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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

15 Tips For The Perfect Love Letter

When my husband and I began dating, he moved to Oregon to get his Master's degree soon after we met in undergrad while I stayed on the east coast. That summer, I went to a camp where the only communication with the outside world was mail. For the entire summer, we communicated through letters. Today, we have every letter sent to us, and sometimes we pull one out and read it. Since this was how our relationship began, we continued to write letters every other month. Even now that we are married and see each other daily, we will occasionally write letters to each other.

The list below is based on the many letters we've written to each other both from the beginning to now. Each letter didn't include every item listed, but I noticed that number's 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, and 14 were a part of every letter I sent to him and a part of every letter he sent to me.

Good luck!

15 Tips For the Perfect Love Letter

1. Uplift them.

If you say they are amazing, explain why. Maybe it's their positive attitude, patience, happiness, or strength that you notice day after day. Uplift a quality that you find attractive and that they do well. It's so easy to beat ourselves up over what we aren't doing well, therefore, it can be extremely encouraging to be reminded of something we are doing well.

2. Share your feelings.

Even if you've been married for years, there is always something to learn. Your spouse wants to know how you feel about things going on in life. How is work going? What did you think of a sermon? What's new? How's life in general? Going into detail about any of these is great way to communicate your feelings.

3. Show interest in their talents.

Do they play an instrument? Do they love to write? Do they like carpentry? Do they play a sport? Do they love fashion? Do they like to fix things? Take the time to listen, to read, to watch, and to try and understand their talent and why they enjoy it, and explain how well they do. My husband recently wrote a letter and explained that he had read all of my blog posts. Knowing that he read them meant a lot to me.

4. Encourage and appreciate their talents.

Not only did he read my blog posts, he explained how much he liked them and encouraged me to continue doing what I love. Encouraging someone not to give up on something they enjoy shows just how much you care about their well-being.

5. Remind.

Remind them why you are with them. This can be done by writing a little about when you first met and how they made you feel. It can also be done by writing about something more current. You might remind them of a promise you made to each other. For example, early on in our relationship, my husband and I decided that God would be in the center of our relationship. Sometimes, it's nice to be reminded of a promise made and it shows that you intend to keep that promise by simply remembering.

6. Three words, I Love you.

 Make sure to write this somewhere at least once every time you write a letter. It's crucial, and needs no explanation.

7. Show your contentment for the present and excitement about the future.

When I see that my husband is content about life in the present, I am also content about the present too. Yes, life is crazy, hard to understand, and not always rosy. Recently, my husband and I found out we were expecting and that he was to be laid off from work at the end of the year all within the same month that his dad ended his battle with cancer. It's not easy to be content in times like these, but he was still able to say that he was happy I was by his side through the whole process and he knew that God had plans bigger than our own.

The other day, my husband wrote a letter to me and described his excitement about soon becoming a dad. Seriously, I love his excitement for our future, and it fills me with joy when I know he looks forward to our lives together.

8. Be positive, but be real.

Relationships are hard work, and when that's coupled with difficulties in life, it can be easy to think negatively and display that in writing. Try to write positively, but don't be fake either. If something has been bothering you lately, it's good to write out your feelings. Maybe you can't find a job and you're feeling down. There is nothing wrong with writing about this, but be sure to find some positivity in the situation as well. Let them know you aren't going to give up.

9. Reassure.

If your relationship isn't going great or if you are dealing with hard times in life, reassure them that things will be okay, that you will get through it together. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with positivity.

10. Remember.

While you know your spouse now, you didn't know them before you met them, which means there's a whole childhood that you don't know. If you did know one another as children, there are obviously still stories they haven't heard. Feel free to share a story if it fits in with your letter. Keep it short though. You aren't writing a memoir.

11. Be sweet.

It may sound silly men, but ladies like when they see hearts drawn, smiley faces, x's and o's, etc. Not only do they feel loved, but they see you are willing to embrace your feminine side, which we know isn't easy for a guy. It also shows that you enjoyed writing the letter too, and that you were willing to have fun while doing so. Of course ladies, the same goes for you. Guys might not admit it, but they love all the little hearts you add in the margins. Maybe it all goes back to little love notes and flirting. Regardless, everyone secretly loves these old-school emoticons.

12. Write what comes naturally.

Essentially, be yourself. Write what comes to your mind. Don't try to emulate another's letter, just write what comes naturally. Sometimes it's easiest to act like you are having a conversation with them and haven't talked in a while. What would you want to catch up on?

13. Date the letter.

Your spouse will likely reread this letter. Make sure to add the date so they remember when it was written.

14. Handwrite.

Don't type, even if you have terrible writing. If you can't spell, use spell-check or a dictionary, but don't type a letter for the sake of ease. Handwritten letters take more time to write than typed letters. They allow you to collect your thoughts and think about what you want to write as you are writing. More effort goes into handwriting something, therefore it will be much more appreciated. Plus, handwriting is rare in our technology-filled world, so it's bound to be much more special.

15. Write a scripture/quote.

Do this if you want to write a little about the scripture/quote. If it is something that resonates with you and you'd like to share it with them, you should do that. It's another way to share your thoughts and feelings.

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