Have you ever tried to write a love letter? It’s an awkward endeavor to say the least, and so easy to come off cheesy, too earnest, or even creepy. Love letters have a reputation for being old-fashioned, a relic from a time long ago when lovers were kept apart by great distances, political conflicts, and plagues (sound familiar?), and had to make their words last. We hear all the time about the love letters of great artists or historical figures, and though the language might seem old fashioned now, the sentiments remain ageless. The lesson remains the same: we’re all weird when we’re in love.
Writing a love letter isn’t always easy, but when done right it can benefit the writer as much as the receiver. Writing down what we like about each other—everything from common interests to your partner’s hypnotically lustrous hair—reminds us how special the people we care about are. We take many of our relationships for granted because they’re comfortable, to the point where it can sometimes be hard to remember why we love each other. In this pandemic year where we’re all in need of a mood boost and something to keep occupied, the lost art of the love letter is an art worth resuscitating. Here’s how!
- Keep it short. Although the object of your affections will probably like being presented with pages and pages of reasons why they’re so great, you probably don’t want to overdo it. The line between admirer and serial killer is about 1 to 3 pages. Tread carefully.
- Mind the details. Use your favorite pen and pick a nice letter set to write on. The difference between a love letter written on a yellow legal pad and a letter written on crisp and porcelain-smooth Midori paper is, like, eons.
- Get specific. What is the stupidest thing you like about the object of your affections? Is it their handwritting? Their taste in Japanese snacks? The way they knew where to get the exact humidifier you needed so you can rest easy because you know you can trust them to handle logistics for mundane household appliances? Write it all down! Again, the potential for serial killer vibes is there, but if you aim for cute you should be ok.
- Be honest. Write as you are, not as you think you should be. Your letter doesn’t need to be fawning or florid if that’s not your style. Love is messy and vulnerable, and love letters can be too! If you find yourself tearing up a little as you write, that’s a good sign you’ve hit the nail on the head.
- Bring sustenance. In our experience, most love letters are best received alongside a baked good or a hot drink.