but he has his own obscure criteria for what "genuine" emotions should feel like, and he can't be convinced he's meeting those criteria.
Than how was this exchange even possible if he cannot convince himself that his deep emotions are genuine?
The Measure of a Man wrote:
Picard: And this? You have no other portraits of your fellow crew members. Why this person?
Data: I would prefer not to answer that question, sir. I gave my word.
Picard: Under the circumstances, I don't think Tasha would mind.
Data: She was special to me, sir. We were.... intimate.
He seems pretty convinced to me, unlike later in Season 3,
The Offspring wrote:
Data: I can give her attention, Doctor. But I am incapable of giving her love.
Lal: I love you, Father.
Data: I wish I could feel it with you.
Some writers give Data genuine emotion, some writers say he never had them. Some writers say he is capable of feeling deep emotions towards someone special on his own, others say he needs an emotion chip in order to experience those emotions.