Few things leave a person feeling warmer and more in touch with their partner than receiving a love letter.
What goes into a love letter is important. It must be honest, sincere, unguarded, and allow the light of day to show your soul, because that’s what they fell in love with in the first place.
But how do you go about writing a love letter? One that will strike the right chord and leave your girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner weeping with happiness.
Let’s explore this in more detail.
1. How To Start A Love Letter
Many of us aren’t used to writing letters, much less love letters. It’s a communicative exercise far different from a text, instant message, emoji string, or extended chat session.
Love letters require more patience with ourselves than we’re generally told is worthwhile.
Starting one needn’t be difficult. A good way is to talk about when you first met.
“Dear X, When I met you I…”
You can keep this factual: “…was working two jobs and felt the weight of the world on my shoulders.”
Actual: “It was dark and raining and you silently leaned your umbrella over both of us at that dirty bus stop.”
Poetic: “…was flesh and hard bone; now I am spirit, never alone.”
Flowery: “…knew, for the first time, that angels were real, because either you were one or one had guided me to you.”
Then the letter must expand your personal universe. You must bring them, your love, into the equation.
“You entered my life and eased my burdens.”
“You became my best friend and the person I know I can turn to for love and moral support.”
“You showed me the joys of a deep and lasting love that I never thought possible.”
“You… [insert honest words of meaning from your heart]”
Or, you could begin your letter with a short explanation of why you are writing it.
“We’re about to be apart for a whole week, and I’m sure it’ll feel like an eternity, so I wanted to write you a letter to tell you just how much you mean to me.”
“As we embark on this trip of a lifetime, I felt like now would be a good time to remind you of how much I care for and appreciate you. So here goes…”
“This letter is just my way of showing you what an amazing person you are.”
Next, reflect on how love is a journey. Where has it taken the two of you? Where is it taking you next? Write about this.
“These past X years have been the best of my life and I can’t wait to see where life takes us next.”
“We’ve been on some epic adventures together and you’ve pushed me to become a better person. I hope I’ve done the same for you.”
“The times we’ve shared, the travels we’ve been on, the experiences we’ve had – I couldn’t have asked for more. If the future brings us even half as much as the past has, I’ll be a very happy and content person.”
“What a journey we’ve been on. From those first dates to making a home together, to having our wonderful children; I’ve loved every second of it. I’m sure the path ahead of us will be equally as joyous and rewarding.
Get as specific as you can. Mention the paddle boarding you did in Australia, that time you put the flat-pack wardrobe together backwards and had to start from scratch, the moment your first child was born, the skinny dipping you did at a nearby lake at sunset.
The journey you’ve been on is intensely personal, so make your love letter reflect this. Recall stories from the past and speak about your dreams for the future.
Don’t worry about rambling on; if it means something to you, it will mean something to them.
2. Turn Your Attention Toward The Recipient
Once you’ve found your flow, your next words should be those that show just how much you appreciate and value them as a person.
You might focus on how your beloved not only changes you, but the world around them too:
“I have never known a more generous, giving person.”
“The way you bring people together in peace and harmony is a true gift.”
“The care and attention you pay to all of nature’s creatures is simply beautiful.”
You might write about what makes them so unique and special to you:
“You fascinate me every single day, from talking about UFOs to knowing which plants in wild fields are medicinal.”
“Your passion for crafingt is a joy to behold and I love your creativity and determination to make each piece as good as it can be.”
“When you play the piano, it’s like I can feel what your heart is feeling.”
You can acknowledge the journeys they have been on or are still on:
“I have never seen anybody honestly try to teach themselves quantum physics, and even though I’ve no clue what 90% of what you’re saying means, I hope you never ever stop explaining these fascinations to me.”
“Watching you pour your heart and soul into your business has been incredible. Through those tough early years to the challenges you face now, I stand in awe at how you’ve made it such a success.”
“From the moment you first decided to train for a marathon, I knew you’d put your all into it. And now you’re about to tackle marathon number five which is an incredible feat. I’ll always cheer you on and be waiting for you at the finish line.”
(Note: ‘though these examples focus on romantic love, all of them work for familial or platonic love as well. Unless and until one gets to the inclusion of saucy bits.)
You can and should speak of things other than love.
Talk about how they make you laugh. Or how nobody but them has ever gotten you to try, let alone appreciate, brussels sprouts.
Speak of your admiration for them or their ability to bring the best out of you and everyone they touch.
You’ll know best what you value most in the person you love, but if the ideas don’t come straight away, try to brainstorm a list of all the things – big and small – that matter.
If time is on your side, keep adding to this list as and when you notice or remember something about them that makes your heart melt a little. Then, when you do come to write your love letter, you’ll have plenty of material to work with.
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3. Bring It Back To You
Now that you’ve spent a little time putting them in the limelight, you can bring the focus back to you, but specifically on how they have made you into a better person.
Talk about the ways they have helped you grow:
“I know I could be a bit of a closed book when we first met, but you’ve shown me how beautiful it can be to share more of myself and be vulnerable. I truly thank you for that.
