ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LOVE LETTERS
How to Start a Love Letter
In the words of philosopher Max Muller, "A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love."If you know how you feel in your heart but you're having a hard time putting your thoughts into words for a love letter, don't worry! Whether you're writing to your life's partner, your significant other, or just a "special someone," getting started on your romantic magnum opus is just a few helpful tips away.
Love Letter Help
Sample Love Letters
Writing to Someone You Admire
Forget traditional formatting rules.If you're worried about how to write your love letter's header, how many lines to indent before you start writing, or which corner the date goes in,don't be.Love letters aren't exercises in formal writing. In fact, they can be some of the most casual, personal, and intimate documents written in a person's lifetime. The content of your letter is much, much more important that the way it's organized, so feel free to play fast and loose with the standard rules of letter-writing.
- If you're looking for a conservative option, simply write the reader's name on the left edge of the top line, followed by a comma. For instance, if you're writing to Rebecca Samson, your secret crush from math class, you'd just write "Rebecca," in the top left of the page.
- If you want something more bold, don't be afraid to bend the traditional rules of formatting as you see fit. For instance, if you want to include the day's date like you would in a traditional letter, you might want to make the most of the opportunity by writing something like, "September 29th, 2014, 145 days since I first met you..."
Pick a salutation that shows your reader is special.In letter writing, the salutation is the greeting that begins the letter — usually, it's something like "Dear John," "To whom it may concern," or something similar. Depending on the purpose of your letter, literally dozens of salutations can be appropriate.While youcanuse an ordinary salutation for your love letter, getting creative here is a great way to show you care enough about your reader to put some thought into it. If you want to, you can even leave out the salutation entirely — it's up to you!
- For example, if you're writing to John Ramirez, the hunk you met at the local book store, you could try referencing this in your salutation by writing something like, "Dear John, my bookworm beau,"
Aim to intrigue or excite with your first line.Love letters can be many things (sweet, sassy, sincere, or salacious, for instance), but they shouldneverbe boring. A love letter isn't just your chance to tell your secret crush how you feel — it's a chance to actually get this person interested in being with you! Your first line should reflect this — be witty, funny, or evenscandalous, but whatever you do, don't begin with, "I'm writing to inform you that I am very fond of you. Here is why..."
- Here's a good example of an exciting opener: Let's say that we're writing to Susie Jackson, a "total babe" you know from debate club. There are a million different ways to go with this — here are just two:
- "The hardest thing about debate club isn't having to deal with Mr. Nelson's rules — it's having to argue with someone I'm so crazy about."
- "Last week, when you stepped up to the podium, you fought hard for a flat tax, but it felt like you were fighting for my heart."
Use a playful but respectful tone.While lovers in ages past may have used stilted, formal language to court each other, modern lovers can usually get away with having a little more fun. Don't shy away from being goofy or even gently teasing your partner in your letter. If you already know each other well, this sort of informal approach will usually lead to laughter or flirtation — not hurt feelings.
- For example, as long as you eventually make it clear that you're joking, you can get some serious mileage out of playfully using flowery, archaic language. Don't be afraid to "go big." For example, you might start off with "My dearly beloved — the one for which my heart continues its dance. You enchant my each and every day. I would be honored to take you to the sock hop."
- On the other hand, you don't want to betoowild. Beyond one or two soft teases, don't be rude or disrespectful and don't use curse words unless you already have a history of using them with this person. Remember, you're trying to win this person's heart, not crush this person's ego.
Heighten the romance with personal touches.Your love letter shouldn't read like a form letter. Ideally, your writing should make it clear that you've written your letter with one person (andonlyone person) in mind. Try including specific details about your partner, like the way they look, the way they make you feel, and the ways they make your life better to show you've put some thought into your writing.
- For example, if you're writing to Stefan Burnett, the star of the swim team, you might take a tongue-in-cheek approach and include the following details: "Stefan, you make my heart skip five beats every time you climb out of the pool. Your eyes are bluer than chlorine, your abs are harder than locker room tiles, and your hair is blacker than your speedo. Marry me."
Know what to avoid.Confessing your love to someone is tricky — no matter how elegant you are with a pen, it's easy to make mistakes. Luckily, some mistakes can come across as sweet, endearing quirks. On the other hand, other mistakes can come across in very unflattering ways. Below is just a short list of things you may want to leave out of your letter:
Writing to a Boyfriend or Girlfriend
Start warmly and familiarly.If you're writing a love letter to someone you're already dating, the tips above may still be useful to you, but you may find that you get the best results when you use a slightly different approach. Since you've already won this person's affection, you don't have to worry quite as much about being intriguing or exciting. Instead, you can use a tone that's a little more intimate and familiar — closer to pillow talk than to high-intensity flirting.
- For example, if you're writing to Mike Greene, your boyfriend of a year, you might begin thusly: "Mike, my love. Has it already been a year? 12 amazing months? 52 tremendous weeks? 365 earth-shattering days? How the time has flown."
Write candidly — even about your struggles and disappointments.No relationship is perfect — after an initial "honeymoon" period, the members of basically every couple will slowly but surely begin to notice each others' flaws, get on each others' nerves, and sometimes even have arguments. This is a normal part of being someone's significant other. Don't be afraid to touch on these things lightly in your letter. After all, they're just as much a part of your relationship as the happy moments that are hopefully much more frequent.
- However, no matter how serious the content of your letter gets, you'll want to let your reader know that you're confident in your relationship. Never give your boyfriend or girlfriend the fear that you're considering breaking up. This can make a relationship tense and uncertain and potentially even lead to an actual breakup.
