Lovers have been penning letters for centuries, long before email or text made it possible to beam someone our every thought practically instantly. There’s a lot to be said for email and text (all hail the internet and what it does for long distance couples!) but there’s also something to be said for the good ole’ classic love letter. When it comes to really expressing big feelings, showing commitment, or letting someone into what’s really going on in your head, the love letter still reigns supreme. 

Have you ever written a love letter? Do you want to write something special to that special someone but don’t know how? Are you worried you’ll make the wrong impression? Never fear, we’ve got you covered. Here are 5 tips for writing the perfect lettre d’amour. (And you can find 17 more tips in this post, not to mention a looooong list of inspiring long distance relationship quotes here.)

1. Be original

When many of us get the idea to a write a love letter, our first thought is to write in a totally different style to the one we usually use. We can opt for all sorts of flowery language, or write down things we’d never say. But if you want to pen a sincere and heartfelt letter to your loved one, you need to be original. And that means being yourself and not copying anything from the internet.

Writing in your own voice is the best way to really make the contents of your letter feel genuine and like you. Put aside your fear and write an original first draft that focuses on what you want to say rather than how to say it. This will help you express your feelings in a natural way, and when your SO reads your letter, they’ll feel like you’re right there talking to them. 

2. Get comfortable

Being in the right headspace is important when writing a love letter. So if you get stuck and start struggling for the right words to say, put your pen down and do something that will help you to relax. Listening to music is a good option.

Writer’s block is nothing to be ashamed of and will happen no matter how much you love your partner. The best thing to do is to put your letter to one side and allow yourself to relax. What you want to say to your partner will eventually take shape in the back of your mind and come to you when you’re ready.

3. Draft, draft and draft again

Modern films love to depict letter writing as a frenzied, spontaneous act that happens in the moment. But no matter how full of love your heart is, you can’t be expected to write a winning love letter straightaway, especially if writing doesn’t come naturally to you. You’re far more likely to write a snog-worthy message if you put some thought into it and write a draft first. When you know what you’re writing is only a draft, and you won’t send it, that will free you up to be honest and sincere. You might be surprised at what you find yourself putting down on paper. 

Of course, feel free to pick up a pen and write down your thoughts and feelings if the moment takes you. Just don’t feel under pressure to write this way. Giving yourself plenty of time to jot down what you cherish about your partner, your favourite memories, or what you hope for in the future, can be used to compose a letter that shows every side of your personality and captures everything you wish to say. (Find more tips on writing great love notes and letters here.)

4. Make sure it’s special

Receiving an email or text message is nothing special. So don’t make the mistake of sending your love letter electronically. Take the time to write your message by hand and turn what could be an email into a beautifully hand-crafted missive that’s not only well written but thoughtfully presented.

There are lots of ways to make sure yours looks just as good as it reads. Investing in writing paper or splashing out on some personalised stationery will show the recipient you spent time curating your message and thought carefully about everything from the words on the page to the paper itself.

5. Finishing touches

When it comes to love letters, personal touches can make a huge difference to how they make your recipient feel. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, spraying your letter with perfume or cologne can really help them feel like you’re right there, close enough to touch. Surprising your partner is a lot of fun, too. Hide your love letter in their bag or lay it on their pillow when you leave after a visit. This will make an event of finding your letter and make reading it even more memorable.

Romantic gestures are important in a relationship and can open up new pathways of communication and foster intimacy. Though writing a love letter can make you feel vulnerable, it’s worth it. A special letter is something your partner will treasure. It will lift their spirits for days, and make them feel closer to you. 

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