Unsent Love Letters - Young and In Love

Esther Perel

The Letter

A pregnant mother of three writes to her high school sweetheart -- a football star turned NFL player. He called her out of the blue 8 years after graduation. In the aftermath, she bounces between memories of the past and fantasies of what could have been if he had showed up at her door instead of calling.

A Look Inside with Esther + Meredith


When you choose someone you renounce others, but the others don’t disappear from your life or your memory. There is always an allure of life unlived and the paths not chosen. 

The details and the sentiments of this letter are so vivid — the way the author describes her excitement, her wanting, her feeling of being young and in love. You don’t always make a life with your best lover, but you can remember that lover and energize yourself at any time.

An Exercise in Reflection

Do you find yourself pining over past lovers? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, channeling the energy from our past intimacies can inspire and remind us of what is possible in our current and future relationships. Try this exercise to reflect on a past lover: 

First, take out a pen and paper. Physically writing will help you think more deeply and connect with your emotions and reflections. 

Choose a past partner to think about. It doesn’t matter who you choose, so long as you know there is something important or lingering that will benefit from reflection. If you have a picture of that person, of the time you were with them, or an artifact that reminds you of them, take that out too . 

With your materials assembled, reflect on the prompts below and write out your answers:

  • How do you see your relationship to this person now?
  • What stays with you from this relationship: the good, the less good, the bad.
  • What did you learn, take with you that has guided you since?
  • Who were you in that relationship, and who are you today?
  • Are there parts of you that need reclaiming in the aftermath of that relationship?

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

Sign up for letters from Esther, a monthly newsletter + Youtube workshop and conversation where we sharpen our relational intelligence.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.