I identify with this, if not exactly. But the slow part, yes. About a quarter century ago when I started dating the woman who was to become my second (my first was an at-first-sight thing) wife, I thought about how nice it would be if I loved her and we got married. She was smart and seemed to have it together. We knew each other already. We were at the exchange-a-chaste-hug-on-greeting level of acquaintance. I lent her a book of music — which she had actually returned!
I made a conscious decision to love her, and I did. To her I was Mr. He’ll-Do. If any of this seems odd or cold, consider that love has lasted undiminished these 26 years.