26 People Share Exactly How They Knew They Were In Love

Being in love is one of the most incredible feelings in the world – next to opening a box of hot, fresh, steamy pizza. When you’re in love, it’s like nothing else matters. Sometimes, it can be beautiful – but, sometimes it can be terrifying and painful. The thing about love is that it’s contingent on who you’re asking – it’s a feeling, an emotion, not something set in stone for everyone to go through exactly the same way. When you ask the people of Reddit how they knew they were in love – well you best bet they delivered.

1. RainAhh:

When you find someone that makes you think, “Yeah, I could let this person fucking destroy me in every way and still be okay with it.”

The moment I knew I was in love with my husband (well…some backstory first): I am in the military. We were only dating at the time I went home on RAP after my tech training. I walked into his room one day and a book on his desk caught my eye (I’m an avid reader so naturally). I picked it up and the title read I Never Told Anyone. It’s a book of writings by survivors of childhood sexual abuse. My heart felt like it exploded and I got really teary-eyed when he walked in and saw me holding it. All he said was, “I just wanted to be able to understand what you went through – the trauma – without reopening that wound.” It was a decision I made then and continue to make each and everyday.

2. zugy:

I’ve always loved this quote from Neil Gaiman in The Kindly Ones:

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life… You give them a piece of you. They don’t ask for it. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like “maybe we should just be friends” or “how very perceptive” turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love.”

3. badass_panda:

I thought I was in love a lot, growing up. I’d feel in love with people after talking to them for a day. I fell in love with everybody; I loved every girl I met and half the boys.

But as I got older, and got hurt, and hurt people, I realized that love isn’t that tingly feeling, or acting like an idiot, or wanting to be around someone all the time.

Love is a quiet trust, it is affection built out of familiarity. Love is really, really, really knowing someone — and wanting a life that has them in it, not because of what they can do, but because of what they are.

4. StephenHorn:

A girl at work asked a bunch of us guys a question like this once. I think the exact question was, “when did you know you were going to marry your wife?”

My answer was, when I realized that my wife is the first woman I’ve dated that I actually missed when I wasn’t with them, that was when I knew I wanted to be with her forever. And then, after about a year of that feeling not changing our going away, I asked her to marry me.

Another guy I work with said he saw his wife destroy the fattest loaded burger, down her Texas cheese fries, and then gulp down her beer before ordering another. That was his clue. I guess love comes to each of us differently.

5. skydecklover:

I asked my dad this when I was dating my first girlfriend. She turned out to be a bitch who jerked me around for months on end, but the advice stayed relevant.

“You know you are in love when you can no longer imagine living your life without this person, and the idea of spending the rest of t with them is inviting, not terrifying.”

6. the_taco_knight:

When all the new wears off, you don’t have butterflies every time they call or text or you know you’re going to see them, you’re not getting all giddy about “firsts” in your relationship, you’re no longer both on your best behavior, you can see their faults and let them see yours, you’ve survived a few disagreements, you’re not boning every time you catch some alone time, the sex isn’t mind blowing every single time. And after all that, they’re still your favorite person. They still think the sun shines out your ass. you still do things for each other, for the simple joy of making them happy. The absence of the rose colored glasses of new lust hasn’t been replaced with resentment, it has evolved into comfort, stability, and security with that person.

7. creaturefromthebog:

I dunno but I’ll tell you about when I took my girlfriend out to eat for her birthday. It was a fondue place and I felt super out of my element. She loved every second of it. I hated the food. She loved it. I hated the drinks. She loved it. I hated the atmosphere. She loved it. But I loved every second of the evening because she did. I got such great joy from her experiencing her time that I had a great time too. I truly love this woman and me being happy because she was happy showed me

8. KatyLiedTheBitch:

When a person can make your day by simply existing. How, when you’re with them, time seems to stop. When you realize no one has ever made you feel happier, safer, or more complete.

9. Mitochondriagon:

As someone who loves to eat, this quote I heard from a food podcast sums it up: “Marry the one who gives you the same feeling you get when food arrives at a restaurant.”

