It’s time to pick up the pen.
We live in a day and age of instant communication and gratification, for better or for worse. It might therefore seem old fashioned to think about sending a love letter – either by email, or the more traditional handwritten note.
But there lies the beauty in it – stand out from the crowd with this winning form of communication. It worked for Marilyn Monroe (to Joe DiMaggio), Ronald Reagan (to wife Nancy), and Romeo (to Juliet…sort of!), so why not join this long list of old romantics in penning a note to your beloved. Here’s all you need to know.
Start with a purpose
It is always better to start your note – handwritten or not, it’s not important – with the reason why you are doing so. Is it because you want to reconcile after an argument (and apologize), or do you simply want to state what you find it hard to say out loud?
Let the recipient know your intentions – the surprise of the note will be enough in most cases, so you don’t need to hide further surprises within your note.
Be sincere and true to yourself
Absolutely under no circumstances say something in a note that you yourself do not believe to be true, or state a feeling or emotion that is not yours.
Words can sound insincere enough when spoken, but when written, it is often much easier to see through that language that is given only to flatter.
Speak from the heart, even in the more awkward passages, and the letter will be so much more impactful because of it.
Use an authentic voice
Make the letter yours, not somebody else’s. For that reason, avoid quotations and borrowing passages from other people – those words were meant for someone else, and it shows.
My number one piece of advice for anyone wishing to pen a love letter is to just be authentic in what you say and how you say it.
You don’t have to be an accomplished writer or communicator in the slightest – a letter is often so much more because of the awkwardness of prose which reveals the effort and struggles this particular person is having to express what they want to say.
And the letter is all the so much better for it.
Include shared memories, and things you love about that person
Continuing with the authentic theme, one particular way you can manage that is by discussing shared memories and truly individual aspects of the other person that you love – even give examples where possible.
This succeeds in making the letter individual, and spoken directly from one person to another, which is exactly what you should be aiming for.
Sign off with something memorable
Ending a letter can be as difficult as starting it, and avoid being too abrupt with the finish as this can create a sense of anti-climax. Avoid any shocking revelations too.
Instead go with something that you find hard to say, but which you sincerely mean. Better still, let it relate to your future together.
A good example could be ‘Spending the rest of my life with you is the only ambition that matters to me.’ Again, make sure the words are yours, and yours only.
Other than the start and end, don’t worry too much about structure
In the world of literature we concern ourselves greatly with structure, but a love letter is a totally different beast. Often the beauty of a letter such as this is its meandering nature, which can often be akin to a stream of consciousness.
As long as the voice is true to yourself, the other person will appreciate following the winding path of your mind, perhaps for the first time, and so just write what you feel without any pre-planning at all.
If you are concerned that your letter is poorly written in terms of spelling or grammar, there are a lot of online tools you can use to assist. They can help with the process of proofreading and avoiding simple mistakes which you worry will lessen the impact.
Don’t get hung up on presentation
Scented paper is unnecessary, as is beautiful calligraphy. OK, so you don’t really want it written on the back of a cigarette packet if possible, but really the equipment and presentation are well and truly secondary to the main and ultimate purpose: to communicate your innermost feelings.
That is what the recipient will appreciate most, and really the only part of this whole exercise that is meaningful. Speak from the heart, stay true to your own voice, and let the feelings gush out of you in a way that you may find it difficult to achieve when you speak.
You can never guarantee a happy ending, but penning love letter is often a cathartic activity for the writer as well as that person set to receive it. It also acts an as everlasting memento of your love too.
Aimee Laurence is a blogger at Custom essay Australia. She writes about education and college life.