The key to a successful relationship has always been communication. I’ve always taken this to mean that you should excessively text bomb your boyfriend if he ignores you for more than seven minutes at a time. But new studies show that rather than actual communication, the best way to communicate with your boyfriend (or even your ex-boyfriend!) is through a very personal letter in a very public forum.
Enter, the open letter — a 21st century phenomenon that has allowed college chicks to either declare their love for their boyfriends, apologize to loved ones…
…or maybe just to thank their exes for breaking their hearts and teaching them to love themselves.
Thousands of relationships, saved. Thousands of couples, closer. Thousands of ex-boyfriends, smote. All because of a simple letter put on the internet in what is basically a regurgitation of every Hallmark ever written.
Some testimonials from boyfriends who were recipients of open letters:
I was feeling really unappreciated in my relationship. We simply didn’t talk about feelings often enough! Then, when Erica posted a letter addressed to me, but meant for random strangers on the internet to validate her, things changed. We’ve never been closer.
There is something really special about being told your own love story through a series of paragraphs that all start with the same sentence. “Repetition” has always been my favorite literary device, and it makes me feel not only loved, but heard, that Sarah remembered that.
Not a single one of my friends made my life hell after my girlfriend’s open letter to me went viral! They all have a new appreciation for our relationship. I think they actually look up to us.
Studies are now showing that 78% of all boyfriends feel unloved before they receive open letters. “Twenty years ago,” relationship expert Dr. Lovegood told TSM, “this type of thing was unheard of. Now, it’s become the new normal. In the digital age, most young couples can’t truly feel love to the same extent without this basic public component. Where our parents and grandparents had things ‘wedding vows,’ young couples are relying more and more on the open letter.”
But what about the ex-boyfriends on the receiving ends of these letters? Do they have a similar, lasting, and hard-hitting effect once the love has died out? Some ex-boyfriend recipients weighed in:
Wow, I really never realized what a terrible human I was, but after seeing Nicole’s subtweet and link to this article about me, I’ve decided to join a monastery and repent.
Tiffany made me realized that I’m absolute pond scum. I, too, am glad I cheated on her, so she could go on a journey of self-discovery and be with a guy who’s “actually a real man, unlike me.” You know, the kind of guy who really deserves her.
All this time, I thought my ex-girlfriend was sitting around, heart-broken and missing me. After reading her 1300-word essay on our relationship, though, I see that she has clearly moved on, is well-adjusted, and loving life on her own.
Lovegood goes onto explain that these “public declarations of unloving” as she calls it have just as powerful an effect as the public display of love. But really, she explains, “they work for anything.”
Take this guy who got an apology from his unfaithful girlfriend by way of open letter, for example:
When Victoria cheated on me, I was devastated. I thought nothing would ever be the same again. But when she wrote me an open letter, submitted it to a random publication, and tagged me in her Facebook status all in an effort to apologize, I knew we’d make it through this.
People are moving to have more and more personal interactions through open letters. They’re highly effective for best friends, parents, and roommates as well. “Come this Mother’s Day,” Lovegood tells us, “I expect there to be an unprecedented number of open letters to ‘the best mom a girl could ask for.'”
The world is changing, people. And if you don’t like it? Write an open letter explaining why..
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