As a married woman…wait…scratch that…let’s start over. As an unmarried straight male (that’s better), I would not know what it is like to know the exact moment that I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with another man, unless of course you count the first time I saw a movie with Tom Hardy in it. That being the case, it still did not stop me from openly weeping as I compiled this list from Reddit of happily married women who share the story of when they discovered that their man was “the one.” Grab a tissue, and feel the love.

Growing up I didn’t have the best example of love as my parents fought a lot and weren’t very “lovey dovey”, but when I met my biological father at the age of 16 he really set a standard. I remember sitting on his back patio with him and his wife, they were holding hands and just enjoying their evening, when he looked at her and said “Have I told you I love you today?” She responded “No, I don’t think so.” To which he said “Oh I will. By the end of the day I’ll let you know.” They did little things like that a lot and I knew in that particular moment that I wanted that same treatment. Sure enough, one day my now husband and I were sitting together, just relaxing with a movie, and he says “Have I told you how much I love you today?” I smiled and said “No, not yet” and had tears in my eyes. He was, of course, confused and I explained what had me so taken aback. I had never told him that story before. I knew right then that I didn’t want to spend my life with anyone else, I had found what I was looking for.

We had been dating on and off for almost a year. I am a huge bookworm and wanted to go to a book reading on Halloween by one of my favorite authors (David Sedaris), but couldn’t think of anyone who would want to go. He immediately jumped at the chance, got really dressed up, took me out before for dinner, then drove me to the book reading. He loved the reading even though he’d never read a book by the author before. I could tell he was so happy to be there. Then he insisted we stay after to get a book signed no matter how long it took, and we were almost at the end of the line so it took about 2 hours. When we finally got to meet the author he complimented my now husband for dressing so nicely and in my book wrote, “To —, I envy you.” (Sedaris is gay, by the way). We like to joke that it was his approval that sealed the deal, but the whole night made me realize how exceptionally thoughtful he was and how happy he was just to be with me.

On our first date, we were discussing my daughters (I have two children from a previous and traumatic marriage) and I mentioned how my three-year-old had a favorite book and in that book, the little girl had a rope swing in her back yard. So, now my all my daughter talked about was having a back yard with a rope swing. Three months later, he invited my daughters and I over for a BBQ. We were taking things slow and he hadn’t met my girls yet. Introducing them was a HUGE step that I was very, very nervous about. When we got to his house, he told my daughter that he had a surprise for her. We walk to the back yard, and there it is. He had set up a rope swing in a huge pine tree. We took turns pushing her for hours. She was happier than I had ever seen her.

Two weeks after my now-husband had made the stupid decision to quit his job and move across the country for a woman he had just met, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was barely 24 and he was 22, and I tried to send him back home because I knew it was going to be ugly and he was too amazing for me to put him through it. He wouldn’t go and told me, “I came here because I love you, and because I love you I’m going to stay.” He slept in my hospital room after my mastectomies, learned how to give me shots, took a night job so he could be around for my chemo appointments, and asked me to marry him when I had a quarter-inch of hair.

The first time he met my family, we were at a lake house. I went to take my dog out in the yard and I unknowingly walked into a massive ground bee nest with my pup. They got in my dress/bathing suit and were all in my dog’s fur. I ran screaming into the house with my dog, both of us covered in bees and brought dozens of bees into the house with me. He ripped all of the bees out of my dog’s fur, helped my mom kill all of the bees I brought into the house with me while I was literally running around screaming and ripping my clothes off, and then retrieved my purse that I dropped near the nest, which had so many bees on it you could barely see the actual material of my bag. That was one of the most terrifying moments of my life so far (because bees, in my bathing suit!), but I remember being so shocked that someone I had not been dating that long was caring enough to battle a shit ton of bees for me.

We were engaged and had a fight…a huge fight….and I stormed out, got in my car, and drove off. As I was driving, I thought of people/friends I could go to tell what had happened and how I was feeling. As I went through my list, I came to the realization that the person I wanted to talk to the most was my best friend….and he was the person I had just left. We have been married now for 25 years.

My car broke down in downtown Houston while I was working. He came and switched cars with me, took it straight to a mechanic, had it fixed (it threw a serpentine belt), paid for it, and was waiting at my house when I got off work a couple hours later. The only thing he said was “I went ahead and had the oil changed”.

In 7th grade, I had a hardcore Pez addiction, especially the lemon ones. He was in one of my classes and even though we never talked, one day he shows up with about 20 packs and put them on my desk. I didn’t want to just take this strangers candy, so I asked him what he wanted. He said “your soul”… So I wrote a note on a napkin that effectively transferred ownership of my soul for lemon Pez and never thought about it again. Fifteen years later, I randomly run into him at a store. We chat a bit, and he tells me he has something of mine. I’m picking my brain trying to think what it is, and he pulls this folded napkin out of his wallet… Said he never knew what to do with it so he just hung onto it for me. We went out that night, yada yada yada, we’ve been engaged for almost two years and are getting married this weekend!