Figuring out who you want to spend the rest of your life with isn’t easy, and what makes someone feel like they’ve found “the one” can totally vary from person to person. But if and when that moment comes, there’s no doubt it’s a pretty magical feeling.
We got mushy with six women and asked them to describe the moment they knew their partner was the person they wanted to be with forever. Read on for all the heart explosions.
1. 'SHE TAUGHT ME TO SPEAK MY MIND AND STAND UP FOR MYSELF'
“I’ve always been attracted to Christie because of how independent and blunt she is. She speaks her mind, stands up for others, and stands her ground—always. Through the years of knowing her and being friends with her, I really looked up to her, because I have always struggled with being confident about my opinions. After we went from friends to officially dating, she wasted no time telling me I needed to stand up for myself more.
"The moment I knew she was 'the one' was the first time I actually spoke my mind about something that was bothering me. I was at a job that I really disliked. I was a supervisor at a plant, and one of the other supervisors I worked with was sexist, racist, and extremely rude to me daily. I hated my life when I worked there; every time he was mean to me or treated me and the other employees like shit, I just took it because I didn’t want to lose my job. Every day I would come home and complain to Christie, and every day she would explain to me that I needed to stick up for myself and eventually I did.
"I went into work one day, miserable. An employee ended up making a mistake that created a huge mess and I went to go help him out. This other supervisor walked over and started screaming at me. I was so taken aback that he would even think he had a place to do that. I lost it. I told him everything that was on my mind and told him how awful he was. He was extremely shocked, and eventually I ended up walking out and never came back.
"As I was walking to my car, I checked my phone to text Christie 'I quit,' and I saw a text from her that she had sent earlier that morning that said, 'Don’t take no sh*t today, babe. And also I want pizza tonight.'
"That’s when I knew. She empowered me to be a better person and she encouraged me to be strong, something no one has ever done for me. It wasn’t some crazy firework emotion; it was a very content and calming feeling. I was just happy, a different kind of happy I hadn’t felt before. That made we want to pick up pizza that night and eat it with my girlfriend.” —Carrie, 26, recently engaged
2. 'DISTANCE SHOWED ME WHAT I TRULY CARED ABOUT.'
“There were a few moments that made me feel like Ross was ‘the one.’ I know it sounds super corny, but I can remember in detail the first moment I saw him, what he was wearing, and how he just stood out to me. It was the first semester of freshman year in college and we had English class together. I can even remember the cross necklace he was wearing and how I was just weirdly drawn to him. I had never been the type of person who was attracted to guys on the spot, but he gave off this mysterious vibe and I wanted to know more about him. I told my friends right after class about 'this hot boy in English class.' I guess it was just God's way of telling me he's different and something special.
"We dated all through college, and then I moved from Iowa to Texas. We would go six months at a time without seeing each other. I remember sitting on my bed, bawling my eyes out because I missed him so much. I don't believe I have ever felt more than I did in that moment, truly missing and loving someone to my core. It felt like someone kicked me in the stomach, this deep sadness and pain. It hurt more than anything. It hit me then. I realized that he truly completed me and I needed him in my life.
"Ross and I stayed together and I ended up moving back to Iowa, where we both live now. Now that we're married, I've told him about how I felt in Texas, and he said being long-distance showed him a lot as well and led him to propose. Distance has a weird way of showing you what you truly care about. Everything takes more work but it all led to something pretty great." —Sarah, 25, married 1 year
3. 'HE ASKED FOR PERMISSION TO KISS ME.'
“I met Scott in high school, and one night we were driving around the small town we lived in. We pulled up to a stop sign and he asked me if he might kiss me. Funny, but that was when I knew!” —Angela, 46, married 26 years
4. 'THERE WAS NO DRAMA OR GAMES. IT WAS JUST EASY.'
“His brother is married to my best friend, so they introduced us. We hung out on a Friday night and it felt like we were old friends. That’s all it took—we were inseparable for the rest of the weekend. I lived four hours away, and when I got back home on Monday, he sent me a text saying he was ‘all in.’ That’s when I knew this was something different. It was just super easy from the start. There was no drama and no games; it was simple, and I don’t think either of us ever second-guessed if it was worth it. There was an overwhelming feeling of trust and mutual respect. I never thought a relationship would be anything but an emotional roller coaster, but with Zack it was comfortable and easy-going while still feeling serious at the same time. We were both open about our feelings; I was getting to a good place in my life where I was super comfortable with who I was and I think that was essential to the process, too.” —Karly, 25, married eight months
5. HE WAS THERE FOR ME THROUGH A REALLY STRESSFUL SITUATION.'
“The first time I thought that I could spend the rest of my life with him was during our trip to Scotland this past summer. Scotland was beautiful and romantic in and of itself, but it was actually the traveling part that made me love him more. On our way there, and on our way back, we had many, many delays, missed major flights, had to be redirected and stay in random places, and missed time for our trip. At one point they put us on a plane, and then took us off the plane due to further delays. I started crying and he was totally calm and supportive. He was my rock through the whole arduous thing. It was the first mess we had to deal with throughout our relationship, and I definitely felt closer to him afterwards.
"It wasn't long after that that I started seriously considering spending the rest of my life with him. Nothing makes you appreciate another person more than having them be there for you when you’re stressed and ready to punch something.” —Elena, 28, dating for two and a half years
6. 'I KNEW MY HUSBAND WAS THE ONE BEFORE I MET HIM.'
“He was in the state of Minnesota, serving a two-year proselytizing mission; I was going to college in Utah. I was from Minnesota, and he was originally from the town where I was attending school in Utah. We had switched places in a way. In 2010, one of my friends told me that I should date this guy she knew from college when he came home off of his mission in May. I was taken aback because I'd never been approached about a boy like that.
"Then, two weeks later, another one of my friends told me that I should date the same guy when he came home in May. I was thrown off guard and decided to look into who this guy was and hope that he was somewhat attractive. When I first saw his picture, my thought was, 'he is so cute.' I wasn't disappointed with how he looked at all. But I knew that looks weren't everything. So when his name came up in conversation I'd ask that person what they thought of him. I never got a negative comment. I also met his family before he came home (remember, small town—not a stalker) and they had many of the same values as I did. So he was handsome, others thought highly of him, and I had an idea of what he believed in.
"I remember looking back at the picture I had first seen of him, and I had this strong, undeniable feeling that I was going to marry this man. I called my mom and told her that I thought I was going to get married soon and that we should start saving for a wedding. I know this sounds incredibly weird, but this is what happened. She responded that I needed to meet him first and then go from there. I agreed with her but I felt that this was going to happen.
"May came around and he came home. By the time he got home, everyone was trying to set us up and not very discretely either. I was embarrassed and I didn't want him to get a bad impression of me because others were pressuring him. He contacted me about a week after he returned home and said, 'Everyone has been pushing us together and I'd like to get to know you, but no promises.' I doubted what I had felt earlier at that moment, but we ended up dating.
"Now we’re married with a sweet little boy and another on the way.” —Anna, 26, married five years
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.