The Easiest Open When Letter Idea for Your Boyfriend

Open When Letters are a tried-and-true gift for your boyfriend. If you want to learn about the traditional idea behind Open When Letters, you can check out this beginner’s guide.

However, the normal method for creating Open When Letters requires a lot of time. I didn’t count, but I’m sure I spent more than 15 hours making them for my long-distance boyfriend once. You also have to plan in advance how to mail or deliver the letters.

But what if you want to encourage your boyfriend instantly? Maybe he’s stressed about a big exam he’s taking this week, or you forgot about Valentine’s Day until February 13.

What’s the solution? Open When Emails.

The Fastest Way to Make Open When Letters

Open When Emails are just like Open When Letters, with two differences: the messages are delivered via email, and your boyfriend opens them throughout a single day.

Compared to the traditional method, Open When Emails are…

  • Quick and easy. Gifts don’t need to be elaborate to be special. If you’re in a hurry, you can complete this project in an evening.
  • Timely. You can make your Open When Emails extremely relevant to whatever is going on in your boyfriend’s life right now.
  • Portable. Your boyfriend brings his phone everywhere. He can easily and privately read your emails without lugging an enormous heart-shaped box everywhere.
  • No cost or crafting effort required. Email is about as free and simple as it gets.

Sound easy? It is. The hardest part of writing Open When Letters has always been thinking of clever ideas. But because the schedule is limited to one day, you need to choose generic conditions, like “Open when you wake up” or “Open after saying hi to your roommate.”

As a result, Open When Emails remove the creative stress of Open When Letters and let you focus on writing meaningful messages.

How To Write Open When Emails

The process for writing Open When Letters is quick and easy.

Step 1: Write 10-15 short messages

In a Word document, create a bunch of short, meaningful notes for your boyfriend. Write whatever comes to mind. Here are some ideas:

  • Favorite memories
  • List of traits you admire in your boyfriend
  • A love poem
  • Song lyrics that remind you of him
  • Encouraging Bible verses
  • A bunch of jokes
  • Photos of cute animals
  • Your best memes

Step 2: Choose “Open When” phrases

You’ll want to choose situations that are likely to occur in an average day. It’s best to avoid situations that could make him sad if they don’t happen, such as, “Open when your mom tells you she loves you.”

If isn’t important for him to open the emails in order, you can include random situations instead, like:

  • Open when you’re hungry
  • Open when someone texts you
  • Open when you see someone wearing red
  • Open when you feel like falling asleep
  • Open when you’re walking outside
  • Open when you finish an assignment
  • Open when your phone battery is less than 50%
  • Open when you’re looking at memes

If you don’t want him to skip between emails, you could follow this sample chronological timeline for a boyfriend in college:

  • Open when you wake up
  • Open when you’re eating breakfast
  • Open when you’ve finished your first class
  • Open when you work on homework
  • Open when I text you
  • Open when you eat a snack
  • Open when the sun sets
  • Open when it’s 10 p.m.

Step 3: Send the emails at night

You’ll want to send your emails in the night so that your boyfriend doesn’t start opening before you’ve finished sending. It will also make a nice surprise for him when he wakes up.

Once you’re sure he’s asleep, begin sending the emails. The subject lines should include the Open When phrases. For example, “Open when you’re making breakfast…”

Copy and paste the letters into the body of each email. Be careful that you don’t reveal too much in the first few sentences, since inboxes often include a preview of a message’s opening lines.

Step 4: Send an introductory email

The last email should contain an eye-catching subject line like “READ THIS FIRST” or “START HERE!” In this email, you’ll want to explain the rules for opening each email.

If you’re following a chronological order, create a rule that he can open a letter after a certain amount of time passes, even if the condition isn’t met. If he skips his morning coffee, you don’t want him to be stuck on the second email for the rest of the day.

If the order doesn’t matter, you’ll still want to allow him to read any leftover emails at the end of the day. You can decide on a time when he’s allowed to open the extras.

Step 5: Wait and call

It’s not required, but what better way to end the day than by calling him? Ask him about his favorite emails of the day to learn what to send next time.

Creative Adaptions

The above process is just a starting point. You can mix it up depending on your personalities and the situation. Here are a few ways you can adapt Open When Emails:

  • Write one very long letter and divide it equally between the emails
  • Structure the emails as encouragement leading up to a stressful exam, presentation, or interview
  • On his birthday, send the amount of emails that corresponds to his new age (Example: 28 emails for his 28th birthday)
  • Send a photo of plane tickets or your work schedule in the last email to announce a surprise visit

Ready to try it out? Once you finish, send me a DM on Instagram (@datingatadistance) telling me how it went!

Get tips for surviving long-distance dating

Get equipped with tips to grow closer to Christ & your long-distance boyfriend.

What's the biggest challenge in your long-distance relationship right now?
Missing each other

My heart hurts for you.

Distance is tough. When you subscribe to emails below, I’ll send you resources to help you find joy in Christ in this season of suffering.


We all struggle with this.

When you subscribe to emails below, I’ll send you resources to help you and your boyfriend build a Christ-centered, long-distance relationship.

Pursuing sexual purity

You're not alone.

When you subscribe to emails below, I’ll send you resources to help you and your long-distance boyfriend pursue Christ-centered purity.