If you’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship, you know how important it is to find fun ways to stay close to your loved one. Ultimately, writing Open When Letters is a cute and unique idea that will keep both of you occupied while you’re apart.
Since my partner tends to travel a lot for business, I have to spend quite a bit of time on my own. Luckily, these letters have helped both of us get through our time apart.
What Is an Open When Letter?
An Open When Letter is a pre-written note that you give to your loved one to open when they’re feeling a certain way. Depending on how long you’re apart, you can choose to make one or several letters for different occasions.
You or your significant other crafts a note, places it in an envelope, and writes “open when you’re feeling sad,” “open when you’re feeling lonely,” etc. The great thing about these letters is that you can write them for basically any situation that comes to mind!
Open When Letter Rules
Ultimately, you can make up the rules together, but here are a few examples for reference:
• Don’t open them until you and your partner are apart.
• Try not to open more than one letter a day.
• Don’t show anyone the contents of the letters.
• Save each letter once you’ve read it.
However, keep in mind that reading these letters is meant to be a fun pastime. Don’t go too overboard with the rules!
Preparing Your Open When Letters
Brainstorm Some Ideas
Before you go out to buy your supplies, you will need to brainstorm some ideas for your letters. Consider some instances in which your partner would want to open one of them.
For example, you should start with general feelings such as loneliness, sadness, happiness, etc. Then, move on to more specific ones, like “open when you’re feeling sad because it’s raining” or something similar.
Buy Your Supplies
Here’s what you’ll need:
• A box for the letters.
• Envelopes and paper.
• Small gifts that will fit inside the envelopes. I usually include larger gifts to go along with my letters, but for that, you will need a bigger box or a separate one.
These are some general ideas of what you should buy, but feel free to put your own spin on things. For example, you can choose to scent each letter and make it more personal.
When it comes to gifts, you can opt to use objects you already own, such as photographs or keepsakes you both cherish, or buy something new. It’s entirely up to you.
Write the Letters
Personally, I like to take my time when writing Open When Letters. That’s why I start prepping a week before giving them to my partner.
Also, I don’t always feel inspired to write something heartfelt, so I tend to skip the days when I feel less motivated. Keep in mind that you want each letter to come from the heart. Therefore, take your time and make sure you’re in the right headspace when writing them.
Add the Finishing Touches
Once you’ve written and sealed the letters, place them in the box and decorate it however you want. I like to add some confetti and candy for my husband to enjoy.
Just make sure to place anything edible in a Ziploc bag if you’re planning on putting any perfume on the letters. Trust me — I’ve made the mistake of leaving chocolates out in the open a few times, and the result was not yummy at all!
What to Write in Open When Letters
If it’s your first time writing Open When Letters, here are some of my all-time favorite ideas for you to use. Just remember to add a personal touch to each letter before sealing it.
1. Open Upon Arrival
If your partner is curious (like mine is), they will want to open a letter right away. That’s why I always make sure to add an Open Upon Arrival letter. They can satisfy their curiosity immediately!
You can write down anything you want in this letter. I like to start it off with “I already miss you” or “can’t wait until you get back” so that he immediately knows I’m thinking about him.
Then, I usually tell him to take care, have a safe trip, and not to open all the letters at once. You can also opt to lay out the rules in this letter if you decide on any.
2. Open When You Need Some Motivation
It’s easy to feel unmotivated when there’s no one beside you to cheer you on. That’s why I like to add a motivational quote or a simple pick-me-up to make sure my hubby knows I’m cheering him on from the sidelines! Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“Babe, thank you for coming into my life. Thank you for making me smile like crazy. Thank you for making me happy.”
“The best thing life has given me is you. Thank you for being my partner all the way.”
“Every beat of my heart belongs to you, every ray of sunshine comes from you, and every whiff of air that I breathe, I breathe for you.”
“Do you know what happiness means to me? Happiness is to wait for you after a hard day, to cook a delicious dinner, to take care of you when you are sick, and to support you in moments of triumph. From now on, we have a common destiny and one heart for two.”
“You are a warm cup of coffee on a rainy morning, a soft blanket on a cold night, the rainbow following a storm, and the sauna at the end of a difficult week. You are the love, passion, and comfort of my life.”
3. Open When You’re Having a Good Day
Supporting your significant other when they are having a good day is the best way to show how important they are to you. I usually write something simple like “I hope you feel this amazing all the time because you deserve nothing less.”
I’ll also add a picture of both of us to keep him smiling throughout the day.
