you" was a rare occurrence. Or maybe you once told someone you loved them and you were rejected. Having your heart broken, especially when you are feeling vulnerable, can make it hard to muster up the courage to tell someone else you love them, no matter how wonderful the relationship is. If saying "I love you" is hard for you, you are not alone. I'd like to share some thoughts on how to let someone you care about really know how you feel. I hope they can help you open up the way you communicate with each other.

Is your fear of saying I love you building a wall between you and someone special?
Is your fear of saying I love you building a wall between you and someone special?

"I love you" is one of the most exhilarating, confusing and amazing things one person can say to another. Even when people are in love, or are in the process of falling in love, finding the courage to say “I love you” to another person is hard for some people. There are many ways to enjoy strong emotional bonds with your intimate partner, even when saying the words I love you is hard for you.

For many people, the fear of saying “I love you” too soon in a relationship is very real.

Why are some people afraid to say "I love you"?

You may be anxious that if you say “I love you,” your boyfriend or girlfriend might get scared and pull away. Some people worry that if tell someone they love them, the object of their love and affection may not love them back.

Perhaps you grew up in a home where hearing "I love you" was a rare occurrence. Or maybe you once told someone you loved them and you were rejected. Having your heart broken, especially when you are feeling vulnerable can make it hard to muster up the courage to tell someone else you love them, no matter how wonderful the relationship is.

If you’re experiencing a dramatic change in your life, such as the end of a long-term relationship or the beginning of a new romance, finding the courage to say "I love you" to someone new can be scary. On the other hand, taking a courageous leap of faith and saying I love you, even when you are scared, can be incredibly satisfying. You may find out that the other person as just waiting for you to make the first move! It could be the beginning of something new and amazing!

How important is it to say tell someone in three words that you love them?

Are words the only way to communicate with someone or are there other ways to express how you feel when you can't find the right words?

Thankfully, the answer to that question is 'yes.' Relationship experts and researchers have found that are many ways to enjoy strong emotional bonds with your intimate partner, even when saying the words I love you is difficult.

Wordless Ways to Show You Love Someone

Do something for your loved one without being asked. Anytime that you can relieve someone's mental load, you are showing that you care.

Be kind and respectful to others. Demonstrate you have good manners not just towards the person you love but towards other people as well.

Find out what makes your loved one feel safe and go about providing those things. What is safety? It's more than just having deadbolts on the door. Safety is the feeling you get when you know you are not being judged by someone you are opening up to. Safety is knowing that your deepest fears and secrets will never be shared with others or used against you to humiliate or embarrass you.

Listen attentively. This is one of the best wordless ways to say "I love you" because if you are focused and fully present and giving your loved on the attention he or she needs from you, the need to rush in and fill the space with words won't be as strong.

Create something for your loved one. Handmade gifts, drawings, food, or jewellry that you made yourself can be given as a way to let your partner know you care.

Research the meaning of love symbols in different cultures. Share what you've learned with your partner. If a symbol is involved in a ritual or ceremony, such as the giving of Welsh Love Spoons between lovers, try out that activity as wordless way to say "I love you!"

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.

— Ann Landers

The truth is that there is no right or wrong way to show love as long as you are sincere. If your loving acts and gestures are authentic, then they are just as valuable as saying “I love you!” And if you are 100% sincere when you say I love you, then your words could be just as powerful as your actions! The most important thing is the way you express love is safe, kind, generous and healthy.

If you don't carve out one-to-one time to spend with your partner, it doesn't really matter how often you say "I love you."
If you don't carve out one-to-one time to spend with your partner, it doesn't really matter how often you say "I love you."

What do you think is more meaningful...

Saying the words “I love you” or demonstrating that you love someone through words and actions?

See results

If you are struggling to find the courage to say "I love you!" to someone you care deeply about and who you know, in your heart, deserves to know your true feelings, ask yourself if you can live with the consequences of not expressing yourself. No one knows what will happen tomorrow. No one knows what the future holds. If fate were to suddenly step in and separate the two of you, how would you feel about not having shared your true feelings of love?

© 2018 Sadie Holloway

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