I was in a serious relationship in my early twenties, and we broke up (his idea) when I moved to a different city, but it was framed as "taking a break" by him. It broke my heart.
Like many people, I had a hard time cutting him off because we still loved each other. So I didn't. We still talked. We acted like a couple in many ways, but we weren't. During that time, I wrote letters and just never sent them. I thought we were going to get back together, but we didn't. I'm very happy now and feel refreshingly detached from the situation, but I remember that time being so painful.
When I found these 15 letters, I was so shocked. I was loopy. Did I really compare my relationship to the one in An Affair to Remember?
I wanted to share them because maybe you can identify with the person who wrote these letters. Maybe it is you.
Letter 1: I Missed You Today (November 20)
I missed you today. I wanted to call you so badly, but I didn't. I know it's for the best. But I still missed you. I thought about our bike ride along the river and felt so much regret that we didn't do more sightseeing while you were here. I have a lot of regrets about your visit. We just re-hashed everything and I could tell you were frustrated.
I've been thinking a lot lately about great love stories. I just watched An Affair to Remember. In it, there was a long period of time when the characters didn't talk. Maybe this is the start of that period for us, and maybe it will be good. We never really had a clean break, and we're really lousy at cutting off communication. Mostly my fault - I miss you every day and struggle with the long silences.
So, instead of picking up the phone, I'm just going to write you and tell you about my day.
Today was a really fun day. I had breakfast with Sarah and we talked about gliding. Her friend Keith is a glider and invited her to join one day. I think you'd like gliding. After breakfast we walked down to the water and admired the view of the bridge. That's when I started to miss you. I miss you a lot, but it's difficult when I see the bridge. It's so beautiful and I wish we could share in that. I wonder if that will go away with time, or if I'm going to be in this exact place a year from now. Well, until then, I will keep writing. I miss you.
Letter 2: Hope (November 15)
I woke up thinking about our last dinner together today. We had a really fun time, didn't we? Lots of laughing. Afterward, we took the train to the park and walked around. I was filled with a feeling today - hope. Hope that when the time is right, we'll come back together.
Letter 3: Thanksgiving (November 27)
Today was a difficult day. I broke up with the guy I have been dating on and off for three months. I was finally honest with myself. I just wasn't that into him. I compare everyone to you and therefore I am doomed in the dating department. So I'm going to focus on my career, my hobbies and my friends.
Thanksgiving is this week. It makes me think about you. I'm debating whether I should invite you to my holiday party. I'm also debating if I should ask about your New Year's plans since I will be in town. I think I'll keep thinking.
Letter 4: Holidays (December 1)
Happy Holidays! I went to a tree lighting party at Max's tonight. We played music and made hot chocolate. I miss doing that with you. I hope you've been doing this stuff without me. I can't believe it's December. It is really crazy to me how quickly time passes. Hard to believe about a year ago we were getting ready for our trip to London. I miss you.
P.S. I desperately want to ask you to meet me for New Year's, but my mom told me not to.
Letter 5: London (December 2)
Today I looked through our photo album from London and it made me smile. What a fun trip.
I'm going skiing this weekend. You'd love it I think. I miss you.
Letter 6: I Wonder (December 5)
Sometimes on nights like this, I hurt so much and feel so sad that I don't know what to do with myself. It's been 9 months and I still hurt the same amount I did the week you broke up with me. I wonder if you ever hurt this much. And then I remember that this is what heartbreak is. You are moving on and I am the one sitting in my room on a Sunday night, barely able to breathe, journaling to my ex boyfriend.
I had a wonderful weekend skiing, but now I'm home, back to work, and feeling so lonely. I want you back and I know I can't have you. And it's the worst feeling in the world. I can't move on.
Should I not have moved? Should I not have let you visit me? Should I not be texting you? I don't know. It's driving me crazy. Every little thing drives me crazy. I want to know what you're doing and if you feel the same way. But I can't. So I'll just keep doing this, whatever I'm doing.
