Design Your Path

The state-of-the-art in personal development

Writing a Selfless Valentine’s Day Letter

This Valentine's Day, write someone a letter of appreciation about them, not you

Here's a brief conversation my partner and I had last night in the car:

A (my partner): "Once in a while a co-worker or friend will ask me what I like about you and I always know what to say. But I realized I never ask you what you like about me. "

B (that's me): "Never mind. Pay attention to the road."

Actually, I didn't say that. I said something to the effect of how we have told each other those things before, we just haven't had that actual conversation in a while. But come to think of it, it's been a long while. Don't get me wrong, we express gratitude and appreciation for each other; but to sit down and answer that exact question—well, I guess we've been busy.

So, today I wrote him a letter answering that very question. Good timing, eh? (It's Valentine's Day next Tuesday.) I could have told him in person but I wanted him to have tangible evidence next time he corners me. In truth, I think it's nice to have something to look back at. We all deserve sincere appreciation and time tends to fly by when things go unsaid. With a letter, we can articulate kindnesses that can lift a person whenever they need it.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

When I sat down to write my letter, the usual phrases like "You make me laugh" came to mind. But what struck me wrong with those phrases was that I was the center of attention. There was too much ME. So, my rule for the letter was that I couldn't use the words me or I outside of the title, "What I Like About You." That way the letter expresses "I like you because of who you are" rather than "I like you because of me me me."

Ready to write your Valentine's Day letter? This week write one to anybody in your life, you don't have to be in a romantic relationship on Valentine's Day. Want to take it up a notch? Deliver it in person and read it out loud.


If you'd like to read more about expressing appreciation in relationships, read my post: "You Like Me? You Really Like Me? Then Why Didn't You Tell Me Sooner?!


Brad Waters MSW, LCSW provides career-life coaching and consultation to clients internationally via phone and Skype. He helps people explore career direction and take action on career transitions. Brad holds a Master's degree in social work from the University of Michigan and Master's certification in Holistic Health Care from Western Michigan University. Brad is also a personal development writer whose books are available on Amazon and

Copyright, 2013 Brad Waters. This article may not be reproduced or published without permission from the author. If you share it, please give author credit and do not remove embedded links.


Brad Waters, L.C.S.W. is a career and well-being expert based in Chicago. He is also a freelance writer with a background in social work and holistic health care.


Subscribe to Design Your Path

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.