I was terrifically excited about dating him by our second date. I once asked Kevin when he first "knew" and he said it was our sixth date (just 18 days after we met) when I volunteered to give blood with him and then almost passed out while donating. He took me back to my place and asked me to be his girlfriend. A little more than a month after we met, we exchanged I love yous. I had been waiting impatiently for him to say it first.
The day before Kevin said I love you. Yes, I am making "jazz hands"
We had been dating just under four months when we spent our first Thanksgiving together with his mother and brother. (I often tell the story of how the first words out of his mother's mouth when we first met were to ask me if I wanted children!) We were engaged by the following Thanksgiving in 2007.
Hiking the day after Thanksgiving 2006
What's the point of all this? I have a lot of friends I've heard wonder out loud how you know when you found the one. When I was single I often wondered this myself, and I was super frustrated by married people answering, "you just know." It sounded phony. It sounded like they couldn't think of a single redeeming quality about their significant other, or that they had chosen their partner pretty much at random. But when I dated Kevin I suddenly understood. The way you know is that for the first time, you feel confident that this is the person you choose to love. It's the confidence that distinguishes it from your other relationships. In other words, you know because for the first time you don't "think," you "know." That's why people say they "just know." I know it so hard that my only confusion is why every woman isn't also in love with Kevin. Maybe they just don't realize what I have going here.
And here is the gratuitous photo of James (on the five year anniversary of when we met):