John Steinbeck on Falling in Love

a couple reading a letter

Just thought I’d share this sweet letter from John Steinbeck to his teenage son who fell in love in boarding school.

It’s not long, but it’s wise. Especially the last line:

“And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens – The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

If he disappeared, he is, by definition, NOT your future husband, and the relationship is probably not as good as you thought.

I’m no John Steinbeck, but that’s the central premise of my book,  Why He Disappeared.

If he disappeared, he is, by definition, NOT your future husband, and the relationship is probably not as good as you thought.

Click here to learn how to get over your disappearing guy and make healthier decisions with men.

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  1. 1

    Thank you for sharing this sweet letter.   I’m not sure I agree with the “nothing good gets away,” bit (even though it’s a comforting thing to tell myself when I’ve been dumped).    I believe it is entirely possible to ruin ~ letting it get away ~ strong relationships.  
    I’ve been in good relationships that got away bc I became too critical or too unsure.   I’ve had friends who let good relationships get away bc they cheated or couldn’t accept that the dude earned less money than they.   I’d be more likely to say something along the lines of, “even great loves can be corroded by pettiness and a lack of effort.”  

  2. 2

    What a lovely letter to write to a teenage son.   Just the right amounts of acceptance, affection and advice.   
    Henriette #2
    Maybe replacing “good” with “right” would resonate more.   I think what you said underscores the general sentiment very well though.   If it’s right, it won’t get away.   I’m not endorsing a romantic, dreamy “love conquers all” viewpoint; there is a lot of work that goes into good relationships.   However, obsessing about it early on or trying to rush things is counterproductive.   You mention getting too critical or unsure.   Instincts count for a lot.   This happens to many people but I think if the relationship is right, they find a way to work it out.   If the relationship ends, then it is by definition not the “right” one.   I’m not sure what to say about the cheating.   I try hard not to pass judgement on other people’s actions and I know things happen but this is a toughie for me.   As for an income gap causing a split, again, was the relationship that good to begin with?   Unrealistic or not, maybe that was on your friend’s “cannot tolerate” list at the time and no matter how good the relationship, if she had stayed with the guy it would have kept causing a rift.
    “even great loves can be corroded by pettiness and a lack of effort.”  
    Yes, absolutely agreed here but then the blame is yours :).   I think John Steinbeck’s advice for his son assumed that his son would be the “good” party and do everything right.

  3. 3
    Jackie H.

    Nothing good gets away, Nothing good gets away, NOTHING GOOD GETS AWAY…I’m repeating this myself to remind me….LOL…

  4. 4

    Really nice letter. But what really caught my attention was the yellow poster on the left bar that says:
    “Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It creates the failures. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him. But you know he will strangle you with his panic”

    It’s my first post here and Evan, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for all the advice I’ve been reading here since December last year. I’m trying my best to follow them and now I think they have been working great! I’m seeing someone sooooooo wish me luck! 🙂

  5. 5

    Thanks for sharing this Evan. Much appreciated.
    I actually read that letter with a touch of sadness thinking, if only my father had taken the time to write such words of support and wisdom to me. Not that he was a bad father. Just wish I had a relationship like that with him. That’s all.
    Thank you

  6. 6
    London lass

    Beautiful letter – I never knew Steinbeck was such an old romantic!
    Oh and Lucia #4, thanks for pointing out that great Anais Nin quote too.  

  7. 7

    FANTASTIC, informative and compelling video, Evan!   I really enjoyed and appreciated the high quality writing and production elements.   I learned something new, too.   Very nicely done!!!

  8. 8

    Sweet.   And good advice.   Little boy aged 10 asked me yesterday (he’s not English speaking) what does “Fuck” mean? Both of his parents were waiting for my answer.   The best I could come up with is men and women have sex and where they love each other it’s called “making love”.   When they is no love, it’s called “fuck”.
    Thoughtful moment of the little boy.   “But then, Aunty Judy, why is it rude to say “fuck”?
    Good question indeed.   (Maybe it’s the first kind of love mentioned in Steinbeck’s letter?????)

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