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.