Sending Your Love in Letters
If you’ve ever attempted to write a love letter, you know it isn’t always the easiest thing. Where do you begin, what do you say, how do you say it? Does spritzing it with perfume make it a love letter, or do you just have to say “I love you” somewhere in it?
The thing about love letters is this— they have to be personal. That’s what makes the love letter both romantic and timeless. They also shouldn’t be “anything goes,” because that just makes it a regular letter.
Military love letters are a whole different ballgame. Often, our letters are written during periods of long separation or wartime. This creates a fine line in communication for military couples. On one hand, we have to let our service members know they are deeply loved, sorely missed and always needed. On the other hand, we must share the strength, independence and resilience we have gained to help us through the separation, however long it may be.
I’ve been writing love letters to my husband since we first said the “L” word, well before any deployment. On one of my husband’s deployments, he didn’t have access to computers or phones for many weeks at a time. Writing letters was the only way to contact each other. On another separation, we were living apart and were able to chat or email whenever we liked… but I still wrote the occasional love letter. Those “just because” love letters can be just as meaningful as those written during deployment! You don’t need a reason to write one.
With that, here are a few tips to help get you started.
Start it off special. It always helps me to set the mood by starting off with an intimate salutation. This lets my husband know that the letter is special. “Dear my handsome ______,” or “To my darling ______” are some examples. Consider something simple like, “To the love of my life.” One of my personal favorites I began using when we were really newlyweds was simply, “To My Husband.” Whatever sets you up for writing an intimate letter, go for it!
Be genuine. Being honest and true to yourself is what makes a good love letter great. Don’t write what you think a love letter should be, but rather what you’re really feeling toward your partner. Share things that are meaningful to your relationship and your marriage.
Be specific. Think of what you love about your partner and why you feel that way. Then write it! Write about favorite memories of your relationship, or what your loved one does that makes you feel loved. Go into detail about everything you remember, such as what you were wearing on a particular day, the smells around you, the temperature outside, and the time of day. Tell it like it’s a love story— because really, it is!
Keep it positive. Think about it. How loved would you feel if your spouse just hammered out all the nitty gritty details of how annoying his coworkers were that day and how he couldn’t wait to just be alone and away from the chaos? Clear your head before you begin and try to keep your feelings positive so you don’t overwhelm your spouse with negative thoughts.
Share quotes or lyrics. Sometimes, others just say it better. If there is a meaningful quote or favorite song lyric that you read or listen to on repeat, share that with your spouse. For me, I’m a little greeting card obsessed. I love to find the perfect photo with the perfect saying, all packaged up in a pretty little card. There are many times when I write my love letter right there in the card, filling up every available surface inside and then drawing in arrows to direct hubby to read the rest on the backside. Whatever helps you express your feelings, use for inspiration!
Write about the future. It’s important during separations to let your spouse know that you’re still thinking ahead, past the time apart. The future includes dreams, and dreams ignite hope. Share your hopes, wants, needs and plans for your future together.
End it with love. “Forever yours,” “Love always,” and “All my love” are long-time favorites of mine. But of course, for me, there’s always “Love, Your Wife.”
Add a personal touch. I like to add a little “trademark” of sorts to each of my letters so my husband knows they’re from me before he even opens them. On the outside of my envelopes, I always draw a little red heart at the point of the flap on the backside. You could also spray your pages with perfume (do that before you write so your words don’t bleed after getting misted) or giving the letter a big ol’ SWAK (sealed with a kiss) in your best shade of lipstick. Just give it a little something extra to make it personal and special.
A love letter is a powerful thing. You don’t need to be a writer, English major or spelling genius to write one. All you need to know is how you feel. With that, you can write a very real, genuine, romantic love letter. And believe it or not— they do still exist.