Unsent Love Letters - An Introduction

Esther Perel

Unsent Love Letters is a project in collaboration with The Boston Globe’s Love Letters columnist Meredith Goldstein. We collected real unsent love letters from people who wrote to a loved one, but in the end kept their words to themselves. Each article includes the original letter, a playful video discussion between Esther and Meredith, and an exercise for those who resonate. Watch the introduction video below to get started. Then jump over to the first letter of the series.

Unsent Love Letters with Esther + Meredith

Letters are a treasured part of my life. Collaborating with the Boston Globe on the Unsent Love Letters project has been an exciting opportunity to celebrate the richness of this lost art. I am moved by the stories that you have graciously shared with us. Each letter, a ticket into the inner world of the author, inviting us to access hidden parts of ourselves. I've been an active letter writer for most of my life. I like writing, and I love receiving letters. It confirms that I exist in the mind and memories of others.

I have boxes of letters that have traveled with me from Belgium to New York, and all my homes in-between. These notes serve as markers of different important moments in my life. They are authored by my husband, sons, family members, friends, past lovers, and strangers who reach out to share their stories.

The process of writing allows us to speak to parts of ourselves that can be hard to access
 — lost parts, exiled parts, or invasive parts. Letters create space for our unique inner voice, and give us a place to internal conversations.

In therapy too, I often coach clients to write letters to the important people in their lives, whether they decide to send them or not.

Letters help you sort through and express difficult feelings and experiences.
 Some are a gesture of gratitude. Others, a long-overdue apology. And others yet, an attempt to clarify, establish boundaries, and be heard. Love notes range from lustful narratives to longings for "the one that got away" to flat out detailed revenge fantasies. Sometimes, they aren't meant to be delivered. Sometimes they’re just for you.

We selected six unsent letters from the many submissions to discuss. Each article includes the unsent letter, a playful discussion between me and Meredith, and an exercise for those who resonate with the theme. 

Start with the first Unsent Love Letter of the series, or explore any of the themes below.

  1. Fantasy and Unrequited Love
  2. Love Across the Decades
  3. Healing After Betrayal
  4. Lingering Loss
  5. Young and In Love

Producer & Editor: Anush Elbakyan, Producer & Script: Courtney Hamilton Knight, Animation: Daniel García, Illustration & Direction: Natalia Ramos

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