Want to surprise your loved one with a romantic love note - but not sure where to begin? Read on...
First of all - here's how to write a love letter
1. Paper perfect
Fact: everything looks better on gorgeous stationery (even the most miserable of post). Pick good-quality card or writing paper for your letter, and choose an ink pen that won't blot or, worse, run out halfway through.
2. Know what you want to say
Have an idea of what you want to say before you start writing. Draft it out if necessary; hesitation can lead to blotting. If you were never going to see your partner again, what would you want to tell them? Avoid making it too 'heavy' by dropping in your in-jokes
3. Keep it intimate
You're writing a love letter, after all - so make sure you keep the tone suitably romantic. Think AAA: affectionate, ardent and articulate. Do your research: read famous love poems and take a look at some iconic love letters online.
4. Say how you feel
Talk about your feelings - your love for your partner, your happy memories with them, your excitement about your future together. Speak from the heart.
5. Add a personal touch
Whether it's a spritz of your favourite perfume or a lipstick kiss on the back of the envelope, add something that your partner will instantly recognise as being you. NB: avoid locks of hair. That's just creepy.
Just received a love letter? There are three simple rules...
1) Don't laugh. Ever. They've just bared their heart, so a fit of the giggles is probably not appropriate.
2) Don't critique spelling or grammar mistakes - there's a time and a place!
3) Don't, whatever you do, simply cast it aside once you've finished reading: keep it somewhere safe.
And finally - three famous love letter extracts to get you inspired...
Napoleon, writing to Josephine
“Since I left you, I have been constantly depressed. My happiness is to be near you. Incessantly I live over in my memory your caresses, your tears, your affectionate solicitude. The charms of the incomparable Josephine kindle continually a burning and a glowing flame in my heart. When, free from all solicitude, all harassing care, shall I be able to pass all my time with you, having only to love you, and to think only of the happiness of so saying, and of proving it to you?”
Emma Darwin, writing to Charles Darwin
"My heart has often been too full to speak or take any notice I am sure you know I love you well enough to believe that I mind your sufferings nearly as much as I should my own & I find the only relief to my own mind is to take it as from God’s hand, & to try to believe that all suffering & illness is meant to help us to exalt our minds & to look forward with hope to a future state. When I see your patience, deep compassion for others self command & above all gratitude for the smallest thing done to help you I cannot help longing that these precious feelings should be offered to Heaven for the sake of your daily happiness. But I find it difficult enough in my own case. I often think of the words “Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” It is feeling & not reasoning that drives one to prayer. I feel presumptuous in writing thus to you."
Zelda Fitzgerald, writing to F. Scott Fitzgerald
"We'll be married soon, and then these lonesome nights will be over forever -- and until we are, I am loving, loving every tiny minute of the day and night -- Maybe you won't understand this, but sometimes when I miss you most, it's hardest to write -- and you always know when I make myself -- Just the ache of it all -- and I can't tell you. If we were together, you'd feel how strong it is -- you're so sweet when you're melancholy. I love your sad tenderness -- when I've hurt you -- That's one of the reasons I could never be sorry for our quarrels -- and they bothered you so -- Those dear, dear little fusses, when I always tried so hard to make you kiss and forget."