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Love Letters in the 21st Century

Love Letters

Love letters in the 21th century are one of the greatest ways to show a beloved person appreciation. The internet actually gave rise to their "new" magic...

The Magic of Love Letters in the 21st Century

My Dearest....I don't know how to tell you. When I first saw you my heart immediately started to pound. You are the most beautiful person I've ever met. I have no words. I just wanted to tell you that I unconditional love admire you.  - Yours truly

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CC frankieleon flickr

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Having a thought or the wish to tell a person something, getting paper and pen, thinking about what to write down, writing it down, destroying the letter to write it again in a more beautiful script, closing the letter, getting an envelope and label it with the right adress, going to the post office, buying a stamp, putting the letter into the letterbox, waiting hours until the person is going to receive the letter. Is that the magic of love letters? No, it is only half the part! The true magic of a personal letter happens, when the other person receives it. Happy, nervous, sad, excited, surprised. The emotions can vary significantly. Today, its most probably a surprise to receive a letter from a beloved person. E-Mails, sms, What's app, Facebook are much more faster, cheaper and less time-consuming ways of communication. And yes, social media has many advantages. People studying or working abroad have the opportunity to write to their relatives or friends whenever they want, many relationships result or consolidate because of the many short messages lovers like to send each other everyday and just think about the old friends, we've all found on facebook to make a little chat with sometimes. But one of the greatest advantages of the expansion of the internet is truly, that personal handwriting became more important and special than ever. Yes, the 21st century actually gave rise to the magic of love letters, because some things only get appreciated, when they are almost gone. Now, people habe the option to either send an E-Mail, an sms, a Waht's app message or a letter. It's true that a quick info like "I'm there in 5 minutes" should not get send by paper, but what we are talking about are the small and "unimportant", but still very great things in life. The messages that every person doesn't delete from his smartphone, the "miss you"-messages, the messages from 5 years ago a person wants to keep forever, because they are so adorable. Today, personal letters - because we are not talking about the ones from banks, universities, jobs or tax offices - are only worth writing to someone, we really appreciate. Just because of the reason that it takes much more time to undergo the whole "process" of writing and sending it. And this time is worth more than hundred quick messages on any social media-platform.

The Perfect Love Letter

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“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.”

Many people may know this part. It's taken from Jane Austen's Novel Persuasion (1818). The main character is Anne Elliot, a 27 years old intelligent, but unmarried woman. During this time a very exceptional case. What becomes clear thoughout the story is that Anne was already engaged to a penniless naval officer called Frederick Wentworth, but canceled the marriage upon the advice of a close confident. Finally, the circumstances permit it, that the both are meeting again after several years. Anne's father is forced to rent out his country estate due to an excessive lifestyle. The renter is no one else than Wentworths brother-in-law. Wentworth himself also brought it to greater success. He is now the owner of a considerable asset und receives more and more social acknowledgement. To Anne whereas, the man she once loved and still loves, seems very cold and distant. After some missunderstandings and an imminently marriage with another man, Wentworth writes the above letter to Anne. A letter, which really makes every reader of the novel cry. But did people, who only read the part above, also cry? The answer is most probably no.

How to Write a Love Letter: The Context is All That Matters

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CC Kevin Walsh flickr

Every love letter is perfect. All that matters is the context. The example with the love letter from Wentworth to Anne showed it quite well. It's one of the most famous love letters in literature, full of emotions that accumulated thoughout the years, true words paired with a little bit risk. Risk, because the actual message of really good love letters is not that a person loves another person, but the recapitulation of certain events, things or the good points in a person in your own words. This again brings us back to the context. Every love letter is bad if a person doesn't know the circumstances. Every love letter is good for a person, who knows the circumstances. Therefore, a real love letter never gets written in the beginning of a romance, when there are no common experiences between two individuals. The lines in the beginning of this post can be adressed to everyone who feels adressed. This person will read the lines in a different way and therefore adores it. Really good love letters are the ones, which refer to the points, the receiver gets emotional about by reading them. This can be really banal. But fact is, that the writer can never be 100 % sure, if the set down words really direct to the other persons feelings. It's always a risk game, but once you see the reaction of the receiver, always worth a try.

How to Write a Love Letter II: Until the Wor(l)ds End

I love you, I love you so much, you don't even know how much I love you, but it is true, I am so in love with you. True, "I love you" is probably the most common and most easiest way to describe emotional feelings for and to a person. But let's compare the words "I love you" with the famous computer worm "ILOVEYOU" from year 2000. It's rapid and widespread dissemination ended up in a 10 billion dollar loss. So many people opened the attached file in their e-mail, alleged sent from friends or colleagues. So many people felt into the trap of  "love letters". All this because in the "Hollywood"-age, the three words stand for the greatest feeling and confirmation a person can feel or receive. They stand for a complete package of desire, admiration, trust, innocence and much more. But still a very few people in the world ever hardly received a satisfying love letter.

"I love you" is basically only a summary of all the feelings. These feelings need to get described not in a process of searching on google "how to write a love letter", but in translating deep thoughts into a language of love. Therefore, the word "love" (even though its a love letter) should only used either in the end of the letter - or never.

A Love Letter to Yourself

“I've known you for years. Everyone says you were beautiful when you were young, but I want to tell you I think you're more beautiful now than then. Rather than your face as a young woman, I prefer your face as it is now. Ravaged.”
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“Years after the war, after marriages, children, divorces, books, he came to Paris with his wife. He phoned her. It's me. She recognized him at once from the voice. He said, I just wanted to hear your voice. She said, it's me, hello. He was nervous, afraid, as before. His voice suddenly trembled. And with the trembling, suddenly, she heard again the voice of China. He knew she'd begun writing books, he'd heard about it through her mother whom he'd met again in Saigon. And about her younger brother, and he'd been grieved for her. Then he didn't know what to say. And then he told her. Told her that it was as before, that he still loved her, he could never stop loving her, that he'd love her until death.” (Marguerite Duras - The Lover)

"The Lover" from Marguerite Duras is a very exceptional book. It is actually autobiographic, but in truth it is a love letter to Marguerite herself. The french author once said about it: "It is the easiest book I've ever written".

The story spins around the 15 year old Maguerite, who grew up in Vietnam and began a relationship with an older and rich Chinese man. This relationship is overshawdowed by her dead father, the "mad" mother, the two brothers and her classmates in Vietnam.  "The Lover" is more or less a view from Marguerite Duras herself about herself, influenced by the views of other people. The two parts above are taken from the beginning and from the end of the novel. Even though she is reflecting her own life in a very critical way ("Ravaged"), Marguerite completes "The Lover" with a love confession to herself from the mouth of another person - her first lover.

A love letter to yourself is most probably the ultimate form of love letters. It's based on the deepest and most emotional thoughts a person can have. The thoughts and unconditional love for himself. 

Featured Image CC Ryan Blanding flickr

Also check out following article:

Eight Best Male American Authors of the Late 20th Century

How to Become a Parisian - The Berlin Edition

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