your own real feelings

March 20, 2017

“Do you love me?”

“Yes,” said Boris, making a face.

“Why do you make a face like that?”

“Because – oh, you annoy me.”

“Why? It isn’t true that you love me?”

“Yes it is.”

“Why don’t you ever tell me so yourself? I always have to ask you.”

“Because I don’t feel like it. It’s all rot; it’s the sort of thing that people don’t say.”

“Does it annoy you when I say I love you?”

“No, you can say it if you like, but you oughtn’t to ask me if I love you.”

“It’s very seldom I ask you anything, darling. It’s usually enough for me to look at you and feel I love you. But there are moments when I wish I could get at your own real feelings.”

“I understand,” said Boris seriously, “but you ought to wait till I feel like it. If it doesn’t come naturally, there’s no sense in it.”

“But, you little fool, you yourself say you never do feel that way unless somebody asks you.”
Boris began to laugh.

“It’s true,” he said, “you put me off. But one can feel affection for somebody and not want to say so.”

Jean-Paul Sartre
The Age of Reason

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