Maybe you knew you loved him after the fourth date but kept it secret until he felt the same way. Maybe it came a few months after you married - and the reality about being together forever finally sunk in. Whatever your story, the moment you realize how much you love someone is a beautiful one.
These 11 couples share their "aha" moments and confess that it can happen during the most romantic (or random) moments of life:
"He took my hand in his and interlocked our fingers when he kissed me goodbye after our fourth date. I'd never had a guy do that before, it felt truly intimate and loving."
2. Zombie love for the win
"We were underneath Waterloo station (in London) fighting actors dressed as zombies. My wife pointed a machine gun at the approaching undead and yelled 'get in the vent, I'll cover you'."
"It was the summer after our first year in college. We were in my basement watching the original Nosferatu. There's a particularly corny scene where Knock learns that Dracula is in London. Knock gleefully jumps on his bed for two seconds, then promptly sits down to patiently wait for his master's coming.
"I don't know what it was about that scene, but my boyfriend let out the highest pitched laughter I [had] ever heard. It was right then, during that fit of hysterical squeaks brought on by poor acting when I realized that we were too strange to not be made for each other."
4. Laughs for love
"When I realized that he thinks I have a great sense of humor and always laughs at my jokes."
5. High school sweet hearts
"When I used to think of this awesome girl I dated in high school and how I wish I never ended it. Sometimes I would periodically wonder what she was up too, and if she had gotten married etc. Then I went to my 10 year high school reunion, and sure enough she was there, and the feelings turned out to be mutual. We started seeing each other again, and a month later I proposed. She said yes, and we've been married with kids for the last eight years. I couldn't imagine my life without her."
"I really knew I loved him when we had our first Christmas. We had already been together for a few months and committed our 'I love you's' and all that, but when he rode the for bus two and a half hours to get to my house from 30 miles away (neither of us had cars at the time), when he was sick because he wanted to give me my Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve, I knew. He means the world to me."
8. "I can't imagine life without him"
"I never really had an 'aha' moment, I've just always known he was the one. We have been together since high school and he has put up with my special brand of crazy the entire time. He's a great partner and my best friend. I look at him with our son and I can't imagine life without him. He is my rock."
9. When your future looks this bright
"There was no future for myself that I could dream of that was not better by her being in it."
10. "I love him more than macaroni and cheese"
"You know how sometimes you have a big bowl of macaroni and cheese and you can't get enough of it? You eat and eat and even after you're full you keep eating? And then you get so sad when it's gone? And you look forward to when you get to eat macaroni and cheese next?
"One day, I noticed I loved him more than macaroni and cheese."
"There was no 'aha' moment for me. It was kind of like gradually turning up the heater until it's really hot. You can't really pin down when exactly it got hot, but once you realize that it's hot, you know it has been for a while.
After loving her so much for so long, one day I kind of just realized that yep, I'm going to be spending the rest of my life with this one."
*Editor's note: comments have been edited for content, grammar and clarity.
Emily is putting her English and Humanities degree to use editing and writing all over the world. Trying to see all 7 world wonders (while visiting as many countries as she can in between), Emily loves wandering alleyways, beautifully photographed food, stumbling upon impromptu flea and food markets. She can usually be found camera in hand, munching on a street food and never has her headphones out of reach.