I don't even know that I even asked my mom this question before to be honest with you. lol I will take a look at that verse. Thank you all for your thoughts and time. :)
Two conditions must exist:
1. His welfare must be more important to you than anything else except your own salvation.
2. You must love him enough to not care if he doesn't say it back.
So to get back on track here, I use the "L" word very sparingly. That hesitation has cost me dearly at least once.
As they say in law school: It's a "facts and circumstances" test. No set standard. No magic line.
Only the reasonable and ordinary man knows the answer.
(If you were never in law school, you might not understand my response)
I guess it would depend on the situation and your definition of love - I was told love was choosing the better good for the other person no matter what, so I suppose if you weren't willing to risk the 'no matter what' part its probably too early to say it...but no matter what, I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it, to me an 'I love you' is a promise.