Write Letters to Each Other

writing a letter
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Given that I'm a writer, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that I do better with pen and ink than with the words coming out of my mouth. I recently moved to a new city, and when it came time to say goodbye to my friends in my old city, I ended up writing letters. Somewhere between my brain and my mouth there's a disconnect, and whatever eloquence there is in my brain becomes a mumbled “see ya" by the time it reaches my mouth. But in a letter, I can tell my friends how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate them.

After all of these goodbyes it occurred to me that I should do the same thing with my partner as well. I have plenty of eloquent, soul-stirring thoughts of love and appreciation in my brain, but by the time they reach my mouth they become a hastily grunted “love ya." Which is how I came to realize that occasional letter writing to your partner, even though they live right there in the same home as you, is a great way to more fully communicate your feelings for them.

Not only is it a much more robust way to express your own love, it's also a great way to feel more loved when you get your own letter in return. Obviously the ideal would be that you communicate everything vocally, eye-to-eye. But sometimes, to really get to the core of your deep feelings, you need that metaphorical curtain to make you feel less exposed. Although that's not where the benefits of letter writing stop. The great thing about a letter is that it's a physical thing, one you can return back to again and again. Spoken words are great, but they can sometimes fade into the ether of memory. Written words don't fade.

This isn't to say that you should replace verbal communication with a flood of letters and emails. Think of it more as a supplement. Maybe once a month, or every couple of months, put your collective thoughts down on paper and give it to your partner. Over time, the practice will fill out the gaps in your communication. It dials down the vulnerability a little so that you can speak more honestly and openly. Plus, as the years pass, those letters can serve as a sort of trail of breadcrumbs on which to reflect. Like a diary, they can show you how you've each changed and how your relationship has matured. As it is with many things in life, love is made better when you put it all down on paper.