How are you classified as a romantic? Is it self-diagnosed or bestowed upon you by someone else? Is there really a set definition for being a romantic? Do you have to follow rules or does it just come naturally?
Do romantics dream about writing in cozy little coffee shop corners with a cup of their favorite drink on a cold winter’s day? Do they read the romance novels and envision their future in the same light? Do they watch the sappy movies and cry when the ending is just so pure? Do they write little notes with plans, dates and gifts for how they’re going to show that they love someone?
If any of the above are yeses than I guess I am a romantic. A romantic that just finished tearing up from watching a romantic movie of course. And that’s why I’m here, writing this letter, or proclamation or whatever you really want to call it.
I’ve had a lot of loves so far in my life but I don’t think I’ve even come close to hitting peak romantic status. So far, my loves have been more than just the boys I found cute. I think love comes in many forms but like Lara Jean, I’d like to write this love letter to all the boys I’ve loved before. I won’t be naming names and I won’t be separating one from another. It’s going to be sappy and maybe a little sad, but hey, that’s something a romantic would do right?
To the boys that let me love them at least once in my life (so far),
I can’t say that writing a love letter is easy and to be perfectly frank, I can’t ever recall writing one so please bear with me here. Of course, this isn’t a profession of love, because hopefully you knew how much I loved you at the time when we were together in whatever capacity. You could have been my first ever kiss in elementary school, you could be the first boy I envisioned a future with or you could be the boy that I knew I couldn’t have, but held on to anyway. It doesn’t really matter when I loved you or for how long. What matters is that at some point in my life I devoted what love I possessed and poured every last drop into us.
I’d like to say that I don’t love easily but unfortunately, I’m quite the opposite. I have perhaps poured too much of my love into one individual and it has not ended well, but I’ve heard that all great love stories eventually come to an end. Albeit, mostly happy endings but contrary to what all romantics would like to think, it’s the love stories that don’t end happily that make that final love story all the more better. Would you agree? I think it makes it memorable and enjoyable in a whole different way because before you were just getting a taste of something and not feeling fully satisfied, you just didn’t know it. Sometimes it takes just a little time into your life to get to that final and absolute love, sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs and fight against the tide and wait for that love. You’ve all contributed to the build up, so for that I thank you.
I’d also like to thank you for helping me learn and grow throughout the years. One of you taught me that not everyone you love is going to give you the same amount of love back. It hardens a person but makes them a bit more selective of who they let in next. I’m thankful in a way that that happened to me so young. Relishing in the love I was given, however small, was still a love. I was not as accepting at the time and took it way harder than a young girl should have. They say that you don’t know what love is until you’re older and I’m calling bullshit on that. I know that I loved you then and that you didn’t see me the same way. Our loves were a different kind towards each other: me wanting to you to see me more than just a friend, you seeing me no more than that. That is how you felt, wasn’t it?
Another one of you taught me that love comes in all intensities and that sometimes it’s not what you would expect or what you’re used to. I only know one of my past loves (and not the same one that I’m referring to) that knows their love languages and how they rank for themselves. Some of ours aligned, some, not so much but I’ll get to that later. What I’m trying to say about this other love is that even though you loved me in your own way, I didn’t see or feel it. I couldn’t interpret what you did or what you said because I just couldn’t fathom how you expressed your love. And I only know that now because I’ve grown, I’ve learned to listen better and to read between the lines and past the façades. I hope you’ve learned a little something about yourself since then. You’re not the easiest person to understand in the ways of love but I still managed to crack through even if it was just for small moments.
What I’ve learned from most of you is that I can be loved. I can be loved even with all my rough edges, minor dents and past demons. Again, I thank you for that. Love isn’t just a connection between two people, there’s something to be said about self-love as well. I’ve come to realize that sometimes you have to know and love yourself, flaws and all, in order to project love unto another. For one of you, I don’t think you understood that. I don’t think you loved yourself enough to show your love to another. You made it hard for me to love you but love is also a battlefield. I battled so hard to make you understand that you are loveable and therefore capable of giving love but to no avail. And hey, that’s okay too. I don’t see it as a failure, I see it as a start to a bridge that hopefully one day someone else is able to finish. Because sometimes you have to let go of what you love. If it’s meant to be, they’ll find a way of coming back to you. A trust me, that hasn’t been the easiest philosophy for me to embrace.
I don’t expect any of you to come back to me though. I think our times together were always meant to be temporary. Love itself isn’t temporary though. Love is everlasting. I don’t care what people say about love being fleeting. I don’t care if a hundred million people tell me otherwise. I will always have a little bit of love for every one of you that I’ve loved before. I’ll always have the tiniest bit of love for the little boy that sung to me on the playground and the boy that brought me soup for when I was sick. I’ll always have a place in my heart for the boy that loved the smell of my hair and the boy that kept coming back but eventually left. I hope that through our time together you found what kind of love you want and what kind of love you’d like to receive.
For me, love is always through action. My top love language is ‘quality time’ followed closely behind ‘acts of service’. I spent a lot of time in my childhood and then well into college alone and looking back, I think I enjoyed it but once my final year of college came to a close and I wasn’t alone very often, I realized I like being around people I know and care about. I know that feeling truly loved is when someone wants to spend time with me doing whatever. Even if we sit and read together, watch a movie or even run errands, it’s being together. I only truly understood that was what I wanted after one of you spent a lot of time with me and when that was gone, it was hard for me to process what I was missing so much. I didn’t feel the love anymore. And with that I learned I don’t do distance well. And sadly, one of you (I believe) couldn’t do it either.
I’ll never forget some of the moments I’ve spent with you. There are so many moments that we will forget over time, especially when we are old and our memories begin to leak. But there are some that I hope stick with me forever. Spending hours upon hours late into the night talking, just talking. Sneaking into your house after work just to spend 10 minutes together because we hated not seeing each other all the time. Not taking our respective buses home because we wanted to play near the baseball field after school and then getting in a lot of trouble with our parents. Getting pizza down the street with friends after school on a Friday. Seeing you sitting on the balcony waiting for me to show up at summer camp. Do you remember any of those moments? Or perhaps you have moments of your own. Either way, I’ll remember them because I felt the love in all those moments of all those little stories.
Every love story has its trials and tribulations, fights and make ups, and beginnings and ends. Some are so quick you don’t get to see or experience it all. Some are so long the cycle repeats over and over again. Each occurrence of the love you give and the love you receive is precious and I hope you all see it that way too. I hope you continue to be loved and love back. It’s something basic in our human nature and as a probable hopeless romantic, I think it’s an essential of our lives.
With a bit of my love forever,