Love can announce itself with the subtlety of a snowflake or the pounding of a migraine. The end can reveal itself in something as simple as a question.
Today, you fill in the blanks:
I knew it was love when...
I knew it was over when...
ERIC: I started dating Eden the day I got my orders for the Vietnam War in Sept. 1968. I was a second lieutenant in the Army, scheduled to ship out in Feb. 1969. We were both living in the Washington, D.C. area, in a singles complex. I was determined not to fall in love, since I was going overseas and didn't want to be involved. I dated mostly her from that September till I left.
We had fun, and I knew she was the kind of girl I'd want to marry someday. As we got close to the time for me to leave, she and one of her girlfriends threw a surprise going away party for my roommate and I, who was also going to Vietnam.
She had me come over under some pretense. I rang the bell, and when the door opened there were 30 people yelling, "Surprise!" There were banners that said "Come home safely" and "God speed," and there was food that that took a lot of work to prepare.
I looked at Eden. Two minutes prior I was content to let her out of my life. But in a flash I realized, as if Cupid himself had shot an arrow into my heart, that this was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I realized that I might never meet anyone who loved me this much, and that I'd be an idiot not to marry her. At that exact moment I fell hopelessly in love. For the rest of the night, I wouldn't let go of her. To this day, I still can't believe this instant transformation.
We married in Dec. 1969. Life's been good.
SKYLAR: My husband and I separated in September. I spent months trying to figure out whether we should divorce. In early December, I saw a new book by his favorite author and decided it would be the perfect Christmas gift. We were talking on the phone, and I said that I had his gift ready. He was stunned and asked, "Does that mean that I should get you one, too?"
I filed for divorce the next week.
STELLA: I was dating this nice guy. I cared very much for him, but he wasn't the one. He wanted to see me one day, but I was studying for finals. I told him I had to be at the library all night. He lived 15 miles away and asked if he could see me for a few minutes. I agreed.
When he arrived at the library, I told him I only had five minutes to spare. I walked him to his car, and just before he got in he asked if he could hold me. When I was in his arms, I knew it was love and that he was the one. Next May we'll celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. I'm sure glad he was so persistent.
I knew it was love. I knew it was over. Fill in the blanks, and send them.
Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants to [email protected] And check out my e-book, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."