A Linguistic Expert Breaks Down Miley Cyrus’ B-Day Letter To Liam Hemsworth, So Grab A Tissue

by Korey Lane
Rich Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

When a couple has been together for a long time, people tend to presume that their spark has faded, or will, at some point. But that isn't always the case, and a certain celebrity couple seems intent on proving that their love has no expiration date. Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Jan. 13, Miley Cyrus shared a personal note to celebrate her husband's (!!) birthday, and it was adorable. In fact, Miley Cyrus’ love letter to Liam Hemsworth lists a whole lot more than seven things she loves about him, and unsurprisingly, he's a lucky, lucky guy.

Cyrus and Hemsworth, who tied the knot in a low-key private ceremony in December 2018, have been together for awhile — something Cyrus made clear in her letter to her new husband. "When we met you were 19," Cyrus' letter began. "Today, you are 29... I thought I could share some of my favorite things about my favorite dude in honor of this very special day." Then, Cyrus goes on to list a whole load of things she loves about Hemsworth, including but not limited to: the way he goes outside when she asks him what the weather is like (instead of checking his phone); his dirty socks on the floor (because it means he's home. I know. I'm crying too); and most importantly, how he lets Miley be Miley.

It's seriously romantic, but what does a linguistic expert have to say about the letter? Well, according to Michelle McSweeney, Ph.D., a linguist and researcher who specializes in the language of digital relationships, Cyrus' letter is exactly as beautiful as it seems. "This is a beautiful letter, it's so raw and to my eyes, deeply authentic."

More than that, McSweeney says that the way Cyrus writes is deeply indicative of a deep, real love. "She's so specific," McSweeney says. "People are only this specific when expressing their authentic emotions. It's every easy to say 'I love you, babe' but very hard to say 'I love the way you look at the ocean and always take your time.' These things don't necessarily go together, so either she's boundlessly and enthusiastically emotive here, or she's thinking of one specific event or day when he did both of those things."

Basically, McSweeney says that the linguistics of Cyrus' love letter have every indication of the fact that the two are very much in love, which really shouldn't be too shocking. The couple has been together for nearly ten years, meeting on the set of The Last Song. While they've had a fairly on-again, off-again relationship, the fact that they managed to work things out for good is kind of amazing.

McSweeney says that Cyrus pointing out a bunch of little details about their love says good things about their relationship. "The oddly specific nature of that means that she is pulling on real and deep feelings. That kind of writing (so specific, about the painting, the animals, etc.) is also asking him to remember all the things, times, events they have shared — which is a classic way to reinforce intimacy and connection."

Instead of just telling Hemsworth that she loves him, Cyrus got specific and listed the things that she loves about her hubby. Of course, there's something to be said for couples who keep it short and sweet, or who don't post about each other on social media at all, but according to McSweeney, Cyrus' long love letter likely just means that she is very much in genuine love. "In my own research, I've found that the longest-term couples have the highest lexical variety in their 'romantic' messages," she explains.

"So, rather than saying 'I love you, babe' they'll say things like Miley did here: I love that you shrunk my T-shirt because it means that you are in my life. That also underscores both the authenticity and the connection," McSweeney continues. "We can assume that she wasn't thrilled when he shrunk the shirt, but the favorite shirt is such a small price to pay for having him in her life, and referencing that references what's called a 'play frame' — an inside joke or inside experience between the two of them that brings them together."

Cyrus and Hemsworth have been together for a decade, but even though they're newlyweds, they have a hell of a history together. For Cyrus, sharing that history in honor of her bae's birthday just makes sense. As McSweeney says, this letter — and honestly, their relationship as a whole — is "deeply authentic," and I am living for it.