Valentines day

Learn how to write a classic love letter

Today’s digital world has given rise to fast, stinted communications. According to the Pew Research Center, texting is the most widely used smartphone app, with 97 percent of Americans using it at least once a day. Across the globe, 8.3 trillion text messages are sent each year. That translates to roughly 16 million messages per minute. In addition to text messaging, social media posts are generally concise and short on depth. The written form of communication has changed dramatically in the last decade,  as letter-writing and other forms of prose have all but faded away.

But come Valentine’s Day, it can be special to dust off that pen and paper to express oneself via the written word in the name of love. Love letters are cherished keepsakes that can be kept for years. Such couples can illustrate a couple’s present-day love for one another and shed insight on their relationship years later. Here are some steps for writing a romantic love letter or note.

  • Jot down ideas and inspiration. Make a list of attributes and qualities in a spouse or romantic interest that you would like to highlight. Write down phrases and terms that come to mind. These words can serve as the foundation for the letter.
  • Categorize your thoughts into three areas. Jot down things that you like and love about the person, things that the person may do for you or your family that you appreciate, and various memories from throughout the years.
  • Write what you know. Do not feel pressured to make this letter more complicated than it has to be. The words will come when you write from the heart. While you can use other letters to spur ideas, do not lose your voice or try to mimic someone else’s work.
  • Make the letter personal and specific. Small details are important and make love letters more meaningful. Such details illustrate to a significant other that this letter was specifically written with them in mind.
  • Disregard length. The letter does not have to be a certain length. Whether it is a paragraph or several pages, the letter will be a success if it says what you want to express. It doesn’t have to be long if that’s not your style. Writing a love letter can be a wonderful way to express romantic sentiments this Valentine’s Day. 

Valentines traditions from around the world

Valentine’s Day is celebrated across the globe. Come Valentine’s Day, candy, flowers and other gifts are exchanged between sweethearts in one of the many traditions associated with the holiday.

The origins of Valentine’s Day are largely unknown. Some suggest Valentine’s Day was initially a way to honor St. Valentine on the anniversary of his death. Others believe it was the Christian church’s way of Christianizing the Pagan celebration of Lupercalia, a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture. Regardless of its origins, Valentine’s Day is now celebrated by millions and is one of the retail industry’s most lucrative shopping holidays. Many different traditions can be linked to Valentine’s Day. Here is a list of the interesting ways Valentine’s Day is celebrated across the globe.

South Korea

In South Korea, men get to enjoy the spotlight on Valentine’s Day, as women bestow gifts of chocolate on them. In return, a month later  men reciprocate with gifts for women on White Day. South Koreans take Valentine’s Day a step further on Black Day, which falls on April 14. This is an opportunity for all single people who may not have received Valentine’s Day gifts to gather at restaurants and eat a dish called “black noodles” as they celebrate their singleton status.

Denmark and Norway

These Scandinavian countries didn’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day until recently, but have now put their own spin on the traditions. Men write funny poems or rhyming love notes called Gaekkebrev and send them to women anonymously. Women must try to guess their admirers by counting dots that are put on the note that correspond to the number of letters in the man’s name.


In Estonia, Valentine’s Day is a day more devoted to friendship than romantic love. It is called “Sõbrapäev” in Estonian, which translates to “Friend’s Day.” Cards and gifts are exchanged among friends.


In Wales, Valentine’s Day is not celebrated. Rather, the Welsh commemorate St. Dwynwen’s Day, who is their patron saint of lovers on January 25. It is customary to gift love-spoons, a tradition that likely stems from the practice of sailors carving intricately decorated spoons of wood and presenting them to women they were interested in courting or marrying.


Considered to be one of the most romantic countries in the world, France can be an ideal place to participate in Valentine’s Day traditions. The French have an old custom called “une loterie d’amour,” which is a drawing for love. Single men and women of all ages once entered houses that faced one another and took turns calling out to one another to find romantic matches. The men could refuse the match and leave the woman looking for another man to call on. Women who were not paired up would light a bonfire and damn the men who rejected them. The French government eventually banned the practice because of rowdy crowds.


Italian lovers celebrate Valentine’s Day in much the same way as Americans. One interesting Valentine’s tradition in Italy is locking padlocks to different structures, which is called “Lucchetti dell’Amore (locks of love).” Couples attach the locks to bridges, railings and lamp posts, inscribe their names and throw away the key. The action suggests the couple will be together forever.