Jeremiah Brent Knew Nate Berkus Was the One on Their First Date: 'In His Presence, I Felt So Safe'

Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent knew they would end up together from their very first date.

The pair, who met through Brent's former boss Rachel Zoe, went on a fateful furniture shopping outing together in 2012. Technically, it was a "friend hang," says Brent, 37, in PEOPLE's Love Issue, on newsstands Friday. "We were just going to hang out and go look at antiques."

But they quickly realized there was something more between them. "I was sitting in a brown leather chair and we were just talking. And I remember thinking to myself, oh God, what is this? This is not what I thought it was," says Brent. "There was something about him that, in his presence, I just felt so safe."

Jeremiah Brent Knew Husband Nate Berkus
Victoria Stevens

Berkus, 50, felt the same spark. "I would say it was within 15 minutes. I'll never forget it," he recalls. "It wasn't because of the conversation, it was just this huge energy shift and we both felt it at the same time."

And they weren't the only ones who recognized the special connection. "My mother said to me, when Jeremiah and I met, 'The light is back in your eyes,'" Berkus recalls. "And I remember thinking to myself, I know. You're right. I know."

WATCH THIS: Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent Give a Tour of the Mini Home in Their Montauk Backyard

Berkus proposed less than a year later atop Machu Picchu in Peru and they tied the knot at the New York Public library in 2014. That brown leather chair has been recovered six times and still resides in their Greenwich Village apartment.

Over the years, the couple has moved across the country twice, launched TV shows together (their latest is the Nate and Jeremiah Home Project on HGTV) and welcomed two children — Poppy, 6, and Oskar, 3 — but their love has remained a constant.

Before meeting Nate, Jeremiah says, "I didn't know that I could have a great love. I still have spent the last 10 years trying to articulate the way it feels to have somebody that you just know is right."

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