Posted by R. Berg on February 08, 2005
In Reply to: Re: Love and kisses posted by Eric on February 08, 2005
: OK, what about starting the letter with Dear or Dear (Name), is that appropiate or could that also be misunderstood?
All right, I'll give straight answers this time. "Dear ____" is the standard opening for business letters and personal letters in English. A business letter uses the last name and an honorific: "Dear Ms. Berg," for instance, or "Dear Dr. Smith." A personal letter to someone you know well uses the first name or whatever you'd say when addressing the recipient in person: "Dear Richard," "Dear Ricky," "Dear Uncle Joe," "Dear Grandma."
If you leave out the name and simply begin "Dear," a much greater degree of affection is implied. Calling someone "dear" is a romantic act.
I can't tell from your questions whether you want to express your affection for your girlfriend or to do the opposite: to avoid encouraging her to think of the relationship as very important.