4. Open When You’re Having a Rough Day
Rough days are the worst, especially if you don’t have anyone to share your problems with. That’s why I usually make a few of these letters just in case.
It’s important to remind your partner that the bad day will pass and that they will feel better after a long bath. I also like to include some relaxing bath salts and some scented candles along with the letter.
5. Open When You Miss Me
Your partner probably misses you the entire time you’re apart. However, some days can be more difficult than others.
For the Open When You Miss Me letters, I usually print out some photos of myself and write a caption. Some examples include “thinking about you,” “counting the minutes until you return,” etc.
You can also add a personal object such as a necklace or something you wear every day. That should help your partner feel closer to you.
6. Open When You’re Having Trouble Sleeping
If your partner suffers from insomnia, write down a few cute goodnight messages for them to read in bed. Here are a few examples you can use:
“While you’re lying in bed, unable to sleep, remember that I’m dreaming of you. Close your eyes and join me so that we can be together in our dreams.”
“The sooner you fall asleep, the sooner your day will end, bringing us one step closer to being together again.”
I also like to add another special envelope with some chamomile tea and print out some pictures of cute puppies and kittens. They’re bound to make anyone feel warm and fuzzy inside!
Pro tip: As strange as it may seem, some people have difficulty falling asleep when it’s too quiet. Maybe some background noise will make your partner feel less lonely. If you want to go the extra mile, include a white noise machine with the letter to help them sleep.
7. Open When It’s Raining
Rain is a definite downer for my husband, so I usually write him a letter for when the weather is glum. In it, I simply tell him to take the time to relax and spend the day reading a book or watching a movie.
If he forgets to pack a book, I add it to the box, and I also make a list of some movies I think he will enjoy.
I just recently started adding some cocoa mix and marshmallows too. You can also add a fluffy blanket (if it will fit in the box).
8. Open When You’re Sick
Getting sick is the worst, even more so when there’s no one to take care of you. When writing an Open When You’re Sick letter, I usually add a note like this:
“I’m so sorry I’m not there to nurse you back to health. But I want you to know that I’m thinking about you all the time, and hopefully, this care package will help you regain your strength. Love you and miss you!”
As for the care package, I always add some chicken soup, tea, aspirin, and cozy socks. You can add anything you think might help your significant other get better and provide some comfort while they are sick.
9. Open When You’re on Your Period
Obviously, I don’t make this one for my husband, but he is actually the one who gave me the idea. He was thoughtful enough to make me a care package when I was on my period, and it included everything from pads and tampons to chocolate (lots of it, actually!).
If you’d like to make one of these for your girlfriend/wife, I suggest adding the following things as well:
• Fluffy slippers and a blanket
• Hot water bottle
• Face masks
• Anti-inflammatory medication (Ibuprofen, Advil, etc.)
• More chocolate
As for the letter, write down some comforting words, or add some funny memes. Since every woman acts differently when she’s on her period, you will need to come up with something on your own. To be honest, you might want to consider putting the chocolate in the envelope instead of writing anything!
10. Open When You Need to Laugh
Whether your partner is feeling down or just needs a quick pick-me-up, this Open When You Need to Laugh letter is a great way to bring a smile to their face!
Luckily, my husband and I have the same sense of humor, so I know exactly what will make him laugh the hardest.
I always add some ridiculous jokes and print out a few funny animal memes — you can never go wrong with those! Additionally, I sometimes add a list of some good comedies or YouTube videos I think he will enjoy.
11. Open When You’re Bored
My personal favorite Open When Letters are the ones where I get to make up some fun games for my husband!
Obviously, you can pack some cards or a board game for your significant other. They can either play with friends or opt for some single-player games, like Solitaire. However, if you want to get creative, here are a few ideas you can make your own!
Create a Puzzle
This is, by far, my favorite DIY project! One of my friends told me about these puzzles, and I’ve been making them every chance I get!
You will need a printed photo of you and your partner, some cardboard, a ruler, spray lacquer, and a pen/pencil.
Glue the picture onto the cardboard and let it dry. Then, spray on the lacquer and also leave it to dry.
Next, use the ruler to trace equal squares on the back of the cardboard (the side without the photo). Afterward, draw your own puzzle template along the edges of the squares. Cut them out, and your puzzle is ready!
I love this idea since you can make a large elaborate puzzle out of practically any image. Plus, once your partner completes it, they can hang it on a wall.
Make Your Own Crossword Puzzle
Hopefully, your partner enjoys solving crossword puzzles as much as mine does — after all, they can be incredibly fun!
