Say I love you

One in 10 British people drop ‘the L-Bomb’ within a week

Relationship studies  |  June 17, 2019

Despite the stereotypes about the British being reserved, one in 10 (9%) revealed their love for their partner within seven days. This is according to research from eharmony, which found that men under 35 are the most likely to come out with the phrase quickly, with one in five (22%) doing so in a week or less. Overall, the average person takes 108 days to tell their partner they love them. Those in Scotland are the fastest to fall, waiting just 84 days from meeting their partner to profess their love. Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale are those in Wales, who taking a third longer than the UK average (144 v 108 days). This is in part due to people in the area thinking that telling their partner that they love them is less important for a healthy relationship. What isn’t surprising is that Londoners wait a relatively long time (132 days) before declaring love, as they are likely to be more tough-skinned metropolitan types.

How long it takes people to say ‘I love you’ (by region)

Number of days


East Midlands

East of England

Yorkshire and Humberside

West Midlands

South East

North East

South West

North West



n = 2,000; Percentages rounded; supported

Relationship milestones before saying ‘I love you’

Despite many British people not waiting around long before dropping ‘the L-Bomb’, other relationship milestones still often come first. Two in five (39%) have sex for the first time before saying ‘I love you’, while a fifth (19%) prioritise meeting the parents first. 13% take a holiday first – rising to more than a quarter (27%) among Londoners. Once in love, those in the North-West are most forthcoming, telling a partner they love them a whopping 12 times a week, while those in Wales (8) and London (8) are least keen. 


… Of british people take a holiday together before saying ‘i LoVE YOU’

As relationships progress, we say the magic words less often

Compared with five years ago, we say ‘I love you’ 50% less often (15 v 10 times per week). The greater level of restraint could be down to relationship security, as more than half of British people (55%) believe they don’t need to talk about their love for their partner because their feelings are clear. In terms of location, the majority choose to keep the moment private and share their feelings with their partner at home (19%) or while cuddled up in bed (14%). Of those that did say, ‘I love you’ in public, the pub (7%) was identified as the top spot, followed by a romantic meal at a restaurant (6%). Meanwhile, 30% don’t remember at all. Data suggests that couples who match on traits such as romanticism and sexual passion tend to have very happy relationships. But expressing love can come in different forms. For some couples it’s about thoughtful gestures rather than words, such as helping with household chores, buying thoughtful gifts, or never forgetting an anniversary or key moment together. Sometimes, less is more.


of people say ‘I love you’ less often than they used to


of people think that the sentiment goes without saying

Study information
  • Study typeSurvey
  • ApproachStudy of UK couples
  • Sample Size2,000
  • Reference PeriodMay 2014 - May 2019
  • Region/City/CountryUK
  • LanguageEnglish