I wrote each of the following letters very quickly to avoid overthinking. The results are raw windows into past relationships that, together, demonstrate how unique my love was for each different person.
1. Dear W,
What a remarkable person you are. We grew up together. Even though distance separate us now, I hope one day we can be together. I have always loved you.
2. Dear N,
Together, we experienced the rollercoaster of falling in love for the first time. You were my lover and best friend. I have never experienced heartbreak quite like the one you caused, but I’m still searching for someone who makes me feel the way I did with you.
3. Dear F,
It’s sad how such a close friendship can deteriorate to nothing but a casual acquaintanceship. I’m sorry for that night we kissed 4 years ago. I miss you.
4. Dear R,
After a 2-year relationship I wish I could come up with more meaningful words to say to you. I hope you’re doing well.
5. Dear T,
I know I broke your heart, but I’m glad to see how happy you are now. I still think of you when I eat cereal.
6. Dear A,
I wish time could erase the moment we first met, but I won’t allow you to make me a cynic.
Like many young adults, I’ve experienced my fair share of romance and heartbreak. Writing a letter to an ex or old friend for closure can be a valuable exercise to help the broken-hearted move on, but these letters were not written for closure. Each letter embodies a different experience of love lost. Like most twenty-somethings I still have a lot to learn and mistakes to make, but my experience thus far has taught me a very important lesson on love:
You can love many people, but you can never experience the same love twice. It’s funny how a universal feeling like love, with all its complexities, is immensely unique to each person and each relationship. The problem is people are always trying to re-create the past, but people change and time moves on. Embracing change and “going with the flow” of life has always been a challenging feat for most people. It’s important to realize that just because a current romance is different than a past one, that doesn’t mean it’s worse or inadequate. We all need to get rid of our bullshit expectations set by past relationships about how love should be, and enjoy the experience of falling in love again. More importantly, experiencing a purely unique love that cannot be recreated with anyone else. The beauty of love often lies in its transience.