I keep wondering: Why did the love letter die out?
I have a theory that the love letter died when us guys fell to the convenience of text messages and sending those Winking Emojis to our lovers online. Instead of a phone call, we send Whatsapp messages that are functional and read like this:
What time is dinner?
Where are we meeting?
Where we going tomorrow?
If you’re always talking to each other like this, well, it’s time to consider changing tact and start writing her a love letter. Few of us have any training in poetry but all of us can string sentences together and that’s good enough! Here’s how you can write her an awesome love letter…
1. Use Actual Paper
Before you start drafting on a computer, go pick up a ballpoint pen and find some nice paper then switch off said computer. I’m serious: Use our own hands and start writing on a piece of paper. While normal printer quality paper suffices, you can always go to a Arts & Crafts store to choose fancier papers should you choose to.
If you’re looking at pen colours, use black or blue and steer away from bright colours like yellow or red. Stick to the basics and write in a grounded manner.
2. Start with a very rough draft
Start by listing down in point form, in no particular order, the things you love about her. It can be anything you think about, so don’t restrict yourself. Once you’re done, start thinking about grouping the points together into categories of your own definition like “how she treats people” or “what’s cute about her” or “particular skills I admire about her”. These form the pieces to the jigsaw puzzle that is your very own love letter.
3. Throw away pre-conceived notions
You may have a perception that love letters are cheesy, but that’s because those writers were trying too hard to impress. A love letter should not sound like a writer telling your girl what he likes about her. It should sound exactly like you telling her how you feel about her. In fact, professional love letter writers (YES they’re real) say that the best type of letters are the ones that read with the voice of the original writer. They’re touching and powerful, without being mushy.
4. Don’t be all fairytale
It’s true: Women know when you’re bullshitting them. They just don’t always call you on it.
That’s why for your letter to work, you’ve got to be honest. Steer away from saying “From the day I met you, I knew you were my soulmate” and go in honestly with “The time I fell for you was when you said you liked Star Wars, although the way you snort when you laugh can be distracting”. Of course, if she really does like Star Wars, then you’ve already got a winner right there and you should marry her immediately no matter how she snorts when she laughs.
5. Format doesn’t matter
Some people are good with words, so use that. Others suck with words but are just excellent at drawing, so please just draw if you’re good at that. I’ve seen people create love letters out of Memes before, creative and funny at the same time. The important thing is to pay to your strengths and have fun while you create this letter. As far as possible, think of ways you can communicate your feelings in as clear a manner as possible and use the tools at your disposal to do so.
6. Write for them, not for you
This one is particularly important. In the excitement of writing a love letter, you may forget the whole point of writing one. The key thing to think about is: “Based on all that I know about her at this moment, is this what she would appreciate?”
Remember: don’t write what you want to receive, write what you think she would appreciate.
7. Length doesn’t matter
There is no 350 minimum word limit to hit here. This is not school. In this situation, three sentences can drive home your point better than three pages of prose.
8. No grandiose, just specifics
The little details matter. That means instead of:
“My love for you is wider than all the oceans” (which by the way, is ultra cheesy)
Perhaps you can say:
“I remember how you looked that second time I met you, when you put your hair up and walk into the room with that smile.”
9. Delivery Matters
How you pass the letter to her matters just as much as what you wrote inside. Some people actually like to have the letter read out to them in person, but a large number of people would love to read them in private, on their own time. As such, perhaps it would be best to end off a date night by passing her the letter in person. Remember to use an envelope!