Below is the first love letter I ever sent a girl. The reason I’ve used inverted commas in the title is because the word “love” is perhaps a bit of a stretch in this context. It would be more accurate for me to say that it was a romantic letter, and that I’d hoped at least the seeds of love had been planted by the sending of the letter – if not beforehand. To be clear, I felt I could have loved her but did not at the time and it seems may never actually love her.
Unlike the previous letter I blogged about, in which I came to terms with an abusive friendship, I did actually send this letter. When I first met this woman I asked her: if she had a band poster on her wall, which band would it be. I sent her the letter accompanied by a poster of the band she mentioned. It was simply left it outside her house early in the morning before work, after which I started playing the waiting game.
I won’t publish her response, because that would be disrespectful to her privacy. It would be fair to sum up her reply in these terms, however: rejection. She did not share my, or similar, feelings. I was very disappointed. Naturally I said to her that I was only “a little” disappointed. As you’ll read below, I don’t often these days come across women I’m fond of – not to mention women who are fond of me. And it was disheartening to say the least to be rejected by a girl I thought I was compatible with.
I may post this to Facebook, unlike the previous letter. It’s risky, because “she” is on my friends list. However, I tend to remove women from my friends list if I’m romantically interested in them and, through whatever means, I discover that I’ll never enjoy a relationship with them. Then again, if she bothers to read this, she may save me the trouble of ending our frustratingly superficial online platonic relationship. On the other hand, her lack of interest in my previous blog posts (not to mention me, myself) was suspected and is now obvious, so it will probably miss her radar either way.
I wrote below that I was not looking to manipulate her emotions. That was a small lie. Of course I hoped that the gift of something close to her heart and an emotionally honest and flattering romantic letter might stir something in her heart if it had not already been stirred. Alas, it seems it was not to be. I did figure if she liked me already, she would have responded favourably to the manner in which I reached out to her. And if she didn’t like me, she wouldn’t respond favourably. Now you know, as do I, the outcome.
Overall, I’ve decided to blog it because it is a significant step in my writing journey – which will hopefully be a journey increasingly closely tied to my life as it progresses inevitably toward the grave. If through it I could not find happiness in the arms and heart and mind of a beautiful woman, then I’m consoled by its stand-alone passion and rawness and innocence and hope and beauty (if I do say so myself). You can make up your own mind about it:
(There are actually two letters. The first one was the 400 word edited version I actually sent. The second is the almost 2000 word one I’m glad I didn’t.)
I’ll be as brief as possible: I care for you. (Perhaps that sounds a little immature. I like you, I dig you, I care for you; it all means the same thing.) I care for you a fair bit more than I have for any other woman in the past few years, in fact. So here’s my number, in case you feel similarly: ______________. But if you don’t, don’t worry. It’s been enjoyable simply knowing a girl worthy of affection, for a change, and this is merely a way of finding out for sure how you feel in return. Far from an attempt to manipulate your emotions, it’s instead an attempt to discover them. And if there are none to be found, I’ll get over it. Honestly, I’m not sure whether you like, loathe, or are unmindful of me either way. You can be difficult to understand. But I do want to understand you better.
I would have brought this up to your face but didn’t feel like I was going to get the chance, in any other setting than ______________________, any time soon. And I’ve been at least a little drunk at all previous opportunities. I’m kind of shy, but also a hopeless romantic. It hasn’t worked very well for me so far, but it is who I am. I can change superficial things about myself (such as smoking, of which I’m keenly aware you’re not a fan), but I wouldn’t want to change who I truly am in the depths of my heart and mind if I could. You are, to me, deeply intelligent, witty, weird and beautiful. I know I’ve made you smile a couple of times, and it would be my pleasure to spend more time with you in the hope that I can repeat such a miracle.
Stay as you are,
PS: The poster is a gift. Please keep it and don’t feel you owe me anything in return, except perhaps thanks. And I have no idea who _________ are. (They seem ok according to Wikipedia. I’ll have to give them a listen.) Their poster came unexpectedly with __________. Added bonus if you’re a fan of them too, I guess 🙂
PPS: Please note that I’ve never written a letter like this before, to anyone. I trust you’ll respect its sincerity, whatever your response – assuming you decide to respond.
(The original, far too large and unsent letter.)