- For example, let's say you're writing to Kim Jones, your girlfriend with whom you've recently had an argument. You might want to include a sentence or two like this: "I know we argue sometimes, Kimmy. In a way, our tiffs have a silver lining. After we have a chance to cool down each time, I'm more and more convinced that I've made the right decision."
Use flowery language for humor's sake.Don't be afraid to be funny in your love letter — there's a lot of evidence to suggest that humor can be a very sexy trait to both men and women alike.Although humorous openings are difficult to pull off, and probably shouldn't be attempted if you don't have a knack for humor, they reinforce your lighter side. In addition, since you're already dating your letter's recipient, you don't have to worry quite as much about being "proper" or "nice". As long as you're not terribly rude or cruel (and you can pull the humor off), you can usually joke around without much fear of giving the wrong impression.
- For example, here's an example of a ridiculously overwrought opening that's consciously cheeky: Frozen though it may have been that night, I marched on undaunted. Harsher grew the snow. Could I go on? Despair. With every step that touched the icy ground, I grew more decrepit. My skin was starting to turn black from frostbite. I knew now that in this sullen time, I was to die, left to languish in this tomb of chill. But lo, what was this? Could it be? A light descends from the sky! Effervescent pearlescent luminescence shone through a sublime sheen of a figure most brilliant. It couldn't be. It was. You. There you were, the one thing to cast me out of the gloom, this curse, this affliction, this anathema.
Study the love letters of history's greatest paramours.Still stuck? Don't sweat it — history is full of literally hundreds of great love letter writers, each with his or her own unique style. Below are just a few examples from the world of literature you may want to check out (there are many more from all walks of life):
- Early 21st Century writer Katherine Mansfield was a great love letter writer who was able to use her literary skills to pen beautiful passages to her lovers — both male and female (Mansfield was bisexual). Here's a short passage from a letter to her second husband John Murray Mansfield: "You are all about me - I seem to breathe you, hear you, feel you in me and of me."
- If you're willing to get raunchy (very, very raunchy), the love letters of Irish author James Joyce to his wife Nora Barnacle may be great sources of inspiration. Here's a tamer passage written before the two married: "I am like a fool hearing you call me 'Dear.' I offended two men today by leaving them coolly. I wanted to hear your voice, not theirs."
- Not all love letters need to be syrupy, poetic musings. The letters of Austro-Hungarian writer Franz Kafka to his lovers were often erratic, bordering on bizarre. Here's a passage from a letter to his fiance (but never wife), Felice Bauer: "If only I had your answer now! And how horribly I torment you, and how I compel you, in the stillness of your room, to read this letter, as nasty a letter as has ever lain on your desk! Honestly, it strikes me sometimes that I prey like a spectre on your felicitous name!"
Writing to a Spouse
Focus on the ways your love has matured over time.A couple that's been married for years isn't the same pair of people that they were when they started dating (or even when they married). Marriage changes a relationship — often, this change isn't better or worse, but merely different. For extra poignancy in your letter, you may want to consider calling attention to the way your relationship has changed, like the way your feelings for each other are more mature, the way you've discovered each others' secrets, and so on. As you do this, reflect on the fact that your love, though different, is no weaker than it was on the first day of your honeymoon.
- For example, let's say you're writing to Jim Davidson, your husband of a little over a year. You might try something like this: "Jim, honey. It's been just 14 months now and it feels like we've been married for a lifetime. The way we talk, the way we hold each other — even the way we look at each other is so much subtler, so much more intimate than the way we were back then. And yet, I've never loved you more."
Call attention to your lasting devotion.It's a simple fact: not all marriages last until "death do us part." Your love letter to your spouse, however, should be written as if this outcome is impossible — even ludicrous. While you can bring up difficulties or struggles you've had as a couple, don't leave any doubt about the strength of your marriage. Make your love letter a bold proclamation of how you intend to spend the rest of your life with your partner (and how much you'll enjoy doing it!)
- For a great example of the positive, affirmative sort of approach you may want to take, enjoy this passage from a love letter written by President Woodrow Wilson to Edith Bolling Galt, the woman who became his second wife: "You have the greatest soul, the noblest nature, the sweetest, most loving heart I have ever known, and my love, my reverence, my admiration for you, you have increased in one evening as I should have thought only a lifetime of intimate, loving association could have increased them."
QuestionHow can I write a love letter to a celebrity that you are really obsessed with?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTell them how you feel and why. Don't expect much, as they probably get lots of these and they may not have time to read yours, if they even see it, but that can still be better than holding it in.Thanks!
How do I write to them if I don't even know if they like me?
How to sign a letter for a new relationship?
If you’re writing a love letter, getting started can be the hardest part, even if you’re already in a relationship with the person. Open the letter with a heartfelt salutation, like “Dear John,” or “To the woman I love.” As you start writing, tell the person why your time together has been so meaningful. Use a tone that’s intimate and familiar, and include special references or inside jokes so the letter has an intimate tone.
- Take your time.Set apart time in your day to reflect on what you want to write and really focus on the task. Having first, second, and third drafts of a letter can only help.
- Be patient.If the right words don't come along right away, don't worry over it! In time, your feelings will always come through in your writing if you keep trying at it.
- Be yourself!Keep what you write as personal and original as possible.
- Don't be creepy.If the person you are sending the letter to has told you they are not interested, don't pester any further! While sometimes writing how you feel to them in a well thought out way can help, taking it too far and obsessively writing to them can completely turn them away from you.
- It may not work!Even though you may have given your letter all your heart, sometimes people just don't feel the same way.Understand that things happen for a reason.There will be someone else out there for you who will appreciate you for who you are! Try not to dwell on what you could have said better because it could very well be that even though you wrote something wonderfully, it just wasn't mean to be for that person.
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