On how to write a love letter

This is more of a recipe, really. Before you get any funny ideas about me, none of this comes from personal experience. I’ve read and dissected love letters of other loves and lovers.


  • flattery – the more personal, detailed, non-generalizable, the better
  • details – show you remember the little things, implying they must mean a lot to you
  • memories – shared events and why they were special
  • speculation about emotion – how you feel, when it started, why, how you felt then, how strong the feelings are, how it compares to other romances, how it affects your daily life
  • secrets – share things no one else knows, be vulnerable
  • fancies – plans, dreams, fantasies, the extraordinary
  • claims of specialness – e.g. ¬†“towards all others I am x, for you, i am y”
  • claims of missing – hyperboles about the amount of time passed,
  • claims of eternity – not being able to imagine the feeling going away


  1. Find a quiet place and something that smells like the person you’re writing to. Smell is our most primitive sense and is strongly entwined with memory.
  2. On fancy paper, with a fountain or dip pen, in careful handwriting, assemble the ingredients. It’s common to begin with claims of missing, and end with claims of eternity. The rest can be in any order, but it’s more important that each part seems well thought-out than for all the parts to be included. Keep it lively!
  3. Spice with tears! Or, your own scent.
  4. Close with a wax seal.

Have you got all that? Good. Now send me your heart so I can eat it.


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