Last week I discussed the writer (the lover), the audience ( the beloved) as well as the purpose and content of a love letter. Basically, I talked about getting into the appropriate state of mind to pen a love letter.
This week I want to talk about the actual letter, its parts and techniques you can use to make your love letters that much more meaningful for your beloved.
Every letter has four basic parts: the greeting or salutation, the body of the letter, the close and your signature.
Traditionally, letters begin with the word Dear followed by the recipient's name, as in Dear John. If the relationship is more personal or intimate, it might begin My Dearest John. Your approach should be a bit different. Consider the salutation your big opener. When you open your letter, take the opportunity to immediately share with your beloved how you feel about them. Tell them, who they are to you: Precious Mara, My Beloved Cher, Most Dear Paul, etc. Be creative, and if it feels cheesy, try again and again until it feels just right.
Now for the body of the letter. Talk to your lover as you would if they were present. Do not "bury the lead" as they say in journalism. You don't want to create confusion in the heart or mind of your beloved; remember the letter is an expression of your sentiments and an affirmation of them.
Try recounting a special memory that you share, the first time you met, the first time they said, "I Love You", changing a tire during a road trip, etc. You can tell them when you first knew that you loved them, but whatever you do get straight to it. Don't fall into the trap of talking about yourself or how you don't know what to say. For every "I" centered statement there should be at least three "you" centered statements. Love is outwardly, not inwardly focused . If you mention your surroundings, make it pertinent to how you feel about them. Is there a certain atmosphere or scent which brings them to mind? Is it a place or space you frequent together which is why you chose to write the letter there?
The body of the letter doesn't have to be long. It does need to be truthful and loving. You can list their endearing qualities or how you've changed for the better due to your relationship. Remember that the best thing that you can tell anyone is that you love them not because of what they do for you or to you, not because of how they make you feel, but that you love them because they are.
The close should be an affirmation and a pledge. With your close, you can offer yourself to and name yourself as belonging to your beloved. It can also be an allusion to what you intend for the future of your relationship. For example, Your loving husband, With love and adoration, Truly, With Thanksgiving for You, Counting the moments apart, etc.
Use your name, not a nickname or a pseudonym, but your name. Save the muffins and hot stuffs for notes and cards. If you're a secret admirer, remember that at some point, if you plan to have a fulfilling rather than unrequited love affair with the beloved to whom you write, you're going to have to reveal yourself.
Or you can forget all of this, and just play a little Stevie Wonder by candlelight, "I don't want to bo~o~orre you with it, but girl (boy) I love you, I love you, I love you!...Forevermo~o~ore."
Love Letter Links