For Valentine’s Day: Text Messages Are Not Substitutes For Cards

Valentine card: available at


As Valentine’s Day approaches, let’s just set the record straight—and not just for Valentine’s Day, but as a year-round clarification.

Sending “lovey-dovey” text messages are not permitted as a substitute for sending a heartfelt card or letter to someone you care a great deal for this holiday.

There, I’ve said it. (And I promise you, I do not work for Hallmark, nor am I employed by the U.S. Postal Service).

Months ago I offered instructions on how to write a love letter (click here to see it). How often do we really take the time to pen something in our own hand, scrawl heart-felt words on paper, and give a meaningful gift of ourselves to someone else? It’s rare these days. But this Valentine’s, put the phone away and force your fingers not to tap and click all over your iPhones, Droids, or Blackberries. Instead, promise yourself you’ll pick up a pen and scribe something a little more memorable and creative.

First of all, cards are still relatively inexpensive. Hallmark and Target have the 99 cent cards, so that’s easy. Or, you can be more elaborate, and go for one of the more expensive and lavish cards. Furthermore, don’t forget—there’s another option. You could make your own card.

Stop shaking your head no. Yes, you could. You could make your own card.

Write your own poetry for the card. Tell a funny story in the card. If you are a right-brained person, you could draw a picture for it. You could use an old photograph to conjure up some nostalgia.

I think what we tend to forget is to put the “shoe on the other foot.” Ask yourself this question: What kind of card would I like to receive? The answer will present itself, and you’ll be able to proceed.

But don’t wait until the last minute. When you wait until the last minute, you panic, rush through what you want to say, have to rewrite it, and then you may not be pleased with what you’ve put together.

Remember: writing takes time.

A text message has absolutely no “romance” associated with it. Anybody can do it. It lacks creativity in the way it is presented, and as I mentioned in my previous post about phone booths, a text message has absolutely no aura of mystique associated with it. And, you can’t store it away as a keepsake like you would a card, letter, or poem.

When you receive a card in an envelope, or a poem that has a nice presentation, there’s wonderment that occurs: What could be inside? What does it say?

Yes, I write, so it’s easy for me to encourage you in this manner. However, we all have the power to use words the way we want. Sometimes it’s much easier to say how we feel in writing than it is to say how we feel through the spoken word.

Give it a try. I’m sure your significant other would prefer something along these lines than a box of chocolates where there is only one particular piece of candy in it that he or she likes—and I’m guessing it’s the chocolate-caramel one.

Now, go get to work.


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