When you know “I’m in love”

I’ve only been in love a few times and each time I ‘knew’ it differently. The realisation of love, the clarity of ‘I love you’ arrives for me in different ways. Sometimes a wave of everything that came before just catches up with me, sometimes some piercing emotion that almost lifts me off my feet.

I can romanticise those moments, but the one I remember most clearly, the one that perhaps shocked me the most was so very mundane, so ordinary.

I was in my late twenties, my man and I were at a friend’s place and he was showing us around his guest house. It was a large property, beautiful. I was wandering around, admiring the old world architecture, the view outside to rolling green lawns.

I was in the kitchen. Of course I didn’t cook, was never the domestic type, was only half paying attention to our host when I opened a cupboard, just because. I looked at the plates, I haven’t a clue now what they looked like any more, but had the very boring thought, “When we have our house, THIS is the crockery I want.”

Having a thought about crockery at all was weird enough to cause a brain-flicker, to glitch for a microsecond with a ‘what?!’ But in that moment, I had a flash of our future, loved up and living together, domestic and happy, and it just happened that that plate was the trigger that caused that image to make itself clear in my head.

I had NEVER thought about the future with any previous partners, I just… didn’t do that. Ever. And for it to manifest in such a very ordinary domestic kind of way was a shock in and of itself.

My next thought was ‘oh shit, I love him… OH SHIT, I LOVE HIM!’

It was hardly some ‘hearts and flowers’ kind of Harlequin romance moment, but that’s exactly how it struck me: Standing shell-shocked in someone’s kitchen with a plate in my hand.

Scared the hell out of me to be honest.

If you care to share, I would love to hear your stories of ‘when you knew you were in love’, present or past.

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  1. I just turned 44 and I’ve only been in love once in my life.

    When it happend I was in my mid-twenties. The fridge in my apartment died and instead of calling the landlord and getting it fixed I moved in with two girls in their apartment. My best friend was dating one of the girls so I kind of knew her. Her flatmate was this adopted Indian girl. I thought she was funny, sexy and exotic. After awhile the other girl moved in with my best friend and Saritha (that was her name) and I continued living together as flatmates. We were just good friends. But after a few weeks we started sleeping together and things just kind of happend. One day it just dawned on us: We’re a couple living together.

    I also realized I had fallen in love with her. Because I had been kind of a loner up til then. The thought of sharing an apartment with a girlfriend that would be there, like all the time was not something I thought was very appealing. But with her I didn’t mind that I lost my “privacy”, “freedom” or whatever stupid label I had put on my loneliness. I wanted to be close to her all the time – and she felt the same way!

    It was an amazing few years. But I was an inmature asshole, a selfish dick with a criminal lifestyle. So I fucked it all up in the end. I still loved her when we broke up. We both cried and it hurt like hell for almost a year.

    We are still friends. She moved on with her life, found a new guy and now have two kids.

    Please ignore any spelling errors and such. I’m not drunk – just Swedish. :)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing. It seems sad that you fucked it up, sometimes our younger selves need a good shakeout. But I guess you just weren’t ready for the whole shebang.

      Are you sure you aren’t a drunk Swede? Anyway, I’ll call you when I get home :P.


  2. We had been friends for a couple of years and had even dated once or twice. It was no big deal for me as I wasn’t really looking for anyone. If anything, it was mostly a quid pro quo sort of arrangement. I helped her when her car broke down and she made me dinner. On occasion, we would sit outside on her doorstep and have tacos and beer while we solved the world’s problems.

    It was a bitterly cold evening in the winter of ’95 and I was working 12-hour shifts, selling new cars at that time. I had just dragged myself through the front door and not even bothered to eat before dropping my exhausted carcass into bed for the night. No sooner had the lights gone out when the phone rang. It was her! She had locked her keys in the car, at an all night burger joint, about a 45 minute drive away. With much swearing and door slamming, I trudged back out into the frigid night, wondering what the hell I must be thinking.

    It was only after I had arrived at the scene, (after driving for the better part of an hour) popped the door lock and rescued her keys, that it dawned on me why I had gone out there. It was that smile and excited squeal of appreciation that told me everything I needed to know. There was no way I couldn’t have gone. I was in love with my friend. We moved in together a few weeks later.

    1. Awww, so lovely!!! Thank you for that.

      Funny that the realisation crept up on you like that, from sideways. Me too! Maybe it’s really common.


  3. Gosh, I have to think about that. I know I loved my ex husband but that love got killed a long time ago. And I know I had the realization of being in love with Tony, which unfortunately feels unlike any other love I’ve had. I know there was the moment when I realized it was the kind of love that was unselfish and unconditional… probably my undoing for why I hung around so long. I will think about when I finally realized it :)

    1. Please do!

      I vaguely and theoretically imagine that most times it’s some moment of intensity that solidifies it, but maybe for most, it comes from out of left field somehow.

      I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  4. I was hanging around chatting online with someone I’d gone rounds with more than once about his behavior (not particularly towards me, he just had growing up to do and seemed to rely on me for guidance). We’d known each other for a while. I know he cared for me and I for him. I was discussing something I was doing with a friend, helping her in some minor way I barely recall. He suddenly blurted out “I love how much you care and how dedicated you are to helping other people.”

    There was this moment of awkward silence while we stared at each other. I finally managed

    “Uhhhh well thank you. I love you too.”

    And I realized I did. We’ve never gotten less awkward in our ability to express it. But maybe that’s just part of how this particular love works. They’re all so very different in the end.

  5. I know I’m in love when I have the (officially named by my daughter and I) the “Ah shit” moment. It’s that moment that I will incessantly talk about that person to others, rambling their ear off like “oh you know what X did the other day?!” and “Oh X has such a great …” . I will talk incessantly about anything and everything relating to that person. They will be constantly on my mind. I will do this for a while gradually getting worse. Then one day it will happen again and I realize it and I say “ah shit!” lol It seriously goes that way. I know. I’m crazy haha


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