Ah, Valentine’s Day: the bane of every long-distance relationship. On a day dedicated to celebrating love and intimacy in the flashiest, most romantic way possible, being hundreds or even thousands of miles away from your partner can feel like a lose-lose proposition.
But that doesn’t mean you have to forsake the holiday altogether! With a little ingenuity, you can still celebrate Valentine’s Day with your far-away sweetie without a sweat. If you’re strapped for ideas, don’t worry, that’s what we’re here for—read on to check out our 10 knockout LDR-compatible ideas for celebrating V-Day.
1. Cook together. Set up videochat before you start cooking, then keep each other company as you prepare dinner. (Bonus points if you’re cooking the same thing!) Then set a nice table for yourself and your computer and enjoy a nice meal face-to-face—if not person-to-person—with your partner.
2. Go to the movies. Buy tickets for similarly-timed showings of the same movie—for example, a West Coast-East Coast couple could aim for showtimes of 8pm EST/5pm PST. After the movie, hop on the phone or on videochat to discuss it together!
3. Buy each other a drink. Okay, so this one may be a bit tricky to pull off in a bar, but there are plenty of booze-delivery and online grocery services you can use to surprise your S.O. with a bottle of their favorite wine (and maybe some strawberries or chocolate for good measure). Sober or under 21? Sending fancy coffee or a beautiful tin of tea would also work well!
4. Give them something personal. Okay, sure, all gifts are personal, but I’m talking about something that will really remind your partner of you: a scrapbook, maybe, or a poster of the two of you together. Not the crafty type? Consider sending them one of your T-shirts or sweaters—something cosy that will help them feel close to you.
5. Send a care package. What are your sweetie’s favorite things? If they’re a reader, you might want to send them a book you think they’d like, a journal, some tea, and a candle. Or for a sports fan, you could pack a jersey with some homemade fantasy draft cards. Nothing in a care package has to be expensive or fancy—just the effort of assembling it will be worth it.
6. Send a old-fashioned love letter. If you and your boo aren’t in the habit of writing snail-mail to each other, consider making an exception this Valentine’s Day. There’s nothing more romantic than a handwritten love note, and those letters will still be around years from now for you to look back on!
7. Make a romantic playlist. What sets the mood better than music? Sending your partner a playlist of romantic songs that remind you of them or of your relationship is a pretty much foolproof move: they’ll be swooning over your soundtrack for days on end.
8. Conspire with their friends. If your S.O. has roommates or friends you know you can trust, get in touch with them directly to plan something special. You can send gifts for your co-conspirators to lay out in your partner’s room on V-Day, or you can plan some sort of event or outing for your long-distance love. The combined power of your love and their friend’s devotion will be sure to warm their heart.
9. Plan a surprise trip. Show up on their doorstep just in time for February 14, or surprise them by finally booking tickets for that trip you keep talking about taking together. When you and your loved one are so far apart, the promise of more time spent together may be the best gift of all.
10. Celebrate off-season. Okay, let’s say you can’t make it out to see your person on Valentine’s Day, and celebrating long-distance just seems kind of… well, sad. To that I say: so what? There’s no rule saying you have to celebrate your relationship in the middle of February—you could just as easily plan a celebration for the next time the two of you are going to be together in person. The result? Your own personal, private Valentine’s Day—just for the two of you.