Actually this is a guideline not a rule and it may differ on the gender (which it shouldn't) or the personality type. If a person consistently says I love you the entire time of the relationships and backs it up with action.
Then one might say it is better then having to wait 3 years, but to each their own.
I will admit your right possibly from a female point of view though since my partner says you always say that it doesn't mean anything.
To each their own.
As for love ... there is love at first sight, there is a connection that snaps, but it doesn't happen always. There is also the factor if a person has had a lot of experience or if they are virginal like ...
But in the end to each their own, and I won't down play your experience, but it is what it is.
BTW .... I love chocolate .... I Love my partner ... (capital letter matters :) )