Writing is a great skill to have when Valentine’s Day rolls around. I know I often find the end of January approaching and go, “Oh, man, what am I going to get Rory for Valentine’s Day?” No matter your feelings about the day, if you are partnered, this is the time you should start thinking about gifts. If you’re stumped, or if your wallet is feeling a little light, or if you just have so many feelings you want to express to your favorite person, a love letter or poem could be the perfect gift.
I’ve tested this gift-giving approach and will tell you from experience: women and woman-adjacent folks love written and handmade gifts. I’ve also been on the receiving end of these; I still have a compilation of love letters an ex wrote using sentiments from our instant messages as romance-fodder. I’m sure it works on guys as well, but we don’t talk about those days. If your partner is a man, read about this scandalous love letter between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne for inspiration. For sapphic inspiration, read about the letters between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West
For real, folks, love letters and love poetry are where it’s at for Valentine’s Day gifts. If you’re not convinced, here are 7 reasons you should write your partner a poem or letter for Valentine’s Day this year.
- It’s inexpensive
Love letters, poems, or songs cost virtually nothing to create. Assuming you have a pen and paper on hand, love letters are an incredibly inexpensive but high-impact gift for Valentine’s Day. Even if your partner loves to feel lavish and be showered in luxurious gifts, they won’t be able to deny the thought you put into writing them something beautiful. I definitely recommend hand-writing your letter, but if you must, it can be typed and kept somewhere digital as well. If you have a little cash to spare, write your letter on nice stationery and put it in a thick envelope addressed to your lover.
- It’s heartfelt
Obviously, a big advantage of the love letter, song, or poem is that it provides a space to express your deepest feelings for your partner in your own words. You can write as many drafts as you would like, and make sure that you get to say exactly what you mean. Your partner will love that you took the time to think about them and how you feel for them, and will read the words in your voice.
- It’s material
Unlike a fine meal, chocolates, or even a fun experience like a concert or movie date, a written gift is physical. While many gifts we tend to give for Valentine’s Day are ephemeral, a written gift is something that your lover can keep close to them for a long time, without draining your savings account or buying more stuff.
- It’s pandemic-safe.
Not to be a bummer, but in the time of COVID-19, when the usual spots for Valentines to celebrate are closed or unsafe to visit, a love letter is a great way to make yet another cozy night in with your partner feel extra special. You could give it as a standalone gift, or alongside other loving gestures like making a home-cooked meal, watching a marathon of their favorite show (even if you hate it), or handling a chore they’ve been dreading so they don’t have to. Be sure to check out your partner’s love language to make sure you’re expressing love in just the right way; you could even take the quiz together on V-Day!
- It’s surprising
Seriously, who writes love letters anymore? Think about the last time you got a written note or card from someone through the postal service; doesn’t it feel just so sweet and quaint? If you’re not someone who’s typically very verbose or overtly romantic, your partner will be totally blown away by a personal, written gift.
- It can be sexy or SFW
If you are in a physical relationship with your partner, a love letter or poem is a great place to allude to the fun things you like to do with them when the lights go out (or stay on, no shame!). Reading erotic writing is very arousing for some, and sometimes it’s even better than images! It can give your partner an idea of your desires, even if you’ve kept them close to the vest until now. If you’re in a newer place in your relationship (tread lightly with this!), you have kids that may find or read the letter, or your partnership just isn’t, erm, like that, then there are plenty of ways to write a great love poem that’s totally PG.
- It’s versatile
There are so many ways to present a love letter or poem to your loved one. If you live together, you can give them the letter in person or leave it in a special place for them to find when you’re not around, like on their pillow if you’re gone to work before they wake up, in a lunch that you pack for them, or on their desk in the home office. You could even read it aloud to them over dinner!
If you don’t live with your partner, or you’re doing the long distance thing (oof), mail your letter! Like I said, “snail mail” is so fun to get in the age of instant messaging. Just make sure you leave yourself enough time to send the letter so it arrives on February 14th.
If you are crafty, you can personalize the stationery you write on with drawings, calligraphy or other embellishments. Your partner likely loves that you are creative and will enjoy seeing that shine through in your gift to them.
Got your love letter drafted, but not sure if it’s just right? Shoot me an email and I’ll help you make it swoon-worthy!