When did you first say I love you? Watch
And how many times had you seen them at that point?
In my first relationship it happened after a month.. she said it to me and I felt obliged to say it back. In my current relationship, she said it first, and it was very much mutual
With this partner, he finds it incredibly difficult to say because of how he's been hurt in the past, so he said he wasn't going to say it until he was 100% sure. I told him that was fine, and that he never had to say it back when I said it to him. I ended up saying it after about a month because everything was just amazing, and I really did feel it. He said it over text to me a handful of times over the next few months, which I was thrilled at. Over time, he said it more and more, and now he says it all the time - more importantly, he will now say it first, rather than in response to me saying it to him, which is amazing.
It probably sounds silly, but I know the backstory, so I know how important those words are to him.