There’s nothing as sweet as a handwritten letter. When you’re far apart from someone, those letters become even sweeter and more meaningful. What if you had a whole bunch of letters you could open, for the exact circumstance in which you needed them? This is the idea behind open when letters.
Open when letters are notes or packages you prepare ahead of time, sealed up with a label on the outside that your loved one know exactly when they should open them. You give these parcels to your partner all at once, so they have them when they need them. A list of rules for the letters is also important (more on that later!)
Wondering what to put inside open when letters? The sky is the limit! There are so many open when letter ideas you could think of, and your partner will be thrilled to open them and treasure them forever.
Writing letters and sending cards/gifts is great when you miss your partner (or anyone that you care about), but sometimes, you wish you could give them what they need.
When your partner has a bad day, you want to comfort them. When they’re excited about something, you want to celebrate together. But distance or separation might make this impossible to do in person. That’s exactly where open when letters come in.
Nathan & I think this idea is incredibly romantic, and if we were still in a long distance relationship, we’d definitely do something like this for one another. We’ve put together a list of ideas for you; ideas that are sweet, romantic, and perfect for couples.
While these open when letter topics are geared towards those in a relationship, they can certainly be adapted to suit any loved one that you miss.
How to Create Open When Letters
You’ll need to set aside some time. Writing open when letters will take you a while, especially if you’re handwriting the notes. There’s no limit to how many open when letters you should create, but 20 or so is enough to make the gift feel really fun and special without becoming overwhelming for you, the gift-giver.
Here’s how to write your open when letters:
Decide on a format.
Will you create a series of notes on their own? Small packages or envelopes that contain little gifts and items? Or a mixture of both? It can be fun to get creative with your open me when letters but having a template or system can make the process faster and smoother.
We recommend doing a mixture of things, but keeping your open when gifts fairly small. Ideally, the items you give should fit in an envelope or small package. That makes the letters easier for your partner to have with them, without encumbering them with a collection of large parcels.
Create the rules
You’ll need to give your partner a list of strict Open When Letters Rules for them to follow. This is a piece of paper or note that should be given at the top of the pile, or given first. On it, you’ll list the rules that need to be adhered to.
Make the rules fun and light (this is a gift after all) but be specific. These open when letter rules might look something like this:
- Only open 1 or 2 letters per week
- No peeking at the contents of the letters!
- Let me know when you’ve opened a letter.
- Save all the letters forever.
- Think of me!
Write the letters
Now it’s time to write the letters and come up with some open when gift ideas. This is the fun part, and we’ll help you out with a list of ideas below. We’ve also got some free printable labels you can download and use. This will save you time and give your letters a special touch!
Give them to your loved one
After you’ve written the notes and compiled whatever gifts you want to give, put the open when letters inside the envelopes, seal them up, and be sure to write the circumstance they are for on the outside of the envelope!
Then, put them all inside a bigger box or a gift bag, and get ready to surprise your sweetheart with them!
25+ Open When Letter Ideas
These are just a few open when letter examples that we think are perfect for couples. There are definitely hundreds more you could come up with, so get creative!
Open when…you’re feeling blue.
When the person you love is feeling down, there’s nothing like a little pick me up in the form of a letter or gift. This parcel could include a sweet note designed to encourage them and/or make them laugh. You might include something colorful and “sunshiney” to brighten up their day.
Open when…you miss me.
Whether you’re in a long distance relationship or are just apart from your partner temporarily, separation is tough. Missing each other is inevitable. This open when letter idea is designed for those moments when you miss eachother the most.
In your letter, you could include memories of some of your favorite times together, as well as encouragement about how much you love your partner. A printed photo of the two of you is always a nice touch too, as it is something they can keep.
Open when…you’re feeling romantic.
This is the perfect opportunity to write a love letter. Don’t be afraid to get sentimental and a little bit cheesy.
Open when…you need a hug.
When your loved one needs a hug, and you can’t give it to them in person, send them one in the mail.
There are lots of creative ideas for this package/letter, including sending a life-size paper version of yourself in the envelope! Or, for an easier version, send a cute stuffed animal that he or she can snuggle.
Open when…you’ve had a stressful day.
We all have days from hell. Make the rough times just a little bit better for your darling with a stress-reducing note or gift. Inside the package, we recommend including some bath salts, a soothing face mask, and lotion—all the things needed for an at-home spa day.
If you really want to splurge on your lover, include a massage gift card in the envelope!
Open when…you need a confidence boost.
This is the moment when your partner needs you to be their cheerleader. This letter should include words of inspiration, encouragement, and lots of celebration. Remind your significant other that you believe in them and support them no matter what.
Open when…you’re bored.
This is when you can get creative, sending your partner little fun games and ideas or simply an entertaining note. A gift card for something like a movie is also a wonderful surprise.
Open when…we’ve had a fight.
Arguments are inevitable in any relationship. But making up can be more challenging when you’re far apart. For an extra dose of love and connection, write your partner a letter that reminds them just how much you adore them. The letter can also remind them that you two are on the same team.
