Imagine what it would have been like to date 50 years ago. Just 50 short years. It wasn’t even called dating – it was ‘courting’. How official does that sound? My Nan tells me stories of how her and my Pop would exchange letters with each other, they would go to the local dance and would often go many days without seeing or hearing from each other. And that was normal.
So much has changed in that time. Blame technology, blame the internet, blame anything you want, but you have to admit… writing a love letter is becoming a lost art. We now rely so heavily on text – within seconds we are in contact with someone. Hell, we’re even cranky if we don’t get a reply within minutes. Imagine having to wait days, weeks or even months to hear back from a loved one.
Given that it is Valentines Day, I wanted to take some time out to get back to what today should be about. Not the chocolates or flowers (mmm… chocolate), not the fancy dinners or expensive presents, but a day dedicated to acknowledging the one you love. When was the last time you put pen to paper (not thumb to phone screen) and took the time to write out how you feel?
To inspire you, I’ve found some quotes from famous love letters.
In 1819 John Keats wrote a love letter to his neighbour declaring his love for her. He writes ‘I cannot exist without you. I am forgetful of everything but seeing you again. My life seems to stop there – I see no further. You have absorb’d me.’ This is argued to be one of the best love letters of all time.
More recently in 1964 Richard Burton wrote to Elizabeth Taylor ‘My blind eyes are desperately waiting for the sight of you. You don’t realise of course, E.B., how fascinatingly beautiful you have always been, and how strangely you have acquired an added and special and dangerous loveliness.’
And my absolute favourite…
In 1994 Johnny Cash wrote a note to his wife, June Carter for her 65th Birthday saying ‘We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted. But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realise how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met.’
Why is it so different to receive a love letter than a love text? In my opinion, it’s the romance. Even more so now that writing letters is not something that is common. The fact that someone would take the time to sit and write a letter is even more meaningful than the actual content.
When Steve and I first started dating there was a period of time when I knew we were going to be away from each other for a while. I prepared a few weeks worth of letters, one for each day, and gave them to him in a big bundle before he left. He opened each one on the day he was meant to – the topics of each were different, sometimes they contained just a quote, others a little snippet of information about myself. The content didn’t matter. What was important is that he was able to open a handwritten note from me each day, that he knew I took the time to write, just for him.
This Valentines Day I challenge you, not to write just a ‘To’ and ‘Love From’ in a card but to actually write a love letter. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated, just a few sentences about how you feel for your loved one. Take the time to show the person who is most important to you just how much they mean. Use the share buttons bellow to share this with your friends and get the challenge out there.