The superior love letter

Photo courtesy of Blake Israel

Ah, the love letter. Classic, but more thoughtful (and less costly) than flowers and chocolate. 

However, what it does require is skill. Love letters aren’t so common, but if you really want to impress someone, a letter declaring your affection can go a long way.

Luckily for you, I’ve written a few in my day (with success I might add). Here are my tips for writing the perfect love letter.

First, you want to take note of the nature of the relationship. Are you already dating? For how long? Do they have any idea of how you feel?

If you’ve already expressed your feelings and they aren’t interested, a letter will probably have the opposite effect. 

This is important to consider because it will help determine the length and content of the letter. Longer, deeper relationships would allow a letter of similar content to be appropriate. 

You may want to go all out, but if you’ve only just started dating or don’t know each other that well, something shorter and “cuter” would be the way to go. For newer relationships, I recommend a simple list. 

Choose three-five characteristics you like about the person followed by a short elaboration.

For more established relationships, choose one or two memories or points you want to tell them of and describe them in greater detail. 

However, if you’d like to write something less serious, you can do that as well.

Think in advance about what you want to say and how you want to come across. What do you like about them? What are you trying to tell them? Do you want the tone to be serious? Silly? Genuine? 

Each word, especially adjectives, has an impact. In my experience, you always want to come across as genuine, so use word choice that comes natural to you. 

Definitely make use of a thesaurus if you find yourself repeating the same words, but don’t feel the need to be meretricious! 

My next tip is to draw on shared memories; think back on conversations you’ve had, little bits of themselves they’ve shared with you. 

Your goal is to show them that you listen, care and find the “little things” about them charming. 

So when you’re writing out your list, it might look something like this:

I love your laugh. I remember we were studying late in the CULC for midterms when xyz happened and you laughed so hard you fell out of your chair. It’s so cute when you close your eyes and let your head fall back when you’re laughing and I always love seeing it.

Bonus points if you can work an inside joke into your anecdote. A little humor can go a long way. I know this can be a lot to think about, so definitely jot down notes as you think and elaborate. Make sure to re-read your work to make sure there aren’t any typos. 

You would hate for someone to think you love their “dark curly air” when you mean to say you like their “hair.”

If you’ve done the above, you’re off to a great start, but here are a few things you can do to make things a little extra special. 

  1. Age the paper! If you’d like to make your letter have an old, romantic look to it, you can do this by staining it with black tea. After you’ve written your letter, steep the tea in hot water as you usually would. Ball up the paper to wrinkle it and use a sponge to wet the paper with the steeped tea.

Set your oven to 200 degrees or the lowest setting, place it on an oven-proof tray and bake for five to ten minutes. After removing the paper you can burn the edges with a lighter or tear the corners. 

  1. Write your letter in calligraphy. Beginner pens are inexpensive and there are many free tutorials online. Gothics and Sweetheart are commonly used romantic fonts.
  1. Experiment with decorations and layouts. Especially if you decide to write your letter in calligraphy or decide to bolden certain keywords, play around with where the words fall on the page.

The layout can add to the visual appeal and emphasis on points you want to stress.