When was the last time you actually wrote a love letter?

You probably love getting texts from your significant other. I certainly love getting funny or caring texts from my husband. Text messaging is fast and easy, but I wonder if we are losing our ability to express our thoughts, feelings and emotions which is crucial to building and sustaining lasting love.

Let’s reclaim the lost art. Here are 5 things you should know when writing a love letter.

What to write: There is no specific recipe for what should be contained in a love letter. You don’t need to be poetic or even a good writer. Just speak sincerely, openly and honestly. Speak from you heart as well as your mind. Tell someone what they mean to you. Share what you love about them. Express how you feel when you are with them. You can also reminisce about experiences you had together. Being nostalgic and sharing happy sentiments will brighten any love letter. As our Sages said: Words from the heart enter the heart.

Timing: Special occasions can be a good time for love letters, but don’t underestimate the power of an everyday love letter. That will grab a person’s attention and make their day. By giving someone a love letter, you transform the mundane into a special occasion.

Format: Call me old fashioned but I’ll take a handwritten love letter over an email or text anytime. I’m not saying that you can’t text or email a love letter, but electronic communication seems to be less meaningful. There’s something about seeing someone’s penmanship on paper that you can hold in your hand. It’s more personal. It usually takes more time, effort and thought which more powerfully demonstrates your love and commitment. So if I had to choose, a handwritten note, even on a piece of scratch paper, is more meaningful than an email or text.

Feeling: A love letter is meant both to share your feelings and evoke a feeling in someone else. As you sit down to write your letter, think about how you want the recipient to feel upon reading your wonderful words. When you know the feeling you want to evoke, work backwards and try to say the things that will touch the soft spot in their heart.

I’m just not a writer: You don’t need to be a skilled writer when it comes to matters of the heart. You need to be a skilled feeler. Take time to put whatever feeling you have into words. Don’t just write, “You make me happy.” Explain that feeling. For example, you could say, “You make me happy because I know I can trust you and I feel safe when I’m with you. I’m so glad we met and I’m looking forward to getting to know more about you and sharing more of me.” If this kind of expression doesn’t come easy to you, no worries. You can practice as much as you want before actually delivering your final version.

May you be blessed to find someone to love, and may you be able to express the right words in the right time.