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When is the right time to say the “magic words”?

By Pretty Mashinini

New relationships can be tricky. From navigating your way through a blended family to surviving meeting the family. Figuring out when to use the “L word” is another obstacle a new relationship has to go through. So we asked a few Afropolitans here at Kaya House to share when they think is the right time to say I love you in a new relationship.

Uncle T aka Tbose Mokwele, The Best T in The City

When it feels like the right time to say it; there’s really no formula for these things. You have to ask yourself does it feel right, do you feel safe, do you feel secured enough to even tell them, do you trust them enough? Like Philosopher John Paul Sartre said, “when you tell someone you love them, you’re actually saying to the next person “ I’m willing trade my freedom and are you willing to trade yours” so “I love you” must be returned with “I love you too.”

What makes people a little bit unsure on when to say it is because they’re not sure if the next person is really ready to trade freedom. To trade off your freedom means you’re giving away one of the biggest liberties in life and you’re giving it to somebody else to have and to hold, and to control. You’re willing to do that, are they willing to do that? Should the answer to those questions be yes then you are ready to tell them that “ I love you”

Natasha Archary,  Kaya 959 dating blogger

They say time has no bearing on love. You could be with someone for years and feel nothing and you could meet someone today and feel an instant connection. This doesn’t mean that you go around blurting out that you love people from day 1. I believe you shouldn’t say “I love you” before the first year you’re together. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care deeply about the person; it’s just that you’re testing the waters. Saying “I love you” too early is a sign of major insecurities and control issues.

It’s not something you just throw around for the sake of. Save it for when you really feel like you’ve met that person who sets your heart aflame.

Mosibodi Whitehead,  Kaya 959 Sports

Anytime is the right time. Whether it’s the first day you see this person, it could be love at first sight. Some people are able to envision a future with someone just by looking at them. Or it could be after your first romantic night or after a while, for some people it grows even after they are married. Anytime, it is really all up to you.

Thokozile Sokupha,  Student

Although there is no right time to say “I love you” in a relationship, it could signify different things at different stages of the relationship. Different people have different definitions/interpretations of the word love and what it means to them, but saying “I love you” earlier on in the relationship could most likely be mistaken for infatuation, simply because you’re still learning about that person.

Saying “I love you” after several years in the relationship would be more meaningful as you are now more familiar with your significant other’s character, their flaws and their personhood.

Christopher  Baloyi, Kaya 959 Technical Producer

I don’t think there’s really a right time to tell someone you love them.Life is too short not to express your feelings; you don’t want to regret not expressing your feelings to someone. What if it’s something they want to hear and the feeling is mutual? But sometimes it is hard to trust the feelings when you’re not sure what they mean.

A usual response to “I love you” is “I love you too” but we’re never certain what the response will be when we express our feelings for the first time to someone. Not everyone will love or express their feelings at the same pace as you, your right time might not be the right time to the next person as people we’re all different and we love differently.

Being a very reserved person who prefers spending time alone and very restrictive with my space, I find it hard to let people in my personal space. I have noticed that telling someone I love them when I don’t mean it is easy but when I genuinely feel a connection with someone it is hard to say it for the first time. I would rather show them, which is something I personally need to work on, expressing more of my feelings.

Nomali Cele, Writer

I think anytime, is a good time, as long as it’s true. Holding ourselves to dating conventions that require us to play parts that aren’t necessarily who we are or how we feel just to appear “cool” can mess up a good thing. For millennials, the dating world has changed immensely and I think all that you can rely on is yourself, how you feel and the desire to do right by your partner.   So what if it was too soon? You felt it, you said it, most people regret the paths untaken and words unspoken.

the right time, when to say I love you, best t in the city wetnesday

All in all there’s never really “a right time” to say I love you but it shouldn’t be rushed either. When it is “the right time” you won’t even think twice before you say it, it will organically flow out of your mouth but if you have to second-guess yourself and your partner’s reaction to those words then do not say it yet.

When do you think is the right time to say those magic words in a relationship? Tweet us using #KayaOnline

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