Friendship Is Important

Prior to the date I had no idea she was deaf, I don't know why she didn't mention it. We met online and after talking decided to meet up for dinner. We met at a neutral location and greeted each other, and she agreed to follow me to the restaurant.

Well at this point I am in my truck driving there, sweating and nervous as hell because I have never met a deaf person. Out loud I said, "OMG this is going to be a long day!" I wasn't expecting it to go well.

Well immediately upon sitting down our conversation went very well. I have never had someone pay so much attention to me and listen to what I was saying. She maintained eye contact, had lots of questions and was very open about her disability. I learned a lot about the whole thing.

I learned a lot about myself and about life in general. First impressions are not everything, despite what the old saying goes. People are very interesting and everyone has their own story.

Will we fall in love and get married and live happily ever after? Well maybe not, but I sure made a new friend at the very least. I also learned a lot about human beings and what it means to take the time to get to know someone.

Truly A Risky First Date Scenario

I met my wife when I was just out of college, so I never had much game when it came to the ladies. In fact, I only had one rule: Never take a woman bowling on a date. There's no best-case scenario: Either you're likely to bowl terribly, in which case you look like a dumb-dumb, or you bowl really well, in which case you look like you took her on a date to show off how good at bowling you are, which is so much worse.

That's what happened to me on a second date. I bowled the game of my life (175, which to actual bowlers isn't a big deal, but to bad-side-of-average bowlers is good) and then, as we were picking up our coats to go, my keychain fell out of my pocket --- my ironic keychain that I'd bought in a New Haven truck stop that said 'World's Greatest Bowler.' Right then, something clicked, and she made up her mind that there wouldn't be a third date, but luckily at some point she changed her mind and now we're married. But apparently it was real touch-and-go for a minute there.

The Magic Of Conversation

When I was in high school I invited a guy I had been friends with for a few months to see a movie with me. I've always had really terrible luck with guys (ie: I end up becoming "one of the guys") and at the time I was honestly a little more interested in dating girls. Anyway, we ended up walking to the movie theatre in mid-February weather, just talking. He was incredibly attentive, had a similar sense of humour, and the way he spun words together made me fall in love with the way he spoke before we even got to the theatre. When we got there I almost didn't want to see the movie; I wanted to keep talking to him. We sat far away from other occupied seats in an almost-empty theatre and he spent the whole movie leaning in close to me and whispering stupid little jokes.

We've now been together for a little over a year and a half now. We got through his first (and pretty disastrous) year of university, and now I'm starting in the same school and we're looking at moving in together in May. Pretty sweet.

This Guy Knows How To Date!

I went on a date with a guy after a few emails and a lunch date. He showed up and had 18 roses waiting for me on the passenger seat of his car. The date went really well, and it was a nice change of pace because at home, my mom had not been speaking to me for the last week because I was going to move out. Ridiculous me as a 21-year-old with a college degree and a full time job thought it was time to get out into the world...

Anyway, when I get home, my parents are waiting up for me (3 am. I called at midnight to reassure them that I'm safe and will be home later). They then say I can't be trusted with the car they gave me, so I am grounded from using the car. I say ok and go to bed. Wake up the next morning, walk out the door and start heading to a car dealership.

I gave the date from last night a call in case he wasn't busy and might be interested giving me a ride to go get a car. He picked me up, we went shopping.

That was 5 years ago. The car's almost paid off, I've spent almost every night at his side since, and in July we celebrated our first wedding anniversary.

Just Like In The Movies

I had broken up with a guy a few months prior who had turned out to be pretty much a sociopath--web of lies, cheated on me the entire year we dated, etc. I was feeling pretty dumb for being taken in by his pretty untrusting of relationships at that moment, and just generally wary of people.

But my friends convinced me to try online dating--I liked being able to kind of "prescreen" the guys, and I wanted to have fun, meet new people, etc.

So, I put up a profile on the dating site attached to The Onion (and also a few other sites), hoping that would lead me to someone with a killer sense of humor. I talked to a few guys and nothing went anywhere, blocked a lot of married guys, and was just about to lose hope when I got a message in my inbox.

The guy looked cute, sent a witty message that sparked my interest, and upon viewing his profile we had a lot in common. I was intrigued enough to write back and that set off a series of messages. The messages led to lengthy phone calls and tons more emails over the holidays.

Then New Year's Day rolled around and he called me, wanting to go out for a drink that night and "start the year off right." Despite being really, really hung over I powered through because I wanted to finally meet this guy.