10. techniforus:

She was my first thought in the morning and my last at night. She filled my dreams and motivated my actions. It was terrifying and exhilarating: I was not in control of my life because I’d do anything for her, but I didn’t care because I got to spend it with her. I realized that all one morning as I woke and she was again the only thought in my mind. It had probably been that way for a while before I realized, but I cannot tell you how long because I was lost in her.

11. brrrangadang:

Man, I found real love for the first time in my life last year. I’ll try to explain it. I knew instantly that there was something special between us. Literally the first time we went out, it was like we had been together for 10 years.

All I wanted to do was be around this person. It didn’t matter what else I was doing, I simply couldn’t get enough. You feel like if you could just stay with them forever, that life would be pretty great.

I’m a pretty argumentative person, but in love I don’t fight. Because I don’t care if I win. I just want things to be exactly how they are. So I don’t yell and I don’t get angry. I might get hurt, but never angry.

It was very obvious I was in love because the honeymoon phase of the relationship never wore off. A year later and it’s just as amazing if not more so than when we first started. I have no doubt that is will stay that way forever. She’s just.. my other half. I don’t want to ever date again. This is the one and I couldn’t be happier. She might not be perfect but she’s perfect for me.

12. gunnxrs:

When you prioritize the needs of the the person over yours. When you do things they like, but you don’t because it matters to them. When you help each other with the chores. Love goes beyond attraction or sex.

13. iamnotthemoon:

I had a dream we broke up, woke up with tears all on my face. Then i knew.

14. running_rum:

I just found out I was truly in love yesterday afternoon. My S/O and I had been at the beach cabana all day enjoying a gorgeous South Florida day when naturally a cat 1 hurricane decided to form in the distance. We decided to wait out the storm instead of driving through it so we took showers and settled in for the wait. I was sitting on the beach chair having a beer and it starts to drizzle. S/O starts yelling, its raining lets go lets go. I’m all like wtf are you talking about. Suddenly he says “I want to kiss you in the rain, come on get up” .. I started laughing really hard because I thought he was fucking with me. He was sooo serious and grabbed me, pulled me out into the rain and started kissing me. He goes, “I remember the first time we ever kissed. It was on the bus on the way home from gradnight 10 years ago. I’ll never forget that and I’ll always kiss you, forever in rain or shine! It was ridiculous and amazingly sweet and at that moment I knew I was totally in love and completely happy! Like finally truly in love when I felt that feeling.

I guess you’ll know when something so silly and stupid happens that really reminds you that somewhere deep inside you can let go and let love in! (if that makes any sense at all)

15. pugbreath:

I’ve been with my SO for 5 years now. It started off with intense infatuation, writing songs about him, making poetry out of everything he did. I never found him boring, or embarrassing, or insufferable in any way. We never, ever fought. He stuck with me through cancer. I stuck with him through his mother passing away. I was so in love, I thought.

It wasn’t until about a year ago, he was in his final semester of college and worked full time. I work a lot too, but the stress started overtaking him and he started forgetting all of our plans, not being interested in hanging out with me, not wanting to be intimate… I was never nice or empathetic, just always pissed off. This escalated to us contemplating our love for each other and we talked about breaking up. It was devastating. I missed two days of work just sobbing and feeling lifeless in bed (we’ve been dating for 5 years, but he was my best friend throughout high school prior to that).

This is when I realized I was in love and that he was, too. We fought to stay together. We both realized how poorly we had treated one another and found it important enough to give up the ego, admit our faults, and work on our bad habits. I realized I was in love when I found out that love is a choice that you make, not just a feeling. Sometimes I think he’s embarrassing and sometimes I think his stories are super boring now, and I don’t always think he’s a glorious incandescent perfect human anymore. And I love him now more than I ever did.

16. BrokenZen:

A lot of these answers describe infatuation. Love – you just kind of know. You’re yourself. You don’t use one of those fakey “boyfriend/girlfriend voices”. When you’re completely vulnerable, yet comfortable.

