This ultimate list of 75 open when letters, topics and ideas will keep your long-distance boyfriend missing you 24/7.
I was frantic, young and deeply in-love.
When you want to be with someone literally every second of every day, long-distance relationships can feel devastating.
This is especially true when your loved one is traveling to an area where you don’t know if you’ll be able to communicate very often.
I choked back tears compiling a list of open when letters that I would tuck in my boyfriend’s backpack right before he left on a seven month deployment.
Crafting each letter and idea felt therapeutic and comforting, knowing that he would be able to read something from me even when he couldn’t receive mail, talk on the phone or use a computer.
Favorite Open When Letters for Your Boyfriend Long-Distance
It was only after his first deployment ended and my boyfriend returned home that he shared how much the open when letters meant to him.
The letters can offer a laugh on a really hard day, a touching story about a memory only you share together, an affirmation of how you feel about him and so much more.
But first, what is an open when letter?
Open when letters are basically a group of pre-written letters that you give (or send) to your boyfriend to open at a specific date and time, holiday or occassion in the future when you are separated.
The point of the open when letter is to help you feel connected when you cannot be physically together (or perhaps even talk on the phone).
- Give them all at once with directions (or “rules”) on when to open.
- Place them inside a care package.
- Mail them in intervals.
- Include inside a gift (perfect for bootcamp graduation gifts)
Open when letter rules.
It seems funny to me that there are actual rules on the internet about using open when letters.
Too many rules can be annoying and a bit stifling.
If your boyfriend wants to open all the letters at once, he could certainly re-read them often. But if he wants to follow the rules, and space them out, it can be a more fulfilling experience.
You can make up ANY rules that you want for your own open when letter exchange.
That being said, here are a few common rules that others like to use:
- Start with an “open first” letter (contains your rules and instructions for the letters)
- Absolutely no peeking inside the letters.
- Only open 2 letters per week (to help the letters last over a specific period of time you will be separated).
- Guard the letters with your life (I mean, obviously you don’t want random people reading your personal letters).
- Only open a letter on the specific occassion written on the envelope.
Open When Letter Topic Ideas for Your Boyfriend
You can make up any reason or topic for an open when letter, but here is a huge list of ideas to get you started.
Romantic and intimate topics
These topic ideas keep the burn alive, and I guarantee you then get opened first and re-read multiple times.
- you wake up thinking of me
- you want to know what drives me crazy
- you want to know what I find super sexy about you
- you want to know what I love most about you
- you want to know something you do to me that I love most
- you want to know what I’d do if we were together right now
- you’re feeling romantic
- you need to know how much I love you
- you want to know what I first thought when I met you
- you’re feeling turned on
Experiences / Experience Related Topics
- before you go to sleep
- after you wake up
- you’re eating breakfast (or any other meal)
- before you shower
- you’ve had a rough day
- you’re feeling sick or ill
- one week after you left
- one week before you come home (or before we meet up)
- something exciting happens
- you first get to your destination
- it seems like we are drifting apart
- we fight on the phone
- you’re missing me something fierce
- you want a kiss
- you wish I was there
- you’re at the airport
- you want to talk on the phone, but we can’t
- you want to fall asleep next to me
- you need to see my face
- you need to see a picture of us
- you can’t sleep
- you need words of encouragement
- you’re celebrating something
- you need help making a big decision
- you need a confidence boost
- it’s a rainy day
- it’s a cold day
- it’s a sunny day
- you need inspiration or motivation
- you’re thinking about the future
- you’re upset with me
- you’re packing to come home / see me
- you remember our first date
- you remember our first trip together
- social media ruined your day
- you receive some bad news
- you receive some good news
- it’s halfway through our separation
- you want to reminisce
- you think you’ve made a bad decision
- you finish a workout
- you want to watch your favorite movie
- you want to stay in bed all day
- you don’t feel valued
Holidays, Birthdays, Anniversaries
Besides the obvious, I also included some unique occasions for couples. Some dates change year-to-year, so be sure check out your current year’s relationship holidays.