I didn't expect more than a fun night, just a chance to meet someone new and nice, break out of my shell a little. I certainly didn't have commitment or marriage on my mind. But when we finally stood face to face, it was like a cliche romantic comedy. We only had eyes for each other. I was thrown for a loop by how instantly head-over-heels I was for him...I had the bizarre thought over that first drink that he was The One. We had an amazing first date (lasting a long time after a single drink) and I floated home, already hoping to see him again soon. Little did I know he told his buddies the next day that he met the girl he was going to marry.

That date led to a second, a kiss, and a third, fourth, and fifth. On that date, he said, "I don't want to see anyone else and I hope you don't, either, because I really like you. Want to be my girlfriend?" Three years later, I married him. We have been together almost nine years since that first date.

You never know who will turn out to be your forever.

Being Treated With Respect Goes A Long Way

I remember one date where she actually showed up, didn't stand me up like the others. It was a refreshing change of pace. She was really nice and sweet.

Working Through Things Together

The first time I met him, I was throwing up into a toilet at a fraternity party. He took care of me and walked me back to my dorm that night, handing me off to my roommates. He asked them for my number.

The first time we hung out together, we were making out in a public dorm lounge. On one of our first real dates, he asked me to his fraternity formal. Naturally, I said yes. But he forgot that he also asked a girl he was seeing before he met me. She thought she was still going, so that was...awkward.

About three months into our relationship, he ended up getting extremely sick. He had to drop out of school, and he basically lived out of a hospital for an entire semester. I was there every day and mostly every night with him.

This became a recurring theme in our relationship. Every year, there were new challenges and even more difficult struggles. But all of these things just brought us closer together.

Last month, we got married in Maui in front of all our closest friends and family.

Awkward Can Be Cute!

Had met a dude through mutual friends a few times; he was a friendly acquaintance. Due to one of our buds playing Cupid and dropping hints back and forth, we got the idea to go on an informal sort of double date: him, me, our Cupid and her boyfriend, to the dusk-till-dawn night at the drive in. (Basically people get wasted and watch movies all night). I hated watching movies at the time, but I agreed to go out of interest in this guy.

Another mutual friend was having a party that night as well. After a few "heh stoked for the movie" texts back and forth the whole plan dissolved and we ended up just going to the party. When I got there, a ton of drunk people came up and all asked a variation of "Why were you going to go to the drive in? You hate movies!" making it very obvious that I was only going for the date of it. It became officially a date at that point, which was a little awkward in the good way.

Had a great night, smoked many blunts, ended up sitting awkwardly in the same chair edging closer and closer alllll night until we spontaneously started kissing for the next hour or so. Obnoxious, I know.

All in all, it was the best date I ever had. It didn't feel fake or uncomfortable like every other dinner-and-a-movie date I'd been on. I was comfortable and happy. We made out all night and slept on a futon in a freezing cold room. I woke up happy and...I dunno. Warm. Contented. He kissed me on the cheek in front of everyone at breakfast and I blushed.

16 months later I'm still blushing :)

That's Real Dedication Right There

On my first date, I had explosive diarrhea a one-person bathroom that was audible to a large group of people. When I stepped out, my date (and everyone else) was staring at me with wide eyes. He said we had to go somewhere else because this establishment was closing.

The part where it turned out better than expected: He asked me on a second date.

You Never Know How Things Are Going To Turn Out

I went on a first date with a guy who took me out to a decent restaurant in our tiny hometown. After we ordered dinner, this dude seriously pulled out a cigarette and a lighter and started smoking at the table. This was in like 2006 so it was a little different then, but it's not like it was 1965. People didn't do that. It was not OK. He was the only one smoking in the restaurant.

I finally had to tell him to put the cigarette out. After that start, it's more than a little surprising that we went on to date for six years and have now been married for four. So, hey, you never know.

'Please Just Let Me Take Over'

When I was in college, one of my best guy friends asked me out completely out of the blue --- I'd just gone through a breakup, but I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately, I found out that he was making a super-big deal out of the date: taking me to a stupidly nice restaurant, obsessing over every detail, etc. Yikes. The day of our date, I woke up feeling sick, but I decided I'd suck it up and go.

It was a total disaster. He ordered for me and mispronounced every single thing on the menu (and the waiter let him know it), he spilled soup on his shirt, and when the food came, I suddenly felt so sick that I couldn't eat a thing. It was painfully awkward and neither of us knew what to say for the full meal. On the ride home, he apologized for taking me on the worst date ever, and he was so cute about it, I said I'd plan the next one (which went much, much better).

We dated for the next two years.

Try, Try, And Then Try Again

I had met this girl through a friend of a friend, and started texting/Myspace messaging... the good ol' 2008 flirt combo. Anyways, we decided to meet up one night, and I had recently been on a series of bad dates. I was 18 at the time, so I really wasn't expecting much. Her entire group of friends was really weird, and almost off-putting, but I decided to meet up because my best friend said her and I would be a good match.

