So you're in a long distance relationship. And Valentine's Day is coming up. And you're not sure how you even feel about the whole concept of Valentine's Day, anyway.
After all, isn't it just another holiday invented to make us spend money on cheesy presents?
Actually, you may be surprised to learn that Valentine's Day is not a commercial invention! The tradition of lovers presenting each other with flowers, sweet nibbles, and cards on Valentine's Day has been around since the 1400's.Â And especially if you're in a long distance relationship you really shouldn't pass up this opportunity to say "I love you" across the miles.
How to do that, though? That's the million dollar question, and when you're in a long distance relationship the mechanics of Valentine's Day can seem doubly complicated by the miles between you (not to mention the lack of a million dollars.)
Never fear, we're here to help you out. Here are 20 totally non-cheesy ways to say I love you across the miles on Valentine's Day…
Love them? Tell them why
Most of us appreciate thoughtful words of love and encouragement just as much (or more) than physical presents. So this Valentine’s Day, why not spend some time telling your partner what makes them so special?
There are so many ways to do this...
If you’re on a budget, get creative. Perhaps make a list of reasons you love them and things you admire about them using the alphabet. For A, you might write “you Appreciate other people”, etc.
Or collect some of your favorite love quotes for them.
You can totally do this yourself. Write these things on plain paper or note cards. Or jazz it up a bit with glitter, stickers, and fancy stationary. Get them together, mail them on time, and you have an awesome Valentine’s Day love-bomb package headed their way.
But if you’re looking for something a little more polished, check outÂ LoveBook Online. Totally customizable, these books let you list all the reasons why you love someone and illustrate your words with casually cute stick figures.
Or, my personal favorite, KindNotes. You pick between a glass jar and tin box and customize the color and design of the filling, envelopes, and ribbon. You can select your messages from their library or order this gift with blank cards so you can handwrite love notes yourself.
You could also use Post-It notes to deliver a lovely surprise based on this idea. Enlist the help of a colleague or roommate. After you’ve filled out a stack of notes, send these Post-It notes to your accomplice and ask him or her to plant them around your love’s office or dorm room for them to find on a special day.
Make them a video
If you’re more of a talker than a writer, you could always use your cell phone to record a video to tell them how much they mean to you. Some things you could talk about are:
- What’s the first thing you remember noticing about them?
- What are two things you really love about them?
- What are two things you really respect and admire about them?
- What’s something they’re really good at?
- What’s reminded them of you this week/When have you really missed them this week?
- How would you like to be celebrating this day if you were together?
- What do you hope for them today and this week?
If you really want to go all out you could also contact 5-10 of their close friends and ask them to make a short 30 second-2 minute video talking about something they really appreciate and admire about your partner.
Put those videos all together in a giant “we love you” montage and I guarantee you’ve come up with a gift they will never forget.
Show them a good time
Did you know that remembering the good times you’ve had makes you happier in life? If you’ve been together a while you probably have You probably have hundreds, maybe thousands of digital photos of the two of you smiling and smooching and doing fun things. Why not pull some of these together to create a highlights reel of happy memories?
You can do this the old-fashioned way—with a blank notebook, a bunch of photos, and a glue-stick.
Or you can save some time and check outÂ Custom Photo Books at Mixbook. MixBook allows you to create classy photo books and other gifts (calendars, cards etc) quickly and easily. They can also print your photos onto canvas and stretch them for easy hanging.
You can do this digitally. Create a slideshow that tells the story of your relationship and showcases some of your highlights. Set it to music, load it up, and you’ve got something you can both watch again and again.
(If you need some inspiration here’s a slideshow I made for my husband for our 5th anniversary. We lived in Laos for most of that time, hence all those images with temples, waterfalls, and elephants in them.)
Sing them a sweet song
How about making them a playlist? (Yes, this is the new and improved version of, “make them a mixed tape.”)
Music has an incredibly powerful influence on emotions and mood. It can lift us up, pump us up, calm us down, or give voice to our pain and longing. So pick music you think your love will enjoy (or music that says things you want to say) and send it to them.
If you have blank CDs lying around, you could burn them a CD to play during their commute or while they’re making dinner at the end of a long day.
Or, you could make them a modern mixtape that has all the old-fashioned romantic glamour of the old-school ones! ThisÂ creative retro cassette flash driveÂ gives you that throw-back feel AND lets you load up to 2000 songs!!
Alternatively, go high-tech by making your playlist and then sharing it with them online. This TechApp piece tells you how to make and share music playlists online legally.
Give them sweet treats
Valentine’s Day is traditionally all about flowers and chocolates, so we really shouldn’t neglect the basics in this list.
You have plenty of options when it comes to shipping flowers, but I recommendÂ VIVAROSES. There is a wonderful love story behind these family-farmed roses, as well.Â (Use my code, MLD15, to save 15% on gorgeousÂ roses at VivaRoses.com!).
And as for treats that taste sweet, two of my favorites are jazzing up Hershey Kisses with this set of “I love you to the moon and back” stickers.
And this breakfast in bed gourmet chocolate set. Cute, funny, and still delicious even if you can’t serve them the real thing in person.Â
Give them the greatest gift of all
Flowers and chocolates are lovely, but they pale in comparison to a gift that truly says “I really want to learn more about you and for us to grow closer.”
In my opinion the greatest gift of all on Valentine’s Day is the message that you’re looking to the future and want to build a closer relationship–that you want to give them your time and attention.
We’ve got just the thing for this! Check out the Great Dates bundle. It contains 401 Great Discussion Questions For Couples and the Long Distance Dating Blueprint–a fun 12-week series for couples in long distance relationships to help them grow closer and stronger.
Buy the bundle now (enter the code VALENTINE to get 25% off), download the files, then email them to your partner on Valentine’s Day with a lovely note.
Give them something
If you’re a huge fan of giving a present you actually have to wrap up, here are a couple of my favorites…
ThisÂ unique necklaceÂ is made using your fingerprint instead of numbers to “mark the spot”. This sterling silver (or gold or rose gold) bar necklace is engraved with your personal fingerprint. Can’t get much more of a personal touch than that! (For more jewelry made using co-ordinates and fingerprints, check out this post).
There are a lot of lame pillowcases and mugs out there, but I actually like this pillow...
And this mug…
Also, who doesn’t love warm, snuggly blankets?Â This is perfectÂ for keeping your favorite certain someone warm and cozy even on the coldest of evenings, and the message will warm their heart at the same time.Finally, put your thinking cap on and simply get them something you know they’ll love or use. Think beyond traditionally romantic gifts. How about a fitbit? A portable speaker so they can take tunes anywhere? A panda planner to help bring positivity to everyday life? The possibilities are endless.
Help them do something
We all know that money can’t buy happiness, but if can buy experiences. And it turns out that experiences can bring and build happiness. So if you want to make your loved one happy (and who doesn’t) my final suggestion is give them an experience.
Either book them an experience where they live that they can do alone–a massage, a pottery making class, a wine-tasting evening (though you might want to line up friends to go along on this one, because who wants to go wine tasting alone? No one.)
Or, book an experience the two of you can do together when you next see each other. Go for adventure and novelty on this one. Is there an amazing restaurant you’d like to try? What about parasailing or hot-air ballooning? Research fun tourist things to do and plan to build your bond by doing something fun together for once.Â
There you have it...
There you have it, 25 non-cheesy suggestions for Valentine's Day. I hope you found something on your list that's just perfect for you.