When was the last time you wrote a love letter to your spouse or partner?
I'm hearing crickets out there. A blank silence.
If you can't remember the last love letter you wrote, or if you've never hand-written a love letter (with an actual pen and paper), it's not surprising.
In this era of instant communication, an old-fashioned love letter might seem archaic and inefficient.
Why cramp your fingers writing a letter when you can strengthen your thumbs with a quick text? “ILY, babe. UR awesome. (Heart emoji, smiling cat face emoji).”
Nothing expresses your heartfelt devotion like an electronic message, right?
Sarcasm aside, writing a love letter to your beloved the old-fashioned way — with a pen, in longhand, on a piece of stationery — is one of the most loving gestures you can offer.
- Why You Should Write a Love Letter
- How to Write a Love Letter
- 6 Love Letter Examples and Styles
Why You Should Write a Love Letter
There are many benefits to writing a love letter by hand to your partner or spouse:
- Writing a letter by hand shows you care enough to take the time and thought involved in crafting something for your partner.
- Writing out your feelings allows you to be more open and vulnerable with your partner, strengthening your intimacy and love.
- Hand writing a letter forces you to slow down and carefully consider your words to better express your true feelings.
- A handwritten letter is a romantic keepsake gift your partner will cherish for years.
- Writing a letter by hand with your thoughts and feelings will make you a better verbal communicator with your partner.
According to research conducted by relationship expert and author, Dr. John Gottman, the ratio of positive interactions to negative interactions with your partner has to be greater than five to one for your relationship to be happy and healthy.
In other words, you need five positive, loving encounters to mitigate every negative one.
However, we tend to get complacent in our relationships, especially after negative events.
We often fail to initiate any meaningful positive encounters — much less five.
Writing love letters is a perfect way to neutralize the conflicts and misunderstandings that arise between you and the one you love.
How to Write a Love Letter
Of course, a love letter should be your own words and express the sentiments that reside in your heart.
But it can be daunting to organize those sentiments in a way that best expresses them in writing.
Here are some ideas to help you:
Make it just long enough.
A love letter doesn't have to be long to be effective and meaningful. It just needs to be heartfelt, specific, and authentic.
Have a goal in mind.
It's also nice to have a goal in mind when writing your letter. Think about what you want to express and how you want your partner to feel when reading the letter.
Make it about your partner.
Try not to use a love letter for any ulterior motives or manipulative goals. This letter should be all about your partner and your positive feelings for him or her.
Begin with the purpose.
Let your beloved know at the beginning of the letter that you are writing to express your love and gratitude.
“This morning I felt compelled to write to you, as I was flooded with my deep feelings of love for you and gratitude that you are my wife.”
Include a positive memory.
As a transition in the letter, you might write about a happy, positive memory of the two of you.
“I've been thinking about our first real date when we hiked together and how I felt immediately connected to you and your love of nature.”
Detail what you love about him or her.
Now you can show your partner that your love is grounded in the qualities you see in him or her. Talk about some of those qualities and what they mean to you.
“You are the kindest, most compassionate man I've ever known, and though you are brilliant, you never make others feel small.”
How has your partner made you better?
After listing some of your partner's amazing qualities, let him or her know how you've been changed for the better by these qualities.
“Your compassion and kindness have made me more loving, patient, and empathetic. Your integrity is often my ballast when I lose my cool.”
Emphasize your commitment.
Let our spouse or partner know that you are in it for the long haul. Your commitment is solid and so is your love.
“I love you so much and can't imagine my life without you. I want to be by your side forever.”
Close with a bang.
As you close the letter, say something that sums up the power of your feelings for your guy or girl.
“Every morning when I wake up and see your face beside me, I know everything is right with the world. You are the love of my life, and you make me happier than I ever could have imagined.”
If you need more inspiration, I've put together a few love letter examples and styles to help you.
6 Love Letter Examples and Styles
1. The “Let Me Tell You How Much I Love You” Letter
This letter is crafted to express the strength of your feelings for your partner.
You want him or her to know without a doubt that you are head over heels in love or that your love is deep and abiding (for long-term relationships).
Need some ideas? Take a look at these quotes:
- “When I saw you, I was afraid to meet you. When I met you I was afraid to kiss you. When I kissed you, I was afraid to love you. Now that I love you, I am afraid to lose you.” -Anonymous
- “You have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love … I love … I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.” -Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen) to Elizabeth (Keira Knightley) in Pride and Prejudice
- “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way.” -Pablo Neruda
- “I love you, not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you.” -Roy Croft
- “I love you, with no beginning, no end. I love you as you have become an extra necessary organ in my body. I love you as only a girl could love a boy. Without fear. Without expectations. Wanting nothing in return, except that you allow me to keep you here in my heart, that I may always know your strength, your eyes, and your spirit that gave me freedom and let me fly.” -Coco J.Ginger
2. The “You Are Amazing” Love Letter
The purpose of this letter is to let your partner know how much you admire him or her and why you feel this way.
You want your partner to understand that you see and acknowledge his or her good qualities and that you appreciate the unique person you are married to or involved with.
In this letter, give some specific examples to reinforce what you are expressing and to show you are paying attention.
Here are some examples of ways to begin this letter:
- When I see how kind and giving you are to me and others, I am humbled and amazed. You are the best person I know.
