Now, I don’t want to come across as “high maintenance” by sounding like I’m moaning about why people don’t seem to write love letters anymore or why it’s too much to ask that my significant other write me a love letter once in a while. Of course, he will quickly retort that it’s not as if I have written one to him, which is not true! I did write one to him….four years ago. I digress…
I don’t think technology is sole reason why people don’t write letters anymore, much less love letters, although let’s be honest, it is the dominant reason. I was browsing through “Top 10 Famous Love Letters” on Time.com doing research for this post, when it occurred to me that maybe all those great love-letter writers before our time are also to blame for why we don’t write them.
“Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, Be calm–love me–today–yesterday–what tearful longings for you–you–you–my life–my all–farewell. Oh continue to love me–never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.”
Even that warmonger Napoleon found time to pour his soul into a few lines of romantic poesy.
“Since I left you, I have been constantly depressed. My happiness is to be near you. Incessantly I live over in my memory your caresses, your tears, your affectionate solicitude. The charms of the incomparable Josephine kindle continually a burning and a glowing flame in my heart. When, free from all solicitude, all harassing care, shall I be able to pass all my time with you, having only to love you, and to think only of the happiness of so saying, and of proving it to you?”
Let me be clear, it is not that I am simply lamenting at why people don’t write letters, but more so, I am lamenting that people in love are no longer inspired into action, which includes writing love letters, putting feelings into a tangible, concrete form. Last I checked, love is both a verb as well as noun describing a state of being. Where has all the action gone?
Maybe we have no good role models anymore. I mean let’s be honest, who among us can be as eloquent as Beethoven or Napoleon, and if we did manage the feat, we would surely be laughed at or worse, be accused of being insincere because our feelings appeared to be exaggerated. I know that if my boyfriend said he had “tearful longings” for me, I would laugh at him. The words are beautiful when read, but are incredibly out-of-place in our 21st century existence.
So unless we accept the mediums of email and texts and “i luv u”–which I do refuse to accept–we need better modern role models for love letters that fit our culture and language. A good place to start with is Other People’s Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See.
So let’s getting writing people! You can even start with a postcard if you want….I probably will….