There's a moment of clarity in any relationship, where you finally recognize the significance and depth of your emotional investment. It can be scary or exhilarating, liberating or stifling. It all depends on what you wanted or expected from this person.
I rather like stories where the person doesn't see it coming, isn't prepared, is almost shocked it took them so long to realize they'd fallen in love. Humans are so good at self-deception. We're comfortable denying things until there's no way we can pull it off anymore. Sometimes it takes a friend to make us wake up, take a step back, and evaluate the situation with more clarity than we've exhibited on our own.
Who speaks up first? I suppose it's the person who has come to terms with the facts of the matter and accepted there is no going back, only forward. It takes bravery to feel love. Even more to share it openly that first time. It's like standing naked in front of someone else and asking them to really look at you, see you, and hopefully accept what you have to offer. We're at our most vulnerable when we stop hiding and show how we feel.
Love is a leap that can't be denied--indefinitely. It needs to be shared, expressed, and embraced. To be in love colors how we view the world, and those in it.
Love doesn't make the world go around, but it does make the trip a whole lot sweeter.