New program encourages young people to write love letters instead of online dating

Person writing love letter
Person writing love letter Photo credit Getty Images/Kim_white

Long gone are the days when you fall in love with someone after reaching for the same watermelon at the grocery store.

Well, those moments may not be completely gone, but no doubt more connections are made through online dating and apps than by meeting your soulmate through happenstance.

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However, a new program in Japan is bringing love back to reality by encouraging young folks to begin writing handwritten love letters again!

About 450 people in their 20s and 30s have signed up for the program over the last couple of years, which is roughly double the number the organizers anticipated.

About 17 couples have emerged from the program so far.

Rie Miyata leads the consulting firm commissioned by the city to run the program.  She said per AFP, “It takes longer [than online dating], and inspires you to imagine the person you're in communication with.  It's less about how good your penmanship is and more the fact that you write every single character sincerely and with care, thinking deeply about the person you're writing to.  That's what makes letters so powerful.”

No photos or other personal information like names or addresses accompanies the letters. If both parties sense something brewing between each other, a meeting is arranged.

Japan’s evert-declining birthrate seems to be the impetus for the program; the number of babies born in the nation last year fell to an all-time low of about 811,000.

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