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Open When Letter Ideas for Long-distance Couples

We’ve all seen the very sweet “open when” letters idea, where you send your other half a series of letters to open in different situations: Open when you’re sad. Open when you miss me.

Open when letters are a bit of a viral phenomenon among the LDR community. Parents send them to faraway college students, husbands send them to distant wives and a huge chunk of long-distance couples are using them as a way to be there for that special someone despite being so far apart.

If you’re looking for a sweet, heartfelt and very sentimental gift that you can make and give with a small amount of hassle and money, open when letters are your best bet!

What You'll Need


  • Envelopes, decorative or plain (you can choose to decorate them yourself!)
  • Stickers OR stickers + printed labels OR markers OR all three
  • Paper
  • Strings or ribbons
  • Colorful markers
  • Sentimental objects (optional)

Long Distance Letter Ideas - Instructions


If you're using a decorative envelope, you're already halfway there. You just need to either use stickers and/or printed labels to put write "Open when … " and the moment it should be opened. You do not have to use decorative envelopes. You can simply use a marker, and write everything on the envelope.

Write a letter, and insert into the envelope. You can also include sentimental objects, such as a picture of you and your significant other's first date, inspirational long-distance relationship quotes, etc.

Seal, and give to the person the next time you’re together or send via snail mail. Make their lives a little happier! I do this when I miss my fiancé. I write encouraging notes for when he might be feeling sad or lonely. It’s the perfect pick-me-up when you guys are not together physically.

Here are some open-when ideas with specific ideas for what to include in the envelope.

Open when you’re having a guy’s night: Include certificates or money for pizza and beer or a DVD of one of Maxim’s 100 Greatest Guy Movies Ever Made.

Open when you need a reminder: Include a thoughtful keychain that would remind them of you or a swatch sprayed with your perfume.

[product_category category="keychain"]

Open when you’re feeling grumpy: Include his favorite candy. Junk food always cheers people up!

Open when things feel like they’re falling apart: Include an adorable love note with a photo puzzle so that your loved one can put the pieces back together.

Open when you need to know how much I love you: Include eight sweet love notes (one under each flap).

Open when you need to know how much I love you: Make them a video or write up a nice blog post about them and include the link. YouTube Movie Maker is free and easy to use.

Open when you can’t sleep: Include chamomile or Sleepytime tea will work. But you could go a step further and make hand-sewn heart-shaped tea bags or love letter tea bags.

Open when you miss me singing: Include a playlist of great songs about long-distance relationships Record a cover of you singing your song.

Here are some other open when letter ideas:


Open when...

  • You first receive these letters.
  • You miss me a little.
  • You miss me a lot.
  • You need someone to talk to, and I’m not picking up.
  • We haven’t talked in awhile.
  • You feel lonely.
  • You feel sad.
  • You feel like crying.
  • You are crying.
  • You’re stressed out.
  • You’ve had a bad day.
  • You need a hug.
  • You need some love.
  • You need to know how much I love you.
  • You need to know someone cares.
  • You need motivation.
  • You need a pick-me-up.
  • You’re doubting yourself.
  • You feel out of place.
  • You feel like giving up.
  • It all feels like too much.
  • You need reassurance.
  • You are feeling insecure.
  • You can’t sleep.
  • The distance is too much.
  • You feel like we need to break up.
  • You want to give up on us.
  • You’re not so sure about us.
  • You’re worried about future.
  • You feel like you’re overthinking.
  • You feel like I don’t trust you.
  • You want to know more about me.
  • We are fighting.
  • I am making things worse.
  • I do something stupid.
  • We fight, and it’s your fault
  • We fight, and it’s my fault
  • I’m being moody, annoying or stubborn — or all of the above.
  • You’re mad at me.
  • You feel sick
  • You feel hopeful about the future.
  • We’re finally married.
  • We have our first child.
  • You want to buy me a gift but don’t know what to get.
  • You want me to buy you a gift.
  • You’re angry at the world.
  • You need a push.
  • You’re disappointed in yourself.
  • You’re just a little grumpy.
  • It’s that time of the month.
  • You don’t feel confident.
  • You feel embarrassed.
  • You’re nervous.
  • You get a bad grade on something important.
  • It is the day before you get to see me again!
  • You’re on the plane going home.
  • You’re thinking of popping the question.
  • We move into our first house together.
  • You want to listen to songs that remind me of you.

It’s really simple and easy to do. There is no wrong way to decorate an envelope or write an open-when letter. Remember, it’s the thought that counts! Let your imagination run wild. I’ve done this before for my fiancé, and he really loves it!

If you’re ready to get started, here is a whole set of printable open-when envelope labels and coordinating cards.

What other ideas do you have for when to send open-when letters?

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