This article is part of the We Love The Way You Love series.
Our very first eye-opening experiences of love stay with us forever – whether they are with romantic partners, best friends, our children, or even companions of the four-legged or winged variety. This week, we asked the Good Clean Love team: when did you know it was love?
First Road Trip
“I knew it was love when we drove 500+ miles to San Francisco and stayed in a VW van (it was Airbnb, ok?) to see a band I didn't even like after only knowing each other for a little over a month.” –B.H.
“When I think about love, I don't think of a first moment, of a start or a stop. Instead, when I try to examine it, I can pick out a series of moments that put together somehow make more than the individual parts. So, not the first, but definitely 'A' moment that I come back to again and again is making faces at my kiddo and pretending to eat his fingers while he was breastfeeding at around 6 months. One big blue eye was looking up at me sideways, he was smiling with his mouth full, and lifting his fingers to my mouth to get nibbled. It's so easy to zone out during this frequent, somewhat monotonous duty, but I had made the conscious effort to engage with him, and it's a grounding memory when I'm getting some serious sass from the almost-6-year old.” –S.F
Seeing My Son
“There I was, 25 years old, scared to death at the thought of being a mother, but knowing I was going to be okay because I would always have the unconditional love of my mom and dad. About that time, my parents approached me and handed me my son for the first time. Unknowingly, I had begun to weep myself. I felt tears silently stream down my cheeks and realized that in that moment, I was recognizing, acknowledging, and experiencing what it was to be loved unconditionally. I immediately knew that the love my parents gave me was all I needed in order to love my own child unconditionally. That is the moment I knew it was love.” –M.H.
“I have a strong memory of when I realized I was in love with my partner. We had only been dating for a couple months when my father became extremely ill; so much so that it required me moving in with him to provide around-the-clock care. Meanwhile, my new boyfriend was still living in a different city - putting about 90 minutes of distance between us after I moved in with my dad. I'll never forget that summer. Because of my dad's condition, I was unable to leave or go out on dates the way most new couples are accustomed to doing. So, instead of pulling back from the early, casual days of dating, Kyle stepped up in a huge way. He would drive down to Eugene a few nights a week, sit on the living room floor with me and my dad, and play Parcheesi. I remember sitting on the floor, looking up from the board game, and having it hit me that I was in love. When I think about love, I think about Parcheesi. :)” –M.S.
My Canine Soulmate
“I knew it was love the day I met Casey. She was the first dog I ever had as an adult. After I randomly saw an ad in the local paper, I went to meet her with my two young children in tow. When I got out of the car, I didn't see anyone but this huge yellow dog (part malamute, part yellow lab and part ridgeback) walking towards me. The first thing I noticed about Casey is how human her eyes were. We looked at each other and she walked up to me and licked my hand and stepped into my heart. I knew she was special but wasn't planning on a 120lb dog. I left, but couldn't get Casey out of my head all night. The next morning I went back to pick her up and then went on to get a minivan to be able to take her along with us everywhere we went for eleven more years. I have had three more dogs since Casey, but Casey continues to hold the place of my true soul friend/dog.” –W.S.