When I was 19, I sat on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building with a girl I was dating. Her scented head rested on my shoulder as she murmured ‘I love you.’
She turned her big eyes towards me and my chest clenched.
‘Don’t say that,’ I said.
‘Why not? Do you not love me?’ Her eyes quivered.
Here I had a choice. I could say what she clearly wanted to hear or I could speak my truth.
‘I don’t know. I mean, I don’t even know what love is. It’s a word, right? But what does it mean? If you watch John Hughes movies, which I do, then Love is some romantic ideal. But that can’t be it? I definitely have feelings for you, but I don’t know if it’s love. Or even if what I consider ‘love’ and you consider ‘love’ are the same thing. It’s a sensitive subject and I would want to make sure that we’re on the same page.’
I spoke my truth! The date ended moments later.