A Letter From The Love You Haven’t Met Yet. ~ Emily Bracken

Via Emily Brackenon Apr 27, 2014

Peter Hellberg via Flickr

Dear Future Love of My Life:

I know. I should have written before.

Forgive me.

But I got the feeling that you were beginning to think I didn’t exist. But I do. And I wanted to let you know that while I might be as elusive as a unicorn grazing in a field of four leaf clovers, I’m close.

I’m around the corner, down the street, on Facebook, in your office, at our local coffee shop, a complete stranger.

I made eyes at you once on the subway.

I saw you across the room at a party.

I swiped you right on Tinder.

But it’s not our time yet. And I know you’re wondering why.

It’s really not fair that you’ve had to wait this long, or go on blind dates, endure bad sex, settle for meh relationships, feel misunderstood, cry from loneliness, wrap your arms around a pillow as you fall asleep at night.

I’m so sorry, my love. You deserve an explanation.

So here it goes. It’s taken me a long time to even admit this to myself much less to you, so please know that everything I’ve written here is true.

The reasons we haven’t met yet, in no particular order:

1. I haven’t thrown out the list of things I think you should be.

2. I’m with the wrong person right now.

3. I’m not ready to be loved unconditionally.

4. Since my life isn’t together, I think you’ll reject me.

5. I still believe that drama is a show of love.

6. I’ve been intentionally keeping my head too busy to think with my heart.

7. I need to date more to understand what I do and don’t like.

8. I won’t be able to appreciate you until life has kicked my ass.

9. I’m too focused on my own needs.

10. I don’t know how to create the feeling of home that lives in my heart.

Clearly, I’m not my best self yet. Or even myself—I’m still figuring out who that is. I’m pretty sure even if we did meet, you wouldn’t like me all that much right now. It’s entirely possible that we did hit it off once, and I left without getting your information; or maybe I did get your number and never called because of any one of the above reasons.

Be patient with me, darling heart.

Know that I’m working my way toward you. So don’t spend any more time thinking about where I am or am not. Just keep making your life exciting and full, so when we do finally come together, we can bring each other joy, because we are already happy.

I know it’s taking longer than you’d like. It’s a hell of a lot slower than I could have ever imagined.

But I’m here.

This is me talking to you. And I’m not going anywhere.

Don’t give up on me.


In perpetuity,

The Love You Haven’t Met Yet


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Apprentice Editor: Kim Haas/Editor: Cat Beekmans

Photo: Peter Hellberg via Flickr

About Emily Bracken

Emily Bracken is a writer of articles, the screen, and is currently at work on her first book, “Slutty Isn’t A Halloween Costume: And Other Things Only Your Cool Aunt Will Tell You.” She lives in Brooklyn Heights, NY and, sometimes, Venice, CA


71 Responses to “A Letter From The Love You Haven’t Met Yet. ~ Emily Bracken”

  1. Jackie_t says:

    I love this! And I am 57 this week.

  2. SwtHrt says:

    I don't think any of these are necessarily barriers to finding that person; if we needed to be perfect to find love, then nobody would ever find it.

    • Char says:

      I don't think this article is about finding "love" but finding true love. We don't need to be perfect to find love but there are definitely degrees of love because if any of these factors are true, they keep us from experiencing as deep a love as we could.

      • Emily Bracken says:

        Perfection is not a pre-requisite – absolutely, I agree! But I do think acceptance of being perfectly imperfect is. :) Both of yourself and your mate.

    • Jacob says:

      I took it as these were excuses we all give ourselves. Excuses that are preventing us from finding love.

  3. Kristin Diversi Kristin says:

    This is so incredibly beautiful.

  4. MJS says:

    This feels like it was written for me to read today. This brought me to tears. Thank you.

  5. Karuna says:

    Beautiful! Thank you. It's also not about perfection, but self acceptance. And if I (you) are not in that place of self acceptance (at least most of the time), then, yes, it will be hard to find another to share life with. I'm here too!

  6. Dani says:

    The title could be:

    A letter to myself…
    Loving who you are NOW is the gift you give to yourself and the world, minus ego right!

