A Life of Love & Longing: a bumper edition of stories from the heart


Looking around today, I kind of get the feeling that Valentine’s has become more about the have nots than the haves. Is it too much?

Since dragging myself out of bed this morning (after a late night splurge on Married at First Sight), it’s been all about the toil and not the love heart foil. Asides from, I suppose , the sweet emoji text love from my husband’s desk in Manila (aka virtual companioning, a modern scourge). Though I miss him, in my heart I believe love is perfect when it’s completely flawed, yet tried and true. It’s as if not passionately pining for it, or hanging on to it with a vice like grip, makes it worth much less. Besides, isn’t every day supposed to be an endless pursuit of love? Happy love life to you all.

For this series of love related notes we invited our readers to anonymously pour their hearts out, and we caught up with Melanie Knight, queen of the Creative Social Movement and founder of the Dead Letter Club, a movement dedicated to the renaissance of creative letter writing. Darwin comedian Amy Hetherington also provided her notes on love, studiously submitting answers while on the road from Albany Arts Festival to Perth Fringe World, managing a few hilarious overshares on the fly.

I hope our children never have Tinder, I hope they write handwritten love letters and drive long distances to surprise the object of their affection and stare into their eyes. I hope they meet their partners by chance, or through friends of friends. And put the effort into getting to know them without knowing what Facebook stalking is. -anon.

We like to ask people how they feel, because the sharing of emotions brings the warmth of familiarity or comfort, even if it’s between strangers. We are all in this together and you, my friends, are never alone.

We also had a quick chat with LA-based vocalist, cellist and producer Kelsey Lu, whose most favourite love songs make her cry, cry, cry. Her recent cover of 10cc’s classic I’m Not In Love is a fine tribute to her tears.

web image - kelsey lu - feb 2019
Kelsey Lu is not in love, so don’t forget it.

She explained that the song “is dedicated to the ones who have ever felt misunderstood in the name of Love, in the name of Self. Who Love the Passion, Love the Grace Of Dramatics, Love the obsession of life and want to Kill the Confusion, all while finding beauty in the abstract of growth and humour that surrounds the horrors both within and around us daily.” An intense explanation by any measure. She also told us her last ugly crying face episode was in New York at her favourite string shop called David Gage. She was playing a cello and desperately wanted to take it home, but just couldn’t afford it. Retail heartbreak. I hear ya.

If we look at Kelsey’s responses along with some of our survey answers, it’s pretty clear that most people who have loved someone who didn’t love them back (Kelsey said it frequently happens to her), were the same folks who have broken someone else’s heart. Do you see the cycle? If the stars are not aligned and it’s not a mutual connection, then that love is not for you.

Do you see the cycle? If the stars are not aligned and it’s not a mutual connection, then that love is not for you.

Kelsey Lu believes that rather than ‘recovering from a broken heart’ we instead learn how to work through it. She says, “You don’t just get over it. Because you loved that person, so it doesn’t just go away. That’s not how it works.”

Love is not always enough. Love can be toxic. Love can bring out the worst in you. But love in the right moment, with the right person is wonderful. The right love gives you strength in yourself and brings out your best. -anon

Lovelorn Love Worn

What do you love? Who do you love? OMG, do you finally love yourself? Triumph at last! Wear your feelings with confidence and change the way you attract people, opportunities and circumstances in your life.

More Flounce to the Ounce

Let the world know that you’re just frilled to be here.

In my mind love always should make you feel some degree of crazy, even if it’s just flutters. -anon.

Love’s Souvenir

Dressing like a living holiday postcard has its perks. It is a gift that needs to be shared.

I moved to Australia for love. I was madly in love at the time. I wouldn’t do it again. -anon.

Inner City Pressure

City life can be pretty tough so it’s strictly for the learned anti-squeamish. Locally Melbourne girls use their words to sure up the softness with sass. They sing, they write, they read, they create and they wear whatever the hell they want. (See: whatever your Aunty Liz wore in 1986),

When the relationship breaks down but the love is still there, it’s like fighting an unwinnable war. -anon.

So we say, fight it with leopard print, flirtatiously fun cuts and fresh vibes.

Without self-love you can’t give genuine love to another. -anon.

Megan Hess scarf. Image courtesy flaunter.com

Read more highlights from our anonymous reader survey

How do you recover from a broken heart?

“I don’t have one.”

“By understanding that my perception was incorrect, and understanding the relationship from a different viewpoint, it makes complete sense to not be together.”

“I go under the radar and make revenge playlists.”

“I go on a road trip with family or friends. Delete him from Facebook!”

What has love taught you?

“To be careful. To not give myself totally to someone. You need to hold something back.” 

“It’s a rare and special thing that doesn’t exist without trust and respect.”

“Love has taught me the power of joining forces, the joy in connection and strength in commitment.”

Tell us about a time when love made you feel crazy.

“Finding dick pics and text messages from random boys on my partner’s phone. Crazy that I looked, crazy that I let it slide, crazy that people could do that, crazy that it made me feel so crazy. Who needs it? (eyeroll)”

What was the last romantic gesture you made for someone?

“I drove my drunk partner home so that he wouldn’t, only to get caught by the police myself. At least I didn’t have a licence to lose.”

“A walk by the water at sunset #nofilter”

“I showed them my favourite place, my secret getaway.”

When was the last time you did ugly crying face? Were they worth the heartache?

“I last cried when a boy told me that he had to travel, but couldn’t imagine life without me. And that he wanted me to wait for him. It was a nice speech. But it was only a speech.”

“I did a bit of an ugly crying face over a confusing fling with a dip shit player.. he was definitely not worth it! Of course if I knew who he was, I would never have been attracted to him in the first place!”

“My last ugly crying face was at a retreat in front of 20 other people. It wasn’t about an ex, though. It was about the love I’d found in myself. So totally worth it. Awwww ;-)”

“About 2 years ago. They were never worth it. I realise I was crying over my foolishness more than anything else.”

How do you think we can make love last in the modern era?

“I think older generations were better at accepting each other and talking about their needs and wants. If you aren’t happy in general, it is easy to project this into the relationship. I think making time for each other is neglected now.”

“Start looking out for each other. When you care for another you always have a purpose. These days we give up too easily before taking the time to consider each other’s perspective, and respecting their position. We seem to have less patience these days.”

“Be trustworthy, respectful and caring. Never take anything for granted.”

Here is our Valentine’s music throw down for 2019. It’s nostalgia meets modern love. If you can’t see the player below, click here to view the playlist on Spotify.



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