We all have a different “first love” story. Whether yours was a two-week fling, a two-month romance in high school, or a long-term relationship that went awry, chances are you have a thing or two you’d like to say to that person—but never did.
Rora Blue, an artist and lifestyle blogger, collects those messages. In the Unsent Project, which she started two years ago on Tumblr, Rora invites people to submit texts anonymously and asks them to name the colour they associate with their first love, too. The result? A multi-coloured mix of emotional (and at times heart-breaking) messages that she posts on her Instagram account and website.
Some of the responses are sassy (“I gave all your clothes to Goodwill :)”) while others are more sentimental (“My thoughts cannot move an inch without bumping into you”) but all are thought-provoking. The original idea behind the project was to figure out what colours people see love in, Rora tells Women’s Health. “Love and colour are the two most powerful things I can think of. I thought it would be fascinating to intersect them.”
Now, she’s accumulated over 30,000 submissions, running the gamut of emotions, from anger to sadness to happiness, and the colours span the rainbow. In compiling the submissions, Rora has also discovered that most of us do associate our first love with a colour. “In general, black messages are very sad, yellow are cute or funny, and blue have the widest range of emotion,” Rora explains.
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While it’s hard for Rora to pick just one or two of the most striking submissions, she’s received a number of memorable emails from people who want to explain the posts they’ve sent. “I’ve heard stories about pawned engagement rings, re-kindled love, and a girl who received a heart transplant from her first love,” Rora says. She also hopes people see the project as a sign that regardless of what you’re going through, you’re not alone: “No matter what you are feeling, there is always someone else out there feeling the same way.”
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Scroll through to see some of the most moving images from the series:
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health.
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