It's the time of the year when hearts take over shop windows. Everything seems to be dripping in pink, red & white & Cupid's image is everywhere. So are boxes of chocolate (yeah!) It all signals the approach of Valentine's Day, which I've already started talking about here on the blog (and here).
Sooooo...do you have a Valentine? And if so what are you doing for him/her? Not that presents are mandatory on Valentine's Day. But if you are into that, it should be meaningful. Not just a box of Whitman's from CVS.
Have you thought about writing them a love letter? Want to learn?? If the answer is yes, then you are in luck! I'm ready to help you with that. If the answer is no, keep reading anyway, I bet I can convince you to pull out your pen.
Before we get started, I just have to take care of one small thing:
**Mr. Batty, spoiler alert! I have a Valentines' Day surprise for you & reading this may give it away. Abort!!!**
Ok! On to writing a love letter...
A pen & paper...maybe a few sheets of paper. I like to write a draft first so I'd have a notebook or scrap paper around. The operative words in that sentence are I & write. Yes...as in hand write. Sentiments of love are wanted & accepted by woman the world over, but the man who puts a pen to paper instead of in an email or a text will be that much more appreciated. Ladies, that goes for you too. Don't be lazy. As we've discussed on this blog before, the art of the hand written note is dying. But, in a way there's been a positive side effect. It also means more to get one. So, pull out the pen & paper for your sweetheart.
What to say
This is why I like to write a draft. First, I know that I will make this short & sweet, but for me that's all the more reason to get my wording the way I want. Also, I don't want to waste my pretty stationery. Here's a good outline for a love letter...
Opening - Dear ___, My dearest ___, or Honeybun, - if you have nicknames for each other, feel free to use them here. After all, this is a personal note! Please avoid things like Yoh!
State your positive intention - I want to take a moment to express my deepening feelings for you - or something to that effect. Just make sure that it's positive. You don't want to leave any doubt that this is a love letter & not a I-don't-love-you love letter.
Time for the feelings part - this is where you are a bit on your own. You don't need to write like Shakespeare to tell someone that they mean the world to you. Just say it. Include memories that solidify your feelings, like what your wedding day meant to you or how much fun you had together at that party last month or that exciting trip you took last year.
Closing - Usually I say something about the future, how I look forward to more memories, more shared experiences or more moments like the ones I've just described.
Sign-off - "With all my love" is my fave line. The year we got married I think I signed his letter "Your wife" Also good are: Always, Truly, and Yours. If you used their nickname to open the letter, you can put yours here in the closing. I usually just put "K" after the sign-off.
Can't find the words?
No worries! Plenty has been written on the subject of love, like, lust, etc. Find a quote or poem you like, print it on nice paper or stationery & write a tiny note at the bottom. Something like "Ditto! Love, me" or "Shakespeare said it best, but not last. Love you!" I like this one in particular:
“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,My love as deep; the more I give to thee,The more I have, for both are infinite.”-William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
How to deliver it
If you live together, mailing it could be really exciting, especially if your intended picks up the mail. It also shows forethought that you put it in the snail mail. I usually put Mr. B's on his plate at dinner. One year he was traveling & I hid a few cards in his suitcase.
I hope this is making putting these thoughts on paper easier for everyone. Doing something meaningful doesn't mean buying anything & doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming either. I LOVE to write these things to my husband. I look forward to telling him what he means to me in a way that I may not take the time to do every day. Putting pen to paper leaves your partner with something that he (or she) can pull out & read over again & again.* This letter to my husband will mark not only my feelings for him but will serve as a reminder of where we were in our relationship in this moment, long after he's eaten the beef jerky that I'm making for him (Yes, Chris, the Cola Jerky).
Also note that if you are early in a relationship you can still write a love letter. Maybe call it a like letter & keep it light. The point in all this is to make it meaningful.
Men, if you are looking for other resources, pay a visit to The Art of Manliness. It's a fun article on wooing your woman with a letter plus a linkage to writing a love letter like a soldier. Morbid but interesting. Note that the writers here remind men that ladies never get tired of hearing how beautiful they are & how much you care for them...I can tell you this is true. I also liked this article from Psyc Central. And, in case you still have writers block, there are examples here or here to get you started.
Who is ready to break out their pen?! Keep me posted on how it goes!
*On a personal note, I have to tell you that for our first anniversary, Mr. B wrote me a love letter. It was an email, but he printed it out & gave it to me. I have it in the drawer of my vanity & love to pull it out & read it. I will always cherish it!*