It can feel like you're making a million little sacrifices every day when you're quarantining away from your partner. One of the hardest things of all to give up this year might be spending your anniversary together. But if you're thinking about scrapping it altogether in favor or an IRL celebration sometime in the undefined future, you may want to reconsider, because a few expert tips for making your Zoom anniversary feel special can make all the difference. In fact, as Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships explains, there's no need to give up your special day together — it might just look a little different this year.
"Having a Zoom date for your anniversary is an absolute must during the pandemic. Anniversaries for couples are a big deal and a significant milestone," Spira tells Elite Daily. "If you and your partner aren't quarantining under the same roof, scheduling a zoom-versary date to see their smile and celebrate another year around the sun together as a couple, despite the pandemic, shouldn't be ignored."
Here's how the experts say to make your digital celebration memorable and romantic this year.
1. Focus On The Memories You’ve Shared.
Anniversaries are all about celebrating the time you’ve spent together and the memories you’ve made, and you don't have to be face-to-face to do that. Spira suggests taking this opportunity to go down memory lane together. “This exercise is a lot of fun, as, throughout the day, each of you can send some favorite photos of your relationship journey. Whether it was your first date, a concert you attended together, or vacation photos, memorializing your relationship will strengthen your bond,” she explains.
If you have old love letters, now's the time to break those back out, as April Masini, author and relationship and etiquette expert tells Elite Daily. “Open your respective bottles of wine and read the saved love letters you each have in your own homes, to each other, over Zoom,” she suggests. After all, what better way to look at your future together than by remembering how it all began?
2. Make It A Special Dinner Date.
An anniversary dinner date's a classic, and if you think you’ll have to miss out on that intimate meal this year, think again. It might take a little more logistics, but the effort you put in will be worth it. “Since you can't go to a romantic restaurant together, you can create the mood by sending each other a surprise food delivery from their favorite restaurant, have a bottle of wine, champagne, and some flowers delivered, and nibble on your favorite delicacies at the same time during your Zoom date,” suggests Spira.
If you want to make the meal prep part of the celebration, Masini suggests cooking together over Zoom. “Make a parallel meal and sit down together to eat it. This takes a little advance planning. You can either shop separately, and cook together, or you can send yourselves both boxes from Omaha Steaks or some other meal delivery service and make the food together,” she says.
Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, agrees that cooking dinner together remotely can be a really fun and lighthearted way to ring in your anniversary. “You'll bicker over the recipe instructions, laugh over the cooking blunders you might make, and just have an authentically fun time,” she tells Elite Daily. The whole process can help you to feel connected, Chong explains. “Eating the same meal and sipping on the same wine with the same music playing in the background helps make you feel like your significant other is right there with you,” she says.
3. Have Fun And Be Playful.
Anniversaries can be romantic and emotional, but they can also just be plain fun. So, if things are feeling a little heavy in general, the perfect antidote just might be adding some joy and playfulness to your anniversary, as Spira suggests. “If dinner and streaming a movie won't cut it, add some fun and competition by playing an online trivia or other live game together,” she says. “It's simple to do, as you just need to share your screen with your partner, and then have some fun putting them to the test to see who wins. Hint: Everyone will.”
4. Glam It Up For Romance.
Tired of living in nothing but yoga pants? Well, your anniversary's the perfect time to glam it up. Plus, by putting in the effort to look your best, it adds to the feeling that this day is significant. “Dress up and get ready for how you'd look if you were going to your favorite restaurant or dining in Paris. Put on your makeup, ditch the sweats, start feeling sexy before your virtual date, and get in the mood for romance,” says Spira.
5. Get Mushy With Each Other.
A Zoom anniversary is the perfect excuse to express how much you mean to one another, so don’t be afraid to lean in and talk about how much each of you cares, Spira recommends. “Remember to say ‘love you.’ It's one thing to send a text or a gif to express your love, but it's a more profound feeling to tell your partner you love them during your Zoom call,” she says. So don't hold back on the mushy stuff.
6. Don’t Forget The Anniversary Gift.
To make the day feel special, Chong suggests adding a more tangible and traditional element: an anniversary gift. “Send something to each other a few days before and open the packages together. Opening surprises together make you feel like you can relate to the other person at that moment. It's a moment of heightened emotion that makes you feel closer,” she says. Does your partner love flowers? If so, sending them so they’ll arrive while you chat can take the celebration to another level. “My guy arranged for a delivery to be made just as I was talking to him,” says Chong. “It was a very pleasant surprise. It makes it seem as if he was almost right there with me.”
While spending your anniversary together online might not be the ideal scenario, Masini says to never underestimate its importance regardless of how you celebrate. The effort you put in is what you’ll get out of it. “Casual is fine — but for your anniversary — even if you’re doing it on Zoom, dress up. Plan ahead. Send a gift. And make sure that the Zoom anniversary is a special event,” she says. And if you’re still feeling a bit down, realize that having to celebrate with your partner online is not going to last forever. “Think of it as if your partner was out of town traveling for work, and you wanted to stay in touch. Let technology lead the way to stay connected and deepen your relationship when you can't be in their arms at night,” suggests Spira.
So, if your anniversary's on the horizon, embrace it. Make some plans and then celebrate your love the best way you can. At the very least, you’ve made a new memory with the person you love, says Chong. “Make the effort to make this extra special. In time, you will remember it as your pani-versary and you'll be able to laugh about it. It will be well worth it until you can see each other again,” she concludes.
Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women
April Masini author, relationship and etiquette expert
Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships