Real love creeps up on you unexpectedly, if you've conditioned yourself to be on your guard for fleeting attachments that don't last, no matter how right they feel at the time. You tell yourself that it can't be, that you're tricking yourself, that you can't actually love them until you've loved them longer, until the thing meets all these different crazy criteria you dream up for yourself, until it surpasses all the loves that have come before, until you sit down and examine it and realize that you've loved them for a month, six months, a year, two years, half a lifetime. And, when you're wired like I am, you have crushes on others, you have all sorts of little and joyous other loves, but in the end, there's the one who keeps the world spinning and that's the one you just keep loving.
And I love him. By this point it's gotten to almost a game of courtly love. I love him, and while I'd be overwhelmed if he ever decided to return my love in kind instead of just in trust, attention, tenderness, and friendship, I'm fine with things how they are.