Do you think Sawyer loved Kate more than she loved him?
the short answer would be no (although, if you want someone to agree that love is so easily quantifiable, that person isn’t me altogether).
however, when they were together they definitely did typically want/expect different things from each other, relationship-wise. they both needed to grow a lot before they were ready to even think about coping emotionally with 1) genuinely letting someone in (more so in kate’s case, but) and 2) having that person be someone so strikingly similar to themselves.
what i’m trying to say, but badly, for several reasons including “i just woke up and recently gave up caffeine”, is that kate loved sawyer very much. she loved him very much, but as he reminded her of herself– And As She Hated Herself– she tried very hard not to love him. it was how she avoided pain! but she ended up making a big mess of that.
and she did pick him, remember! people always give kate shit for Not Just Deciding but she did! she did. it was sawyer who usually couldn’t. kate dated sawyer on the island, he broke her heart, jack predictably swept in, kate then dated jack. out of the entire damn Love Square she’s actually the only one who is never unfaithful to anyone.
in conclusion: things were tough between them– this being lost and them being them– and, being a gorgeous white man, the show does like to show sawyer pine more. but basically, kate tried and sawyer didn’t. i still very much hate the “love you more” rhetoric, but if anybody deserves the upper hand here, it’s not him.
“I can’t tell you that,” she says, her tone distant, but when she looks at him, there’s definitely a hint of a smile around her eyes. He frowns, confused. “What, you don’t trust me now?”
She shrugs, looking back out at the road. “Tiger don’t change its stripes,” she says, and even though she’s actually smiling now, it’s a private smile, not for him. He can’t tell where the joke ends and the truth begins.
When lines needed to be drawn, when their lives were on the line, Kate always, always, always looked to Jack, not Sawyer. She loved Sawyer, but Jack was always her priority, and it’s so painfully evident–even to Sawyer in these scenes. Kate meant it when she told Jack “I have always been with you.”