'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' Is A Love Letter To Those Afraid Of 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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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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To The Boy I’ve Been Dating Since I Was 15, I Always Knew You Were My Forever

Thank you for showing me love when I thought I didn't deserve any.

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Hey you,

People assumed our "fling" would only last a few short months. It's what everyone assumes when your first love happens during your sophomore year of high school. Yet here we stand, three and a half years later, more together than we've ever been. Although we've had our ups and downs, we still managed to keep our relationship going and to remember why we're together in the first place.

Many say loving isn't easy, but you make it a walk in the park.

You respect me in more ways than one, and you make me feel beautiful, inside and out. For a long time, I never noticed the beauty and strength I have within myself. I didn't see what others would point out to me, and at times I still find it hard to acknowledge my worth. However, you came into my life at a time when I felt I had no one, and you helped me to see all I have to offer. You helped me to open my mind to the thought of loving myself for who I am, and although the road is long and I'm not completely there, you've made me see how worthy of love I truly am.

Having you as my best friend, along with being my boyfriend, is the most rewarding feeling in the world.

I think the reason we rarely fight or stay angry with each other is that we truly are best friends. We could spend all of our time in deep conversation about any topic in the world and still feel engaged and ready to hear more from one another. Every single day I learn something new about you and vice versa. We can be ourselves in each other's presence and have fun doing absolutely nothing exciting. I am easily annoyed by a lot of things, but you are not one of them. Being with you for hours, even if we just watch TV the entire time, never gets repetitive or boring.

You treated me with the respect I deserved before I even realized I was worthy of it.

In many ways, I don't respect myself. Whether it be body image or letting "friends" walk all over me, I let many thoughts and people control my life. You, however, were the saving grace I needed. You've shown me how I deserve to be treated and how I should think of myself. Often I wonder how I got so lucky to end up with someone who loves me unconditionally and who values everything I have to offer. I say all the time that I don't deserve your heart, your kindness, your love, but you always remind me that I do. And I'm starting to realize that you're right; I deserve every bit of love, kindness, and respect that you have to offer. I can only hope that I award you with the same love and selflessness you give me every single day.

Three and a half years with someone may seem extremely long, but I feel as though we've been together a lifetime. It's hard to remember a time when you weren't right there beside me, and I would never want to imagine a future without you in it. There are so many more laughs, adventures, and memories to be made with you, and I only hope that I can be at least half of the person you are.

Thank you for pulling me out of the darkness. Today, tomorrow, and always.

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