I’ve been married 10 years this coming December. I know how I show love and how my wife shows me love. Forgiveness. Respect. Compromise. Love is holding her hair when she pukes. Not going to bed angry – talking and working through troubles and arguments no matter how difficult the topic. That is key to “waking up happy”. Not storming off in the middle of an argument. Accepting you’re wrong. Undying respect, no matter what. You may be super mad at the other person for something entirely their fault; never lose respect. Forgiveness. Compromise. Doing things the other person enjoys because they enjoy it, and doing it with a smile on your face. Taking risks together. Accepting there are just some things the other person won’t do. Compromise. Forgiveness. Respect.

Love is not chemical imbalances or physiological changes in your body. Love Is the feeling and joy you get when doing things FOR the other person.

17. FUD2:

There’s alot of reasons why I’m with my wife but if I’m ever in my depressed moods I always just take away all the things she does for me and I do for her and ask myself “without all of these material things, if we lost it all, will I still love her and stand by her side?” (she pays rent, buys groceries, pays for outings, works helluva lot more than me , ik shit deal for her at times!) And the answer to the question is always yes. The moment I decided to marry her was one of absolute clarity and yet logically it’s the most irrational thought I’ve ever had. I woke up at 2am, and right after my eyes opened I said “I am going to marry ladylady on this day, this way. And i made it so. It happened EXACTLY how I dreamed, it was truly an anomalous and best decision I ever made! She saves my life every day and there’s no way I’m letting her go.

18. JBTalman:

My girlfriend and I were at Outback on one of our first dates. Right after we got our appetizers, this old man approaches our table and asks if he can sit with us for a moment. We’re friendly people, so we welcome him and I scoot over in the booth so she doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable with a stranger.

Now, I don’t know what was going on. Honestly, i was worried that he had Alzheimers and was going to say he didn’t know where he was. Not the case at all.

“My wife and I, for all thirty years we were married, dedicated our Sundays to church, a nice dinner, and a good deed. She past away last year and I miss her more than anything. We never fell apart. We’d have little spats, but we’d come rushing back into the room and apologizing a few minutes later.” He started to tear up. We may have too.

“Anyways, I like to remember her by spending my Sundays like we always did. And today, my good deed is going to be paying for part of your dinner.” He slips me a twenty and wholly out of character I accept it without protest. It felt rude to reject a good natured thing like that.

“I suppose you two are married?” Oh God, I was mortified. We had known each other for a year at this point, having worked together in that time. But we had just recently gotten involved and the L word wasn’t on the table, much less a future of any sort. I didn’t know what to say, how to say it, what would upset my girlfriend, anything. But in that moment, she just slowly raised her left hand so the back of it faced him and gave a pouted expression as she shrugged.

“Young man,” he started with a bump to arm, “you better get on that!” We all laughed and he started to get up from his seat. “If you don’t mind, ma’am. I got knee replacements a year ago and they’re not quite as good as the real thing.” She helps him up, and he gives her a hug. “You better get him on that,” he tells her. We laughed and went on to a perfect meal.

So to answer the question, I think I knew I was in love when I told my parents about the whole ordeal the next day and my mother was smiling because I couldn’t stop smiling.

I sincerely believe that old man set the tone for our entire relationship. We’ve moving in together in July and I keep telling her grandmother I’ll have the money for a proper ring eventually.

19. EnjoiEveryMoment:

The answer to this question is a bit subjective, and I believe love manifests differently for different personality types.

The most simple explanation can be summed up like so: When that person makes you feel like you want to better yourself.

20. Xais56:

The routine answer to this question is “you’ll know.”

And that’s a pretty shitty and unsatisfying answer, right? You want to know more about the human condition, validate and identify your feelings, what good is “you’ll know”??

Seriously though, you’ll know. Unfortunately you may not know until it’s too late, that often happens, but you’ll know when you’ve felt it. When something happens to put your life in perspective, and you get a moment of lucidity that lets you cut through the bullshit, and through all of life’s stresses and grievances, and you see them. Nothing matters, not you, not that thing weighing you down, not whatever geopolitical crisis is occurring, only they matter, and having them near you, with you, a part of you. That’s love.

