I Knew It Was Love When ... I Knew It Was Over When ...
Love isn't always accompanied by roses and rainbows. And breakups don't always have to be dramatic, door-slamming events. Sometimes a quiet "Let's never see each other again" is just as effective.
JASON: Many years ago, my girlfriend and I were the perfect couple. We were cast from the same mold. We never seemed to disagree. It was unbelievable. We were in school and talked about our future after we graduated.
Meanwhile, her best friend and her boyfriend were always arguing, fighting, breaking up, getting back together again and forgiving each other. My girlfriend became very concerned that our relationship was too calm. Her concern soon escalated into an obsession. She felt that something wasn't normal.
One day, after we'd been dating a year, we had this terrible argument about why we never argued. We agreed to split up for a while. We were so much in sync that neither one of us ever bothered to call the other. We both knew that it was over. We never saw each other again.
By the way, I admit I hate to argue. I'm a preschool teacher, and it takes a lot to make me angry, but in my relationships since then, there have been differences of opinion. (Vive la difference!) And in my present relationship, we discuss issues -- sometimes with gusto!
JOELLE: We had just started dating, and I thought it would be fun to take him to a strip club for his birthday.
When we got there, I discovered I wasn't comfortable. He drove out of that lot with no complaints. We've been married for seven years.
CHRIS: I knew it was love on our first date in 1977. She was drop-dead gorgeous, from New Orleans, a Princeton grad (summa cum laude) and a published author.
I took her to see "Rocky" and then to a dive bar, where she sat, wearing jeans and Frye boots, smoking (it was OK back then), knocking down beers and laughing about how much she liked the movie. What was a boy from Chicago to do? We've been married for 33 years.
DANIEL: We met online, just a random meeting that escalated into obvious interest on both our parts. After talking for two weeks, we decided to meet at a date to be determined. (We live 1,000 miles apart.)
We continued chatting daily, including one nine-hour talk about everything under the sun! We seemed to be very much on the same page on just about everything.
One day, I told her there was something I wanted to say to her, but I wanted to wait and say it in person. She said she'd like to do that, too, but she was just going to go ahead and say it anyway.
She said, "I love you." And after countless "I love you's" back and forth, our love for each other gets stronger each day.
By the way, we still haven't met in person. We had a meeting set up, but there were complications. It's now going to happen later this month.
We continue to chat daily, and the love continues to grow. We're both in a place where if that meeting and subsequent contact goes as we expect, we're ready for a commitment.
I knew it was love when ... I knew it was over when ... Fill in the blanks and send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not."