I told O that I loved him last night. It was the first time I had ever said those words out loud to a boy and it wasn’t as revolutionary as I thought it would be. I’m not sure what I expected, maybe the slightest feeling like something would change in me? That my life would tilt in another direction? I don’t know. I think that might be the internalised misogynistic narratives playing in my head again, the same thread of thought that connects my life’s value and purpose to finding love in a boy. I felt exactly as I did before saying those three words. It felt natural and true.
He said he wasn’t ready to say those words yet. I told him that was totally okay. Then we went to sleep.
I’ve thought a lot about how I felt about him and whether or not to say anything in the recent wee while, pretty much since I realised and told him I thought I was falling in love with him. I don’t have a lot of experience with romantic love, but from what I know about other forms of love, I know that it’s freely given and comes with no strings attached. So it really doesn’t bother me that he doesn’t feel the same way yet. “I love you” means I love you in the present, in who you are and who we are.