Dear John letter - Diane Lee

Dear John

This is the 19th essay in the #26essays2017 challenge that I’ve set for myself this year. I’m doing this because I’m the first to admit I’ve become a lazy writer: allowing guest posts and series and cross-posting to make up the bulk of content on The Diane Lee Project across 2016. The brave, fearless writing that readers admired and respected me for has all but disappeared. This year—2017—will be different. I’m reclaiming my voice—my write like a motherfucker voice!

I have been clearing out my belongings in preparation for my indefinite move to Vietnam and I found this letter in a bunch of old papers tucked away at the back of my wardrobe. I met John a few years before I met the Italian and I wrote about him in The Ex-Files. I wish I knew about attachment theory back then, because I would have felt less like I was going nuts, which is painfully obvious in my letter to him, which, incidentally, I never sent.

Dear John,

After last night, I felt that I really needed to write down what I thought about this whole thing. I didn’t sleep at all, actually. I personally think that your definition of love is something that is based on too narrow a set of terms. From everything I’ve read, you seem to have a romantic notion of what love should be based on a general lack of experience. I don’t blame you. This is not your fault.

You said you don’t love me “enough”. How do you know? Do you feel closer to me than your parents? Have you ever felt this comfortable with anyone else? Have you ever wanted to spend as much time with anyone as you have with me? Have you ever be so willing to forgive and accept another person’s faults? Have you ever had this much sexual attraction for another person for this long a period of time? I think these are questions you nee to ask yourself, and answer honestly.

I think love is one word which encompasses a whole lot of other words. I think love is caring about another person and what happens to them, wanting to help them. It is about honesty, trust and respect; it is about compatibility, companionship and commitment. It is sex. It is about complications. It is about creating history. It is the time you spend with one important person. It is tears and anger and laughter and sadness, It is mercurial and changes from day-to-day, depending on your mood, energy levels and interactions with other people during the day. It is understanding and acceptance. It is empathy, it is communication. It is all these things and more.

[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I think love is one word which encompasses a whole lot of other words. [/perfectpullquote]

You show me all these things, and I can honestly say I have experienced more love with you, and you say you are unsure, than I have over the whole of my life from people who claim to love me. Love is behaviour, not a feeling.

Can I say that I would rather be with you in a relationship where you are “unsure” than without you. That is how sure I am about my feelings for you. I think if you look carefully and think about the time we’ve spent together good and bad you will see that you started much of our history together. The initial sexual attraction to me was very strong for you — and still is — and is getting stronger, not fading as it would if you didn’t want to be with me at all. The time we spend together, the history we are creating is feeding this. The connection is strong, deep and real.

Maybe you feel unsure because, as you said, you don’t know what love is, and maybe you feel you don’t deserve love. You do. You are a wonderful human being and you give me so much. You make me feel incredibly happy, powerful and strong. You have added a depth to my life, and continue to do so. I have learned so much from you and think I have grown as a person. These are incredible gifts you have given me. You are so worth the effort. We are so worth the effort.

Basically, I am writing this to get you thinking, questioning and re-evaluating, to see all that is right and positive and sure about what we have. Please don’t give up because you aren’t sure. The fact that we are still spending quality time together proves that you are more sure than not. Take time. Spend time with me. Allow yourself to feel close to me when you want to. Don’t worry about it if you don’t sometimes. Don’t say: Aha! That proves it — I don’t feel much today. Think about all the other times when you do and these far outweigh the times you don’t.

I think God has brought us together and is showing us how to be strong together. Think about how we met, how in sync we are, how things continue to by in sync, with everything happening for a reason. I think I’ve accepted that what we have being together is God’s will. And I can’t and don’t want to fight this.

All my love,


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