Moving across the country is undeniably nerve-racking. Living a job 3,000 miles away from your significant other can be stressful and sad at times — especially in the midst of a global pandemic. But have no fear: Whether you are regularly apart from your partner or currently unable to be together due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are plenty of long-distance Valentine's Day ideas out there.
If you've been in a long-distance relationship for some time, you probably have an arsenal of coping mechanisms, from daily FaceTime appointments to email exchanges throughout the day. However, the pandemic may be putting an additional strain on your LDR. As licensed counselor and dating coach Rachel Dack previously told Elite Daily, putting in the extra effort can keep your LDR feeling fresh. "Keeping the lines of communication open, not neglecting each other's needs, prioritizing your partner, and keeping up with quality time will all help keep your romance alive," she said. "It may feel like a sacrifice or inconvenience to change your lifestyle and plans, but [travel is] not worth the risk."
If you can't be with your boo on Feb. 14 this year, here are a few ways to make the day special from a distance.
1. Dinner Date Via FaceTime Complete With Candlelight
Somehow, the corny candlelit dinner-move on Valentine's Day becomes far less trite and far more adorable when you're doing it by FaceTime. To make things even more mushy, why not order matching dinners? Perhaps there are comparable Italian restaurants in each of your respective cities so that you can each indulge in cacio e pepe, or perhaps you go low-budget — think McDonalds fries-together-by-candlelight-via-FaceTime. The point is that you are both eating together (time zones be damned!) and you both lit candles. Even my cynical heart can say "awww" to that.
2. Plan An Adorable Surprise For Your Partner
And no, I'm not just talking about a surprise flower delivery. Ordering their fave lunch and getting it delivered to their place is a thoughtful but simple way to say, "I'm thinking of you!" You're not exactly spending the day together, but you are putting your best "acts of service" love language on display to show how much you care.
3. Fall Asleep On Video Chat Together
If you can't actually share a bed with your SO, then try falling asleep via video chat with your faraway bae. Here's how it works: you set your laptop up next to you in bed and make sure to turn off the "sleep" mode. Then, you say goodnight and dim the screen all the way until morning, when you wake up together and say hello. (Of course, this probably works best if you are in the same time zone and neither of you is a snore-monster.)
4. Watch A Movie And Then Have A Recap Date Afterward
Forget Valentine's Day — it's Oscars season, baby! Pick a movie that both you and your long distance partner haven't seen and watch it around the same time on V-Day. Afterwards, meet up via FaceTime for wine and trash-talk/love-talk about the film. If you're both free, you can even watch a movie together with the help of Zoom, FaceTime, or Netflix Party.
5. Write Handwritten Love Letters To Your Boo
Receiving snail mail from your love in 2021 is better than receiving IMs from your crush in 2004. This V-Day plan takes some planning (because... duh), but if you time it right, you should be able to craft a sweet handwritten letter that can arrive at your partner's home by Feb. 14. Receiving an "I love you so much" in text is very different than receiving an "I love you so much" in your lover's actual script. Let out your inner cheesy poet — it's Valentine's Day, after all!
These long-distance V-Day ideas may take a little extra effort on your part, but your LDR will definitely thank you.
Rachel Dack, MS, LCPC, NCC, a licensed clinical counselor and dating coach
Editor's note: This story has been updated to add expert insight.
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