We Never Really Talk. (Tell Me What You're Thinking.)

Sample Letter #1

I'm writing this letter so that I can organize my thoughts as I go along and consider what I want to say to you. The fact is, I've been feeling a void inside me for a long time now, but I never really knew what was missing until today. I was driving home from work and heard an old song by Bryan Adams on the radio. The song was "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" and it began: To really love a woman, to understand her, you gotta know her deep inside, hear every thought, see every dream." And then I realized what was bothering me--even though we live together, there's so much about me you don't know, and a lot I don't know about you, either. We don't know very much about each other because we never really talk.

I'm sure you remember when we first met how our attraction for each other was so strong that we were soon making the kind of love you read about in steamy romantic novels. Back then neither one of us found any need to do a lot of talking, I know. After a year, though, I've had a chance to come up for air and realize it's time we got intimate on another level--one that can only be reached through more serious conversations.

After work, we're both so tired we only talk about practical matters as we prepare dinner, watch a little TV, and then go to bed. I'm glad we can still satisfy each other with the way we make love, but we soon fall asleep lying there peacefully afterwards. Morning comes before long and most of our weekdays pass just as quickly the same way. On weekends you're off to some sports event or we're shopping or cleaning the apartment. Soon the week is gone and we've never had the time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk about anything.

I wish we could find time to go for a long walk once in a while or cuddle up on the couch together without the TV and just talk about whatever is on our minds. You don't need to tell me anything earth-shattering. I'd simply like to know what's going on with you these days. For example, I suspect there's some problem at work that's causing you tension lately, but you never talk to me about it. I can be a good listener if you would just give me the chance. As for me, I'd like to explain how my new supervisor is making my life difficult and why I'm thinking about turning in my resignation.

We really don't know much about each other's backgrounds, either. I'd like to know what it was like for you to move from state to state every time the army transferred your father, or why it is you don't get along with your sister. I'd like to tell you how I felt when my parents got divorced when I was seven, or why I'd like to go back to Monterrey and see the California poppies and Crystal Beach again. If we could learn to share what's weighing on our minds, we could encourage the hopes and dreams--and lessen the fears and worries--we each experience separately now.

When you find this letter, I will have already gone out to the park near the library. I'll be waiting for you on the bench under the horse chestnut tree in the southeast corner. It's the only chestnut there among all the oak and maple trees. When I was a little girl, I used to read books on that bench every Saturday. I've packed a picnic lunch and we can eat on the grass where there are no distractions. Come and join me and tell me how your day went (please turn your cell phone off).

With love and expectation!

Sample Letter #2

How are you doing, my love? Things are pretty good on this end of campus. I had a great time with you last night at the baseball game. I never would have guessed you were such an avid sports fan! You can holler with the best of them. You never cease to amaze me.

You know, I was thinking last night after I dropped you off that we've been seeing each other for almost six months now. Time really flies, doesn't it? I've really enjoyed spending time together and getting to know you. And yet, as I was looking back, I realized that there is still a lot I don't know about you. Rather, there is so much more that I would like to know about you. Obviously I know quite a bit about some things, though. I know about your job with the botany professor, for example, and about how your classes are going, and some of the things that are happening with you and your roommates.

We are always busy; we both have our classes and work. We always have plenty to talk about, but I don't think we ever really go much beyond the surface. It seems we have discussed anything and everything--and yet nothing. I'm curious--what are your real dreams and ambitions? What would you like to accomplish? What do you see yourself wanting to be in ten, twenty, or fifty years? What is your greatest goal in life?

Who knows, maybe you have wondered the same things about me. I was thinking that it would be great to get away on Saturday (leave school, work, friends, roommates, whatever) and just spend some uninterrupted time together. It's been a while since we've done that. We could go hiking up to Promissory Point, have a picnic lunch, and just talk about our plans and hopes for the future--and anything else that comes to mind or that you would like to discuss. I think it would be really good for us, and it would help us to get to know an aspect of each other that we really haven't explored before.

What do you say? I'll stop by after my calc class tomorrow afternoon to see if that will work.

I can't wait to see you.

Sample Letter #3

This is different, isn't it--writing you a letter, I mean. I started jotting down notes and realized that I might be able to express my feelings better this way than in person. Which brings me to what has been bothering me: we don't seem to be able to communicate very well lately. I've been feeling empty inside. It has nothing to do with the way I feel about you--my love for you has never wavered. But I'm wishing we had more. There is so much that I wish we could say to each other--the little trivial things, deep things, personal things. We used to talk about everything. We were giddy and experiencing new love. Everything you said was a discovery for me. I wanted to know everything about you.

It seems that the more we've been together, the more quiet we have become. Is it our busy schedules? Stress? Fatigue? Boredom? We arise early, barely have enough time for breakfast, give each other a quick kiss, and rush out the door. Only occasionally do we call each other during the day. At night we eat dinner and flop in front of the TV. You usually drift off and I read the paper. (When is the last time we both watched an entire movie together?) I'm afraid of becoming an old, tired couple that still lives together but has no excitement and no energy to try any longer.

Please say this is not happening to us! I'll tell you what I wish--I wish we could spend 10 minutes over breakfast planning something fun or unusual for the end of the day. I wish we could get a French cuisine recipe book and cook dinner together. I wish we could read the newspaper as a couple and discuss stories of interest. I wish we could take a walk and remember the dreams of our courtship. I'd like to hear about your day; I'd like to tell you about mine. I want to get out the photo albums that your mother sent us and have you tell me stories of your childhood. I want to dust off my yearbook and tell you silly stories about what happened to me during junior high. I want to share personal things with you again. That's what keeps love exciting and alive.

Could we try? It doesn't have to be forced or uncomfortable. What about tonight? My sister has a great recipe for crepes. I've located your photo album and my yearbook. I've hidden the remote control, and I've fluffed up the pillows on the couch. Let's learn to talk and laugh again. Let's gaze into each other's eyes and remember why we fell in love in the first place. Let's snuggle on the couch and see where it leads.

Sample Letter #4

I had dinner with my sister last night. She was telling me all about her new boyfriend and, all of a sudden, it hit me with amazing force how little I know about you. We don't talk. We make small talk about our days and the weather, but we don't talk about our dreams, our feelings, or our past. I don't know why I didn't realize this before. At first I thought that we were just talking less than we used to, but now I think that we have never really talked. As I sit here thinking about it now, I can't think of one conversation we ever had that had any import to it at all.

We spend a lot of time together, but it doesn't involve a lot of talking. We go to movies, we ride our bikes, and we kayak. We do things where talking just isn't involved. And our lives are so busy that we don't have time to even sit down and talk on a daily basis. It's kind of sad.

I enjoy being with you, but our relationship is starting to seem a bit shallow. I'd like it to be a lot deeper. I'd like to learn more with you--about everything. I think that communication could really strengthen what we have and make it more secure. There are so many things that I want to know about you! What is your favorite candy bar? What are your favorite movies and favorite songs? What was your family like when you were growing up? What are your siblings like?

And I'd like for you to know more about me. I want to be able to tell you about my life: what happened before I met you, and what I hope for in the future. I think it will bring us closer together to talk about these things. What do you think? Let me make dinner Friday night. You can come over and, instead of watching a movie, we'll just talk. I'm looking forward to learning more about who you really are and sharing more about me.

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