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Mariska Hargitay explains why she cried on 1st date with husband Peter Hermann

"Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay opens up about her longtime marriage to husband Peter Hermann.
/ Source: TODAY

The story of “Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay’s first date with her husband may bring tears to your eyes.

The actress, 55, stopped by TODAY with Hoda & Jenna on Thursday where she told Jenna Bush Hager and guest co-host Savannah Guthrie that she cried on her first date with her husband, “Younger” star Peter Hermann, 51.

Image: "Younger" Season 6 New York Premiere
Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann have been married for 15 years.Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

“I cried because I was feeling something that I’d never felt before, but I kind of knew what it was and I always say people, well, you know, when you’re a little girl, your parents and your grandparents and everyone goes, ‘When you’re in love, you’ll know.’ And I did,” she said. “And before I did I’d never felt that. And so when I was sitting in church, it was so hilarious, because Peter was like, ‘Oh my god, she’s so moved.’”

The couple met when Hermann guest-starred on "Law & Order: SVU." He has since been on the drama multiple times.

Hargitay told Jenna and Savannah she had a hunch Hermann was the man of her dreams on that first date.

“I just, I knew, and again it just, you know, listen, the story of having your husband invite you to church for the first date, you’re like, ‘Really, Peter? Really?’ It was so perfect. It just was so perfect,” she said.

The couple, who appear on the cover of this week’s People magazine discussing their relationship, have been married for 15 years and together for 18.

Today, Hargitay and Hermann have three kids, including August, 12, Amaya, 8, and Andrew, 7.

“I just started sobbing,” she told the magazine about that first date. “Peter thought I was crying because I was so moved by the service. No, it was because I was just overwhelmed, realizing he was the one.”