- Valentine’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Kiss and Make Up Day
- Honesty Day
- Memorial Day
- National Say Something Nice Day
- National Loving Day
- National Kissing Day
- Independence Day
- National Couples Day
- Labor Day
- National Sweetest Day
- National I Care About You Day
- Veterans Day
- New Year’s Eve
- New Year’s Day
- Favorite sport season starts or ends
- Sports season playoffs starts or ends
- Remembering favorite sports moments from favorite team
- Open when watching favorite sport game
- Open before attending favorite sporting event
- Your team loses
- Your team wins
All the Feelings
Open when you’re feeling….[insert specific feeling from below].
You’ll write this letter as if they just said to you, “I’m feeling this right now.”
Start with lots of empathy and validation (e.g. walk around in their perspective) and follow with actions and observations you’ve seen them use to overcome / celebrate feeling that particular way in the past.
Military specific topics
- you left on deployment today
- you’ve been deployed a week
- you’ve been deployed a month
- you’re burnt out on deployment
- you miss home
- you’re going out on an important mission
- we haven’t been able to talk in a long time
- you want comfort food from home
- you need a hug from me
- you’re tired of eating MREs
- It’s Veterans Day
- It’s Independence Day
- you really need a shower
- you had a bad day and want to rant
- you just got off the phone with me
- you’re not getting along with another service member
- your boss just yelled at you
- you’re tired of writing reports
- you’re coming home in one month
- you’re packing up your gear to send home
- you’re coming home in one week
- it’s the day you’re returning home
(Add in one of these motivational military quotes!)
What to put inside your letters (beside the letter)!
If all you want to put in your letters is the actual letter, that is perfectly fine. Sometimes though, you want to add a little something creative or extra.
Here’s some ideas to help you get started:
- Glitter (Think NYE, birthdays or other holidays) or confetti
- Lipstick kiss
- Photos of yourself
- Photos of you together (photoshop for extra cuteness…see below)
- Photos of future places you’ll visit together
- Maps, very small trinkets or magazine cut outs that are clues of places you’ll visit or things you’ll do together upon his return
- Number one button (for sports, celebrations or birthdays)
- Sports stickers or paraphernalia (for sport events, topics listed above)
- Drawings (e.g. fireworks for 4th of July)
- Jokes or knock-knock jokes
- Bag of tea
- Starbucks Via Packet
- Gift card for his favorite place
- Movie tickets
- Favorite scent / perfume sprayed on cloth (inside little Ziplock bag)
- Tissues for a sad letter
- Any little gifts you can think of
- Love quotes
- Missing him quotes
- Goodbye quotes
- Bible verses
Example of an open when letter for your boyfriend
It would be impossible for me to accurately provide you with a pre-written letter for your long-distance significant other.
The most powerful letters will contain your unique and authentic experiences together. Your inside jokes. And your embarrassing moments.
That being said, there is a basic formula I would follow when writing a letter.
- One way to start is with an “open loop.” This is basically a teaser that keeps them reading until the end, and they are able to close the loop. This is how novels are written to keep the reader engaged 🙂
- “I heard the funniest joke last week. More on that in a minute. But first, I wanted to tell you about…”
- “There was a small disaster yesterday. More details to come.”
- “I was thinking of you when I went to sleep last night. You’ll never guess what it was.
2. For any of the topics above, you can start with a story about something you did together in the past or plan to do together in the future!
- For example for a letter titled “Open When It’s a Rainy Day,” start with something like…”Remember that time it rained for three days straight on our first weekend trip to the beach?!”
3. Add in a joke, quote or Bible verse that you both relate to.
4. Share an update on how you are doing.
5. Always end by closing your “open loop” you started at the beginning of the letter.
Want more on long distance relationships?
- 101+ Long Distance Relationship Quotes That Will Keep the Burn Alive
- 42+ Top Missing Him Quotes to Send Your Long Distance Boyfriend
- 10 Totally Awesome Birthday Care Package Ideas
Long distance military relationship tips?
- The Brutally Honest Guide for Dating a Military Man
- 45 Perfect Military Love Quotes
- What Spouses Can Expect Regarding Communication During Boot Camp
- 7 Crucial Components of Deployment Communication
- 5 Smart Strategies to Improve Post-Deployment Communication
- The DOs and DON’Ts of Military Care Packages