How to Write a Love Letter

Love letters are intended to express your innermost feelings for another person. They are much more intimate and personal than an email or a fond message left on an answering machine.

A love letter is often used to move a relationship to the next level of intimacy. They are of extreme use to people who have trouble expressing their feelings verbally or are too shy to say what they mean to the loved one face to face. A love letter can also help lift a load from your face as well as spare you a rejection or giggles from the object of your affections.

Love letters are usually a little more presentational than a normal letter. They can be written on special paper or inside a card. Love letters are usually written in ink, but if your handwriting is especially horrible you can always choose a beautiful or unusual font from the writing program on your computer and print the letter out on designer paper. Handwritten letters are best though as the hands are thought to be related to the heart.

Traditionally a love letter was thought to be a prelude to marriage. This is not so today, but they are still associated with special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and St. Valentine's Day. The authors of eighteenth century love letters would use special parchment paper for their letters. Often these letters were written with a quill and sealed with sealing wax. They were also tied with ribbon and often presented to the receiver on a satin pillow or silver tray.

You can make your own version of a Victorian love letter by writing with an ink pen on parchment paper which can be purchased especially at stationary stores. You can personalize your letter by sealing it with sealing wax.

Today, women might want to seal the love letter by applying lipstick and planting a kiss on the back of the envelope. Some people like to sprinkle dried rose petals or glitter inside the envelope so that when the envelope is opened, the receiver is showered with delightful things.

Traditionally love letters were also scented with the user's perfume. Essential oils such as rose, lavender, vanilla and gardenia are popular choices for scenting envelopes. Nowadays, you also have the option of writing your letter in scented ink.

The words that you do write in the body of the letter should be honest, sincere and come from the heart. You don't need to be a master poet in order to compose a love letter although you might want to augment your letter with quotes from the masters such as Shakespeare, Lord Byron or William Blake.

These kinds of letters usually have a huge impact on the recipient who may often choose to have the letter framed or displayed in a special place in their home. This is why it is appropriate to tie ribbons or charms (cupids and hearts are good) or glue your photograph to the top of the letter.

Before you set ink to paper, be sure to do a rough draft of your letter and check it for spelling mistakes. Spelling mistakes show that you don't care enough to look up the word in the dictionary. They should be written with the utmost regard for perfection. An ungrammatical expression, or word improperly spelled, may make you the subject of ridicule.

Writing from the heart is a lyrical, rather than an academic or professional exercise. It is OK to rhyme, use metaphors and so-called corny phrases such as "my darling." It is also acceptable to quote from the lyrics of popular songs. Avoid complicated words and language wherever possible so that the reader understands your message of love.

When deciding how to phrase the opening of your love letter, consider what stage you are at in your relationship with the recipient. For instance, if you have only been dating someone for a week, you would probably start the letter with "To Sheila, with warmest affection" rather than "To my darling Tracy, my soul mate and love of my life."

As a general rule, the longer you have known the person, the stronger the language. If it has been a briefer relationship, keep the language lighter.

The last line of the letter should also have similar impact. Suggestions are "Till our next meeting", "Yours as always" and "I long for your touch."

As a rule, the love letter should be written with some reserve, in case your love is careless and decides to show it off to prying eyes. Avoid expressing yourself in a way that all mimics the language of an obsessed stalker. Phrases such as "I can't live one more day with out you" or "I would kill myself if I knew you didn't feel the same" are over the top. If after time your feelings for this person entirely change, you will regret that you wrote the letter at all. If the love remains unchanged, no harm will certainly be done, especially if you wrote the letter with judgement and care in the first place.

If an engagement is mutually broken off, all the love letters should be returned. To retain them is dishonorable. It is better for both parties to wipe out every recollection of the past, by returning to the giver every memento of the dead love.

As these letters are often kept as a memento make sure that you take advantage of this opportunity to tap into your creative imagination and write a letter that your loved one will cherish for years.