Creating memorable love notes will keep your marriage tender and vital.
And a love note doesn’t have to take a ton of time.
My husband—a carpenter when I married him—took off his 20-pound tool belt to eat lunch. He bit into the sandwich I’d made for him and …what was this? He tugged at the foreign-feeling-saranwrap smeared in peanut butter. After unwrapping it, he found a post-it note hidden inside his sandwich, “I love you.”
Every time my husband tells this story he laughs at that moment when he bit into the sandwich and knew something wasn’t right. The juxtaposition between “Eww” and “I’m loved” is what makes it memorable in the lifetime of your marriage.
Singling out your spouse with a love note is a great way to make them feel loved. But your to-do list is so long it’s hard to find time, let alone the energy to make something fun happen.
Here’s a quick formula so you can give your spouse a memorable love note without being late for work.
Paper + Location + Message = Memorable Love Note
Here’s the three ways to change up a love note: the paper, the location, and the message of your love note. Change up 1 of the 3 to make memorable love notes fast.
By hiding a note inside my husband’s sandwich, I made the location memorable. You can make your love note memorable by getting fancy paper or drawing a lipstick heart on the bathroom mirrow. Or you can dive deep with the message itself. Tell your spouse you admire their work ethic or write about how good their butt looks in those jeans.
Paper = the type of paper you use. Vary the note to add visual variety.
· Plain post-it
· Pretty stationary
· Fancy doodle
Location = where you hide the note. Imagine new places and spaces where your spouse can find your love note.
· Plain sight
Message = what you say. Don’t wait to send a love note until you have something earth shattering to say.
· 2-word candy heart approach
· Brief observation
· Deep dive
Let’s use these three elements to make writing love notes a regular occurrence in your marriage.
How a super simple love note repeated often will improve your marriage
Start simple: A post-it note that says, “Love you!” welcomes your spouse first thing in the morning. Many people go years without a single love note because they wait until they can say the perfect thing.
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just start.
My husband works lots of late shifts so I go to bed before he gets home. I’ll stick a post-it note on the counter where I know he’ll see it when he gets home. “There’s some chicken in the fridge. XXOO.”
In the morning I wake to the same sticky note with this message written in the bottom corner, “I love you, My Darling.” I can hear him saying “My Darling.” There’s something truly intimate about hearing your spouse’s voice on a love note. It adds dimension to your marriage.
We have this little parade of notes that connect us when we see very little of each other because of opposite schedules. I wouldn’t have known a silly post-it note could add so much tenderness to my marriage.
Grab a post-it note right now.
Write “xxoo” on it.
Stick it somewhere your spouse is sure to find it in the next day or two.
Up your love-note-game one element at a time
Vary one element: paper, message, or location to make writing love notes a staple in your marriage.
Once you feel comfortable making these tiny love notes a regular part of your life, start to vary things. It’s always fun to have a reason to use pretty stationary. Don’t fall into the trap of saving stationary for a worthy occasion.
Pretty paper elevates my “Chicken in the fridge, XXOO” love note. Bonus points for visual appeal. And I certainly appreciate seeing his reply on this lovely backdrop.
Change the location of your 2-word post-it note. Stick “Love you!” to the mirror where your spouse brushes their teeth. Or set in in the coffee grounds so your spouse will see your love note when they’re bleary-eyed and making their morning joe.
Finding a love note in an unexpected location sends a subliminal message to your spouse that your love is everywhere.
The third element invites you to change the message you leave on your love note. For most people, however, committing their thoughts to the written word is difficult enough that it doesn’t get done. If that’s you, stick to simple, 2-word messages so they get delivered.
An undelivered love note isn’t helping your marriage a bit.
If a change in the paper or location of your love note feels amateur to you though, vary the message. The more specific the message of your love note, the deeper your spouse will feel it.
Here’s a couple ideas if you’re stuck wondering what to say.
· The reason I love seeing you in those jeans is because…
· I know sometimes I complain that you’re not home, but I love that you are so devoted to…
· I haven’t spent as much time with you lately as I would like. And it might be days before we are able to find time to hang out. So, in the meantime, I want to make sure you know…
Change one element: paper, location, or message, and leave a love note tucked away for your spouse to find (or for you to bring out) a week or a month from now.
The 8-second love note
· A plain post-it love note, with 2 words, left on the counter
· A two-word love note written in lipstick on the mirror
· Stick your two-word love note to a pinecone and stuff it in your spouse’s shoe (Where I live a pinecone might take me an additional 8 seconds to locate. No pinecone? What other bumpy thing is easy to access and will make your spouse laugh when they go to put on their shoe?)
Bite into a sticky love note or leave a lipstick heart on the mirror: What makes it easy and fun for you to leave a love note that tells your spouse you think they’re the best?