The Art of Love Letters

Manhattan, New York
United States

Most people in the 21st century are given messages of love in various methods. They can be told “I love you” over text like my friend Christian, or it can be faxed over like everyone’s favorite New York icon, Carrie Bradshaw. Significant others are constantly sending texts of love or positive affirmations, often giving their partner a smile during the long day. However, back in the day when phones or email did not exist, there was still a way to write to your partner to express your love or gratitude for them; a letter.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I do believe love letters are a lost art. Something about looking down and seeing the handwriting of a loved one evokes emotion the text from a machine replicate. Not one person has the same handwriting, sure someone can try to copy, but it never truly matches. How is it possible that millions of love paragraphs can be texted, but the one time it is said in a letter, it has more of an impact. Opening up an envelope with a piece of decorative paper inside, filled with words brings a greater smile. Why is this so? If words are words, then why is there a difference?

Maybe it has something to do with the handwriting. Looking at something typed, the letters are all perfectly sculpted. However, when something is handwritten, the letters are drawn custom to the person’s style. There is a certain coldness provided by the typed texts, emails, or notes. Think about it; would you rather receive a handwritten “I love you” or an “I love you” in your notifications on your phone. With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it had me thinking more about love letters and the power they have. After thinking about it, I decided to give some tips on how to write the perfect letter for your loved one on Valentine’s Day or any day you want to express love.

  1. You can buy a letter from a store, or you can make your own! Remember, the character comes from the uniqueness of the letter so the more homemade, the better!
  2. Your message does not have to be super long or show-stopping. It can be simple or dramatic, that is your decision.
  3. When you sit down to write the letter, hold nothing back. Write down every emotion you feel and do not worry because the effort will be seen.
  4. Make sure you write a draft first, then transfer the letter with your best penmanship on the decorative paper or card.
  5. Stick the letter in a thoughtful spot. Maybe slip it into their bag or folder, that way you will surprise your significant other.

So is it the emotion in the handwriting, the handcrafted paper the letter is written on, or the thoughtfulness behind the chosen words written that make the letters so special? Maybe it’s all of the components together, in an unknown formula that makes love letters as powerful as they are.

Even if we never know what that perfect formula is, love letters will still be written by lovers for years to come, and hopefully, the art of writing these stunning letters will never fade.