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This February 14, you can forget the flowers and chuck the chocolates – our new survey has revealed what people really want for Valentine’s Day: handwritten love letters. What’s more, far from being a dying art, 88% say they’ve written heartfelt love letters in the past, and Americans are still far more likely to treasure a handwritten letter than a love text.¹
Sealed with a kiss: Americans are smitten with love letters
It’s official: even in this technological age, love letters are still one of America’s most-loved romantic gestures. In fact, in our recent survey of 1650 Americans, love letters were revealed as the gift-most-wanted for Valentine’s Day 2017. Based on data sourced anonymously, more than half of those surveyed – 55% – said that their dream present would be a heartfelt love letter or poem; which means that love letters are a more desired gift than being taken to a fine restaurant (chosen by 26%) or getting flowers and chocolates (picked by 12%).
What’s more, Americans don’t just want to get love letters, they’re giving them too: 88% of those in the survey said that they believe love letters to be a vital part of a happy relationship, with 73% of men and a whopping 79% of women stating that they’ve written some form of love letter in the past.
The greatest love letters in history
So what makes a love letter so special? Perhaps history can tell us. We asked those in the survey to vote on their favourite love letters of all time, and we’ve collected the best below. They’re the perfect addition to any Valentine’s Day celebrations.
- Need more romance this Valentine’s Day? Try our playlist of the world’s 25 most romantic love songs
Not only are these letters beautiful, they’re the perfect inspiration if you’re thinking of writing something heartfelt of your own. Flick though our slideshow and feel the romance!
How to write a love letter
Feeling inspired after those beautiful words? It might be time to join the busy ranks of American letter writers. Before you do, however, it’s important to remember a few of the factors that go into crafting the perfect love letter (other than simply sealing with a kiss!):
1. Write from the heart
Don’t fret about finding endlessly creative ways to say I love you – a great love letter doesn’t have to be all polished prose. In fact, 75% of survey respondents said that they actually preferred raw passion to poetic writing, indicating that a letter written straight from the heart is more special than one that focuses on evocative imagery.
2. Honesty really is the best policy
Similarly, only 6% of Americans think that beautiful writing is the most important part of a romantic letter. Honesty is far more valued: three in four people (75%) say that honesty is the most important thing to try for. Flattery falls flat too – only 4% of Americans like being schmoozed.
3. Use pen and paper
The medium matters when writing to your beloved: 63% of Americans say that handwritten, paper letters are the most romantic. That said, love texts are on the rise, especially with younger Americans; 10% of respondents under the age of 30 said SMSs were the most romantic, compared to just 2% of over 30s.
4. Send your love letter only once you’re already dating
It’s also important to pay attention to when in the relationship you send your love letters. 75% of American men and 84% of women indicated that they’d prefer to only get letters from someone they were already dating – meaning that the 18% of men and 9% of women who admitted that they would use a love letter to express interest in someone before dating them would be best to err on the side of patience!
5. Know that the recipient might just treasure it forever
One final tip: if you do write your sweetie a love note, know that it might stick around. Indeed, Americans are likely to treasure their love letters, sometimes forever: But somewhat surprisingly 52% of men think it’s unacceptable to keep love letters from an old flame. Evidently, love letters are very meaningful to men
Do you want to meet someone to exchange love letters with? EliteSingles can help – register with us today!
1. All survey results based on an EliteSingles’ Love Letters’ study, January 2017. Sample size:1650 American singles.