This open when letter is a good opportunity to include a sweet little trinket, too.
Open when…you’re feeling sexy.
One of the difficulties of being apart is the lack of intimacy. Well, you can change that with this letter!
Write your partner a sexy note. You can keep it more PG if you’d like, or go wild, writing a fantasy story or simply telling your partner what you’d like to do to them the next time you’re together.
Open when…you need a reminder of how much I love you.
Occasionally, your sweetheart may just need some reassurance of your love. (This was important for us when we were in a long distance relationship). Sometimes it’s just nice to read a note full of adoring words.
Open when…you’re doubting yourself.
When your partner feels discouraged, they can open this letter, one that’s full of loving support and words that say “you got this.”
Open when…you’re feeling sentimental.
Feeling sentimental? This is when the open me when letter should be sweet and wistful—vintage touches are perfect. Be sure this letter is handwritten, and add in some pressed flowers and other special things.
Open when…you can’t sleep.
This letter or package is made for when your partner keeps tossing and turning. Why not include some items to help them calm down and get ready for dreamland? A packet of sleepy time tea plus some lavender essential oil would be perfect.
Open when…you’re sick in bed.
It’s a horrible feeling when your SO gets sick and you can’t be there to take care of them. With a virtual care package, you can do the next best thing.
The “feel better” open when package should have a “get well soon” card, some soup, tea, and anything else that makes them feel better when they’re feeling bad.
Open when…it’s a special occasion.
Celebrate together even from afar. You can include a gift in this letter, or even a restaurant or shopping gift card so your partner can treat themselves.
Open when…you are afraid.
Nothing combats fear like humor. This is a great chance to send an adorable hand-drawn comic. Portray your partner as a superhero battling against obstacles/bad guys/monsters, and winning. Even if you are a terrible artist, the intention behind this creation will be so appreciated.
Open when…you need encouragement.
This is similar to some of the other notes, but hey, we all need as much encouragement as we can get.
Open when…you need a night out.
This package could be a blast. If you’re sending a big one, include some great drink ingredients, some glitter, and maybe even a new outfit? Keep it more manageable with giftcards to local restaurants, clubs, and other hotspots.
Open when…you’re hungover.
After that night out, your SO will need some care. This letter should contain some headache medicine and your recommendations for the best hangover Netflix shows. A gift card for pizza delivery would also go over well!
Open when…you’re itchin’ to travel.
This open when letter topic has many possibilities. You can send your loved one on a virtual trip with a bunch of fun postcards from around the world, or you can write a long letter planning out the adventures the two of you will take in the future.
If money is no object, include a plane ticket to your destination. That would truly be the ultimate surprise.
Open when…you need a laugh.
A book of jokes, a book of Mad Libs they can fill in themselves, or a DVD of your favorite hilarious movie. Whatever you do, give your partner a good hearty guffaw.
Open when…you’re crying.
The essentials should be here: tissues, chocolate, kind words, and lots of love. And let them know they can call you no matter what time it is.
Open when…you need some extra $$$.
This one might be more suitable for open when letters for a friend or for a college student, but who doesn’t love receiving a gift of cash?
Open when…it’s raining.
Get romantic about the rain and write the perfect rainy day letter. Bonus points for including a cute poncho.
Open when…you’ve accomplished something exciting.
Find something that screams “you did it!” When your partner is super proud of themselves, this item will put them on top of the world.
Open when…you’re really tired.
This could go one of two ways. You could send some items designed to wake them up and pump them up, or they can embrace the sleep with a cozy new blanket you’ve sent them and sleepy-time tea.
Open when…when you need a prayer.
Whether you’re religious or not, this can contain words of prayer or simple messages of comfort, faith, and support.
Open when…you’re worried about our future.
This letter should be serious. For those in a long-term committed relationship, this letter should discuss your shared dreams and goals. You can write about all the things you want to do together.
Open when…you need to know I’m thinking about you.
Here’s another opportunity to pen something romantic and sweet. Need some ideas or inspiration? Check out our post of 100+ Romantic Quotes to get you started.
Open when…you want to see my face.
This envelope should be packed full with photos of you, some funny, some sweet. Your partner will absolutely love it.
Open when…it’s your birthday.
A terrific idea for this package is to include a birthday-in-a-box. Confetti, balloons, cake mix, and a party hat, plus a gift card so they can treat themselves to something awesome.
Open when…it’s our anniversary.
For this one, you’ll want a super-romantic card, plus a special gift. Jewelry?
Open when…there are no more letters to open.
This is the final letter. Sign off with love and excitement about seeing your darling again.
Maybe you’re not confident in your writing. That’s ok! All you have to do is write from the heart, keep it simple and short, and write what you want your partner to hear from you.
We hope you’ve gotten lots of romantic inspiration from these ideas for open when letters. Any great ideas to add to the list? Let us know in the comments! XO