Written by Rhiann McNally
Long live love letters!
Much to the relief of Luddites everywhere, the lovingly-crafted love letter has not fallen by the wayside in the age of Tinder and text messages. They continue to thrive as a way of expressing the inner-most feelings of lovers everywhere.
Find out how this romantic art-form has survived the advent of online dating, and how you can write one for your beloved. But first, a little inspiration from some famous lovers throughout history.
"Dearest — my body is simply crazy with wanting you — If you don’t come tomorrow — I don’t see how I can wait for you — I wonder if your body wants mine the way mine wants yours — the kisses — the hotness — the wetness — all melting together — the being held so tight that it hurts — the strangle and the struggle.”
"...I want to see you. It is really absurd. I can’t live without you. You are so dear, so wonderful. I think of you all day long, and miss your grace, your boyish beauty, the bright sword-play of your wit, the delicate fancy of your genius, so surprising always in its sudden swallow-flights towards north and south, towards sun and moon — and, above all, yourself … London is a desert without your dainty feet… Write me a line and take all my love — now and for ever. Always, and with devotion — but I have no words for how I love you."
"…I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way. You, with all your undumb letters, would never write so elementary a phrase as that; perhaps you wouldn’t even feel it. And yet I believe you’ll be sensible of a little gap. But you’d clothe it in so exquisite a phrase that it should lose a little of its reality. Whereas with me it is quite stark: I miss you even more than I could have believed; and I was prepared to miss you a good deal. So this letter is really just a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become."
Quote Source: brainpickings.org
Image Credit; presented by Esther Cloudman Dunn to the Smith College Library.
"Truth is, so great, that I wouldn’t like to speak, or sleep, or listen, or love. To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within your own fear, and your great anguish, and within the very beating of your heart. All this madness, if I asked it of you, I know, in your silence, there would be only confusion. I ask you for violence, in the nonsense, and you, you give me grace, your light and your warmth. I’d like to paint you, but there are no colors, because there are so many, in my confusion, the tangible form of my great love."
Modern Love Letters
The lost art of writing love letters isn't as lost as one might think. In a recent survey of 1000 Australians conducted by online dating site RSVP and Pilot Pen Australia found that handwriting a love letter still ranks high among the cliché romantic things Australians do for their lovers.
In fact 82% of male respondents claimed to have written a love letter, 74% plan to write a romantic Valentine's card for their lovers and 54% leave loving notes for their partners around the house.
Men are also not adverse to receiving a handwritten love letter, with 92% saying they have received one, and 86% saying they prefer them over a romantic text message.
According to the survey, both men and women believe love letters are romantic with only four percent of respondents believing they are old hat.
If you're keen to write a love letter to your beloved, it's completely reasonable to be a little lost for words.
Writing a love letter can be a little nerve-wracking, finding the words to express your feelings is hard whether or not you majored in Literature.
How to Write a Love Letter
Relationship expert, Melissa Ferrari provided us with some steps on how to pour your heart out in letter form.
First, she suggests you find a quiet place to "let your feelings flow". She writes, "Take a deep breath then before you put pen to paper, think about your partner, what you love about them, why you are with them and what is uniquely special about them."
Secondly, don't get flustered if you make a mistake, keep writing. You can always rewrite and refine parts later. "The most important thing is that you express your thoughts and feelings because you are sharing yourself in a genuine way," writes Melissa.
Thirdly, be honest, even if you feel like a dag. Melissa says "Don’t be afraid to open up your inner most feelings. Share your feelings, embrace them and own them. It’s OK to feel vulnerable. Your loved one will appreciate your honesty and openness."
If you don't know what to say, Melissa says you should try to take inspiration from your past. "This is your unique story; how you met, those funny and touching moments you shared together."
You can also talk about the present and your future together. Melissa suggests expressing "your hopes and wishes for the future."
Writing a love letter can seem daunting at first, but baring all and being honest and open with your loved one can strengthen your connection. Be true to yourself, and your other half, show your personality and allow yourself to be creative. You'll be surprised how easily the words flow when you're expressing your honest feelings.