How To Write A Love Note

Can’t find the perfect words to express how you feel about someone special? Here’s how to craft a missive your sweetie will treasure forever.

By Samara O’Shea

o Valentine’s Day is upon us again. And whether you’ve been seeing someone a few days, weeks, or months (and would like to continue seeing them, of course!), maybe you’re thinking of expressing your affections with a love note or greeting card. But even if you let Hallmark do most of the talking, it’s best if you write something personal, too. Got a case of writer’s block? Here are a few good ways to get some sweet nothings flowing.

Write by hand
It’s undeniable that email rules the day, which is why it bears more weight to write a note (especially a love note) with your own hand. It’s a simple gesture that lets the other
If you haven’t said “I love you” in person yet, it’s best to leave the expression off the page.
person know he or she is worth the extra time to tear yourself away from your computer, find a pen, and put it to paper (maybe even on a card you schlepped to the store to get). If you’re afraid you’ll have a few false starts and want to avoid ugly cross-outs, type it out first and then copy to the card.

Make a list
Having trouble putting your thoughts into words? An easy way to get started is by making a list of your lover’s favorite attributes: Insightful, talented, generous, gorgeous, you get the idea. Then form a sentence or two around each trait and why you appreciate it. For example, “It always amazes me how generous you are.” Or, “I get so excited every time I pick you up; you’re always a gorgeous sight to see.” You could also just give him or her the love list itself, and say something like, “The following are just a few of the many things I adore about you.”

Can the clichés
“Your eyes are beautiful.” “Your smile lights up the room.” I once had a man write to me, “You’re the apple of my eye and the cream in my coffee” (which is a direct quote from Who Framed Roger Rabbit and possibly other sources). Clichés should be avoided because they make people feel ordinary, when what you want is to make your date feel extraordinary. So it’s worth the effort to think of new ways to say old things.

Get specific
Maybe you adore the way he sings in the shower or the way she stops and tries to help every stray dog she encounters. And most likely you like this person’s looks, but is it the way her skin glows in the morning? How good he looks in that old sweater he always wears? Mention minutiae like these examples, and your attention to detail is bound to impress.

One easy way to get at the specifics of what you dig about this person is by remembering times you’ve spent together—such as your first date or your first kiss. Mention where you went, what you did, and
Re-emphasizing it on paper is always a good idea.
what was said. Then go on to say that you knew something special was happening even in the very beginning. Nostalgia is a simple way to guarantee you’re giving a unique note that the other person has never received.

Say thank you
An effective tool when writing love missives is to treat them like thank you notes—thank the other person for all that he or she brings to your life. For example, “Thank you for all the great advice you’ve given me” or “Thank you for always being so thoughtful.” You can also express thanks for the things he or she has no control over, “Thank you for shining your light in my direction.”

Don’t force an “I love you”
If you haven’t exchanged those three little words in person yet, then perhaps it’s best to leave the expression off the page, as it could catch your flame off-guard while he or she is reading, and make for an awkward moment. Even signing the letter “Love,” might be somewhat daunting in the early days of dating, so don’t feel like you have to do it. Since you’re already saying so many sweet things in the note, you can get away with signing the letter with just your name or signing it in a clever way such as “from your not-so-secret admirer.” If, on the other hand, you have both said “I love you” already, then re-emphasizing it on paper is always a good idea. Then, after you’ve listed all the many wonderful things about your lover, try closing with, “In other words: I love you.”

Samara O’Shea has been writing letters since the age of seven and decided to launch the website to try and save the art from extinction. Her book, For the Love of Letters: A 21st-Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing from the Elegant to the Erotic, was published by HarperCollins in May 2007.
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