Historically, Dear John letters have been bad news. For the recipient that is. With one opening salutation, women were given the passive power to announce, without any chance of rebuttal from the man, that she was done and it was over. Talk about hand-delivered heartbreak. Or freehand freedom. Potato, potata.
I couldn’t have been more than seven-years-old when I first learned of such a tactic. I doubt it was even appropriate for me to be watching this particular television program, but what can I say, pop culture had a heavy hand in raising me. Now, I can’t recall the exact program I was watching, but I do know that a woman left the letter in an envelope on the fireplace mantle and departed with several suitcases. And when the man returned sometime later, he removed his cowboy hat with great sorrow as he gripped the letter between his fingertips. I had questioned how he knew it was for him as the envelope had been marked Dear John, but his name was Matt.
My parents vaguely explained that this was her way of telling him she didn’t love him anymore. I remember feeling so sad for that cowboy. What had he done to deserve this?
Nowadays, people dump your ass via text message or by simply changing their relationship status on Facebook to single, only to receive 43 likes all at your humiliating expense. It’s still a passively cruel world.
So what about the great boyfriends? What sort of letters do they receive? Somewhere over a Midwestern sky, Denver bound, I started pondering this optimistic outlook. Whilst in a champagne cloud, my gaze fell upon my sleeping boyfriend’s face and I knew right then what this “John” and all the great “Johns” deserve to hear:
I love you. What, you’ve already heard that seventeen times today so now it seems impersonal, or even tired? That’s the thing about that three worded phrase. It has this awe-inspiring way of being everything you ever needed to hear at one moment, and then just some words the next. I understand that. So how about accepting one of these three worded phases instead? You’re so special. You are great. You deserve happiness. You’re my friend. I support you. You are hot. Let’s make babies. I trust you. Hold my heart. I am yours.
You see, when I simply say that I love you, my dearest John, all of those phrases are what I actually mean. Now do you see how much easier it is to just sum it all up to “I love you”? And you thought I couldn’t keep a long story short.
But because this letter is long overdue, and there really is so much more to say than these three worded phrases permit, allow me to continue.
I believe in you. I believe in who you are and what you’re living for. I believe you’ll do what you say and say what you mean. You are a good man and you have my support to pursue your dreams and enjoy this life.
I am happy to be apart of your life. After all, you’re the man my heart’s been searching for. I want to be your friend. I want to be the one your smile falls on. I think you’re smart and I know you’ll succeed.
I have faith in our future together. Quite frankly, tomorrow just wouldn’t be the same without you. You’re my favorite person to spend time with and talk to. You’re damn funny, and keeping up with your wit makes me happy.
I recognize that you work hard to provide a comfortable lifestyle for us. These efforts and dedication do not go unnoticed, and are very much appreciated. I am proud of your professional accomplishments. It’s with immense gratitude that I say Thank You and Go Get ‘Em, Babe!
That being said, if your work world took a financial hit of any kind for any reason, I’d gladly serve tables or clean houses or drive a taxi, paint my own nails and shop at Walmart if that meant helping take care of us. What I’m saying here is that my love for you is completely impervious to the economy. I have your back, as you have mine.
I know you have my heart, too. I can sense that it’s always on your mind. You wonder how it feels and make great strides to keep it full and safe. You never intend to hurt me. You’re a man, you will make mistakes, but I know you hold my heart in a safe and adored place.
Speaking of hearts, I love the chest that holds yours. You are extremely good-looking. The attraction I feel towards you is powerful, and borderline perverted. I have a yearning for you that even my lingually-inclined tongue can’t articulate. To put it mildly, I want to be near you or on you as often as possible.
This attraction is smothered with friendship. You’re my bro and I’m your best gal. We can depend on each other and feel fortunate just be hanging out and to have found a connection so real. I won’t ever undervalue your friendship, great boyfriend.
Last, but never least, I love you.
Your smitten and adoring girlfriend who wishes you’d wake up so we can share some sharp banter and cold champagne
It’s no surprise to those who know me, but my “John” is actually a good man named Mark. On the rare occasion I’m not ogling over him, I will catch him watching me, looking and loving through all my layers. And I will let him stare even though I feel self-conscious, because it feels good to be under his gaze, and I trust him. I trust him with my heavy heart and eclectic emotions.
I am meant to experience this world and all its love with Mark. And he with me, I do believe. I’d ask you to wish us luck, but we don’t need that; we have love and our love has a letter filled with sincere three worded phrases, plus all the other words “I love you, dearest John” really mean.