I think a lot about love letters throughout history.
For most of us, it’s really hard to express how we feel about another person. Beyond the “Words of Affirmation” love language, how do you specifically express how much your special someone means to you? Why does it seem like it was so much easier in years past to write the perfect love letter?
Here are a few interesting love letters from history that I found today in Glamour’s “10 Best Love Letters Ever”:
“I can’t say how every time I ever put my arms around you I felt that I was home” – Ernest Hemingway to Marlene Dietrich
“Since I left you, I have been constantly depressed. My happiness is to be near you. Incessantly I live over in my memory your caresses, your tears, your affectionate solicitude. The charms of the incomparable Joséphine kindle continually a burning and a glowing flame in my heart. When, free from all solicitude, all harassing care, shall I be able to pass all my time with you, having only to love you, and to think only of the happiness of so saying, and of proving it to you?” – Napoleon to Joséphine
“Nothing compares to your hands, nothing like the green-gold of your eyes. My body is filled with you for days and days. You are the mirror of the night. The violent flash of lightning. The dampness of the earth. The hollow of your armpits is my shelter. My fingers touch your blood. All my joy is to feel life spring from your flower-fountain that mine keeps to fill all the paths of my nerves which are yours.” – Frida Kahlo to Diego Rivera
“Dearest — my body is simply crazy with wanting you — If you don’t come tomorrow — I don’t see how I can wait for you — I wonder if your body wants mine the way mine wants yours — the kisses — the hotness — the wetness — all melting together — the being held so tight that it hurts — the strangle and the struggle.” – Georgia O’Keeffe to Alfred Stieglitz
“Though still in bed, my thoughts go out to you, my Immortal Beloved, Be calm-love me-today-yesterday-what tearful longings for you-you-you-my life-my all-farewell. Oh continue to love me-never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever thine. Ever mine. Ever ours.” -Beethoven to his “Immortal Beloved”
A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to research a specific group of love letters – ones throughout Jewish history preserved at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.
Most people don’t realize that I’m Jewish or think I married into it. But it’s actually a big part of my identity. I was so elated to be selected for the Reboot Fellowship and the American Jewish Historical Society to research love letters and personal stories. Here’s an excerpt from the story about me:
Damona Hoffman, the dating coach, wrote that she initially intended to explore historical love letters for an article or a segment of her podcast, Dates & Mates. But she ended up doing research for a second podcast, about the origin of names. “I was amazed by the number of personal diaries and essays with unbelievable stories that are here and unpublished/not available anywhere else,” she wrote.
If you’re curious about Reboot read the whole article here!