Saying “I love you” isn’t the kind of thing you spit out over third-date cocktails (for most of us). It often takes several months to get close enough and work up the courage to let our feelings flow. In fact, a recent survey found the average American has said “I love you” to three or fewer romantic partners over his or her lifetime. Surprised? We say given the gravity of the sentiment, that sounds perfectly fine.
The online survey, conducted by YouGov, asked 986 men and women ages 18 to 65 several questions about their romantic lives, including how many partners had been on the receiving end of their professions of love. While 9 percent of respondents had never confessed that loving feeling, 26 percent have said “I love you” to one partner, 26 percent have said it to two partners, and 15 percent have said it to three partners. From there, the number dwindles to just 8 percent expressing their affections to four partners all the way to just 1 percent saying “I love you” to nine.
What we wish? That the survey size was bigger, that respondents were asked under what circumstances they made their confessions, and whether their love was reciprocated. Now you tell us— is your number more or less than three? For some of our staffers it’s definitely higher, and for others it’s right on par.