Where Have All the Love Letters Gone?


My workplace is limiting my email storage so I’ve been forced to look at emails I wrote back in the day.  It’s fun to see how unprofessional I was when I was a wee little Kate, making my foray into the business world.  Like the time I used 17 exclamation points in one message.  That was really cool.  I’m sure the Vice President who got my three-paragraph thank you email about lunch thought that was really cute.  But I digress. It was during this clean-up that I came across a rather large group of emails from my last official boyfriend in ::coughcough2007coughcough::. It would have been weird to go through them, re-read them, re-live my mindset from back then, so I quickly glanced at a couple then did a mass delete and it felt good.  But! I was reminded of something missing in my life and the lives of others.

Where have all the cowboys love letters gone? [It adds a little something if you sing it to the tune of that Paula Cole song.  Is it stuck in your head now?  You’re welcome.]

We live in an age where the love letter has been replaced with the email or the text message.  While some could use this as a platform to lament the use of the email or the text message, I will not.  You see, I actually like them quite a bit.  As opposed to a letter, they’re something you can get unexpectedly, any time of the day.*  That text message I got after a grueling meeting, the one from a date telling me he looks forward to seeing me tonight?  Yah, I’ll never object to it.

However, it’s the sheer volume of text messages and emails, and the obvious ease of sending them, which makes the love letter special, coveted, and missed.  It says something when your significant other takes the time to pull out the nice paper, a pen, and spend the time to come up with the perfect way to describe your golden locks or the way he goes all mushy when you tilt your head just so.  Or maybe he’s just letting you know how much he enjoyed the road trip to that one vineyard, and how he got to spend so much time with you.  I tear up just thinking about it!  Really.

Further, love letters provide the perfect opportunity for you to use your lover’s full name in a way that’s really sexy.  In romance novels, the heroine always notices when the hero uses her first name for the first time.  I don’t know about you, but seeing My Dearest Katharine** on the page would definitely make my lady parts quiver a little bit more than seeing plan ol’ Kate.  And that’s just the first few words!

Love letters are an acceptable place to describe that weird quirk about your lover that you never knew how to say in person.  Or maybe shouldn’t say.  Like the fact that in the mornings you like watching his nostrils flare while he’s still sleeping.  You think it’s cute.  But maybe that conversation is one that doesn’t go as smoothly in person.  The love letter, instead, lets you express these things and you get to avoid seeing the weird look on his face. But know that the weird look will probably turn into a blush and he’ll take a certain pride knowing his nostrils give you so much pleasure.

Love letters have an enduring and tangible aspect that just isn’t with an email or a text.  No digging through filed emails or trying to remember that sweet text message from five years ago.  The letters are there, in your hands, always available, and looking more loved and cherished over time.  Someday, your kids might even think they’d be great scrapbook material!

The road goes both ways on this one.  Men enjoy getting letters just as much as women.  Dare I say they even enjoy the well-thought letter even more than many women do?

How many of you get handwritten love letters on a regular basis?  Do tell!


*But to that guy, who texted me at 11:30 P.M., telling me he only wanted me to sit next to him in bed and talk and “nothing more.”  Yah, you didn’t fool me.  Less than subtle and highly offensive.
**But while we’re on this topic, a note of caution; the love letter is not the place to test out that new “pumpkin cheeks” name you thought of when you saw your loved one bending over in the supermarket aisle to reach for that can of green beans.

32 thoughts on “Where Have All the Love Letters Gone?

  1. My fiancé and I are actually living long distant from each other until we get married. So most of our love letters are emails that we sent everyday. However whenever something comes up like a birthday, anniversary or holiday. I send him a card with a note just for him. He’s done it a few times as well but he always feels silly cause he never knows what to say and he’ll sometimes put lol and then write what an ass he is for writing lol. I laugh at those notes and love them. It just shows the kind of guy he is.

    • The long distance thing can be so rough (been there!) but you two sound like you have it down. And he might feel dorky, but we never read them that way!

  2. I loved reading this!!! You are a great writer with a great voice for humor (thanks for making me laugh!) I agree- I like email and text as well, but love letters are so special and personal (and so true about the nostrils thing hahaha). My boyfriend and I were long distance for awhile, and letters were a large part of what helped us through that time. I wrote an article on it at our site. Thanks again, keep up the great work!

    Katie & Chels


    • Everyone has been so nice to me upon my return to blogging, I’m very flattered by your comments. Thank you for the positive words! Checking out your post now!

      And it sounds like you got through the horrid distance phase, hurrah for being reunited again!