- You are the most honest, ethical man, and I am so proud of the way you handled that situation at work. You inspire me.
- You were so elegant and beautiful at dinner last night. I couldn't keep my eyes off of you. Not that I wanted to.
- I am in awe of the father you are to our children. You constantly amaze me with your patience and love for them.
3. The “I'm A Better Person Because of You” Love Letter.
With this love letter, you want your partner to know how he or she has helped you become a better person.
You want your partner to know how he or she has changed your life, helped you grow, inspired you, healed you, expanded you, and fulfilled you.
- When I think back on the man I was before I met you, I don't recognize myself. Your love has completely transformed me.
- Your love and faith in me have allowed me to achieve more than I ever believed possible. I could never have done it without your support.
- Because you are so accepting and open, I feel completely safe and loved. I have never felt so cherished as I do with you.
- I never knew that I could be so happy. Your love for me has completely changed my life.
4. The “Remember When” Love Letter
You want to draw on a positive, happy memory in this letter in order to rekindle the great feelings with your partner. Committing memories to paper is a great way to keep them fresh.
Read Related: How to Apologize Sincerely
When you write down your memory, you not only relive it yourself, but also you allow your partner to experience the joy of the memory and the pleasure of knowing you took the time to relive it again.
Try to write down as much detail as you can remember, highlighting not only your feelings, but also the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of the experience.
Here are some ideas to kick off a letter like this:
- This morning I was thinking about the first time we made love and how natural it was for both of us. I thought I'd be nervous, but I felt so comfortable in your arms.
- Do you remember that weekend we spent in Vermont a few years ago when you told me you were pregnant? I will never forget the beautiful look on your face or how in love with you I felt at that moment — and ever since.
- I remember every detail about the first time I met you. I knew the moment I saw you that we would be together.
- When I think back over our lives together, my happiest memories are just sitting with you, talking and laughing.
5. The “I'm So Grateful” Love Letter
Expressing gratitude to your partner shows your respect and value for him or her.
Better yet, research has shown that couples who show ongoing appreciation for one another are more likely to stay committed.
A love letter can be a permanent record of your appreciation for your partner. By writing your grateful feelings, you will experience the feelings of gratitude more profoundly than you might just speaking the words.
If you want to really hone in on what makes you feel grateful toward your partner, consider what your life would be like without him or her. What would you miss? What would you have to now handle? How would you be different?
Here are some thoughts:
- I was thinking this morning about all that you do to take care of our family. I know your days at the office are long and tiring, and I'm so thankful to you for the hard work you do to provide for us.
- Have I told you lately how much I appreciate the way you treat my mom and dad? You are so kind and loving to them, and I can't tell you how much that means to me.
- Thank you for fixing breakfast for me this morning. The little things you do for me show me that you love me, and I never take them for granted.
- I was looking at our yard as I left for work this morning, and it's absolutely beautiful. You put in so much hard work to keep it that way, and I want you to know that I notice it every day. Thank you!
Read Related: 10 Conflict Resolution Skills For Having A “Good” Fight
6. The “Love Poem” Love Letter
If you have a creative flair with words (or even if you don't), writing a love poem to your beloved can be a fun and especially meaningful way to express yourself.
Think first about what you want to communicate and the feelings you have around that topic. Start brainstorming words and phrases that express or reflect these feelings. Use a thesaurus if you get stuck.
You can be serious or humorous with your poem. You don't have to rhyme unless it naturally works with the words you use. Don't worry if the poem is good or bad. As Oscar Wilde once said, “All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.”
The important point is that you made an effort to speak from your heart and create a poem for the one you love.
Here are a few poems to inspire you:
Oh Beloved, by Rumi
Liberate my soul.
Fill me with your love and
release me from the two worlds.
If I set my heart on anything but you
let fire burn me from inside.
take away what I want.
Take away what I do.
Take away what I need.
Take away everything
that takes me from you.
How Do I Love You, by Mary Oliver
How do I love you?
Oh, this way and that way.
Oh, happily. Perhaps
I may elaborate by
like this and
no more words now
I Love You, by Carl Sandburg
I love you for what you are, but I love you
yet more for what you are going to be.
I love you not so much for your realities
as for your ideals.
I pray for your desires, that they may be great,
rather than for your satisfactions,
which may be so hazardously little.
A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall.
But the most beautiful rose is one, hardly more than a bud,
where in the pangs and ecstasies of desire are working
for larger and finer growth.
Not always shall you be what you are now.
You are going forward toward something great.
I am on the way with you
and therefore I love you.
If you'd like to read more love poems for inspiration, check out the book The 100 Best Love Poems of All Time.
Some final words about writing love letters . . .
Write your letter on nice stationery or a beautiful card, rather than on a piece of notebook paper or the back of an envelope. You want your letter to be a keepsake that looks special.
Read the letter several times before you give it to your partner to edit it and make sure you feel good about what you have said. You might even read it out loud to yourself to make sure it sounds like you.
Wait an hour or so before you give the letter to your beloved. You may think of more you want to say or something you wish to change.
Put the letter in a special place where your partner will be surprised when he or she finds it. The surprise factor adds to the joyful experience for you and your partner.
Keep writing. Don't make this a one-off endeavor. Consider writing a love letter a week or every two weeks. You may find your partner is inspired to write back to you.