The Art of the Love Letter
In our technology-filled world of emails, text messages, tweets, and wall posts everyone is learning the art of brevity. Many people think this is a good thing but as our tolerant level for verbosity wanes, our aggravation towards long conversations increases. And the number of socially inept people you’ll encounter becomes more apparent with each passing day.
In this environment, the art of romance is suffering. There was a time when 'XOXO' was only used by high school students at the end of a note passed in class and 'laughing out loud' actually occurred in a spontaneous moment shared in the presence of other people. And love letters were once thoughtfully written by people in love instead of only existing in a blockbuster movies and best-selling novels.
Do you remember the first time you even wrote a love letter? Most of us were in middle or high school trying to express how we felt about our first true love. It was cute and filled with all of the emotions a smitten teenager could conjure up. For Baby Boomers and Generation Xers, we master the art of the love letter by turning to music lyrics and the dialogue spoken in romantic movies for inspiration (that’s why many of us love real R&B/Soul music). We believed in true love, destiny, and happiness and had no problem with anyone expressing that they wanted the same. We all knew how a divorce could shatter a family and turn a person’s views on love upside down. That’s why when we see a love letter, we stop and read it even if it’s not meant for us. (Yes, we're a curious lot.)
Love letters are slowly dying because no one like the permanence of their emotions out there for others to read and re-read. It’s more vulnerable than posting a photo on Facebook or Instagram with the 'love of your life' just to take it down a few weeks later; we all know photos can be explained away. But love letters are an emotional snapshot of your feelings for another at a set point in time. Once you give it, you can’t delete it from the other person’s memory banks, or control who sees it after them. The letter can also resurface when the other person wants to make a point or when they’re seeking validation that your love is real.
Is that why all of us have stop writing love letters? Fear. Is fear keeping all of us from knowing the true depth of love that we all desire to attain? Fear should not rule your decision to be your true authentic self or to love someone openly and deeply.
Love involves emotional vulnerability so stop hiding behind text messages and other brevity ruses. Let your heart soar and give your sweetie a love letter that expresses just how much you adore them. It’s okay if it’s in email form but if you don’t want it to go viral, give it to them personally. It will mean so much more.
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