I noticed this morning while writing that one of my male characters is holding back his feelings for the female lead, Mysty. I know this, naturally, because I am the author. The funny thing is, I am finding that I am holding back as well so that he can hold back. I can feel the restraint he is putting on himself, and it comes out in the form of cute remarks toward Mysty. It’s an interesting feeling.
When you get to the point that you are feeling the same frustrations, anxieties, and various emotions as your character, then you have created a pretty solid character. If you must pat yourself on the back, fine. Then get right back to writing.