By NATALIA LUSINSKI
With February 14 around the corner, you may be wondering how to celebrate Valentine’s Day when you’re in a long-distance relationship. You’re certainly not alone — 14 million couples report being in a long-distance relationship, according to a study by Statistic Brain. As someone who’s been in plenty of LDRs, I think there are two key things to making them work (aside from trust) — communication and creativity. After all, even if you don’t ever expect to be in an LDR, sometimes you and your partner find yourself in one, whether it’s for a few weeks, months, or more — and key holidays may occur at the time, such as Valentine’s Day. Or, perhaps you’re used to celebrating holidays while physically apart.
“One of the keys to a successful LDR is to maintain healthy levels of intimacy and closeness, especially during Valentine’s Day,” Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist and author of the relationship blog, You’re Just A Dumbass, tells Bustle. “Some couples use video chats, audio files, and snail mail as ways to compensate for the lack of being able to physically be in the same room. This Valentine’s Day, try adding creative elements to what you already do.”
Exactly. After all, when you’re long-distance with your significant other, everything is magnified — how often you speak, when you speak, and doing your best to keep up with each other’s lives while also maintaining your own. It’s a fine balance. Here are 15 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day when you’re in a long-distance relationship, because the more ideas, the better, I think.
1Surprise Them And Show Up
If you’re like most people, you probably love surprises, so why not surprise your partner for Valentine’s Day? You can either show up during their lunch break, and even alert their boss ahead of time, or be waiting at their apartment when they get home from work. Of course, have a Skype date or phone call set up in the meantime, in order to throw them off.
2Have A Synchronized Skype, FaceTime, Or Nucleus Date
“Schedule a live Skype video or phone session, or FaceTime, while you both do exactly the same things together,” James Preece, aka The Dating Guru, tells Bustle. “You can watch the same movie, eat the same meal, and open gifts for each other. If you synchronize it exactly, then it’s almost as if you aren’t apart at all.” As someone who has done this very thing, I agree with Preece, and it does help you and your partner feel closer together, physically, even when you’re not.
For those of you who are more into technological ways to keep in touch, Nucleus could be the answer you’re looking for. It’s a video intercom gadget that makes you feel together even when you’re apart. It’s a touchscreen device that you can place anywhere to get connected to your partner — wither via audio or visual communication. You can also use its app version. You just tap the device you want to connect with and you’re talking with your significant other in no time! Side note and added perk: Nucleus can also use Alexa Voice technology. The device’s perks do cost — Nucleus prices start at $199 — but it’s definitely a way to up your communication styles with your partner.
3Have A Skype Dinner Date
If you haven’t watched the web series 7p/10e, do it right now. You’ll get addicted to Skype dates and be inspired to have more of your own. For Valentine’s Day, if you and your partner cannot be together IRL, have a Skype dinner date. “Begin the conversation by acknowledging how much you love and appreciate each other,“ Susan Winter, relationship expert and bestselling author of Allowing Magnificence, tells Bustle. “If you like, it can actually be a ‘dinner date.’ You can both bring your prepared meal into camera sight (as though you’re having an intimate dining experience).”
I have done this in the past, via Skype and phone, and it was nice to know that my boyfriend was doing the same thing at the same time. We’d take pauses in conversation to chew and to laugh, and it was perfect. And for even more LDR inspiration, check out the indie film Hank and Asha. It’ll give you all the sweet-and-romantic relationship feels, long-distance or not.