Whatever Happened to Writing Love Letters

by Fernando Perfas

“Romance” | Photo by Photography from the soul via Flickr/CC -BY-NC-SA 2.0

Recently I asked my youngest son if he writes love letters to his girlfriend? He gave me a quizzical look as if to say, “That’s the corniest question you’ve ever asked me, Dad.” After a moment of pondering, he said “No, not really.”

I’m a hopeless romantic when it comes to courting a woman. Writing love letters to me is an integral part of romance. I always treated it as an art form. In my teens I had older friends ask me to help them write love letters to women they had eyes for. They were uneducated men who wanted to impress their women, and I enjoyed the task because I was able to vicariously identify with their romantic feelings. I would usually share their excitement while waiting for the woman’s response. Of course, these women had no clue the letters were written by someone else. I felt important to hold such intimate secrets with my friends. It was also an opportunity for me to hone my writing skills and I always put my best efforts writing those letters, as if I intended them for my own beloved. Back then even these unlettered men tried writing or had someone write love letters for them.

“It’s hard to imagine courtship without love letters. They spice up romance and help lovers plumb into the deep recesses of their hearts and soul. The act of writing is a deliberate process of declaring one’s heart’s intent and baring the soul before the beloved, which many may find too difficult to do in a face to face encounter.”

It’s hard to imagine courtship without love letters. They spice up romance and help lovers plumb into the deep recesses of their hearts and soul. The act of writing is a deliberate process of declaring one’s heart’s intent and baring the soul before the beloved, which many may find too difficult to do in a face to face encounter. The letter exchanges intensify anticipation and the physical distance curtails immediate gratification and creates space for the heart to grow fonder for each other. The entire experience deepens the nature of the relationship, and because of it stronger bonds are forged.

I’m quite sad to see that the art of writing love letters may be a thing of the past. In this age of the internet and social networking online, there is immediate gratification for the senses. A highly personal process has become an impersonal one. Everything is portable and convenient . . . easy come, easy go. Who would take pains in writing an artful love letter when texting in shorthand and even attaching photos of oneself or something else are much easier and faster?

All the feelings that come with writing love letters are gone, replaced by colorful images that impress the eyes but do not warm the heart.”

All the feelings that come with writing love letters are gone, replaced by colorful images that impress the eyes but do not warm the heart. The lovely shape that forms in your mind as you read rhythmic, well-formed sentences, the choice words that are like music to the ears are missing.

This art form is dying. Some young people would perhaps say, “So what, writing love letters is for the birds!”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Fernando B. Perfas is an addiction specialist who has written several books and articles on the subject. He currently provides training and consulting services to various government and non-government drug treatment agencies regarding drug treatment and prevention approaches. He can be reached at fbperfas@gmail.com.

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