When Did You Know?

Sarah Howden 25 May 2014

A revelation over brunch. An abysmal ADC show. A well-timed Facebook message. The TCS team reveal the moments when we knew we’d fallen for someone, and what happened next. 


"A month before she flew out to India for six months on her gap year, it hit me like a tonne of bricks that I had no choice but to give long distance a go because there was just no other option" 

"It was the morning after a friend’s birthday and we were all struggling with epic hangovers following a night of camping.  She was dating the birthday-boy on and off and I had a girlfriend at the time, but I still couldn’t help falling for the clumsy, hapless, hilarious girl who commandeered the kitchen and insisted on making everybody a full English.  It was the best breakfast I’d ever had. Until, six months later, she took me to brunch at her college and casually referred to me as her‘boyfriend’.  I was grinning from ear to ear."

Love happens in mysterious ways                                       Credit: Desiree Tonus

"I had guessed at it for a while, but I didn’t want to feel something as ridiculous as “love” for something that was, and would remain, unrequited. Really, it hit me when I realised that after not seeing her or chatting to her for a couple of days I missed her: missed her to the point that it physically hurt. Just a minute’s conversation with her would have made me happy: just knowing that she was still there, and she still thought about me even a little bit."

"While I was away travelling, we used to do stupid things like get up at 4 am to Skype each other because of the time difference.  During one session, as we were doing the whole lame ‘I miss you’ thing, he linked me a youtube video.  It was Noel Coward’s ‘Any little fish can swim’.  The opening lyrics are “I’ve fallen in love with you,/ I’m taking it badly”.  Two seconds later, a message popped up on my screen: “for God’s sake don’t take that too literally”.  It was so unbelievably characteristic of him, and even though we’re not even on speaking terms anymore, I still remember the rush I felt at that moment (and the subsequent anticlimax).  It reminds me of lazy Cambridge mornings; brunch at the Copper Kettle; him playing Flanders & Swann’s ‘Armadilloe Song’ with a gin and tonic perched on top of the piano. I remember him surprising me on my birthday with a picnic on top of a Greek Fort, complete with my favourite champagne, food prepared by our favourite local taverna and the most romantic sunset I’ve ever seen.  And, of course, I remember hearing, in a dark corner of Ronnie’s Jazz Bar in Soho, the three words that made my heart skip a beat."                                               Credit: Robert Jinks

"After a brutal fresher’s week of meeting people, thinking we had a connection and then being awkwardly rejected, I developed quite a jaded approach to men. I met a certain gent on a night out in one of Cambridge’s classiest, ended up kissing but left it at that. But after a week I took the plunge and sent him a text asking if he wanted to come to a play at the ADC. I had free tickets, he seemed nice and my confidence was in tatters: I had nothing to lose. The play was absolutely abysmal, beyond shocking. At one point though, in the depths of the ADC and before a train-wreck of a performance, he grabbed my hand, gave me a smirky glance, and I knew. No logic, no massive romantic gestures of devotion- it just clicked."

"There was one moment really. We stood toe to toe, just looking at each other, really slowly. I can’t remember where my hands were, or what else was happening, or if anyone else was in the room. I could just feel his eyes looking at my face and hear the sound of our breathing.  And then, immensely slowly, he reached up and held my face in his hands. And that was that."