The first time Steph told me she loved me, I told her that she didn’t know what she was saying. It was too soon to say things like that, I thought, and I was afraid that she didn’t realize the full extent of what she said, or of the commitment that this implied. I told her that maybe she made a mistake, and that she didn’t really mean it. I gave her an opening to take back her words.
The next day, I told her I loved her too. I truly loved her then, and whether or not she felt the same wasn’t the problem. It was the truth for me and I had to say it. I thought she loved me, but more than that, I realized that my feelings were a small price to pay for the love that I thought I had.