What’s more, it’s rather easy to make one; all you need is a pen/pencil, paper, a ruler, and your imagination! You can use any situation from your life together and add clues only your partner would be able to figure out.
The puzzle is an incredibly romantic gesture, and your partner will love solving it. Trust me — once you make your first crossword puzzle, you’ll immediately want to make some more!
12. Open When You Feel Like Shopping
Unlike most husbands, mine likes to go shopping just as much as I do. That’s why I always like to include a gift card in one of my Open When Letters.
Depending on what the gift card is for, I add a little note. It usually says something like, “go spoil yourself — you deserve it.”
13. Open When We’re in a Fight
Even when you’re in a long-distance relationship, you’re bound to get into an argument at some point. No matter how big or small the disagreement, it’s always good to have an Open When Letter to help you both cool off.
For this letter, I usually write a long note telling my husband how much I love him and add some cute pictures of us together. If you’re in for a joke, add a random meme or a funny photo to lighten things up.
These letters can really help with damage control since you can’t talk things out face to face. Besides, texting or talking over the phone can sometimes do more harm than good.
14. Open When You Miss the Kids
It doesn’t matter how long my husband is gone — he starts missing our kids the second he walks out the door. So, for this Open When Letter, I add plenty of their pictures, and I make sure they each write him a letter saying how much they love him.
Another idea is to get your kids to draw some funny pictures or record their dad a message. Then, put the recording on a USB flash drive and drop it in the envelope along with some other keepsakes of your choosing.
15. Open When You Want a Movie Night
For this letter, I usually write down some movie suggestions that my hubby and I might enjoy. Then, when he wants us to plan a movie night, he gives me a call and lets me know which movie he wants to see. If we’re both free that night, we can watch the same movie at the same time. It’s basically like a long-distance date night.
If you plan on doing this, don’t forget to suggest movies you both like to watch. Otherwise, you may get stuck watching something you’re not really into.
I also like to add some treats to go along with the letter, such as popcorn, chocolate raisins, and gummy bears. Basically, you can add anything you can get at the movies!
16. Open When It’s Your Birthday
Not being with your loved one on their birthday is the worst, but it happens. Trust me, though — no matter how bad you feel, your partner probably feels worse. That’s why last year, I came up with the brilliant idea of writing my hubby a letter while we were apart on his birthday.
For the letter, I made him a card with a picture of the kids and me and included a blank piece of paper for him to write down everything he wants us to do when he gets back.
I also added candles, but since I couldn’t include a cake, I had to improvise. I decided to put a box of cake mix in the package, and I even bought him a small hand mixer so that he could make his own cake!
On top of that, I got him a watch he had been eyeing for some time. However, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to include a present or not.
More Ideas for Open When Letters
Hopefully, my suggestions have inspired you to come up with some of your own. If you’re looking for more ideas, though, here are some fun ones I plan on using in my future Open When Letters:
– Open when you need someone to cuddle (include a teddy bear and write “pretend it’s me” in the letter).
– Open when you need a break from the world (include some noise-canceling headphones and a sleep mask).
– Open when you feel stressed (include a stress ball).
– Open when you need a pick-me-up (include a Starbucks gift card).
– Open when you need a reminder of how much you mean to me (include a collage of your happiest moments together).
Additional Tips for Your Open When Letters
As you can see, some of my Open When Letters have additional props to go along with them, such as blankets, slippers, food, etc.
Since it’s obviously impossible to stuff everything into an envelope, I always buy two separate boxes (one for the letters, and the other for the treats).
If you would like to do so as well, here’s how to plan it all out:
• Label each of your Open When Letters with a number.
• Wrap the presents that go with each letter together. For example, for the movie night letter, wrap all the treats together, or place them in one bag.
• Grab a separate piece of paper and cut it into as many pieces as you have presents to go along with the letters.
• Write down the corresponding numbers onto the pieces of paper and tape them to each of the wrapped presents.
Note: If you prefer a simpler approach, you can also include a list of items that go with each letter.
Giving your partner Open When Letters is an incredible way to stay close to them even if you’re in a long-distance relationship. In fact, even if you live with your significant other, it’s still a thoughtful gift for basically any occasion.
My husband says these letters are the best gift he’s gotten because of how much effort I put into each note.
Feel free to use my examples to get started, and then add your own twist to them. Remember — you can’t go wrong with anything you put in these Open When Letters. Let your imagination run wild!