Ex-Lover Letters

8/30/2012 The Romantic 6 Comments

Something happens every time I move. This move back to Provo was no exception.

Deep inside the dark corners of my Rubbermaid containers, I find letters from old boyfriends. I find letters, drawings, and mixed cds. Over the years, the pile has gotten smaller and smaller. I've gotten rid of the t-shirts of theirs I used to wear to bed. The old sweatshirts are gone. But there's still that small little pile of letters that I haven't been able to part with the last few years.

I've attributed that mostly to my artistic sensibilities. My very first boyfriend, Mr. Advice, was an incredible writer. Even though I hardly look at anything he's written me anymore, I still can't get rid of it. To me, it seems like it would be destroying art. And I could never do that!

One day on my mission, I mentioned to my companion that I still had some old letters from old boyfriends.

"Burn them!" she said. Then she told me a story about a woman in her ward who still kept letters from old boyfriends, and read them whenever she had a bad day or got into an argument with her husband. She did this because it made her feel better.

That sent me into a panic. I was determined to burn everything as soon as I got off the plane.

But what about my journals? Those are even more personal and express much more romantic love than my ex-lovers' letters ever did. Should I sharpie out any mention of those relationships? That seems like a ridiculous measure to take. I've learned so much from the relationships I've been in, and if anyone can glean some of that knowledge from my journals, I think I should leave the sharpie marker out of it.

What do you think readers? Do you still have ex-lover letters?

And now, a few sentences regarding my first week back at the Y:
-I've seen Mr. Lowe once, quite by accident. We ended up studying together for a half hour. It was uneventful.
-Last Monday, I went to our ward FHE. I was the only girl in the room for about ten minutes. There were twenty (at least) very good looking men in the room. My awkward post-mission self just about had a panic attack being alone with all of them. Especially when one of the good looking men leaned waaaay into my personal space to talk to me. I hope I get over this soon.
-Mr. E still messages me on facebook. Mr. L thinks this is hilarious and that Mr. E's persistence is admirable.  I'm still terrified.

goooo cougs!!!
-the Romantic

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Anonymous said...

I usually go Gilmore Girl style and make a little box that I hide somewhere I never see. If I'm feeling nostalgic, I can pull them out. I figure at some point they'll be very funny to me, if not, my children. :D

Haley Dennis said...

Don't keep the notes! Keep your journal though. That is awful that that lady read those old letters from old boyfriends when she was married!

Anonymous said...

Agree with Haley 100%. While some days I wish I could read them again, I am so grateful I don't have them! I miss my exes to the point of painful sometimes, but then I am grateful I am not with them because it was for the best. I've had experiences I would never give back. I do keep my journals and am not ripping out or burning those pages. My story for my posterity may be full of surprises, but I want them to understand who I was, what I felt, what I experienced, and how I got to where I am, the person they will know. But I would never want them to think I was dwelling on an old ex when times with my husband were tough. That's just awful! it is like she was never happy or satisfied with her husband. Poor guy! This is why they say "When you break up, BREAK UP!"

The Lady said...

I have a hard time with this one. Perhaps because I am much too sentimental. I still have all my letters from...everyone, and I love having them. It's not as though I pull them out to get a high when I'm feeling blue, but I keep them because I view them as part of my personal history. I would like my children to know that side of my life. I don't feel like it's something that needs to be hidden, and I don't plan on burning them soon. However, if (?!) when I get married my husband feels strongly about it, I will have a burning party with him. But who is to say what is wrong or right in this case? It's a very personal thing.

Anonymous said...

Burn them. Burn them, burn them, burn them.

I just did the same thing three months ago. Moving, found old letters, keep old letters? I felt guilty, especially because a bunch of them were detailed letters from his mission. But I didn't want to haul them around all my life, and I didn't really need to read them again. And watching things burn is extremely cathartic. And freaking fun.

Anonymous said...

Keep both the letters and journals! Old love letters remind us that those boys who broke our hearts at one time were willing to pour out their own, also that we were willing to let them into our hidden heart. Even though past guys were capable of flirting, complimenting, and admiring they weren't the keeping kind. Journals remind us of the process: infatuation, secret online wedding dress shopping, and heartbreak. To have positive growth from past relationships, I've needed to recognize my mistakes that were realized from rereading my journal.Letters remind me that many men have more than I initially perceive and in contrast to my dating-bittered-self I once trusted men and was hopeful. My Juliet-esque journals remind me to think twice before I fall head over heels.