Ah, love. We pray for it, fight for it, and curse its name when it causes us pain. And there's nothing quite like the first time you fall in love. For some of us, it happened when we were just young kids, while others experienced it later in life. Regardless, it's something one never forgets.
Below, 16 people share their first experiences with falling in love.
1. "I felt at peace"
"Like I saw the rest of my life right in front of me and like everything made sense. I felt at peace."
3. "A partner in crime"
"It happened recently. It felt like I found a friend that could not complete me, but complement me. That could make me more unapologetically me, a partner in crime and a partner in love."
4. "It was a great feeling, but I was misled by my own dreams"
"It was like life threw me a curveball that I had to swing at. She was 21 and I was 19, just meeting her but it was like I had known her for years. College and work made it difficult for us to connect on a more personal level, but I felt some real attachment to her that I couldn't deny anymore. I walked two feet taller after realizing I was in love, but unfortunately, she believed that our job meant more than a relationship. At the time I was angry, but now I understood. A part of me is still in love with her, but I know now that the door has closed and I can't call the locksmith. It was a great feeling, but I was misled by my own dreams. Had Chet Baker on repeat the day she told me she was not interested. I haven't changed the playlist since."
6. "He was my childhood sweetheart"
"I was 15, and I loved the same boy since I was 7. He was my childhood sweetheart, so I always felt love for him, but when I got older it was different. When I was 15, I began to understand what love felt like, and it felt like hope. He was my first home, and he was my first glimpse of what hope really was. To this day, 9 years later, he is still my first home and a symbol of what hope looked and felt like."
7. "We left prom feeling weird about each other"
"Well, it started with her. It was senior year in high school (I was 17) and I had no interest in going to the prom. But she, and we got close that year but as friends, asked me to go with her. We went as friends but we left prom feeling weird with about each other and in a few days she asked me out. I realized that my weird feeling was that I didn't think of us as friends anymore but didn't know it was love until she gave me that love letter in the morning and I felt eager to answer in the evening (since that was the one day of the week where I don't see her throughout classes)."
8. "Nothing could beat the type of love we shared"
"I was young, but on cloud nine and felt like nothing could beat the type of love we shared."
9. "It wasn't a Cinderella story, but it was my story"
"It was very nerve-racking. I felt like I had just come out of this shell that was protecting me and out into the open. I remember always feeling excited, wondering how his day went, worrying about his problems more than mine. It wasn't a Cinderella story, but it was my story. I'm forever grateful that he taught me what love feels like. And then taught what love isn't."
10. "I knew that all I wanted to do was share my time with her"
"Everything just clicked and made sense. All of the things I had dreamed of, thought about. Everything that I thought love was became real and then some. I felt a connection like nothing I have ever felt before. I knew that all I wanted to do was share my time with her, do everything, and learn everything I could about her. It was also realizing that I would do anything and everything for her. It is a mind/body feeling like nothing I have ever felt before. I think it's that moment where you realize you truly know what love is and that you found 'the one.'"
-Nick (my boyfriend), 21
11. "It was rough"
"It was hard. I fell in love with a guy a few years older who didn't feel the same way, as it proved to when he broke it off to date someone else who he eventually married. So it was rough. At the time, I felt giddy and excited and full of admiration for him. But he played me, made me think he loved me, but he really didn't."
12. "It just felt so natural"
"It came really out of nowhere. We were in the middle of having sex and I was like wow I love this guy. I didn't tell him for a few days after that because I didn't want to freak him out but it just felt so natural."
13. "It teaches you so many things that you never knew about yourself"
"I fell in love in high school and at the time it just felt perfect and like everything was falling into place. I think it was different than most high school relationships because it was a really good and deep connection. We're not together anymore but I'm really glad I had that experience because being in love really is amazing and after, it teaches you so many things that you never knew about yourself."
14. "Everything just seemed like it fell into place"
"It felt like everything was right in the world. I hadn't been happy in some time due to school and personal things and then right when I would have never expected I found someone I clicked with. Sadly things didn't work out but at that time everything just seemed like it fell into place. I sure hope I find that again soon!"
15. "Never wanted to leave them"
"Euphoria all day, every day. Couldn't wait to be with that person, never wanted to leave them, either."
16. "It was like fire and a constant state of anxiety"
"We were in high school, I was 15, she was 14. It was weird at first because we were best friends and I told myself that I just loved her a lot because of that. Then it got weirdly stronger and deeper and I started freaking out because that was basically the first time I realized I was bisexual. At the time it was like fire and a constant state of anxiety because it wasn't reciprocated and everyone eventually found out but looking back, it was probably an important thing that happened because that's how I discovered who I was. We're still pretty good friends to this day too so all is well."