  3. I write my kids “love” letters on their birthdays and my older two on their first day of school each year. Nobody ever sends me love letters anymore though. Not even grandma.

  4. Oh, the sheer bliss of receiving, reading and re-reading a well written letter! Or, even composing and writing one out!! The anticipation of the contents when opening the envelope and the whiff of paper on which the letter has been written!!

    I may sound a wee bit old-fashioned, but a cold mail or sms in comparison is rather metallic, inorganic and digital. Yes, it has unique advantages over a conventional letter.

    • Yes and yes! Composing them is just as fun as receiving. But one of the best parts about getting a letter is the anticipation. You don’t sound old-fashioned at all… text and email are quite cold compared to seeing the handwritten words on the page, but agreed that they have their advantages (like that note in the middle of the day).

    • I got little chills reading this! How lovely. Boys, they *do* know how to deliver! And hey, delayed gratification ca be nice. 🙂

    • There was that one time that I meant to tell Grace to “just kill me now” except it came across as “just milk me now”… Yah. I hear you.

  5. I’m of the age where letters were still the NORM. All of the letters I exchanged with my now husband, even the ones that were written before we were considered dating, are stored in a fancy hat box under the bed. Yes, Mr. Muse saved the letters and cards I sent him.

    I miss getting letters. The emails are good (he doesn’t text) but a letter they are not.

    • I wonder how many men keep the letters they’ve received? I’m inclined to think it’s more than many might think. I love that Mr. Muse kept them. That’s just so very romantic to me. And how great to be able to pull them out and look at them years in the future. 🙂

  6. I sorely miss love letters from my significant other. I dated a couple of guys who wrote me frequently, and it was wonderful to have those letters as a reminder of our love even when I was crying bitterly over our break up. Now I am married, and my husband is great about buying cards for major holidays, but he never writes more than a sentence in them. I crave love letters!

    Trying to give him a hint, I started collecting postcards from places we visited when we were dating and all of the places I or we have visited since we got married. Once a month, I write him a little love letter on the back of the postcard and leave it somewhere for him to find. He is not getting the hint, but at least one of us will have physical proof on paper of our love affair.

    • Maybe we need to send this post to Mr. Jessica, and see what happens? 😉 Maybe he needs more of a stick to the head kind of hint? When men (and women) don’t write, I bet they do feel a little silly at first ala Lisa’s earlier comment. I just don’t know the answer of how to get them not feel that way. Your post card idea is fantastic, tho. Even if you don’t have the other half to the post card, it will be wonderful to have those to look back upon. 😀

  7. Love letters are awesome, and I agree that they’re quite sorely missed (although I certainly don’t object to love-emails or love-texts). I’ll have to write one for Brandon, even though it’ll make him blush. Win!

  8. I am lucky to get some love emails and texts. I do miss the idea of writing love letters. They just put a smile on his face and that is worth it. Luckily I found one who understands old fashioned wooing never goes out of style 🙂 Holding doors and holding hands never go out of style.

    • Let us know if you end up writing a love letter soon. Just like Ashokbhatia said earlier, it’s just as fun to write them for someone else – that smile makes it so worth it. It’s wonderful that you hold hands. That gesture is so sweet.

  9. Love letters seem very old fashioned. Like what a man would have taken to war in 1914 with him and, should he have survived that horrific ordeal, proffered his hand in marriage to said letter writer. I had one boyfriend who used to write me love letters, I suppose, but all the rest? (husband included, here) I’m lucky if they even put pen to paper to write me a note reminding me to buy more milk!

    • I wonder if that’s what makes them so romantic to me, their old-fashioned nature. As if receiving one or writing one is like following in centuries of lovers foot steps. Maybe? Do you write your husband love letters?

      • I do agree! I think things were.. simpler.. in times gone by. I wrote my husband a couple of nice cards when we were dating, but not any more. He doens’t really write me any either. He’s not very good at reading or writing so I think for him it woudl be a chore, even if he means it! It’s a shame, really.

  10. I had to get a new phone when me and my boyfriend had only been together a few months, and saved on it were the majority of mushy/naughty texts he’s sent me. I was sad at the thought of no longer having them, so wrote out them all by hand into a book 😀 I have no idea where that book is now, but I’m sure I’ll find it again one day. Christmas and Birthday cards are the new love letters, I can’t bring myself to throw them out. There is definitely something special about the handwriting of your loved one, its a little piece of themselves they are giving to you and you want to keep it forever.

  11. I haven’t received a love letter for a long time now, but somewhere in a shoe box in my parents garage is a few from an old boyfriend. I wonder if he kept the ones I wrote to him.

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