9 People On When It's The Right Time To Do These Things In A Relationship

9 People On When It’s The Right Time To Do These Things In A Relationship

When do you say “I love you”?

When do you meet the parents?

When do you move in together?

When is the right time to do these things in a relationship?


“There isn’t a timeline. It’s for each individual person to decide. Just because society says you should wait x months to say “I love you” doesn’t mean that’s not the right thing for you. Trust your gut.” –Chastity, 23


“I met the parents after the third time hanging out and said “I love you” about a month into the relationship. The right time is when you feel it’s the right time.” –Quentin, 23


“You shouldn’t say “I love you” until you see that person at their worst and subconsciously you think about how wildly in love with them you are. When you first see a future with your partner and and share that joy by introducing them to your family. When your lives sync up and everything makes sense, move in in together. Relationships and their timelines can be more complex than finding the right person to be in a relationship with and honestly there isn’t a right answer to any of these timelines.” –Paris, 23


“I don’t think there’s a “right” time to say it honestly, I think it’s more just about the moment. I knew I could love my boyfriend and for so long, we would dance around the idea of saying it with “I liiiiike you!” and “I appreciate you” but I think the “right” moment is probably when you feel it and you want to share that feeling. For meeting the parents, I’m hispanic and I stand by that culture so much that I never introduce a guy to my parents unless I know it’s someone I can see a real future with. For moving in, I’d say there are no “timelines” for these things, it’s all about when it feels right and every relationship has their own pace. It’s just about when it feels right for both of you.” -Gabriella, 24


“Figuring out the perfect time to say “I love you” is tricky. For me, the build up of the desire to want to say it became too much and it sort of poured out during an emotionally charged conversation about our future. Sometimes not being completely open about your feelings can complicate things. When to meet the parents, in my opinion, is situational. If your significant other is proud of the relationship they’ve cultivated with their family, they’re usually excited to introduce someone they’re equally proud of. Moving in together is arguably the most time sensitive of the 3 questions. In my personal experience, this is the only one that had a “right moment.” When you love somebody, you want to share those seemingly insignificant and everyday moments.” –Ryan, 29


“Putting month constraints on things is really old fashioned. I think you should say “I love you” when you do, but you shouldn’t feel like there’s a necessity to hear it back. If that’s going to be a make or break for you, don’t say it. Don’t live together until you really feel comfortable fighting–because as much as you think you know them, you’re about to really know them and there will be fights. As for the parents, I think it depends. I’m not super close with my parents so even though I’ve been with my girlfriend since this summer, they barely know anything about her…and I don’t feel bad about that! Relationships are just different. You just have to communicate and then everything will work itself out.” –Kendra, 29


“For a couple that vibes together…I would say that 3-5 months is the “normal” range for when you really start to feel…feelings. You have time to question it. I’m not sure about moving in, honestly. My brother moved in with his girlfriend after dating her for six months and it was shit. Later on, he dated someone else for a year and them living together just works.” –Karl, 20


“‘I love you’ — when you feel it. Parents — depends. Moving in should definitely be time-based. At LEAST a year. Know you’re in it for real or for the long haul, because a breakup with financial and housing ties sounds uglier than ugly to me.” –Christine, 22


“Whenever you feel ready.” –Anna, 29 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Kelly Peacock

Brooklyn-based poet, writer, avid coffee drinker, and music lover.