Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Love Letters Denied: Privilege from reciprocal love

Yesterday, Lena Dunham, my favorite trailblazer of all time, shared a snippet of an email she sent to boyfriend and Fun drummer, Jack Antonoff. Before we begin, let's talk about how perfect this couple is. Jack and Lena is definitely on my top ten list of cutest couple in La La Land. She basically dominates the credits of Girls, a TV series that first aired in 2012, and he is a songwriter and a third of Fun, a band that produces the soundtrack behind the lives of many twentysomethings, including mine. Dunham wrote the email while on a trip to India.

The Pre-requisite to Send My Love to You: The Existence of You

Like many of us, who have sort of been in that zone of feelings, she confessed to, what I think, is one of the most basic indicators of loving someone: feeling the endless need to share the greatest things in life with him/her.

Written in October 2012, "Dearest Baby" is a typical (overly honest) Dunham piece. For most, this type of writing would be overwhelming, but it perfectly reflects Dunham's writing style. It is raw, candid, and so out there that you could feel yourself cringing in vulnerability. Many of us, I believe, are also capable of coming up with these types of letters and confessions, especially when we are as in love as Dunham. However, I wonder if these types of writings are only available to those who are in love and those whose loves returned? And if it were the case, what does being in love mean? What is the extent of the feeling of being in love and/or the status of the phenomenon?

In the past, let's be honest here, I have wanted to write these raw confessions. At Thanksgiving 2011, I wrote a thank you letter that made me feel so vulnerable, I wanted to rip it up, except it was all typed up  in a computer and was already sent via email. When I feel a bit of fuzziness towards a person, I feel like writing about it and delivering the message myself. But then, I stop and reexamine. I imagine the uncalculated risk of behaving so foolishly. Then I get a tiny bit jealous of those who are free to profess their love AND are met with equal if not more love.

Love in Today's Language

As hard as it is to believe, these reiterations and announcements might only be available to those who are already in a relationship, those who are secure. Actually, security may also mean that they are unafraid of feeling vulnerable or looking ridiculous while holding a boom box outside of his/her crush's bedroom window (can I miss the 80s if I had not been in existence, yet?). But it all boils down to this tricky thing called security. The privilege of being in a loving and caring relationship is that your love is securely accepted and is appreciated and, even better, met with equal or more love. Instead of a raised eyebrow, you get a boyish grin and a lit up complexion. Instead of their fingers dialing 911, they are reaching for your hand. Instead of running away, they are embracing you and your feelings. In that, they are also embracing your weirdness, vices, and picky tendencies, as well as your appealing features.

In retrospect, what I am pointing at is not the need to be loved, but the privilege of being in a loving relationship. Perhaps, often I find myself wanting to hear my own Mr. Darcy (from Bridget Jones) say, "But the thing is, um, what I'm trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are." so that I can feel secure and also do these (commonly) ludicrous, yet equally sweet, gestures.

Now, raise your hand if you'd like a love letter (or email) from this unstable singleton!

Who knew that one could extract so much from an article on

*Author owns rights to all photographs used above


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