In Hollywood love stories, it usually takes 90 minutes for the couple to breathe the three magic words into each other’s ears. But how does it look in real life?
When is the best time and how long should I wait before saying the magic phrase "I love you"??
Couples counselor and Parship coach Eric Hegmann ("Bedienungsanleitung Liebe: 100 praktische Tipps fur mehr Liebe im Leben," Textakademie, €12.99) answers the most important questions.
Men are faster
► According to a survey by the online dating agency Parship, a third of Germans would make a declaration of love after the first day – this is especially true for men. A full 42 percent like to press the accelerator when saying "I love you.
► Women are somewhat more reserved: For them, a confession of love on the first day is only an option for one in four (23 percent).
► Just under one in five (18 percent) instead feel that a period of at least one month is appropriate before a newly in love couple should confess their love to each other.
Conclusion: So Germans are not shy about these words. Only one in a hundred Germans (1 percent) has never uttered it.
Is there a difference between "I love you" and "I love you"??
Eric Hegmann: "Personally, in my daily interactions, I like: ‘I love you’ more, because ‘I love you’ daily by text message wears out a bit. ,I love you’ is even a bit more binding and revealing, exposing. Nothing is held back anymore – of course, this also makes you vulnerable. However, each couple should decide for themselves, this has a lot to do with early imprints, how light or heavy these formulations weigh. And some people can say ‘I love you’ and lie about it – unfortunately, that’s possible too."
What is the best way to answer?
Couples counselor Eric Hegmann finds phrases like "And I you first" more beautiful than "I you too". "Me too" is standard, but if you’re completely correct, leaves it open whether you love yourself or your partner. "I love you too" is probably the answer that everyone prefers to hear.
What does it say when the saying feels strange – even though you are very much in love?
Surely it means that you mean these words and attach importance to them. Sometimes the situation is just not right. Just when they are expected, they do not feel "fitting". And then they just gush out at another time. If you say it, then you should say it sincerely and without beating around the bush, because these words do not need staging.
Is it rude not to return the "I love you" phone call??
Eric Hegmann: "The coolest answer was probably in ‘Star Wars,’ when Harrison Ford as Han Solo said to Princess Leia: ‘I know!’ But outside of movies, that probably won’t go over so well – unless it’s an inside joke by the couple. Then it is very funny and speaks for a good relationship."
10 variants of "I love you to say
– I have taken you to my heart
– I have a lot for you
– I adore you!
– I am very attached to you
– I adore you
– I have a soft spot for you
– I rave for you
– I dig you
– I’m totally into you
– I am crazy about you
Is there even the "right" time for the three famous words?
Eric Hegmann: "At the latest before the registry office the words should have fallen times, I think. But even that is very personal. If you feel that way, it’s actually never wrong. But: people who rather hope for love at first sight are naturally happy about a quick proof of love."
Important: People for whom love develops slowly out of affection and trust would not understand this and would react suspiciously. Conversely, they must then give early signals of commitment so that the fate-oriented do not think that their feelings are not reciprocated.
How much commitment do the words "I love you" create?
"It varies from couple to couple, of course. In the end, it creates as much commitment as the couple allows themselves. For most people, however, this implies both a very strong feeling and a willingness to enter into a relationship or take it to another, higher level. People are ‘serious’ about it," says book author Hegmann.
Should this sentence be said at all? Isn’t it more important to feel ES?
"Actions always weigh heavier than words! This is also true in this case! If a partner doesn’t say this phrase, but shows that they feel this way, that can be okay too. No one should tell themselves they’re not loved because these three words don’t come up," advises Hegmann.
What does it say about the quality of the relationship if partners have never said the three famous words to each other – not even after many years?
"Most definitely, it says that at least one of the partners is afraid of those three words, and probably of the closeness they signify," says couples counselor Eric Hegmann. "But that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she doesn’t feel sincere feelings, but the attachment attitude is probably avoidant or. ambivalent. Or the partners lead a kind of half-relationship or as it is currently often called, the two are "mingles": not singles, but also not a couple."
Conclusion: Who "I love you" says and receives no response, he will most certainly be offended or question the partner’s feelings. That’s why these words are often misused as a test of love.
Can a marriage with a childhood sweetheart go well? Yes, say therapists – even if researchers come to different conclusions.