It was her idea to meet at this coffee shop downtown. I get there first, wait for a bit, and then meet her. The coffee shop is closed. We decide to go to a hamburger/hot dog joint nearby, and even THAT is closed. I'm beginning to think that this is going to be a giant pile of crap for another date, so I just say "Screw it. Let's go to the Olive Garden."

[BTW, side note, gentlemen: want to impress a girl on a 1st date? Go to the Olive Garden. It works.]

We get there, and we have an awesome dinner. After that, we go for a walk , and end up talking until about 2am. I had to go then, as I had work at 5am, but we ended up meeting the next night for another awesome date. Almost four years later, we're still dating and live together!

Hate Brings People Together

I went on a blind date with a kind of stupid girl. She was pretty cute though. My friend dragged me along because his girlfriend's friend was gonna be lonely. So we went to go see Titanic in 3-D. We talked about how boring that movie was so we went and saw some other movie. We hit it off that night and we both had fun.

This Is Straight Out Of A Nicholas Sparks Movie

When I was in high school, I didn't date. At all. I wanted to finish with fantastic grades so I could get out of the small town I lived in at the time.

So, I'm at the mall and I'm buying the latest Modest Mouse album (Good News, so it was '04), and this random guy asks me on a date. He wasn't from the small town I lived in, so I agreed.

He picked me up from my house, and we drove to a big(ger) city about 45 minutes away. The first thing we did was go to Sonic. I was a bit put off, as Sonic wasn't what I was expecting for first date dining. He then tells me he has a surprise.

With food in hand, we pull over and he beckons me to walk with him. He pulls out a set of keys from his pockets, gives me a smile, and walks up to a billboard ladder. Apparently, his dad owned some billboards in town.

We ate our Sonic sitting way above the traffic of this city, and 16-year-old me was very, very surprised.

Well That's Unique!

A second date ended up with me being invited back to her apartment...which is usually a surefire predictor for smooching --- but then, out of nowhere, she asked, 'Would you like to hold my snake?'

It wasn't a euphemism --- she meant it for real. She had taken her pet snake out of its tank and was offering it to me. And for the record...I HATE SNAKES.

I also knew this was some sort of test. Like, I had to prove my manhood by braving her snake. Otherwise, it'd be an early night.

I weighed my love for smooching against my absolute fear of snakes, and said, 'I'm good, thanks.'

We ended up smooching anyway.

It Takes A Good Person To Turn A Night Around

In college there was this girl I liked, but we had been just friends for a while. One night she casually commented that there was this concert she wanted to go to about 90 minutes away, but she couldn't find anyone to go with. Normally I'm pretty dense, but I picked up on this hint and said I'd love to go. When we got there we decided we'd leave our coats in the car because it was going to be warm inside and we didn't want to drag our coats around all night. Seemed like a brilliant idea, only one problem. She threw her keys in her coat pocket before shutting the door.

This was pre smart phone days, so we tried a pay phone and phonebooks to get a locksmith, but couldn't find one that was open. Eventually she called her dad, who said he'd bring a spare key after the show. We tried to hang out in the lobby as long as we could because it was late October and cold out, but eventually they kicked us out so they could close up. The night could have been a disaster but I ended up having a blast just sitting close to each other to try to keep warm and having good conversation under the stars for about an hour.

When The Chemistry Is THAT Good

In college, my roommate had a great guy friend who was attending a school out of state. He would sometimes call our dorm room (pre-cell phone days) and I'd take his messages for my roomie when she wasn't there. We started talking a little here and there, no biggie. After awhile, he started sending these awesome letters to me with funny cartoons in them, or letters about himself, or drawings he'd done.

Around the end of the school year, he came down to visit my roommate. We finally met face-to-face, and the chemistry was wild. I felt really bad for my roommate, because it was like the instant we met we could not be apart. I truly had no feelings for him before he arrived, and expected it to be a "Hey, nice to meet ya" kind of thing. That night we went out and it was amazing. He was awesome, funny, so sweet, truly a great guy. We fell hard for each other, and ended the night with a steam-up-the-car-windows make out session.

My roommate was really cool about the whole thing, which was awesome. He and I dated for a while.

People Can Surprise You

Went out a few weeks ago with a guy I thought was a pick-up artist, and I had my guard up and was expecting to find him to be a douchebag. Turns out he was really charming, sweet, and I had a great deal of fun with him. I think he's a really genuinely nice person, and I enjoy him a lot. It's rarely awesome to be proven wrong, but this was one such case.

