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What would you say to your ex, without judgement?

Tags: This Modern Love, Will Darbyshire, relationship advice
Content Types: Moving Forward

This is a guest blog from writer and filmmaker Will Darbyshire, seeking your stories for a new book on relationships to be published later this year.

What would you say to your ex, without judgement?

Hello there.

It’s lovely to e-meet you all. My name is Will, I’m 22, and I make short films on the internet.

I wanted to drop by with a quick message about a project I’m working on, as I hope it might appeal to some of you.

Last year, I had a breakup. As a result of said breakup, I became more vocal with the feelings I was sharing online. At first it was daunting, but I was overwhelmed by the response and, more importantly, the support I received.

Like many of you using the ParentConnection, I put my emotions out there to people who had been through similar or even different experiences and, in turn, they opened up to me about their own lives, sharing their own stories. It helped me move on, and I hope it helped them too. It got me thinking about how empowering a support group can be, even if its members never know or meet each other in person.

For the last six months I’ve been gathering thoughts and feelings from people all over the world for a crowd-sourced book called This Modern Love. I’ve posed a range of relationship questions on my social media channels, some positive, some not, and I’ve encouraged people to respond in the form of a letter if a question speaks to them. A collection of these letters will then be printed in the final book.

The responses so far have been staggering. From the perils of snapchat, to the godsend of skype, from a South Korean girl writing to her partner in the military, to a Brazilian boy remembering the first time he said ‘I love you’ to his first boyfriend, the letters are cathartic, moving and often funny.

Some people have used the book as a forum to share their innermost thoughts or secrets, often about their fears or failings, while others have used the space to celebrate the best of love, and how grateful they are to their partners. It’s been an opportunity to turn the page, or even close the proverbial book on bad times, to work through a problem by putting down thoughts that are often too hard to say out loud. Equally, it’s been a moment to take a step back and think about the good times to come.

I hope the book will offer readers comfort, be fun, and start to get to the heart of twenty-first century love. To do this, it’s crucial the book is as inclusive and diverse as possible, which is why, if you are interested, I would love you to submit a letter to the question at the top of this post, or to any of the questions on my website. The book will be published by Penguin Random House later this year. Full details are below.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

I look forward to reading your submissions.


Submission info

1. Please send letters to letters@modernlovebook.com2. Phrase your letter starting with “Dear so-and-so…”
3. Please include your first name (can be a pseudonym), age, country and ‘Parent Connection’ in the email.
4. You may choose to write a line or a page, it’s up to you. Feel free to be creative.

If you are more visual and feel a drawing or a photo sums up your thoughts better, that’s perfect.

For more details, please see:

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