At the conclusion of this letter, I will leave my phone number. In the event that you contact me (whether by phone or otherwise), I will hope to gain that which I desire most: to spend more time with you. And, in the event that you don’t contact me (or you do with the sad news that you do not feel similarly) I will gain at least the consolation that I can cease thinking of you in romantic terms. I trust that you’ll take this correspondence seriously. I’m an awkward conversationalist, in that I don’t always say exactly what I mean, and nor might I mean exactly what I say. But when I write, I do so emphatically (though of course the context of what I write can change over time, and even in writing it’s not always possible to express oneself perfectly). I find it daily sad that we seem to live in a very un-romantic age – an age in which people connect because of politics or superficiality above genuine fondness for each other. I’m sure as someone interested in floristry (assuming it holds some romantic value for you) that you’ve noticed that sad reality. So here is my perhaps foolish but certainly genuine attempt to break free of that modern banality. How such an effort proceeds directly beyond this letter, is up to you. I mainly want you to know you are the most dorky, witty, intelligent, weird and beautiful woman I’ve ever met, regardless of how you might feel in response. I want to stress this point: the primary purpose of this letter is for me to convey how I feel about you. Not to attempt manipulation of your feelings for me. If you don’t feel similarly, I will be consoled by the fact that I have at least made an attempt to capture your heart. And I will gracefully retire from seeking your affections, if they are not forthcoming.
I’m a shy man. It’s always been that way, though I have learned to act otherwise. You see, I’m an introvert. Human interaction drains my energy, while if I was an extrovert such interaction would boost my energy. That said: I am not a coward. I have consistently during my life put myself in social situations which I’ve known would be more challenging for me than they would be for extroverts, because I’ve known they would strengthen my ability to interact with others. It does work. I’m a natural writer, but I was not a natural journalist. Nevertheless, I managed to become – for however short a time – a journalist, because I forced myself to. (One of the most important lessons I gained from leaving journalism was realising that the cost of reaching a goal can outweigh the reward of gaining it, no matter how much you wish to.) Such actions have before, and will again hopefully more consistently until the day I die, prove instrumental in any successes I’ve had. Unfortunately, putting myself in uncomfortable social situations has not always improved my skills with women I’m fond of. Firstly, this is because women are much harder to understand than men. I am a man, which makes it easy – but also sometimes boring and unstimulating – for me to understand other men. Women on the other hand almost literally seem to exist on another planet (if you’ll forgive the cliché), which in fact makes it more interesting to try to understand them – even if such a prospect is consistently challenging, sometimes to the point of impossibility. I very much want to understand you better, and am pleased by the extent to which I already do.
I fear that the above admissions might lead you to conclude that I am weak. Try as I might to convince you otherwise, I know you well enough to be sure yours is a mind not easily changed. But know this: I believe that when a man is fond of a woman, he should be at least a little awkward around her. If a man you don’t know very well is entirely comfortable around you, then I’d argue he doesn’t really respect you. If you’re only looking for a one night stand, then I guess that doesn’t matter. But anything more than that, and his ease of companionship can mean only one of two things: he’s a consummate ladies’ man (which probably means he’s only interested in a one-night deal), or he lacks respect for you. Which brings me to this crucial point: I care for you, ______. I enjoy your company, even though unfortunately I’ve always been slightly or very drunk in such a situation – excluding the single time we visited the beach together. I find you to be beautiful, intelligent, and completely lacking in pretension compared to many other women I’ve met and sometimes cared for. And though I don’t meet many women, I have met plenty. You stand, figuratively, tall among them all. It’s actually been a long time since a woman has been as dear to me as you are. And that’s not because I’m picky. It’s because I’m honest, at least to myself (and you, here) about my emotions. You are, physically, beautiful. And I think you know that. But I wouldn’t give you a second glance if I didn’t feel the same way about you on a deeper level.
