Love Letters

By Taryn Tacher

Before heart-shaped emojis and Skype video chats, before text messages, Snapchat and emails, instantaneously expressing your feelings was next to impossible unless you were standing face to face with your loved one. Long distance relationships had no option but to thrive off of handwritten sentiments that took days or even weeks to reach their recipient.

Love letters date back for centuries — back to ancient Egypt just after King Tutankhamen’s untimely death. His widow, Ankhesenamun, wrote to a Hittite King asking for one of his son’s hands in marriage. Perhaps it wasn’ t as much a gesture of love as it was an act of desperation to avert a wedding to her grandfather, but nevertheless, it’s considered one of the earliest known love letters.

The writing and sending of heartfelt letters peaked during wartime, when separation aroused longing and heightened feelings in couples distanced by combat. Something about declaring love on paper made it so concrete, and holding the very paper that had been touched by one’ s lover helped momentarily bridge the physical miles between them.

As technology has hastened communication, pens and paper have been thrown to the wayside in exchange for smartphones and laptops. There is seemingly no need for snail mail when we can share our feelings in real time through a multitude of telecommunication channels. But where’s the romance in a blue speech bubble filled with size 12 Helvetica font? Where’s the emotion in a kissy-faced photo that disappears after no more than 10 seconds?

Revert back to love letters to amp up the passion in your relationship. Let your innermost thoughts and feelings ooze out of your soul and find their way to your hand as you stroke the page with elegant cursive to manifest your af fection. Whether you live states apart or in the same home, channel your inner romantic in the form of a love letter.

Here are some tips for love letter writing in the 21st century:

– Use decorative paper and pens for a special, added touch.

– Write your letter as a poem.

– Mist your letter with your perfume or cologne, so your loved one can carry your scent with them.

– Write your love letter in installments – sending them a week or so apart to build the anticipation.

– Do you and your significant other have a special song? Replace the lyrics with your loving thoughts.

– Include a crossword puzzle with hints and words only the two of you would understand.

– Write your love letter in the form of a recipe – a hint of humor and a spoonful of spontaneity go a long way in cooking up a successful relationship.

– Include a bucket list of activities you’d like to do together.

– Make your love letter interactive by leaving blanks where keywords should go. Let your partner fill them in and send it back to you.

– Seal it with a kiss, literally.