  7. Rebecca says:

    I needed this read today, right now…thank you

  8. Reneé Marie Fox says:

    Great great article! It's taken me 50 years and a lot of living to come to some of these realizations. I love the writing perspective you chose too. Stellar job!

    (I read your Bio. Totally awesome book title! I can't wait for you to publish. Love on, Sister Aunt!)

    • Emily Bracken says:

      Reneé – Thank you! Hard lessons I've learned myself. Only recently. We're all in this together. Thanks for the kind words. Book – from your fingertips to God's ears. :)

  9. Lee says:

    I’m a man, I turned 57 in March, I’ve been in several long term relationships but find myself single, again! I’ve been feeling I should just give up! After a 4 month relationship I was rejected, again, for loving too deeply…she found it overwhelming and ran. I felt every word you wrote, as MJS stated; “like it was written for me”. Rather than give up, I was inspired to carry on and hope that someone, the one waiting for me, will be in my life….your writing is inspiring and beautiful – thank you!

    • Emily Bracken says:

      Yes she will!!!!!! Keep that heart open!

    • loufoodandtravel says:

      The right person will never feel you are loving too much -they will feel privelidged to have your love.

    • Dory says:

      I'm 51 and I have been to failed relationships to (2 actually), but I'm not losing hope that someday my and his' paths witll crossed :) for the meantime, I'm loving myself the more, and sharing it to people in my circle, and serving the church and my community :) Hava a happy life and be inspired with what God has for you everyday of your life.

  10. Prem says:

    Absolutely…. perfectly…. beautiful. Thank you. <3

  11. Ahsa says:

    Oh man, I needed this! Beautiful writing! Thanks for sharing, Emily!

  12. Sandra says:

    This is so beautiful and touching it made me cry…. Thank you! ♡!♡!♡!

  13. anonymous says:

    Thanks for the different perspective on "finding the right one" per se.
    Very cool and by the way, you're a babe.

  14. Catherine says:

    I totally needed this. Thank you.

  15. amy says:

    As most have commented, I too, feel that this could have been written for, or about me. I can identify with that list. Beautifully written!

  16. Anna says:

    This is sooo beautiful and exactly how I feel right now. My best friend and I had a discussion about the topic yesterday and you have managed to put our thoughts into the perfect formation of words. Brilliant.
    Thank you so much, Emily!

  17. longlostfriend101 says:

    How many of those things on your list could you do something about right now?

    Don't expect "the one" to be waiting for you until get around to addressing these things.

    • Emily Bracken says:

      Hello! I'm not sure if that was rhetorical, but – yes, a few of the things on the list are action oriented. Some are a realization. Some take time to nurture and develop. We are all a work in progress.

  18. Bert says:

    "Dear Future Love of My Life"

    more like "Dear Fall Back Plan"

  19. truthtime says:

    This is just the kind of Nightmate that MEN HATE.

    That women can mess around with all the bad guys they like and think some LOOSER is still going to want them.

    You cant fool clever men, they will detect your actions and always be looking at the younger girls that
    havent been jaded.

    • SwtHrt says:

      Because it doesn't sound all all like YOU'RE jaded.

    • kintsugi says:

      Ah yes. Another excuse for bitter men to seek out younger, less intellectually challenging girls, instead of real women (who will notice terrible grammar).

  20. Ksenia says:

    So beautiful…

  21. fla says:

    wow, this is awesome! sent shivers down my spine! you should write a book on this..

  22. michele says:

    i was angry with the world only this morning because i haven't been able to find him, thanks through the tears

  23. Tracy says:

    You gave my heart words of expression. Thanks.

  24. britt says:

    i have reread this article about 5 times.. this letter gives me hope, joy, and relief. thank you so much for writing it

  25. Amy E says:

    I love this article so much. I keep coming back to read it again. Lovely!

  26. liza says:

    Thank you Emily. for touching my heart. I am in a puddle of hope

  27. MrGrey says:

    if this is you, it means, you are not the one i am looking for. simple as that. if she reads it, she will know. for all mistakes and confusion please forgive me too.

  28. Jay says:

    That was really beautiful. I am half and half on this, I want the love but I am not fully sure. At times I wonder if you are too good for me. Yet at times I want someone there, someone to connect with, emotionally, intimately. I want someone to know how I think, and like the way I think. No wait, I want them to love how I think. I want that singular connection, you complement me and my personality and vice versa. I am waiting but I am cautious.

