Love Letters

When I was packing for my move last June, I found them in the hall closet. A small stack of letters, written on gray parchment. Tied with a piece of red ribbon and kept in a small cedar box for over 40 years.

Love letters. From the first man who stole my heart.

I still get goosebumps opening an envelope, sliding out the thin sheets of paper, and reading, “To my one and only…” And at the risk of sounding old-school, my guess is a handwritten love letter carries even more emotional weight at a time when there are so many ways to communicate. When it comes to letting that special someone know how you feel about them – like, really, really, deep down – nothing beats putting pen to paper.

You’re probably expecting me to tell you how to write the perfect love letter. One that will win her heart or let him know he’s still the one after all these years.

Sorry to disappoint, but – well – now’s not the time to be putting words in your mouth. Why? Because if I were creating a set of rules for writing the ultimate love note, it would probably start with:

Be real. Let your guard down. And speak from the heart.

Don’t get me wrong, what goes in your love letter matters. And you need to think about what you want to say – and maybe even write a few rough drafts – before you pull out the good stationery {hello – it pays to be classy.} You might reminisce about when you met. Recount adventures or tender moments you’ve shared. Let them know how they light up a room, or make you feel invincible or safe. Or talk about your dreams for the future.

But it’s who you are and where you’re coming from that’s important.

Keep it personal, even intimate, and be true to yourself. If you’re not romantic, don’t gush. If you’re not naturally funny, this isn’t the time for levity. And please don’t troll Google to find words that sound better than yours. Phony is the kiss of death.

Take your time. Get clear about what you feel and write it down. It doesn’t matter if your love letter is super short or goes on for pages. And it’s not about writing the greatest love letter of all time.

In fact – it’s really not about you. It’s about how you want your sweetheart to feel. In the end, what matters most may not be what you said or how you said – but the fact that you made the effort to let them know they are adored, cherished, and loved.

You don’t have to be a wordsmith to do that.

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash