Different people mean different things when they use the word love. But generally you can't truly love someone until you get to know the real them. Before that, it can be attraction, infatuation or lust, but you cannot love someone you don't really know. Beware of falling in love with the idea of love or your own idea of who the person is. Check out:
When your relationship isn't based on any real emotional connection then your just fronting and waiting to get hurt.
Like couples who are full of gratitude and flattery for each other show so much love but don't make any real emotional connection that they end up walking away after a few weeks.
You should not be in love with someone who is still being dishonest with you. That can be premature love as well. True emotional connection and trust is needed if you want to be ready for love.
Time period. . . could be 3 months could be 2 years could be 2 months with some people. . . Normally recommend 2 years before marriage or a real love commitment. To say I love you should not be forced on one another and come naturally. . . no time period exists.