It’s not always outspoken, it’s not always grand and romantic, but it’s always there, always present. Hollywood would have you believe it’s like a firework display throughout your body, but that’s an instant, that’s a moment, that’s winning the lottery, or graduating, or your wedding day. Love is an itch on the heart that’s there, always in the back of your awareness, always whispering.

21. imalittleC-3PO:

For me it was the realization that we’re living separate lives together as opposed to my other relationships where I felt like we were living the same life separately.

What I mean is we’re two different people with different hobbies and interest but we still want to be with each other and support each other and help each other improve. We’re living our lives and helping each other rather than just making each other the focus of our lives.

22. yiotaturtle:

Seeing him happy made me happier than I ever remembered being before. His joy was what made me happy. That’s what made me realize I was in love.

When someone you care about receives a gift they love you are happy for them. When someone you love receives a gift they love, you are as happy as if you yourself received a gift, since their happiness is on par with it.

23. pjr032:

For me, it just clicked. My gf and I started dating 2 1/2 years ago, and we’ve never had to force anything. Everything happened when it should have, dates, getting intimate, sharing anything and everything about our lives with each other. There has never been a “forced moment” with us, i.e. we never struggle to hold a conversation, make plans, or just hang out and have some time together. She’s the first person I want to see/talk to in the morning, and the one I want to see when going to bed every night. Whenever something happens to either of us, the other one is there, no matter what. While we may disagree on some things, we can always talk about what’s going on and solutions to problems without getting nasty towards each other.

We recently moved in together, and the transition was seamless. Every day we come home to each other and just want to be together, whether we have plans or just want to lay down and unwind from the day.

The cliche is true: when you know, you know. Sometimes it’s hard to stay patient and let things unfold when the time is right, because you just want to get to that point with that person, whatever the goal is. House, kids, whatever. Regardless of the goal, one thing never changes: you want that person to be by your side no matter what.

24. usernamenotfound123:

It was the realization that there is always going to be someone better out there, someone who may come along with better looks, a better paying job, funnier jokes, with anything else, but I don’t want better, and if better comes knocking on my door I will choose my current mate time and time again.

It’s also in our worst moments. Those moments during a big fight, where the thought of breaking up to solve it doesn’t cross my mind, but rather, how do we get through this one because I know we will make it work and this is the person I want to be with.

With all my previous relationships these two things were different. I was always (subconsciously) waiting for something better or different. During a big fight I contemplated breaking up, and would give it serious thought.

But now I’m with my teammate. We go through good and bad together, and it’s an equal effort relationship. The effort changes at times, sometimes he takes the lead when I’m down, sometimes I need to push forward when he’s down. But we do it together and the goal is never questioned.

25. Basic_likeBicarb:

When you’re not afraid to argue. When you yell and bitch at each other over stupid stuff all the time but you both shrug it off and grab a beer afterward. I married a Latina, we throw down on the reg. Hell, the arguing has mostly taken the place of sex. But we both couldn’t imagine living without each other and we are each other’s best friend.

26. cartographer721:

When no matter how bad things have gotten sometimes, there are still great times in between and that’s what you look back on the most. When no matter how mad you’ve gotten, there is always forgiveness, understanding and willingness to be better. When no matter how difficult, how frustrating, how inconvenient it gets, or how often life gets tough on its own and creates friction, you still find yourself driven to take care of one another even at your own expense, and trust them to do the same.

When it’s still fun, you still laugh and smile with each other and do simple things because you know those things make them happy, even after you’ve fought, and argued and found things you can’t stand about each other and know that will keep happening from time to time and it’s still completely worth it to you knowing that.

When you realize giving to them makes you so much happier than receiving.

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Written by Lex Gabrielle

A writer and teacher from New York City who fully supports messy buns and 3+ cups of coffee a day.