As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches and Cupid takes his chubby, diaper-clad behind out of hibernation just to aim his arrow of love directly at you, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of cuffing season, and look at your relationship with the rose-colored glasses of romance instead of what’s real. But just because it’s the season of love does not necessarily mean, it’s the right time to say “I love you” to your current cuddle companion.
When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s impossible to control the emotions coming from each person involved and Psychology Today explains that factors, including everything from the gender of each partner involved to personality traits like being introverted or extroverted, weigh heavily in the love conversation — and that’s not even taking into account baggage from other relationships!
Since falling in love isn’t always as easy as we’d like it to be, sometimes we need to consult with the experts to help guide us on our love journey. Thankfully, Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, took the time to share her expertise with The List, and she’s laid out in clear, no-nonsense terms the signs you need to look out for that it is not the right time in your relationship to say “I love you.”
When your partner isn't ready yet
Whether it’s too early in the relationship or as Susan Trombetti explains, “you feel in your gut that they aren’t as emotionally available as you,” rushing an “I love you” could actually hurt a budding romance.
In advising the world’s rich and famous on the matters of love, Trombetti urges clients and friends alike to listen to their instincts first and foremost. She explains, If you’re having doubts about expressing your love, “You pretty much already know in your heart, and that’s a red flag you shouldn’t say it.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean that love won’t develop as you spend more time together, however. As with any relationship and finding your happily ever after, she stresses, “Maybe it could get there, and maybe it’s never going to get there,” but if you truly feel like you are a good match, but still have doubts about saying the words, her advice is to wait. She adds, “If you think they could get there, that’s yet another reason not to because you don’t want to scare them off.” Besides, falling in love is fun! Enjoy every minute of it instead of rushing it.
When you know you like them more than they like you
Bonnie Raitt heartbreakingly crooned “I can’t make you love me if you don’t / You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t,” and truer words were, sadly, never sung. If you know the person you are in love with doesn’t feel the same way, sharing your deepest emotions, unfortunately, won’t suddenly make them realize their love. Trombetti urges that this is one of those instances, “you should refrain from uttering those three words.”
It’s important to take yourself out of your emotions in situations like this, and Trombetti recommends asking yourself this important question if you’re feeling a little desperate to reveal your heart regardless of the outcome, “Why tell someone [I love you] when they aren’t into you?” If you’re hoping it will ignite their emotions, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. She further explains, “It will only make them uncomfortable and maybe make them feel suffocated.”
When your partner has commitment issues
The experiences of our past relationships always impact our current and future relationships. Unfortunately, for someone who was hurt that can result in a reluctance to commit. As Psychology Today explains, “Not everyone develops love or expresses it at the same pace.” That doesn’t mean commitment or love won’t come in the future, but if your partner is more interested in a casual relationship and doesn’t hide their intentions, Trombetti explains that when it comes to expressing deep emotions, “There really is no point.”
It might seem harsh, but it’s an important lesson. As a professional matchmaker she insists, “Make them prove themselves first before giving your love away.” Trombetti notes the difference between being honest with yourself about your feelings and honest with your partner about your feelings in a situation like this. She explains, “You can’t always help how you feel, but you can certainly control what you say and avoid the part where they are taking you for granted and not committing.”
If your partner is in love with someone else
Whether you got involved with someone who moved on from a former relationship too quickly or your partner is trying to move on with someone new, saying “I love you” when you know they have feelings for someone else is, as Trombetti explains, “manipulative.”
She goes on to explain, “If they feel they are really in love with someone else, telling them you love them isn’t exactly the best move.” It may seem obvious, but in the midst of a highly emotional situation like this, it can be difficult to see the reality of the situation.
Trombetti adds, that there is, “No reason to bare your soul because it isn’t going to change anything.” You don’t want someone to stay with you out of obligation or guilt. You want someone to love you because you’re awesome and they see it.
Trombetti goes on to say, “Just save [“I love you”] for if and when they come back and realize they truly had feelings for you.” Who knows, at that point, you might not want their affections any longer.
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