  29. Andrea says:

    Beautifully written and lovely sentiment but I no longer believe this is possible. There's a reason the word "spinster" exists, some of us just aren't meant to find many, one, or "the one". I'm learning to accept this fact of my life and find it frustrating when people, who know nothing about me or my life, try to convince me otherwise. Yes I'm jaded, though I prefer to think of it as being realistic. It hurts less than trying to keep hope alive for something that will never happen.

  30. kristen says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Shared it.

  31. yasmin says:

    I needed this. Thank you

  32. Catherine says:

    Thank you. my boyfriend left me 3 weeks ago for 9 out of the 10 reasons you list. Hoping he will realize all this very soon and call me back. But maybe he is not my true love..another man is.. and I haven't met him yet!

  33. Shelley says:

    Beautifully written and inspirational
    Although I have been rejected and turfed over (for someone half my age… yawn how predictable)… I am using this opportunity (and it IS an opportunity) to find who I am and where I am meant to be in this crazy, mixed up life.
    And whether that means finding another love, or just learning to be content with "enough"… that is not clear but I am enjoying the journey and the incredible people I am meeting on the way

  34. Louise says:

    Lovely! Thank you!

  35. Laura says:

    just wow! this is like it was written just for me xx

  36. blythe says:

    So very beautiful. Thank you.

  37. Marianna says:

    haha i too think this was written for me, and in a wonderful shift of perspective, it’s uplifting. we’re not alone! true love, true selves, true purspose..and feeling home. i’m personally stuck on no. 10 more than all the others now. hanging in there. love and good vibes to the author and to all the present and future loves of some other’s life out there. M x

  38. Marianna says:

    Sounds like it was written for me too, and in a wonderful shift of perspective, it's upliftign! true love, true self, true purpose..and feeling home. we're not alone. i'm personally stuck on no. 10 more than anything else (but will admit to partially clinging on to my ideal list too). lots of love and good vibes to the author and all the loves of some other's life out there..

  39. John says:

    Dear John…..

  40. sara says:

    Emily – Thank you for writing this letter. From the comments, I guess we are all in the same boat. I’m glad to know I am not alone. Below, I wrote a note back to ‘The Love You Haven’t Met Yet’.

    All Elephant Journal-ers – Thank you for continuing to exist. Your words and topics are so freaking meaningful, I hope I never have to live without you!


    Dear The Love You Haven’t Met Yet (aka Darling) –

    Keep being patient. Keep working on being present. We are both making progress.

    I have no doubt that all the pain, suffering and worry will all be worth it. I also think all of the pain, suffering and worry will just melt away and be completely forgotten after we are together.

    We will be together at exactly the perfect time. And everything will make sense for why things unfolded the way they did. It could not happen any other way.

    Know that I will be waiting for you until the end of all time to love your every cell. There is nothing you could say or do that will ever stop me from loving all of you. I will never give up on finding you. Please don’t give up on finding me.

    The tears of sadness that I am shedding today for you, will be tears of joy and happiness when we are both ready to completely and wholely love ourselves and each other.

    Forever & Always,

    The Future Love of Your Life

  41. Vivz says:

    This is so true!!! I will be patient for you my dear future!

  42. Samantha says:

    Beautiful… Thank you

  43. San Sere says:

    Through my tears from Barcelona: "Thank you with all my love wishing the best for you." … That was the sign i needed to still go the way completing my myself with joy.

  44. Britt says:

    I read this every once in a while to freshen my view on my love life

  45. Crystal says:

    This could not be more true!!!!!!!!! I have finally met the love of my life, and we have both talked about these things on several occasions. We are in awe at how quickly we fell in love, and frustrated that it took so long and so many heartaches to finally find each other. Regardless, we have both acknowledged that the relationship probably would not have worked had we met earlier in life. Now, all struggles that would have dragged us down in the past are easy. We go into each day completely in love, open, honest, and finally home. Stay strong friends! You will get there!

  46. Melina says:


  47. Alexa says:

    Thanks for writing this Emily :)

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