A Wild Adventure!

I was on a second date with this great guy, and everything was going perfectly. Right as we were finishing dinner, his friend called him in desperate need of a ride. Apparently, this dude was just dumped by his girlfriend, who drove off with his wallet and his keys, so he had no way of getting anywhere, and my date (being a good friend) asked if I would mind going on a rescue mission.

An hour later, when we arrived at the address the friend gave us, we realized it was a strip club in a very shady part of town (which means, this guy's girlfriend dumped him at a strip club...hmm...). After picking up this very loud and very drunk third wheel, he started tearing up and told us he couldn't be alone that night, so we begrudgingly said we'd hang out with him for just a bit.

When we got into the house he was staying at, this 'friend' decided to launch his phone as hard as possible at my date's face and broke his front tooth right off. My poor date now had almost zero front tooth, and his friend proceeded to cry again. Shocker, we haven't seen this guy since. But it turns out that missing-tooth look really worked for me , because we've been married for almost 10 years now.

So Adorable!

Went on a date with a girl that was way out of my league. It was meant to be a group thing on $2 Tuesdays at the local movie theater. Little by little everyone in the group backed out due to school stuff and the only three left going were the girl and her roommate. The girl was in night class when I called her roommate. That's when she informed me that the girl had a longtime boyfriend. I backed out and gave up.

20 minutes later my phone rings and it's the girl. She wants to go to the movie even though we are the only two going. I gulp HARD and try to act cool as I agree that it would be a good idea. The movie was a borefest (she's all that) so we cut out early and spent HOURS driving around talking and end up sharing a plate of chocolate chip pancakes from IHOP at 4 in the morning.

Neither of us mentioned her boyfriend, as we shared a first kiss. The next day I tell her that I can't continue to see her as long as she has a boyfriend. She breaks down and explains that she felt trapped in this relationship (4 years) with her first boyfriend. He was REALLY verbally abusive and cruel. She was way out of his league too, so I figured this was his way of trying to keep control of her. A day later she broke up with him. 14 years later we are still together, married 9, and have two amazing kids (that got her looks, thank god).

You Never Know What Someone Else Sees In You

I had a "setup" blind date... double date. I thought nothing of it until I saw this woman. She was amazing and well, far out of my league. No problem, I have beer, and a corner. Told my friend he's a jerk.

For some reason, I had the luck of her actually being attracted to me. Also, my friend's wife wanted to see me suffer (thus why the set up with this bombshell) and expected me to fail and enjoy the situation in the days coming. Turns out since she liked me went on full warfare to get this girl NOT to like me. I was pretty heartbroken after that, I assumed my friends wife would doom the prospect of a relationship.

I still don't have a CLUE what I did to impress her.. but I thank whatever made me since it seemed to work. Whatever it was. Seriously, I have no idea, and it's kind of sad to think about the potential mate she could of had compared to me.

On top of this sick game my friends wife was playing, it was an hour's drive to see her, not long in some respects I understand but still, enough to destroy an already stressed situation. Oh, and I worked at night. I would think I spend all my luck during those days... but to make a long story short I eventually had to balls to ask her PARENTS, if I could marry her.... took her to the beach right after and asked. We had kids soon after, and dear lord they are handfuls.

I could go on but she's amazing and so much more, a far better person then I am, thinks of everyone else first, CONSTANTLY makes me better just from being beside her, and man did I need that. I did nothing but make poor choices and cause trouble most of my life, while she stayed away from drugs, polished school off while working and she's basically a saint.

Classic Jacket Move ;)

My junior year of high school a guy asked me to go on a last minute date with him while I was at a family member's 50th birthday party. My parents agreed to let me go (and I was happy to leave the party of old people early) so my dad drove me to a gas station to meet him. We were in his car being awkward and what not, until we got to the movies. I can't remember what movie we saw but it ended pretty late. Not having to be home at a specific time we decided to go to a star party where we stargazed and looked at the moon though a telescope (he was very knowledgeable about stars and space). It was cold out so he made sure I was warm and gave me his jacket.

We left the party at about 11 or 12 and went back to his house. Neither of us wanted the date to end. So we went back to his house and "watched a movie". It was the first time I ever really made out with a guy. I ended up leaving around 3AM. I had no clue what to expect when he asked me out that day, but it turned out to be one of the best/most romantic dates of my life.

A+ For Politeness And Respect

In college, I had told a guy friend I was not open to dating anyone - I was about to leave the country for a year. One day he asks me if I want to go to a movie with a group of his friends. When I show up, he's already bought tickets for both of us and refuses my offer to pay him back. I realize, oh crap, this is a date.

