@juleshough / Instagram 1 / 13
@juleshough / Instagram 1 / 13

Judging by her Instagram -- and let face it, in this day and age, that's what matters -- Julianne Hough is smitten.

The "Dancing With The Stars" judge shared a rare photo of her and her beau, hockey player Brooks Laich on Dec. 2, and she wasn't afraid to drop the L-word in the process.

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"A little nature walk with the loves of my life!" Hough, 26, captioned her photo with her man and her two dogs. "Amazing goal tonight sweetheart! @brookslaich xoxo."

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The burgeoning romance started last winter after the two were set up by a mutual friend. Previously, Julianne Hough dated Ryan Seacrest for a number of years.

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"Every relationship, there was nothing wrong or bad, but there was nothing right," she told Redbook in August 2014 of her past relationships. "I had one foot out because I didn't want to get hurt. And I didn't say what was on my mind because I didn't want to ruffle any feathers. I needed to be perfect."

After dating the "American Idol" host, though, Julianne said she found herself.

"I had this epiphany when my family went to a six-day seminar [last November] about creating your own destiny," she told the magazine. "I learned so much about myself and why my relationships didn't work that by the end I was on a high … The next day my 'Curve' costar introduced [Brooks and me]. It couldn't have been a better time. We've been open and honest from day one."