Whether it is for Valentines Day, an anniversary or just because, writing a love letter is a personal and special expression of your love. It is a unique gift that any lover would be proud to receive.

You don’t have to be Shakespeare to write a beautiful love letter either, and you don’t even need to have great English. All you really need is the willingness to write how you feel.

To help get you started, here are some tips in making your letter truly special.

  • Start the letter with a personal name or a endearment such as darling or sweetheart, even if you wouldn’t normally say such words
  • Avoid starting with ‘how are you?’ or writing about the weather
  • Don’t write about work, the kids, your parents, or the latest cricket score – remember this isn’t a letter to a friend or penpal
  • Tell your lover how you feel – use words like love, admire, treasure, adore, like, yearn, enchant, affect, cherish, fascinate, excite, engage, captivate, charm and seduce. It is a love letter so you can be more sentimental than you would be normally, but don’t get too far from your normal style
  • If you want to include a poem or verse written by someone else, do so but make it personal by saying why you included it. Maybe it reminds you of your lover or a particular thing your lover does, or maybe it expresses your feelings in a new way
  • Give compliments, but not flattery. Compliments are genuine and can be for hair colour, the sound of the voice, a cheerful laugh, being strong in tough times, honesty, perseverance and many other traits.
  • Write from the heart and then stop. A short but meaningful letter is better than a long letter full of clichés and meaningless words
  • You don’t have to impress anyone with big words or elaborate sentences – just write as if you were talking to your lover about nothing except your love
  • Avoid lust and sexual references – they fit in a different sort of letter, but will take away from the romance of the love letter
  • Mention things your lover does that you like – and say what impact it has on you and your life (eg “I feel protected and safe when you lock up the house every night” or “I admire your determination and am grateful for how it has inspired me to do my best, too.”)
  • Suit the letter to your tastes, not anyone else’s – remember it is YOU that your lover wants to hear from so add jokes if you normally tell jokes, use sport analogies if you are a sports fan or mix your languages if you are both multi-lingual
  • Take your time to write the letter – turn off the phone or sit in a park and relax. If it helps, play some mood music or have a photo of your lover to look at
  • Use all five senses as you think of your lover – the sound of laughter, the smell of perfume or shampoo, the touch of hair on your skin, the taste of kisses and the sight of a smile are good starting points
  • Finish the letter with something more personal than ‘kind regards’, too. It can be as simple as ‘love’ or as specific as ‘your beloved husband’ or ‘I long to hold you again’.

Above all, have some fun writing your love letter and make it a gift your lover will treasure.

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