Love Letters from Ana: To the Mysterious


In an effort to maintain a certain je ne sais quoi in relationships, we cannot help but put a few fronts up. Whether we want to remain mysterious, emotionally detached, or pretend that The Shawshank Redemption is our favorite movie too, there seems to be a barrier preventing us from showing too much of our real selves at once. The question remains: when can we put down our fronts?

As part of a generation of women trying to hold on to the romantic promises that John Hughes movies instilled in us at a young age, it is easy to see why we are so inclined to put up walls between us and our significant other. We have been taught that mystery is tragic, intriguing, and sexy. Women would rather be heartbreakers than heartbroken. As Marina and the Diamonds song “How To Be A Heartbreaker” cautions,

“Rule number three, wear your heart on your cheek

But never on your sleeve, unless you wanna taste defeat”

This idea of looking emotionally unattached to your partner comes from a number of different places. One popular culture explanation is the notion that men like the thrill and sense of danger that comes with the possibility losing you. There is a common belief that if you act unattached you are reinforcing a sense of adventure for him. In actuality what you are probably doing is feeding into a Peter Pan Syndrome and contributing to a blooming jealous and paranoid nature later in life.

Women also feel that seeming unattached is a safety cushion in case we end up getting dumped or rejected. If we looked like we didn’t care during the relationship, why would we care if it ends? To a modern woman, the thought of showing weakness or an emotional affect when it comes to romance is cringe worthy.

Fronts may appear to require a lot of effort to maintain, but it might take even more will power to put those fronts down. Wearing your heart on your sleeve may be a dangerous move, but it may also be the bravest. Heartbreak after heartbreak, we tend to keep our true selves tucked away in a shell for protection.

We fear that exposing who we are and how we feel will result in more injury. We cannot however, let our past act as a foreshadowing of what is to come. Every relationship is different and the success of our relationships has a lot to do with being ourselves in them.

The most wonderful and genuine moments in life happen when we let our guard down. You may be selective of who you want to wear your heart on your sleeve for, but do not be afraid of doing so. You can allow your true self to be accepted and embraced much sooner if you forget about all those fronts and just be upfront.

On the playground, we used to pick on the boy we liked, but we are not little anymore and no longer have to act the opposite of the way we feel. Perhaps it’s about time to take down the walls of Jericho and come face to face with ourselves.