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What to Write In a Love Letter

12 Tips for Writing a Love Letter
(and 2 for sweetly signing a card)

You know how you feel about the person you love. In fact, you've probably already put it into print - email, text, post-it note. But there's nothing like a love letter. In a world of digital...well...everything, pouring out your feelings on to paper-and creating a keepsake that can be held, read, re-read and tucked away-seems to have become a lost art. But what if you're not an artist, or in this case, a writer? The good news is, the person you're with isn't expecting Shakespeare. In fact, they're not even expecting a letter. So whatever you write will be wonderful, simply because you wrote it.

#1. Feel the love.

Before you get started, ask yourself one simple question: "How does this person make me feel?" Does your heart pound at the thought of their kiss? Does your stomach still flutter when you see them walking toward you? Are you smiling about a memory? Achingly missing them? Your feelings will lead to thoughts, thoughts will lead to words, and from there you can't go wrong.

#2. Sound like yourself.

There's no need to break out the thesaurus for a love letter-unless you usually talk like a thesaurus. Write how you speak. And speak from the heart. Yep, it's that simple.

You might think a love letter is finally your chance to quote that brilliant English poet that you so adore, but if your partner isn't into flowery verse, they're not going to find it romantic.

#3. Set the stage.

Okay, so maybe you're not going put "LOVE LETTER" at the top of the page, but you might want to let your lover know right away that this isn't a "Dear John" either. Something along the lines of "I was thinking today how lucky I am to have you in my life..." might be a good place to start. Or simply, "Hey, Gorgeous" will do. Just let it be known upfront that this is a good surprise. Some X's and O's or hearts might set the tone.

#4. Suit their style.

You might think a love letter is finally your chance to quote that brilliant English poet that you so adore, but if your partner isn't into flowery verse, they're not going to find it romantic. Hopefully you've been with your love long enough to get an idea of what would make them say "Aww" or "Wow!" (depending on what you're going for). But as a general rule, men like things a little more steamy, while women prefer emotional and sincere. If you want to keep it in the safe zone, not too flowery and not too explicit.

#5. Walk down memory lane.

It'll probably be tough to pick a favorite memory, so share one or two that really stand out. This is the perfect way to conjure up feelings of history and connection that you don't have with anyone else. If you also describe how you were feeling at the time, it'll be sweet for your partner to see things from your point-of-view. For example, "I still remember when you walked into Dan's party. You were wearing that red sweater and smiling in a way that lit up the whole room. I knew right away that I had to meet you."

#6. Then and Now.

Move from memory to present with a line like "Here we are, five years later, and your smile makes me happier than ever." This is a good transition into why you're writing the love letter today.

#7. Pay a compliment (or two...or ten).

Beautiful. Handsome. Smart. Funny. Hard-working. Thoughtful. A great mom. An amazing father. You know all those wonderful things you notice about your partner, but you don't always say? Grab a separate sheet of paper, write them all down, and then turn them into something like this: "You're the most beautiful woman I know. I love your smile, your eyes, our kisses - and just holding your hand. I'm always amazed by how you can cheer me up and make me laugh, even after the toughest day. And, just in case you're wondering, I do notice all those thoughtful little things you do and I appreciate every one." For the sake of this piece, I'm being more general, whereas you'll add super personal, specific touches that will make you the uber-thoughtful letter writer you long to be.

While "thoughtful" and "a good guy" are perfectly nice compliments, specific examples are even better.

#8. Or just stick to the list.

Sure, a list counts as a letter! Why not? Who wouldn't want to see a bunch of reasons why they're wonderful, sexy and loved? Just take a piece of paper and write at the top, "25 Reasons Why I Love You." Then think about their physical looks, their personality traits, what makes them unique (are they great with the neighborhood kids? Sweet to their parents? Drop-dead sexy?) -and start writing. Don't forget to add personal touches, like thoughtful things he/she does for you or cute little habits that you find adorable ("...that look you get when you think you've lost your keys...").

#9. Be (even more) specific.

While "thoughtful" and "a good guy" are perfectly nice compliments, specific examples are even better. Does she always make the coffee without being asked? Is he the best father you could have imagined for your kids? Does she make a killer chicken pot pie when the weather cools? Say so!

#10. Be positive.

It may go without saying that you should avoid any criticism in a love letter. But even gentle joking and teasing can be misinterpreted in writing-and this isn't the place to risk that. For instance, "I love the way you cook, even if you do set the burgers on fire," might be fine to say when you can follow it with a wink and a kiss-but in a letter, just focus on the positive.

#11. Talk about the future.

If it's a new relationship, you might simply say you're excited to get together again. If you're far apart, describe what you want to do when you're together. If you're committed, add the things you hope, dream and maybe even fantasize about.

#12. Don't overdo the "I love you."

Hold "I love you" until you've reached the most emotional point of your letter. Saying it the right way, at the right time is romantic and meaningful. Repeating it numerous times throughout the letter can sound dramatic...or look like you're just trying to fill the space.

And speaking of space...

What if you found a card that says it all and you simply want to sign it?

If you couldn't have said it better than a card, then let the card do the work and just add two special touches:

  1. If you have a pet name for your sweetie (that's appropriate for a love letter), put it on the envelope and/or at the top of the sentiment. Or let him/her know there's something special inside with a longer-than-usual introduction:
    • To the Love of My Life
    • Because you're the best thing that ever happened to me...
    • A little something to make you smile...
  2. Think about how the card made you feel and sum it up with a thoughtful line:
    • When I think about what makes me happy, you're at the top of my list.
    • You're my best friend and the love of my life.
    • Because of you, I believe in soul mates.
    • You make me feel like the luckiest person in the world-every day.
    • Forever could never be long enough with you. (Okay that's a song lyric, but you get the idea.)

If you're looking for cards, I can hook you up with some good ones.

Love Cards

U + Me = forever. Sometimes the best equations end in loveā€¦
Shop love cards >

Photo Cards

Add your favorite photo to a card for a sweet keepsake that celebrates your love. Shop photo cards >

Anniversary Cards

Remember the love. Take a walk down memory lane and revist all the reasons you said "yes!"
Shop anniversary cards >