I spend the entire movie hunched over in my seat, dreading the moment he is going to try to put his arm around me or something. He never does. Afterwards we chat and get something to eat and it's all really casual and not weird, but he's made it pretty clear he's interested in me without making me feel pressured. He totally respected my boundaries and was polite as heck, the absolute polar opposite of creepy and possessive.

Long story short, we've been married 6 years.

This Sounds So Natural, I Love It

I had a blind date tonight, set up by a friend of a friend that I met Saturday. She was having a barbeque and I was the only single person there. After chatting with one of her friends, he said he knew someone that I would get along with really well. Hesitant, I gave him my number and he passed it along.

The guy called me last night, we chatted a bit, and set up a date for tonight. He was running late so I sat at the bar, had a shot, and waited. He found me at the bar, being the only person actually sitting at it and I was pleasantly surprised that he was attractive.

We chatted for a good few hours about all the things you probably aren't supposed to talk about on a first date and had a wonderful time. When leaving, my total dorkiness came through when I said I wasn't sure how to end these things. I ended up giving him a goodnight kiss. Shortly after we both arrived at our respective homes, he messaged me asking me for a date Saturday.

It's been quite awhile since I've been on a date and even longer since I've had one that just seemed so effortless. Even if it doesn't work out, I have a renewed sense of hope in dating.

It Sounds Like Fate

My best friends from high school had a big crush on a guy who was a year ahead of us; he was smart, lanky, awkward, a geek, basically. She tried to talk to him numerous times over the years, even joined a couple clubs she had no interest in just because he belonged to them, but all their conversations were strained at best. He was so painfully shy and she was gorgeous and outgoing. I think he was intimidated by her. We never saw him with a girl in all those years. Eventually he graduates and goes off to college - End of story. My friend ends up marrying her college boyfriend, which ends in divorce by the time she's 29 or 30. Several years go by, she moves to another state, rarely dates (her divorce was so nasty she was shell-shocked I think). Finally she agrees to go on a blind date set up by a co-worker. She's told the guy is a life-long bachelor: Handsome, successful engineer for city planning. She told me that the moment she saw him waiting at the restaurant bar, she somehow, against all odds, knew it was her high school crush. Several dates later he admitted he'd spent countless teenage nights cursing his inability to speak to her, and vowing to do it the next day, always failing miserably. Less than a year later, they were married (and they have like a gazillion chinchillas, which has nothing to do with the story, but i think it's cute).

The Wingman Who Fell In Love With The Wingwoman

One night I went out with the lead guitarist of the band I was in. He wanted to get laid, so I played wingman.

We were in the "meat market" club in town, where everyone knows that's why you go there.

So he finds his target, and I sit down across from her friend, as the two of them wonder off to the bar. Without looking at her, I said, "So get ready for some exciting conversation whilst my friend tries to pick yours up."

In the cutest Scottish accent, she replies, "Really, I thought that was my job!"

Next thing you know, she's buying me drinks, and as the conversation grows - the commonalities are unbelievable - we end up on the dance floor, almost dry humping.

At this stage, my friend had gotten to the point where it was dead in the water for him with this lass, and after putting in a few hours, just wanted to go home.

This sucked, because the band always came first, I couldn't leave him high and dry. But she got me in a big hug and said, "Screw off hotshot, you had your chance, this one's mine!"

I looked (lets call him) Nathan in the eye, unsure what to do, and he shrugged and said, "Screw it..." and went home.

Cut to the taxi on the way home and snogfest was on. Thankfully her friend was in the front seat as not to make it so awkward, but for the whole trip, her and the Taxi Driver were overtly talking about us.

This sparked the most intense and awesome relationship I've ever had, in fact, I asked her to marry me.

He Thawed Her Cold Heart

Memorial Day weekend was BAD for me. Like, I was ready to murder every man in my path because I had just ended things with a guy I was on-and-off seeing for two years. My friends invited me over for a girl's night in where they greeted me with bottles of wine and lots of pizza. And for fun, they downloaded one of those swiping online dating apps on my phone and started playing with it. Needless to say we got wasted and I started talking to this guy.

The following night we ended up at a gay bar where I felt safe being around men not into me. But all day I had been messaging back and forth with the guy on the app. So at 8:30 pm, I get a text saying he was in the front of the bar. I go out there, and there's this 6'3" guy standing there, taking up the entire doorway practically. He said my face looked like I saw Bigfoot or something. I immediately told him I hated men, so he needed to show me what he's got.

