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How to Write a Love Letter

By Alice Feathers, M.A. TESOL, Professional Editor and Writer



Why Write a Love Letter?

It's easy to get confused when trying to express how you feel to someone you love. Just being in the same room with the object of your affections can make you feel a little muddled. Sitting down and writing a letter in private, however, gives you time to get in touch with your deepest feelings and then decide which words will best express them. You may reach a clarity of thought by the time you finish the letter that you didn't have when you started and which you probably wouldn't have reached trying to express yourself in person.

Handwrite your love letter on nice stationery and; if appropriate, include roses.

People Enjoy Personal Letters

Even with today's dependence on the Internet and email, an unending flow of paper mail still arrives every day. It's nice to sort through a pile of paper bills, ads, and credit offers to find a hand-written envelope with a personal letter inside. Such a letter is the product of someone else's need to communicate with you, whether it's your mother, a friend from high school, or a romantic interest. A love letter provokes an emotional response in the reader, who will probably keep it and cherish it. Email messages, on the other hand, are easily deleted and do not offer the same type of emotional involvement or physical permanence. Additionally, email isn't expected to be grammatically correct or especially well thought out. It's written in a hurry—easy come, easy go.

Express your feelings with a love letter

Expressing Your Feelings

When you start to write a love letter, it's best not to overdo the expressions of love, especially in the beginning of a relationship, as you may appear insincere or even comical. Subtleness is the key because it allows the loved one to try to read between the lines while letting you test the waters. You can then judge by the response if you can move forward in the relationship or not, without putting yourself in an awkward or embarrassing position. As the relationship progresses and the level of mutual understanding increases, you can begin to express stronger emotions. If your feelings become very intense, however, it may be wise to let your letter stand for 24 hours and then read it again. You may be surprised that you decide to soften the tone a little and rewrite a sentence or two before you mail it. Only when you feel confident the letter expresses how you feel and exactly what you want to say (and what is wise to say), should you lick the envelope and add the postage stamp. Remember, all love letters are written in indelible ink!

Don't Forget the Details

Attention to physical details is important in a love letter. Not long ago, I bought a sheet of reptile stamps at the post office. The turtle and the lizard looked cute on out-going mail, but for some reason I always resisted using the large stamps with the coiled, red snake. I wondered if the receiver might consider it a sign of hostility on my part. What kind of an impression, unconscious or otherwise, would any negative imagery create on a love letter? It would be best not to find out. The next sheet of stamps I bought showed bouquets of pink flowers that would create a positive or at least neutral impression in any situation. Not only is what you write important, but so is the paper, the envelope, the ink, the font, and all noticeable details that will carry your message to the one you love. The sum of the details creates the overall impression that your letter will make on the reader.

Should I Use a Pen or the Computer?

Writing a letter by hand is, of course, very personal, and if you are sending a short note, getting out your favorite pen is still probably the best choice. With a short note, too, you can also use attractive stationery with matching envelopes. But if you need to work out your thoughts and feelings, making corrections in the process, a letter created on your computer may be the most practical choice. Either way, use standard black ink and then consider which font to use.

Which Font Will Look Romantic?

Your letter will look less romantic if you use the same font you would find in a business letter, such as Times Roman 12, rather than a font that imitates handprinting such as Andy, or cursive handwriting such as Rage Italic. Both fonts will need to be enlarged beyond the standard 11 or 12 font size to suggest readable handwriting when they are printed out. Experiment with the various fonts in your word processing program, adjusting them up or down in size to match your personal preference.

How Long Should My Love Letter Be?

The length of the letter will depend upon several things. A budding relationship suggests a short, flirty letter, while a letter written overseas from a husband to his wife in the U.S. should be longer and more detailed. In other words, it is important to send a long, detailed letter to a partner in an established relationship as every word will be cherished by the reader. In a new relationship, however, it may seem odd or even presumptive to write extensively to someone you really don't know.

What if I Need Help Getting Started?

Writing a love letter can be a rewarding experience for the writer as well as for the reader. In the process, the writer learns to better express his/her deepest feelings and both parties reach a level of mutual understanding they did not have before. Love by its nature is sensitive and vulnerable, however, so certain conventions need to be followed and certain language needs to be used to enable you to fan the flames of love rather than to blow them out. The purpose of a software program for love letters is to get your creative juices flowing by presenting you with a wealth of ideas, tips, and examples to help you compose a love letter that is deeply personal and effective—a letter someone will cherish for a long time.

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