The World Needs More Love Letters

Taking it old school, one site brings the words of love back to life.

Back in college one of my boyfriends regularly wrote me poems. They often came in the form of emails with very descriptive, sappy language talking about beautiful light and my hair and these things called feelings. Other times they were hand-written into art books or cards he gave me. I must have the originals in my old Hotmail account along with forwards that cracked me up while bored in Geology class or coupons to get blonde highlights at my then-regular salon in Athens, Ga.

“What 20-year-old writes love letters?” I’d ask myself.

The prose was almost from another time. It was sweet. It was kind of sexy. It was strange and wonderful. And really, if I’m being completely honest, it also freaked me out a little. I felt ill-equipped to write any kind of a love letter back. “Thank you” also didn’t feel like a proper enough response to someone who took the time to share a piece of his heart.

I do, to this day, dig the idea of love letters. They’ve gone by the wayside, yet they can be truly magical and flattering.

At the same time, Valentine’s Day is fast upon us. It saddens me that when you’re a committed couple it’s a grand day, a special evening at a high-priced restaurant. However, if you’re unattached, it’s a wretched—or at least a day to rage against love.

Maybe I’m tired, but I don’t want to rage. Love is great. I may not have a stable romantic kind of love at this very moment. But I’ve had it before. I’ll have it again. Plus, I have other kinds of love around me.

So, in the spirit of channeling my former boyfriend, I scoured the Net for some heartfelt love letters and thoughts on love letters.

What spoke to me was a site called because, as the staff says, “the world needs more love letters.” Agreed.

The folks behind this site do a few special (some would say wacky) things:

1. They allow people to nominate a friend, family member or someone who is in their lives and in need of a heartfelt love letter. Then the site features the person’s story. Anyone has a chance to craft and send a personalized letter to the lady or gent nominated. It, then, is sent to the lucky person as a bundle.

For instance, one of the newer requests is on behalf of a man who works as a personal coach in Italy and who, his friend says ,“unfailingly works with love and passion.”

2. The site also posts found love letters.

Right now there’s a letter that a couple found in the peanut butter aisle of a grocery store that was meant for strangers to pick up and instructs him or her to “Embrace your ideas and share them boldly.” The couple who submitted the love letter said they happened to be enduring a rough patch and felt encouraged by the letter.

Call me hokey but there might not be harm in a little love letter.

Happy Valentine’s Day.