I went on my very first date with a girl (who is now my girlfriend) 5 months ago. Seeing her for the first time after weeks of flirting online was amazing. As I made my way to her, my heart started to pound twice its normal speed and my hands shook while I was trying to think of the first words to say.
I immediately went in for a hug. We then decided to go for a walk, our arms intertwined, occasionally holding each other’s hands and kissing each other on the cheek.
But after a while, fear consumed me. I realized that what felt like the most natural thing for us was unnatural in the eyes of many around us. I’d never wanted to be the subject of scrutiny, and holding hands with a girl in public seemed like I was handing myself over for judgment. I was scared that strangers might come right up and tell us to fuck off for being too affectionate.
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