Letter 7: Bliss (December 6)
It's always hard to imagine that things will get better. And then they do. You drunk texted me tonight and we talked the rest of the night. We talked about skiing and your upcoming trip. It was light and fun and reminded me why the torture of not being together is so worth it. Because of how we feel in those moments. Bliss. To more moments like that.
Letter 8: Birthday (December 7)
I can't believe I'm turning 24 in a few months. So much has happened in the last couple years of my life: Graduated college, f irst job, 2 breakups, m y move.
I was talking to my mom about plans over the Thanksgiving break and she made me realize how young 24 is. I thought I would be married by now, but I can't imagine that at all. At this rate, I probably won't be married until I'm in my thirties. And I'm finally okay with that. I have a lot I want to do. I think what's hard about us is that we were so young when we dated and we didn't want to compromise. Moving here was important for me. I've grown so much. And I'm sure you've grown too. The thought I have now is, what's next?
I wonder and day dream a lot about whether we will end up in the same city again. Maybe next year, or the year after?
I never thought I would be ready to move back to where you are, but it's in the back of my mind now. I needed to get out here for myself, and now I have. I'm going to live it up while I'm here. It's sad that we couldn't do it together, like I had really hoped, and planned on, but such is life. I hope there's something good that comes out of all of this.
Letter 9: Fuck (December 11)
And today, with three phone calls, I fucked everything up. I pushed you to tell me what the fuck was going on, and you shut down. I feel so sick. Why do I destroy everything when it's going so well? It's like I have it out for myself. It's incredible, and I feel it wash over me, but I always lose control. It must be so clear to you how crazy I am. If you only knew I was writing you these letters. That takes the cake!
Letter 10: Crazy (December 16)
And today I don't know what to think about talking. Am I crazy? Should I just cut communication altogether? Am I harming myself? Is the writing on the wall?
Letter 11: The End (July 14)
Oh God. I found these letters when I was going through old LSAT books. I forgot I had journaled these to you. The dates in here scare me. A year and a half ago I was where I am now: heartbroken.
We kept talking after I moved, and we shouldn't have. At some point, you fell out of love. You decided I wasn't for you. And you checked out. I wasn't expecting it. When you called and said, "we need to talk" I knew. And there's nothing I can do but wake up every day and try not to regret anything. Try not to regret staying connected to you, even though the signs were clear. I'm trying not to blame myself. I'm trying not to pinpoint when it was that you stopped loving me. I'm trying not to feel like I wasted a year of my life. I'm trying not to drown in sadness.
The one thing I am thankful for is that this time you made it clear. You told me "You're not for me. I don't love you anymore and I don't want to marry you. I need you to understand that. I'm sorry it took me a year to be honest with you. I was scared of losing you and I wasn't sure about anything." Those were your words. You said those words.
Letter 12: Hurt (July 17)
I hurt so much today.
I can barely breathe.
Letter 13: What I Deserve (July 18)
Today I was really sad. Will I ever meet someone who I love as much?
But, I wasn't happy most of the time. I gave so much of myself and rarely got it back. I constantly thought about why you couldn't give me love. Now I know - you didn't have it to give.
It still hurts though. I still want you to love me.
But I deserve better.
I deserve someone just as handsome. Someone who's smarter. Someone who is passionate. Someone who is going places and wants me there. Someone who can make tough decisions. Someone with strong morals. Someone with a backbone. Someone who loves everything about me. Someone who can't take their eyes off of me.
You used to be that way. Actually, maybe you never really were.
But I have to move on. I must move on. I will move on.
Letter 14: Why (July 19)
What I want to understand: why I can't let go.
Letter 15: Vacant (August 20)
I wrote a really angry letter today. You were so selfish to keep me on the hook, and I was so foolish for staying there. I was so blind and desperate. I know I'll feel sad and forget my anger easily, but I hope I remember this about you: You were unloving. You were immature. You were selfish. You were vacant. And you will find someone who lets you be all of those things.
I release you.