As the night went on, I gave him everything I had as far as being the most horrible person in the world. And this guy was NOT my type at all. I usually date guys that look borderline feminine, and he was full-on lumber-sexual. But eventually my aggressiveness wore off, and I ended up having a really awesome time with him. I can't explain it, but I've never felt that way about a guy before. Of course, I went home with him, and while at his place, I told him: "I feel like that painting behind you is really expensive, but it's really ugly."

We started seeing each other after that. For once in my life, I met my equal that I entirely respected and got along with and was attracted to, but the whole night started out horribly. He changed the way I see guys, that maybe they're not all jerks out to get me. Oh, and I forgot to mention that in the first 10 minutes of meeting him, I punched him.

She Drove All Night To Get To You

I had a first date that lasted 36 hours.

We were both middle-aged. We lived 70-miles apart. She found me on one of the dating sites, and in retrospect??????? I think she fell in love with my writing (not that it's all that great, but I had put many hours into that profile over the months, and she was very attuned to language). She volunteered to drive the 70-hours to meet me, and ended up spending the night, and the next night.

Persistants Pays Off

I had recently gotten out of a 5 year relationship (caught him cheating, he broke my arm and busted me up pretty good) and moved as far away as I could get, where I had no family or friends. It had been a little under a year, and I had a serious "I hate men" attitude. I was so bitter and was the biggest jerk to any guy that even tried to be nice to me. I had a friend with benefits for a while, who was my best friend, but that was as much involvement as I could deal with.

So I'm working at Starbucks, and I closed Thursday - Monday (we closed at 1:30am, I got out around 3am), and this guy starts coming in every single day. He worked on the same street, but there was a Coffee Bean next to his job. He came in everyday to make small talk with me. I honestly couldn't stand him. I thought he was hot, but he seemed like he got around and, like I said, I was on a quest to be the biggest jerk ever. Every time he asked me questions about myself (favorite band, food, whatever), I gave elusive and smart ass answers. But he kept coming in. He asked me out repeatedly, to see his band play, go to a movie, even tried to take me to a play. But I worked weekends and didn't want to go anyway. He gave me his business card and I held onto it for some reason.

About 6 months of this goes by. I actually had a weekend off for once, and in summer no less. I was on the phone with my mom and she told me to go out and not waste the weekend. I mentioned this guy and she told me to call him. I said no, and she said, "Why, what is wrong with you? He sounds great! And he's put up with your shit this long! Give him a chance." So I did. I called him. But he said he already had plans to go to another city to meet friends. I said ok, another time. He said, "Tell you what, why don't you get ready while I grab some take out and I'll pick you up?" I reluctantly said ok. He picks me up, we drive out of town to "meet his friends" and no one shows. It's just he and I, at this Irish Pub. The place is packed. I don't let him buy my drinks, and I'm still being kind of guarded. As the night rolls on, we had the time of our lives. It felt like I had known him for years, we laughed our asses off, and didn't even notice the crowd the whole night. We went out to have a smoke, and he barely put his hand on the small of my back while we worked through the crowd. And I let him. Right then I realized I felt so comfortable and happy to be there with him. We stayed until close, went back to his place, and stayed up until 6am laughing. I slept next to him, in his boxers and a beater.

I saw him everyday and slept over almost every night. I didn't kiss him for a week, didn't sleep with him for a few. And 6 years later, I'm still sleeping next to him. I asked him to marry me in October and he said yes. That date changed my life, and I'm so lucky my mom talked me into it.

Nothing Like A Little terror To Put You In The Mood

My first date with new guy, happened last night. Was the first time we met in person and had only been talking for like two days. We were originally going to go to a movie with this guy and some friends. My friends suddenly say they have to go do something else but will meet us at the theater.

The guy and I decide we didn't even want to see that movie, stay at my place and watch Doctor Who instead. I text my friends to tell them we aren't coming to the movie. We watch some more random shows, then decide to watch Tropic Thunder.

20 minutes into the movie, something loudly bashes against my door, scares the bejeebus out of us, but then it's just silence. We calm down for a little bit. Then suddenly, the door handle is being slowly pushed down. The guy gets up and looks out the peep hole and can't see anything. We sit back down. Nothing happens for a while. Then suddenly, more bashing against the door, door handle being crazily pushed up and down. Then BAM! A rock is suddenly thrown at my patio door, it was so loud that it sounded like the window cracked. We proceed to freak out, jump off the couch, and grab kitchen knives before hiding in the bathroom.

I call 911, having a heart attack, and am on the line with dispatch for at least 20 minutes while the cops are trying to find my apartment. During this 20 minutes, more rocks were thrown at my windows and there is more knocking and jiggling of the door handle. The guy kind of guards me the whole time with knife in hand.

