Why 'To All The Boys I've Loved Before' Made Me Believe in Love Again

We’ve all had those breakups. The ones where we keep any shred of hope that if you could take back those words, or if he would just say sorry. We’ve all had those breakups where we lose the idea of loving, or caring, for someone again. This feeling has been growing inside of me for a while now. If things end up in a mess when you’re with someone, why on Earth would you want to try again? It’s crazy, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hopeless romantic in some ways. I’ve watched The Notebook a million times, I have a wedding board on Pinterest, and I catch myself smiling whenever I see a cute couple on the street or on campus. (Not in a creepy way, of course.) Even with this belief that someday I'll find my “prince charming”, I have a sneaky feeling that it won't be a unicorn-flying-rainbows-everywhere type of situation.

I was stuck in this rut until I convinced myself to watch To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix. There has been a hype recently on romantic comedies coming back and being good, so naturally, this film has made its way into the conversation. I’ve never read the book, except the sample of it on Kindle, but I knew that somehow it would be predictable and corny.

It was predictable and corny, but it was honest. There wasn’t any sugarcoating of the effects of loss, or the reluctance of trusting someone because you know that they could walk out of your life.

For those who haven’t watched this film, what have you been doing with your life? After reading this article, you should cancel all plans and watch it. Unless you have homework.

The film follows Lara Jean Covey, whose five love letters are sent out to the boys that she wrote them for. As each boy confronts her one by one, Lara Jean’s love life spins out of control. There are a lot of cute moments (and Peter Kavinsky “whoa, whoa, whoa”s) spread throughout the film, but there is one defining moment that stuck with me.

In the scene where Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky are in the Corner Café together, he asks her why she’s never been in a relationship. Lara Jean admits that it’s scary because letting someone into your life means that they can walk right out.

Romantic comedies have made me cry, or laugh, or both at the same time, but one has never caught my fears. It was as if this scene was commenting on the rut that I have been in and forcing me to see past this fear.

We are all going to have breakups where things are messy. Sometimes you won’t know where to begin to pick up the pieces. You can start by picking up the places you once went to with that person, then you move onto the moments that keep you up at night, and then you finish by picking up the confidence in yourself you thought you lost but didn’t.

However long this may take you, remember this; you have to trust in love. You must believe with all your heart that you will care for and love someone. It may be in a couple of months or it may be five years until you find this person, but that doesn’t mean that the journey won’t be worth it.

So, thank you to Jenny Han for making a story that isn’t just about five love letters being sent, but about trusting love again. It was quite the lesson. 

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