A Love Letter To Those Afraid To Love

'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' Is A Love Letter To Those Afraid Of Love

While this romantic comedy is special in many ways, I saw it as an acknowledgment that not everyone can be fearless when it comes to love.

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About two weeks ago, Netflix came out with a new original movie called "To All the Boys I've Loved Before". This romantic comedy spoke volumes and updated the world on how dating has evolved.

Sure, not everyone fakes a relationship to avoid the suspicion that you're interested in your best friend.

However, dating has become more difficult as social media and the lack of face-to-face communication have engulfed this new generation. Lara Jean's arch-nemesis, Gen, can't even directly tell her why she hates Lara Jean. She dances around a face-to-face confrontation most of the time, other than the occasional snide remark. If she released the video from the ski trip, she did that socially and did not confront Lara Jean to confess the extent of her anger until the end.

To continue, there is a clear distinction between Lara Jean and other rom-com protagonists. She has a genuine fear of falling in love, stemming from her short-lived love for her mom.

She even tells Peter Kavinksy that she's fearful of falling in love. She's enamored with the thought of it and writing about it, but she has the fear that if she lets someone in, they could walk right out. I can honestly say that's what holds me back most of the time, so this movie (and book) really resonates with me in the simple fact that it's OK to be scared to love. However, you shouldn't live behind novels and rom-coms. You should try to tell people how you feel and not miss that chance.

There's also an underlying fear of rejection beneath that fear of being in love. Someone walking out is a valid description of rejection. You can turn away from people without a word or ghost someone (which I'd never recommend) or even just outright say that you don't feel the same way. If that's the case, you don't want to waste your time. So you're constantly just waiting around for someone on a white horse to come around that you're sure of.

While you don't want to waste your time, you can't live in fear.

Also, I want to touch on something that Lara Jean said about Peter: That if she doesn't admit the relationship was real then she didn't truly lose someone. Sure, they had the stipulation that their relationship started fakely, but if the relationship is emotional, physical, and everything in between, it's still real to someone–whether it's you or them. Those are still feelings. It was a real thing and you shouldn't ignore that or you'll regret it.

Not many rom-coms touch on the fear associated with making the leap into a relationship or the pain of loving someone from a distance. This hits the mark for most introverts or half-breeds. This movie told their anxious and fearful audience, "We hear you."

"To All The Boys I've Loved Before," while exposing letters to crushes, is a letter to those who are afraid to love. It's reassuring to know that you're not alone. Hell, I felt on top of the world after that movie. I felt like I was heard and someone finally understood why I'll swipe right for people on Tinder and not speak to them. While real love stemming from Tinder is rare, it's what today's generation uses to communicate romantically anymore. Since then, I've ceased to use it, but that's why I've been alone so long. I just get fearful to tell people because I don't think they'll stay if they feel the same.

Lara Jean is one of the protagonists in any film or novel that I think I can relate to the most. I'm a Lara Jean.

And to all you other Lara Jeans out there, hang in there. Be brave. And don't be afraid to love.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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The 7 Stages Of A Breakup, As Told By Netflix's 'Someone Great'

Alexa play "Truth Hurts" by Lizzo, and max volume, please.

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We all know how it feels to get your heart broken by a guy. Whether it be in your teens or in your 30s, everyone experiences it, or already has. After watching the movie “Someone Great" on Netflix, it hit me deep in my feels. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It made me realize all of the stages of going through a rough breakup, and I could not relate to a movie more.

1. When you first breakup and will cry about it to just about anyone

We all know that we do this almost immediately after a break-up. You are just trying to get out of the house so you go to the store, something reminds you of our ex, and next thing you know, you're talking the stranger's ear off in the grocery store for the next 2 hours.

2. When your friends call you and you say you're fine but you really haven't moved from your couch in two days and all you have done is eat two gallons of ice cream and watch "The Notebook" on repeat

"Just come do something with us, or let us come there."

"Nah, I'm okay, I actually have a super busy day today."

Yeah, if you mean busy as in binge-watching every episode of "Pretty Little Liars," then yeah, count me out of all plans so I can rewatch every episode for the next 3 weeks. We all know that feeling of not wanting to move out of bed for as long as you can after a break-up.

3. When that ONE song comes on at the mall, and you suddenly realize it was "your" song

This one hits differently. You're literally just minding your own business, trying to treat yourself to a little bit of a wardrobe change because of how sad you have been all week and BAM, it hits you like a train. Next thing you know you're crying in the dressing room of Forever 21 wondering where it all went wrong.

4. Finally caving in and hanging with your friends, realizing that this is what you needed all along

You never want to leave your bed after a breakup, you seem to cancel or bail out on every plan you try to make, then finally, after you have run out of tears, you actually follow through with a girl's night, and then you suddenly realize that all along, just time spent with the gals is what you needed. Trust me, been there, done that. In most cases, a dance party is also well needed.

5. The morning after your girl’s night, you realize that having these gals is better than the boy 

Having your girls there for you in such a tough time actually helps so much. It helps save the tears, the constant replaying of memories in your head, and saves you the time you could be wasting if you're sinking into a deep sadness over something so dumb. That support system is vital for post-breakup, and even I know that.

6. You let him go one last time

Whether it be writing a letter, throwing away all your old memories with him, or by finally getting all your clothes back from his place that have piled up over the past few months or years. It is a truly bittersweet feeling and might even hurt a little, but it's time. You're going to thrive without him.

7. You truly know how much better you’re doing without him

You have reached the point of no return. You’re finally thriving without him. You’re never going back, and you know how much potential your life has and how much better you are without him. Your heart is whole again.

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