As far as your opinion of me, I don’t wish to speculate. But I’d like to give you a reassurance: I not only can, but will change from the way I am now. I’m well aware that I smoke, that I drink, that I have little to no work and that I live with my parents. But these are all superficial parts of the present that have not always been and will not always be. I’ve always planned on giving up smoking at some point around my 30th birthday (November this year), and am already succeeding most weeks in only smoking during the weekend. Drinking at least on weekends has been a part of my life since I was about 15, and I feel less pressure to quit or scale it back than I do with smoking. Though I probably will as I get older. And obviously I don’t plan on being unemployed or living with my parents for the rest of my life. I am fit, I am smart, I am well educated and I am a good and happy person. And I plan on doing big things with my life, or die trying (mainly writing a book or books – and travelling as extensively as possible). And I also plan, with hopefully not too much more trial and error, while enjoying and achieving in life on having a woman by my side to whom I feel intellectually, emotionally and physically attracted and connected. Which is how I feel about you, albeit not as deeply as I might if we spent more time with each other. And, look, I know what happened with _______. And I don’t really care. He is sometimes a womaniser. And I don’t mean that as an insult, because he would agree. He does it well, and with the respect for women that we both share. But he is much better at separating sex and emotional attachment than me. I tend to agree with the Hunter S Thompson quote: “Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.” If ______ had answered “Yes” when I asked him if he was emotionally interested in you, I would have been less likely to have indulged in thoughts of you in that way. But he didn’t. And I have. And nothing short of a rejection from you will change that.
Until I hear from you one way or the other, in response to this letter, you can expect me to continue pursuing you. Obviously this might mean an overt question, to your face, about the matter. (Assuming I get the chance, while sober.) But this pursuit is more likely to be more subtle and indirect. As long as I am unsure of your feelings for me, I will be attempting to discover them. But you should know: I am looking for work interstate. I was initially hurt by what happened between you and ______, though that’s not your fault as you were obviously unaware of my feelings. I quickly got over it, but it did drive home what I’ve always known: that this city doesn’t suit me and sooner or later I will have to leave. That said, I have never ruled out meeting a girl here that I might have a connection with. Which both makes sense and carries a nice irony in this case, as you are neither from here and nor are you – thankfully – anything like the “typical” Gold Coast girl. Please be aware that I’m not delusional. I’m not pretending that I know you. But I know enough to want to know more. And I’m not assuming that you care for me in romantic terms at all. I’m instead merely hopeful.
I’d like to leave you with something that in some ways symbolises my feelings for you, and hope that you will relate to it. Many years ago, I played a Playstation game called Final Fantasy VII (which I still own, though I no longer own a Playstation). To put it simply, it’s a role-playing game in which a young man joins a band of eco-freedom fighters battling a corrupt company that is sucking the life-force out of the planet and selling it as energy (pretty obvious parallels with the oil industry there). One person who joins the band, after the young man comes across her, is a young flower-saleswoman who works in the slums. Type “Cloud meets Aeris” into YouTube if you’re curious. It’s quite beautiful. I’m not going to over-analyze the significance of that when it comes to my feelings for you. You just reminded me of it, is all. I think that’s important. That people you care about, in whatever context, can remind you of the good things in, and good memories of, life. I’ve been naive and arguably stupid enough to have written poetry for women I’ve cared for before, _______. (It’s kind of funny when I think back on some of my bumbling romanticism.) But I’ve never written anything quite like this for any one of them. With that in mind I trust that, whatever your response, it will be genuine. I might hope that my feelings are returned but, failing that, I at least expect them to be respected. I will obviously see you at ________ at some point after you’ve received this letter, but I’m happy to pretend it was never written or talk about it openly, or whatever in-between, as you wish. I could give you a lot, a little, or no love. And of course I would be grateful for any you might give me. The choice is yours, and all I can do in return is respect your feelings. In fact your feelings are just about all I really care about right now.
It’s so tragically typical: I wouldn’t have blogged this if it wasn’t for her rejection. Or in the event of reciprocation, I wouldn’t have without her permission. It’s somewhat symbolic, almost to the point of cliché, not that my writing keeps me alone but that I’m so predictably kept alone by virtue of being a writer. It’s almost a test. A test to see if I can become successful even in the absence of comfort from female affection. (Though I do believe writing success would bring me female affection.) It just seems that now, when I’m under-employed and living with my parents, that now is the best time for me to find a girl who loves me for who I am and not what I’m capable of achieving. My life is more basic, simple, stripped-back than it’s ever likely to be again. If I was to be loved by a woman whose affections I return, it would be certain that she loves me for who I am and not superficial qualities. I hope for this to happen. It probably won’t, if the above is anything to go by. But I remain perhaps deliriously optimistic.