Cops finally show up, inspect my windows, walk around the buildings, but don't see anyone outside anywhere and can't find any proof that we were telling the truth. They look at us like we are a couple of idiots. They just tell us to keep the door locked and have a good night.

My friends then call us and I tell them what happened, they are like oh my God! no way, we are on our way there right now. I then force them to stay the night because I am so scared. The guy also says he will stay the night with me. We stay up, tell some ghost stories, talk about random stuff, then my friends go to sleep on the floor and the guy and I go my bedroom. Crazy adrenaline fuelled "oh my God we survived!" Sexy-time ensues for the next 5 hours, we never went to sleep. Magical.

The morning comes and my friends send me a text asking me to come out of my room. I come out and they are like, "We have something to tell you." They then proceed to tell me the story about how all the crazy door bashing and rock throwing was them, trying to freak us out and that when it was obvious we wouldn't open the window or door, they gave up and had walked back to their car, literally missing the cops by a minute. They apologize as much as they can and then leave.

I tell the guy the truth, he still stays with me the whole morning. We took a shower together and went out for brunch and he drove me to work.

Weirdest, most awesome, worst, and best first date all rolled into one.

I Guess It's Official?

I met a guy at a crappy Karaoke place in town where some friends were hanging out. Some of them invited us to watch Inception at their apartment. We ended up alone on the same couch , and were making jokes at each other, laughing and stuff. He added me on Facebook and we started talking and hanging out at events with other friends, but it wasn't all that regular. Then one day I show up at school (we both went to the same community college) and walk into the cafeteria. He sees me, gets up and says, "Come on, I'm taking you to lunch." Before I even have a chance to sit down. I confusedly follow him out the cafeteria door, and he stops and says, "Oh, and we're going out." Then he holds his hand out for me. We go to Carl's Jr. and get some food, and it was a bit awkward, and then I had to go to class. We've been married 6 months.

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Trust yourself

If you think you are, you are. I believe there are different kinds of love and love goes through different stages. That first stage...where you can't stop thinking about the person and it takes away your appetite and makes you feel tingly and a little aroused when that memory of that one passionate kiss you shared recently, and the world looks beautiful simply because that person is in it, and you feel like you could survive on the streets with nothing as long as that person was by your side...I think that's the first stage of love. For me, I couldn't get to the next stages of love without going through that stage. After that stage is when love turns from something beautiful and simple to something you have to work at, something you have to compromise for. But that work brings you so much pleasure because you know you're working on building something together.

A lot of people don't think that first infatuation stage is really love. I don't know why. I look back on the people I was infatuated with and I can still recognize that I was in love. There's some kind of stigma over falling in love too quickly or being flippant with the word because it loses meaning or something. But I disagree. Love is the one thing that you can never run out of. It's a natural, never-ending resource. Like, when you have a child, your ability to love grows beyond what you thought possible--like that end scene in the The Grinch. And when you have a second child you worry that you don't have enough room to love the second child as much as the first, but then your heart grows again and you're overflowing with love. And then you realize that the love you have for your children is different than the love you have for your partner. And that's different than the love you have for your parents. And it's different than the love you have for avocados or cookies & cream ice cream.

Love is the one resource the world can never run out of, but it's the one resource that we're the most stingy with. Go ahead and be in love.

It's not about me, it's about you

You're in love when you actually care about how the other person feels, not how they make you feel. You're in love when you are willing to make sacrifices for that person's well-being and happiness because you care about them.

For those who fear commitment, this might be reassuring

I asked my dad this when I was dating my first girlfriend. [He said,] "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 it with them is inviting, not terrifying."

It's not all fun and games

This probably sounds trite, but "love" is work. How hard you're willing or want to work on a relationship at it's worst is a good indication of if you're in love vs just infatuated with someone. Infatuation dies when things get hard, but love will want to keep working to persevere (oh man, this does sound trite...but it's true). Stick with me here, despite sounding like a self help book:

Being in love is being selfless, patient, and basically looking at the worst of someone along with the best and going "yep....that's for me." Infatuation feels a lot like love, especially with how media plays it out. Idealization and thinking someone is "perfect" isn't love. If you have someone who you can be 100% yourself around, and they have the freedom to do the same, you're getting closer. If you find your happiness in wanting to make the other person happy, it's a fairly good indication you really are in love. It's really mostly about wanting to put the other person first.

A simple answer

For me it was a quiet inner peace. A feeling that life would be life with her and something far more insignificant without. Just my 2 cents after 9 years.

Put those gloves on and get to work

"Love" doesn't really exist, at least in my estimation. It is an abstract notion. Relationships take work, and this idea of "true love" takes away from that, sometimes.

