Saying "I love you" for the first time is a major event in any relationship. These three little words can be the hardest for people to say.
Some people fall in love easily and quickly, while it takes others a long time. Some people think that they know what love feels like and consider themselves as having been in it several times, while others do not think that they ever have. Invariably, people will fall in love. Whether they know it at the time or not, there is always that definitive "first love" that everyone talks about, and you will eventually realize who it was, or in some cases, who it wasn't. There are a lot of cases where a person thinks that they are in love continually, and then they meet the one person who forever changes their view of love and what it feels like. These moments are to be treasured.
So when you are in a relationship, it is very likely that you will fall in love at some point in it. Hopefully, at least! So then comes the quandary of when and how to say these three very scary little words! For some people, the thought of saying them to someone and not having them said back (whether or not the feelings are actually returned) is the worst scenario imagineable, so they will wait until the other person says "it."
One of the best ways to say it without feeling rejected is to approach it head on! If you say "I'm going to tell you something, and I don't want you to say anything back", you are taking all of the pressure off of the responder. This way, since you said you didn't want a response, neither of you will be upset that none was given. This will give the other person a chance to digest what you have said and respond at a later time. Chances are, if all goes well, your significant other will tell you how he or she feels quite soon afterward. If you do this, it frees up the other person to actually say "it" because they know how you feel, and no one is wondering anymore!
If you are of the bolder sort, just go ahead and tell your other half how you feel about them! If you put yourself out there, even if you get hurt you will still grow as a person. The reason that most people don't do this directly is that they are afraid of being hurt or rejected. If you are not someone who is governed by this fear, say what you feel and rejoice in knowing that you are brave and in touch with your feelings!
Loving and being loved, and knowing about both, is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. If you feel this strongly about someone, don't they deserve to know?