Love letters are increasingly becoming a dying art. Technology means that it’s now easier than ever to send a message of adoration in a simple text, tweet, or email. However, we can’t help feel this lacks a certain lustre of love.
Computerised messages may be easy to compose, quick to send, and free to deliver, but it doesn’t quite carry the same feel as a handwritten note. After all, there’s nothing more romantic than putting emotive feelings from pen to paper to gift to a loved one on February 14, alongside some Valentine’s Day goodies.
Don’t worry if you feel slightly shy at the prospect of writing one – we’ve put together a guide on how to start a love letter, what to write in a love letter for him or her, and even what not to write in a love letter. Grab a pen; you may want to take notes!
How to start a love letter
Before you’ve even begun to think about how to start a love letter, you’ll want to find the writing materials to use. Instead of using thin paper that rips out of a notepad, go the extra effort and find good quality paper. Look out for the thick, smooth type in stores. Choose paper with an aged finish, in the style of a scroll or with rose petals pressed into it (yes, really) depending on the era you’re emulating.
Next, you’ll want to find an ink pen to write your love letter – although left-handers may have to write a little slower to prevent any ink smudging. This gives a smooth and defined finish to the letters, making each word seem all the more romantic. Biro just doesn’t quite cut it. You may want to practice your calligraphy beforehand. Don’t worry, there are plenty of tips online to help you before you even start to wonder how to start a love letter.
Once you’ve got your prep done, it’s time to move onto the first question – how to start a love letter?
The starting point of your love letter should come naturally, not forced. You don’t want to rush in by laying on your love heavily in the first paragraph (even if this might be your first instinct). Instead, start by introducing something special you love about that person, or recall one of your favourite memories you have of them. You could even start off by saying why you’re writing the letter in the first place, instead of sending a simple computerised message.
What to write in a love letter for her
What are the subtle characteristics about her that you love? What makes her laugh? What are her interests? When considering what to write in a love letter for her, think about the style of writing she enjoys – remember, not all women are into intensely gushy and loving talk!
There might be something that has made her feel down or stressed out slightly. Put these anxieties at ease by letting her know your support and care for her. Although she probably already knows this, sometimes a little extra support can go a long way.
We’re sure there is already an endless list of things you love about her! So, why not write them down when considering what to write in a love letter for her? When it comes to writing, instead of simply listing these characteristics, put into words why you love them. Certain aspects you love about her may in fact be insecurities she has. Reminding your loved one of her perfections won’t only make her feel loved, but they’ll also show her any apparent imperfections are only perfections in your eyes.
Reflect on whether there’s a certain song, film, poem, book or play that she loves – can you put this into your love letter? If you’ve hit a bit of a writer’s drought when thinking about what to write in a love letter for her, then there’s no shame in using a well-loved quote in your love letter. Consider how this certain quote applies to her, whether it relates to her eyes, her smile or her laugh.
What to write in a love letter for him
There’s a common misconception that men resist romance, and only women are the sentimental ones. In fact, studies have shown that men tend to be more romantic than women. Don’t think you’re being too cringey by giving him a handwritten love letter. Chances are, he’ll appreciate it much more than a simple emoji over Whatsapp!
If you’re worried about what to write in a love letter for him, you can follow the above tips to script your message of endearment. You could also write a short sonnet or limerick. This can be affectionate as you wish, although there’s nothing wrong with including a bit of humour in your poetry to make them laugh!
Another way to approach a love letter for him is to think about his role models. Relate some of his characteristics to his icons. This won’t just make him feel special, it’ll also show him that you’re proud to call him your partner!
How to end a love letter
Simply signing off your love letter ‘with love’ might be the classic finish, but it’s not all that special. The secret behind how to end a love letter is simple: make the ending your own. Sign off with a nickname you have for each other or use a stamp to print a message which has a meaning to you both. You can even include a photograph that truly represents the love you have for each other.
How you present your letter should also be thought about. For a final flourish, create your own wax seal. No need to carve your own coat of arms either! Just melt some wax and finish by pressing a coin, rubber stamp, ring or another piece of jewellery. Just don’t use anything too precious or heat-sensitive since the wax may melt it or become lodged in nooks and crannies.
If your dearest is less of an old-time romantic, there are other ways to present your love letter. Finding the right envelope shows you’ve gone that extra mile in finding the solution in how to end a love letter. Envelopes made from recycled materials are perfect for the eco-conscious, and boldly coloured envelopes are a great option for those who love all things bright. The choices of creative envelopes are endless.
At its most basic, the answer to how to end a love letter lies in the message. A handwritten note lets them know you took time out of your day to think about them. That’s the true meaning of ‘it’s the thought that counts’!
What not to write in a love letter
It’s true that a love letter should come completely from the heart. However, we’ve also included a few tips on what not to write in a love letter to avoid any lover’s tiffs on February 14.
Avoid a list that’s solely focused on the physical. As much as we all like to feel attractive, love, as opposed to lust, is about our minds as well as our bodies. By all means mention how good-looking they are, but you can also list personality traits. Remember, you’re with them for their amazing personality, as well as dashing good looks!
You may be grateful for the work they do around the house, but steer clear of lists devoted solely to the chores they complete. If you want to talk about some of the things they do for you, put them in context. How do their actions make you feel or what do they tell you about them? And, make sure to show your gratitude. For example: ‘Cleaning up after me (sorry!) because you know that mess makes me stressed’ or ‘Doing more than your share of the washing up because you know how much I hate it – you’re so thoughtful’).
Love quotes to put in your letter
We’ve already mentioned including love quotes to put in your letter. Unsure on where to start? We’ve included a few of our favourite quotes to set hearts ablaze.
“We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each other’s minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes we take each other for granted.”
“But once in a while, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.”
– Musician Johnny Cash to his wife June, 1994
“My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you – I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again – my Life seems to stop there – I see no further. You have absorb’d me.”
– Poet John Keats to his beloved, Fanny Brawne, 1819
Music-devotees will appreciate a few words from some of the musical greats. Ludwig van Beethoven wrote some stirring pages to his anonymous ‘immortal beloved’ and Dylan Thomas wrote with quirky abandon to his future wife Caitlin Macnamara. Search a romantic line of a song, and use this as a love quote to put in your letter.
Ways to give your partner the letter of love
With a gift
Words go a long way, but you may want to explore ways to give your partner the letter of love. Present your love letter with a gift to make them feel treasured. A chocolate hamper lets them indulge in all their deepest cocoa desires. Or, an indulgent liqueur will make them feel giddy with affection. And, you can’t go wrong with a tin of champagne truffles to give them an extra reason for celebration. If your love letter marks the date of an anniversary, include a few of our anniversary gifts to make it all the more special.
At your romantic dinner
Finding ways to give your partner the love letter doesn’t mean you have to spend extravagant sums to impress. Present your letter alongside a favourite meal you’ve cooked for them. Don’t worry if you’re a bit pressed for time; our dipping adventure means you can share the experience of a love-filled dessert without any extra hassle in the kitchen.
As you make memories
Combine an activity to find ways to give your partner the letter of love at the moment they’re least expecting it. In case you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve explored how you can enjoy your own romantic activities at home.
The best love letters come from the heart. Make theirs sing by putting your adoration for them from pen to paper.
Let us know how your love letter goes by tweeting @HotelChocolat