How do you know, you know?

As soon as I saw the preview, I knew I wanted to see the movie.

“How Do You Know,” a new romantic comedy directed by James L. Brooks, centers around a 31-year-old Olympic softball player (played by Reese Witherspoon) who’s torn between two men: the professional pitcher-playboy (Owen Wilson) or the nice-guy businessman (Paul Rudd).

The movie is supposed to answer the question — reviews, like the one in the New York Times, say the movie failed to do that — “How do you know when you’re in love?” Or, maybe, “How do you know who’s — or what’s — best for you?”

It’s an interesting question, actually, especially when you’re at a point in your relationship when you need to make that big decision. Is this person right for you? Can I imagine my life without him? Is she the one?

When I worked as a reporter for The Honolulu Advertiser, one of my jobs was to write “Love Stories,” weekly articles about newlyweds. I always focused on how they met — and part of that was finding out when they knew they wanted to marry the other person. Everyone has a different story. One guy said he knew she was the one for him when she happily agreed to go to an important football game with him — and she hated the sport. Another woman said she knew her husband was worth marrying when she saw how he interacted with her children.

So I’m throwing it out there: how do you know? What is it about the other person that made you decide, “Hmm, I think this one’s a keeper”?


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