When you've fallen madly and deeply in love with someone, it feels so easy to say the three words you've been yearning to hear as well. However, saying "I love you" must be done with great thought and it should be based on biblical principles. This doesn't mean that you need a big sign from God to be able to say this to your special someone. But, you do need to observe the situation and timing if it is indeed the right time to say these eight letters. So, when should you say "I love you" when dating?
When it's not because you're emotional
When you're on an emotional high, it's easy to blurt out these three words. Resist it. This is also why God tells us not to engage in sexual behavior before marriage. The thing is, a person's sexual behavior is connected to one's emotions. When you're enjoying the physical intimacy, it makes you think that you're really in love with this person, but in truth, it is not that godly love you seek. So when you stay pure, your emotions will not dictate the decisions you will make. If Christ is in the center of your relationship, you'll know that when you say "I love you," it is in the biblical sense and not just because you are on a high.
When you feel the love the Bible describes
I mentioned love in the biblical sense, but what does this really mean? Simple. It's when you feel the love the Bible describes. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
This verse is very important in defining what love should be about. When you say you love someone, you must be actively patient. This goes the same for the other qualities; you must be actively kind, trusting, hopeful, and etc. Love doesn't fail, it is humans who do. But if you really commit to this definition, you will understand the gravity and weight of these three words. At the same time, you will also realize that to be able to feel this kind of love, you need Jesus in your life first and foremost. You cannot love someone this way if you don't feel God's love in this way, too.
When you trust your significant other
Trust isn't something you build after a week of dating. This is why many couples choose to build a foundation of friendship first before taking the next step. How do we define trust here though? Is it simply trusting your special someone not to cheat on you? No, it's not as simple as that. It is trusting yourself and your significant other that you're both committed to the biblical sense of love. The key word here is the both of you, and not just one of you committing to it.
Of course, prayer also helps in guiding you when you should say "I love you" to the person you're dating. You must always ask God for wisdom. This isn't only about asking God if it's the right time to say the three words, but it's also asking for wisdom to determine if this is indeed a relationship God wants you to have.
Moreover, remember that when you believe in the biblical definition of love, this love will be bigger than the relationship you have. This means that even if the relationship ends, you will still be friends. Even if you've broken up, you will still treat each other with respect. This is the type of love God gives us, and such love will never fail.