Love letters – actual, physical, handwritten letters covered in words of love – are pretty rare nowadays. Most of us are too plugged into our devices to spend time drafting something that doesn’t involve emojis. After all, why bother writing out a letter to your boyfriend or girlfriend when you could just craft a soppy social post or send a cheeky DM? We’ll tell you why. Because you love them, and writing a letter is one of the most meaningful ways to show it.
But when you’re used to typing texts and swapping emojis, it can be difficult to know how to compose a love letter to your partner. Which is why we’re here. So get your notepad ready, because you’ll be sending off a love-filled missive in no time…
Put pen to paper
First thing’s first: yes, you could type out your love letter, but if you want to go all out we suggest writing it by hand. There’s something intimate about showing someone else your handwriting, and intimacy is what a love letter is all about. And don’t worry if your penmanship is penmanshi… rubbish, the point is that it’s YOUR writing. Anyway, it can’t be worse than something written in the Comic Sans font. And you can always redraft.
Start as you mean to go on
You’re writing a letter to the person you love, so you can’t really go wrong – especially not if you shower them with compliments, right from the start. Kick-off with a pet name, use their favorite term of endearment, refer back to the moment you met them (even if you were both spouting drunken nonsense at the time.) In short, don’t be afraid to reference every detail of your own unique love story. This letter is just for them, so there’s no need to be shy, lovebird.
Our Love Story book is basically one long, customizable love letter, and there’s a whole section dedicated to the little (and not so little) things you love about your partner. Their best traits, the physical features you appreciate the most, the activities you like to do together (steady.) It’s very specific, and that’s what a love letter should be. Don’t just tell them they have lovely eyes, talk about the shape and shade of the color of their eyes. If you love hearing them laugh, explain why. Sometimes a compliment can sound like a cliché, but if you’re honest about why you, specifically, love them, specifically, nothing else will matter.
Relive those memorable moments
The restaurant where you had your first date. The walk you went on the day you met their parents. That hotel you stayed in that gave you both food poisoning. Everything you’ve done together – good, bad, and stomach-churning – is evidence of your love for each other, so show them how much you remember.
Take your time
When you’re used to rattling off a social post as soon as the thought occurs, the idea of spending longer than a minute crafting a message seems alien. But that’s the good thing about a love letter. Firstly, your recipient is unlikely to be waiting on it (as they might for a DM reply), so they’ll have no expectations. Secondly, there’s no word count to consider, other than the amount of characters you can write before your hand cramps. So take your time, lover: it’s all about patience.
The person you’re writing this for loves you, so it stands to reason you should be yourself. By which we mean, don’t try too hard. Of course you want them to appreciate your efforts, but this letter needs to sound like it was written by you. There’s no need to over-edit or repeatedly re-draft: you’re not writing a novel, you’re writing a personal message for the one you love. Use words you’d normally use, don’t suddenly go all formal if you’d never speak that way in real life, and if your other half is always telling you to stop swearing – well, maybe just include one swear word.
Don’t dwell on the bad times…
… but don’t ignore them either. As no less an authority than William Shakespeare once said: “the course of true love never did run smooth.” Which is a very literary way of saying that every relationship has its ups and downs. So while we’re not advocating you spend too much time on the bad times, your letter should be honest – and if that means acknowledging difficult moments in your relationship, then do it. But, obviously, do it with love.
End on a positive
Whatever you say in the body of your letter, it’s a good idea to finish on something positive. So sign off with a declaration of love and a nod to your bright future together, and maybe even some final flourishes – hand-drawn flowers, multiple xxx’s, perhaps a cute little drawing? We’ll leave it up to you, but you can’t go far wrong with a simple heart.
Send it in the post
Now you could hand-deliver – and if you live together or near each other, perhaps that makes most sense. But we do love getting actual mail at Wonderbly HQ. There’s just something about picking up a letter from the doormat and opening it over breakfast. Call us romantics, but we reckon it’s worth the price of a stamp. And if you do live together, imagine their delight when they open it up in front of you, just as you’re both eating your toast.
Wait for their reaction
Whether you put it in their hand or they pick it up from the doormat, their reaction to your love letter is likely to be pretty special. Forget the emoji-strewn messages and the DMs and the social posts, this is one romantic communication they probably won’t be expecting. And unlike a digital message, it’s a physical item they can hold and handle and fold up and keep.
So, yes: all of this is why it’s worth writing them a love letter.