Some people are gifted with a way with words, but other people… not so much. If you’ve ever attempted to write a thoughtful, appropriate Valentine’s Day card only to wind up with a million pieces of paper ripped up at your feet — this one’s for you.
Valentine’s Day messages are rough. You don’t want to go overboard and freak out someone you just started dating — but if you’ve been with someone for a long time who really means a lot to you, you don’t want to write out a card that might come off as trite. The good news is you can be romantic — and not cheesy — with a perfect little quote or phrase in a personalized Valentine’s Day card.
Whether you’re casually dating someone, in a long-term relationship or have been married for decades, here’s how to approach your Valentine’s Day love note.
The new relationship
Tip: Avoid sexual comments. They may be fun, but they’re best kept out of a card, especially in the new relationship.
You want to express your care for someone you’re still getting to know, without being too serious. Here are a few ideas on what to write:
I love that you’re my Valentine!
Muah! Happy Valentine’s Day!
I was never a fan of this holiday until meeting you, my sweet Valentine.
I’ve loved getting to know you and spending time with you. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Our favorite quote: “Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart.” — author unknown
The steady boyfriend or girlfriend
Valentine’s Day could be the perfect time to let your long-term love know just how much they mean to you and how much you’re looking forward to the future. Ideas on what to write include:
The past few Valentine’s Days with you have been wonderful. I’m looking forward to many more!
You mean everything to me. Happy Valentine’s Day to my one and only.
“True love stories never have endings.” — Richard Bach
“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” — author unknown
“When I saw you, I was afraid to meet you. When I met you, I was afraid to kiss you. When I kissed you, I was afraid to love you. Now that I love you, I’m afraid to lose you.” — Rene Yasenek
Our favorite quote: “Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.” — Robert Browning
The life partner
Today’s the day to let your partner know just how much you love and appreciate them. And since you already won them over, you can be as cheesy as you please! Cute quotes and sayings to write on his card include:
“Every love story is beautiful, but ours is my favorite.” — author unknown
You are the love of my life — always have been, always will be. Happy Valentine’s Day to the person of my dreams.
“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” — Robert A. Heinlein
“A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.” — author unknown
Our favorite quote: “I’ve fallen in love many times… always with you.” — author unknown
And a few bonus Valentine’s Day quotes for the humorous couple
“Without Valentine’s Day, February would be… well, January.” — Jim Gaffigan
“I love being married. It’s so great to find one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” — Rita Rudner
“I don’t understand why Cupid was chosen to represent Valentine’s Day. When I think about romance, the last thing on my mind is a short, chubby toddler coming at me with a weapon.” — author unknown
Image: 4 PM production/Shutterstock. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows.
A version of this article was originally published in January 2014.