Last night, we held hands, we laughed, we kissed, we looked at each other, and I said:
You’re a really good person, you know that?
And it was far more vulnerable than if I had said something so over the top that it couldn’t possibly have weight. I love you. I love you only holds weight when it might be true — I love you to an acquaintance is a dime a dozen: a comment on a profile picture, a squeal at a party of half-familiar faces.
This was vulnerable because I felt it to be so completely true. And his reaction: stumbling, fumbling, throwing a half compliment back and yet not a full one, was disappointing. Awkward returned compliments only happen in the face of perceived unequal power dynamics. He felt I needed affirmation of reciprocation. Fine. But he also knew he couldn’t give it fully. And while I didn’t need that half-assed reciprocation, I think I like him enough that I’m ok with it.
That’s not true. I don’t know where I was going with this.