When do you say ‘I Love You’?

13 Dec

You may be completely surprised to learn that it is men who are more likely to say “I love you” before a woman.

i love you card

Definitely not when you’re drunk. OK now we’ve got that out of the way…..this is indeed quite a subject. Saying those three words while buoyed up with a little Dutch courage, could be completely disastrous. It is safe to say, that these are the three words that require deep consideration before being uttered.

You may be completely surprised to learn that it is men who are more likely to say “I love you” before a woman. Really I hear you cry? Yes indeed it’s true, they usually go there first. Marissa Harrison an associate professor of psychology at Pennsylvania State University found that men report feeling or speaking of love in the first few weeks of dating, while woman tend to take substantially longer. The observation being that woman are instinctively protecting themselves and taking their time to assess a new partner.

I imagine that resonates with some women, and as you read this are you tutting and tapping a nail on the nearest hard surface saying “yup, that’s men for you, ten beers in and I love you”. If we approach all this from the David Attenborough perspective, as if we were watching an animal kingdom show, the male may be less truthful about the I love you as they are in fact trying to increase their chances of getting a woman into bed. Or as David would say, increasing his reproductive chances. Are they then just being strategic or luring you into a false sense of trust?

Most women are not silly, and the internal alarm may go off when you hear those three words too soon into a relationship. Female spiders do eat their mates after sex, so look out. If you do make it to the bedroom, are men wondering if 30 seconds is enough to hold you before leaving? Do we dole out “I love you’s” indiscriminately amongst friends and then plow through an emotional minefield in a new relationship with a barrage of unwanted verbiage of the three word variety?

Instructions are, if you are going to say it, then mean it. Time and circumstance are everything. During the war, people said I love you because there was a constant ticking bomb in the background. What if you never got the chance to say it? If you’re reticent to say it, or you’ve been hurt so many times you dare not to. But will you ever have the courage? Life is short, it really is, so yes you should think about whether you really mean it. But if the other person were to ask you “what is it about me that you love?” would you know what to say? There are a lot of questions here, but then there are a lot of things to think about.

Let’s give it a try. I love you because….you are kind, make me laugh and get me. I love that I mention a book or a poem and you know what I am talking about. I love that when you smile your eyes sparkle. You think of little things that might please me. When we are out at a party, you check me out across the room and smile as if to say “I’m here”. Yes you are really handsome, but what I love most about you is your heart.

If you get to saying I love you, may it be the right place, the right time and with the right person. As a matchmaker I’m all about getting people to a place of friendship, compatibility and romance. So when those words come into your head and spill out of your mouth, they will be genuine and heartfelt.


by Rachel Vida MacLynn

Founder & CEO

Rachel Vida MacLynn is reputed as being a world-leading matchmaking and dating expert. Registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, Rachel advocates a professional matchmaking approach based on psychological principles and professional consultation. Rachel also sits on the Board of Advisors for the Matchmaking Institute.More by this author