Erin Christie

Valentine’s Day can often be an expensive endeavour and If you and your significant other celebrated yesterday, your bank account may be looking a little worse for wear. Before things escalate with this year’s bevy of birthdays, anniversarys and the rest, it’s time to put pen to paper and invest – emotionally not financially – in the age-old love letter.

You may have expected that by 2017 the art of letter-writing would have been defeated by technology. Surely it’s easier to send a message via Facebook, or a quick text to let your other half know that you’re thinking of them, and that you haven’t forgotten the significance of the day. However, these messages seem quite fleeting, they can easily get lost in a thread of other messages, and seem to be more practical than thought-provoking. Therefore, it would seem that the art of writing love letters is still alive and well in the technological era.

Australian dating website, EliteSingles, ran a recent survey of 400 people that found that what most people want for Valentine’s Day is a love letter, specifically a hand-written one. 57 per cent opted love letters to be their ‘dream present’, putting it above jewellery, chocolate and flowers. The Balance has reported that in 2017, Valentine’s Day contributed $18.2 billion to the economy in the United States, which is lower than $19.7 billion spent in 2016 and the $18.9 billion spent in 2015. Despite these being incredible figures, it does seem that non-materialistic trends are on the rise to mark special occasions. Letters are easy, free, and incredibly sweet; and the best part is, you don’t have to be a wordsmith to write a great one.

The same survey found that 73 per cent of those asked thought that writing something honest and heartfelt was more noteworthy and interesting than something incredibly eloquent. Iambic pentameter may have terrified you since high school, but there’s no need to fret! Your other half will enjoy something tailored for them by you; it shows you put thought into what you wanted to share with them. Also, 56 per cent of those surveyed believed that physically handwritten letters were the way to go; this form will show just how much effort you put in to your letter and make your loved one feel important, because hardly anyone resorts to handwriting anymore! However, 16 per cent of respondents below the age of 30 believed texts were the most romantic medium, so this could work as well. Just make sure it’s one heartfelt and honest SMS.

In the end, your partner will apppreciate the thought behind what you do for them on any special occasion. Personal letters generally contain lots of thoughts for and abour your partner, letting them know how much you think of them and how highly you regard them – this is what makes them the most romantic gift of all.