“I was a bit of an anxious mess when you showed up in my life, but with your help and support, I’m now much calmer and more confident. That’s all down to how you believed in me and taught me to believe in myself. I can’t ever thank you enough.”
“When I faced challenges and obstacles in my life, you kept encouraging me to overcome them. You told me to stand tall and do my best to get through the hard times, and I did… because I knew you were there beside me the entire time.”
You’ve probably changed in many ways since you first met your beloved, so think about how they have played a role in those positive changes.
By telling them how they have improved you and your life, it shows them that you really appreciate their presence in it.
4. Ending The Letter
To finish off your letter, return to the feelings you have for the recipient and make it clear that these feelings are as strong as ever.
Thank them again and reiterate that you are looking forward to whatever the future may bring.
Though it’s not necessary, a P.S. after you’ve signed off with your name can be a good place to add something funny or mushy to top things off and get their tears flowing.
“P.S. you can always have the last spoonful of ice cream from the tub.”
“P.S. I’ll bring you a cup of coffee in the morning until we’re both old and wrinkly.”
“P.S. you still owe me for the huge bite you took of my burger on our first date! :)”
Going Beyond A Love Letter
Perhaps you’re feeling creative, or maybe this is not your first love letter and you want to do something a bit special. Your letter doesn’t have to be a letter. It can be a poem. It can be a story. A vignette. A song if you’re musically inclined.
You could do a visual collage about milestones and turning points in your relationship growth; create a candle full of symbolism and meaning for the two of you; record observations during a solitary walk where the unseen but felt presence of your loved one remained beside you the entire way.
Whatever you do at this point, realize that the output is likely to be so unique, potent, and private between the communal you, that ugly-crying may ensue. On both your parts.
What A Love Letter Needs To Communicate
By now you realize a good love letter is not a laundry list of someone’s glowing qualities. It is an intimate detailing of who you are under the influence of another person’s life.
It can be as brief and surprising as “I need you” written on a napkin and slid to their side of the table after they’ve excused themselves to a restaurant’s bathroom, or as long as two Sundays strung end to end waiting for them to return from a trip away.
Whatever the length or form, it should contain YOU laid so bare as to turn the paper itself into a sensual artifact.
Remember, sometimes it is not what you say or how you say it, it’s that you said it at all.
So think of a loved one.
Think of the way you smile at random, passing thoughts of that time during church service they made you laugh.
Think of how your day – no matter if it’s going splendidly perfectly – gets immeasurably better the moment they’re home.
Consider their expression when they’re contemplative; be blessed in how protected and loved you feel.
If you can fill yourself near to bursting with all this, dear beloveds, you can write a love letter that will have them crying happy tears.
You don’t need to have a way with words. You just need to know that you love someone for who they are, and write.
Because if you ever get to a point in your life where you’re compelled to capture the sentiment “I love you, have loved you since the stars caught fire, will love you when we’re sweeping their coals aside” – you, my friend, are in a good place indeed.
An Example Love Letter
To my one and only Penny,
We’re about to move in together and I’m so excited. I wanted to share that excitement with you and so I wrote you this letter.
The night we met really did seem to be written in the stars. I was meant to be somewhere else and you had planned on a night in until your friend persuaded you otherwise. On any other night, we wouldn’t have bumped into each other.
But bump into each other we did. And though it was over a year ago, I still remember the moment my eyes met yours as you and your friends sat down at the table next to mine.
A lot has happened since that fateful night and it’s been a whirlwind of fun and excitement. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled and laughed as much as when I’m with you. You showed me just what life can be when you have a true partner in crime to spend it with.
If this next adventure of ours is anywhere near as good, we’ve got a lot to look forward to. And I truly do look forward to getting to know you even better than I do now.
There are so many things about you that make my heart glow. Too many to put into words really. I love your optimistic outlook on life and the energy you bring to each new day. I love your determination to see things through even if it’s not always easy. I love the way you want to learn new things and push your boundaries.
Even in the short space of time I’ve known you, I’ve seen you do some amazing things. You took on the challenge of moving to a completely different field of work because it was something you felt passionately about. And you made it look effortless, even though I know how much you had to put into it.
But that’s just who you are… a hard working, strong-willed, positive human being who looks at life as an opportunity not to be squandered.
And this way of living has rubbed off on me too. Your sheer presence in my life and the enthusiasm you show for the things I tell you has made me more motivated to follow my dreams and tackle the obstacles that stand in my way.
I would not be the person I am today had I never met you and I have to thank you for that. You even got me to appreciate the magic of the Broadway musicals, despite my initial reservations. When are we going to see Les Mis again? Seriously!
So as we get our hands on the keys to our new place, I want you to know that you’ve got the key to my heart. Sheesh, that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I really do love you and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.
P.S. I call dibs on at least 50% of the wardrobe…ok, 40%…let’s be realistic and make that 25% shall we? 😉