I might be dating myself a bit here, but I totally remember buying boxes full of little cardboard valentines as a kid to hand out to my classmates. You’d tear them along the perforated edges, save the best ones for your friends, and pop them in the little white envelopes to bring to your class party with nothing but your name signed at the bottom. As adults, however, this just won’t do. Whether you’re dating someone new or in an established relationship, February 14 is generally a holiday for romance. If you want to share your feelings in written form, here are some suggestions for what to write in a Valentine’s Day card.
When and why did valentines even become a thing?
While the origin of Valentine’s Day is darker than you might expect, things lightened up a fair bit by the 18th century. That’s when cards to commemorate the holiday became popular in England. At the time, they were generally hand-written, but that changed by the 19th century when mass-produced valentines started to be produced.
According to a 13th-century book called “The Golden Legend,” Saint Valentine of Rome was said to have been martyred all the way back in the year 269 A.D. He’s also said to have been the writer of the very first “valentine.” His letter was said to have been written to the daughter of his jailer, Asterius, and signed “Your Valentine” (via The History Channel). It’s unclear if this is actually true, of course. However, it hasn’t stopped American Greetings from repeating it. Hey, whatever sells cards!
What to write in a Valentine’s Day card
- Start with a heartfelt greeting. Begin your card by wishing the recipient a happy Valentine’s Day and expressing your love and appreciation for them. The card itself may already have that message printed on it, meaning you don’t need to reiterate the same thing. However, this is a good place to add in a pet name or nickname only you call them.
- Share specific memories or moments. Recall a special moment you shared with the recipient, or a particular quality or trait that you love about them. This can help make the message more personal and meaningful. Have you shared a super romantic experience in the past? Is there something you’ve been through together that deeply bonded you? Write about it in your Valentine’s Day card. They’ll likely appreciate the reminder.
- Write about what they mean to you. Express what the recipient means to you and how they have impacted your life in a positive way. Share how grateful you are to have them in your life. Tell them how much you care about them, if you’re at that stage of your relationship. If things are a bit newer, you can simply say you’re grateful to have met them and are looking forward to moving memories ahead.
- Add a touch of humor. If you have a funny or quirky relationship, consider adding a bit of humor to your message. A lighthearted joke or a silly memory can add a playful touch to the card. This also helps things feel slightly less awkward if sappiness really isn’t your thing.
- Include a poem. Cornball alert! This one isn’t for everyone, but if you’re suave enough to pull it off, you’ll be a Valentine’s star. Write a poem that captures your feelings for your partner, whether it’s a classic love poem or one you’ve written yourself. The latter will obviously win you extra brownie points, but if you’re not much of a writer, don’t despair. Google “most romantic poems” or whatever, and you’ll find something.
- A romantic quote never goes awry. Find a quote that speaks to your relationship and write it in the card, adding your own thoughts and feelings on the subject. Maybe skip stuff from “Sex and the City” or “Bridget Jones” or other cliche bits of media. Lean towards something a bit more high-brow. Of course, if you’re going to humorous route, ignore that advice.
- Tell them something you love about them. Is there something specific you love about the other person? Something they do or a quality they have that you can’t get enough of? Now’s the time to give voice to that. Sometimes it can feel a bit weird to drop detailed compliments on someone, even if it’s someone you’re dating. If ever there was a good time to gush, it’s now.
- Make a declaration or promise. Write a promise to your partner, whether it’s something small or a larger, long-term commitment. Obviously, you shouldn’t propose marriage or say you want to have a baby with them. However, something as simple as “I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together” or “I’ll always be by your side” will do the trick.
Remember, what’s most important when it comes to what you write in your Valentine’s Day card is the love and care that you put into the message. Whether you choose to write a heartfelt poem, a funny joke, or simply a few words of appreciation, just keep it sincere. As long as it’s genuine and reflects how you really feel, you really can’t go wrong.
Yes, Valentine’s Day can be pretty corny sometimes. It’s overcommercialized, unnecessary, and kind of obnoxious. However, there’s never really a bad time to show your partner how much you care about them. Feel free to get as sappy as your heart desires. It’s the one day a year many people feel okay being vulnerable enough to do so.