If you find someone attractive, compatible, and you relate and communicate well together whether times are good or bad, that is worth working on. After years, if you are diligent, you will just be ... happy with that person, loyal to them, and glad to be with them. That is probably "love."

If you don't work on the relationship, it WILL fail. And when it does, everything you have built while ignoring the relationship will totter, if not outright crumble.

I have my wonderful kids 4 days/week and am very happy with the relationship I am in now with a wonderful, compassionate woman, and am cordial enough with my ex, even though it was hard at first, having gone from a marriage to her leaving for someone else, blackmailing me out of $40k by scaring me that I couldn't have joint custody of the kids (I didn't know better and thought she could win that one; turns out she couldn't have, but whatever), and just being her narcissistic self.

She went from a wife to an enemy in just a matter of weeks. And I thought we were in love. Turns out she never loved me, by her own admission, 12 years after a relationship together. But we didn't work on the relationship, we worked on the kids, etc. And that was the downfall.

Love, whatever that is, doesn't sustain a relationship, elbow grease does.

It's not just about being "in" love

Being in love is breathlessness, it is excitement, it is the promulgation of promises of eternal passion... But that is not love. That is just being 'in love,' which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two. Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because that is what love is.

It settles into a routine eventually

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. 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.

When two become one

I know I'm starting to fall in love when it's not just about the person being attractive or making me happy or anything like that, but rather I couldn't stand the thought to see her afraid or in pain. Like her pain becomes mine, if that makes sense.

This is true love

I was the "other man" for a while. A girl I worked with was flirting pretty heavily with me and we went out, things were going pretty well until she told me she had a boyfriend.

I didn't wanna be that guy so I said we couldn't see each other, she goes on to explain how they are gonna break up and he's not good to her and all this. Temptation gave in and we kept dating for a while until one day she tells me about how she had a bad night.

Apparently, she has this condition where it is really hard for her to poop and it causes her a lot of pain, the boyfriend helped her by pushing on her stomach while she pooped and it made her feel better somehow.

I was like whoa that boy loves you, I wouldn't do that. I mean like I'd ask from the other side of the door if you needed anything from the pharmacy but I'd never push on your stomach while you poop.

All of a sudden it got real to me that he loved her and I was a [jerk] for being the other man. You know you are in love when you will help them poop.

Basically you're just one soul in two bodies

When you start treating the other person like your "second-self." Their needs and wants are just as, if not more, important than your own.

To each their own

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.

Sometimes you just know

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 [messing] 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 grad night 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)

It's more than just infatuation

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.

It's actually hard to describe

I'd like to take a step back from the romanticist "love". That's a beautiful, passionate thing but those butterflies aren't really love and the feeling does fade over time. Love is a far deeper, permeating feeling. It comes with subtlety and time and experience, rather than as a burst of emotion or sudden infatuation. Which is why, sadly, I think a lot of the Western world has trouble understanding it fully. And to be honest, despite being with my fiance for 5 years, I couldn't tell you how to recognize it. It's so quiet, yet fills your heart with rich undertone, you really have to feel it to know.

Not to get Freudian, but imagine how you feel love toward family. They may infuriate you, you may not like parts of them, but you would hurt so deeply if they were gone, you cherish the time you've had, and you just... Love them. That's a lot like what romantic love is.

It's selflessness at its core

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.

Bursting with feelings!

When after few minutes you were thinking about something else you suddenly remember about your SO and you get that feeling of a bottle of champagne popping in your chest and throat.

"Forgiveness. Respect. Compromise"

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.

Got that little bounce in your step

When you get up and you instantly have a good feeling. This sign never fails.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up

I was in a class in college called "Human Sexuality". At one point we were talking about love vs. lust vs. obsession. The professor asks what the real difference between love and lust is. A bunch of different people have opinions, and we have a pretty good discussion for about 15-20 minutes.

It's starting to die down a bit, but before the professor can move on, this one kid in the back, who had not participated so far in the class, just says: "You sleep in the wet spot."

The Professor asks him for more details. "After sex. If you're in love you sleep in the wet spot." The class pretty much unanimously agreed his was the best answer.

Just being yourself

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.

It's not about winning the fight, it's getting through it together

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.

Got me there ;)

When you start to ask questions like "How do you know when you're in love". Dead giveaway.

You don't know what you've got til it's gone

I don't think you really know until they are gone and not with you anymore. Does it pain you to think about that special someone having sex with someone else after you've broken up? Or, do you get a pit in your stomach/lump in your throat when someone mentions his or her name to you years after you've broken up?

That's love. That's when you really know.

I've had exes I didn't give a crap about and I feel normal when I see them, and then I've exes where it would be too painful to even be in the same room with them because the feelings are too intense even years later.

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