Say It in a Love Note

tips for writing love letters and valentines


 “Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.”

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Say It in a Love NoteBetween 1915 and 1946 artist Georgia O’Keeffe and photographer Alfred Stieglitz wrote each another over 5,000 love letters totaling 25,000 pages, sometimes penning three and four letters a day. My Faraway One; Selected Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, at over 800 pages, is a mere a sampling of their words of adoration to one another. (An exhaustive volume would be as large as a microwave.)

Alfred Stieglitz wrote to his wife-to-be, “How I want to photograph you, the hands, the mouth & the eyes & the enveloped-in-black body, the touch of white & the throat…” But you need not be a Stieglitz to compose words of love to your special someone that will make his or her Valentine’s Day (or any day) as these tips from Courtney Warren of suggest.


  • Hand Write Your Missive. In an age when many of us spend our days at the computer, it feels archaic to manually write a note, much less a letter. But handwritten words can be precious. Years from now, your handwriting will make your letter all the sweeter.
  • Greeting. Don’t be formal. Choose instead an endearing salutation incorporating your love’s first name. For example: “My dearest Jennifer… ” or “My darling Matt…”
  • Be Specific. We all love praise, the more specific the better. General praise such as: “you’re a great husband” is nice, but it’s even better to be specific: “You’re a great husband because you take our son to get donuts on Saturday mornings and let me sleep in.”
  • Share How Your Life’s Been Enriched Since Your Love Came Along. Think back to life when you were single and consider how it’s better now. Again, site examples.
  • Convey a Memory. Tell him when you knew he was the one, or let her know what made you realize she was your partner for life. Some of your sweetest memories may be ones he or she has forgotten.
  • Reaffirm Your Love and Commitment. Share your hope for the future and how you see it including your love.
  • End with Meaning. Don’t settle for: “Love, Eric.” Even: “All my love,” is better. But consider something like: “Dream of me, my love…” You may think “With undying love,” or “Forever yours,” is sappy, but your loved one will treasure each word.
  • Include a Special Extra. Slip a petal from a flower, sprinkles of stars or a teabag of your favorite tea in the envelope to show you put some thought (and heart) into it.
  • Presentation: Hide your love note in an unexpected place like by the coffee pot, near her purse, or next to his pillow.
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