- Zackary Drucker/The Gender Spectrum Collection
- Valentine’s Day can be a hard time of year for single people and people in long-distance relationships who might be apart from their partners on February 14.
- Insider spoke with three relationship and dating experts on different ways people can show love for their partners on the holiday, even if they’re 1,000 miles away.
- Overall, their advice was to be creative – send letters, gifts, or even order them a massage – and use it as a moment to ask your partner or partners what their needs are.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Around Mid-February, there’s no escaping the theme of romance both online and off. There’s the never-ending stream of corny romantic Instagram ads, heart-shaped boxes of chocolate in the grocery store, and couples who love to overshare.
It can be particularly difficult to stomach for people in long-distance relationships who may not be able to spend time with their partners.
But we’re living at a time when we’ve never been more connected, and even though screens aren’t a good substitute for in-person interaction, there are ways around it, experts say.
“[It’s about] finding a way to connect,” Anisah Miley, a New York-based clinical social worker, told Insider. “It’s all too easy to only think about this two-hour date that happens in-person across a candlelit table. There are all sorts of ways to do that now.”
Insider spoke to Miley and two other experts on different strategies to make your partner feel special on Valentine’s Day, even miles away.
Send them a gift. These days, even writing a letter is a rare treat.
Sending gifts can be a cute way to remind your partner that you want to put time and effort into them, even if you’re physically apart. They can be as simple as a hand-written letter or hand-crafted gift.
“I mean how awesome would it be to receive a letter from someone that you love in 2020? I don’t think that we write enough to each other,” Miley said. “Or crafting, creating something for someone and sending it through the actual mail.”
Schedule a special FaceTime date, or pre-record a video message.
- Zackary Drucker/Gender Spectrum Collection
Living in the digital age means many of us are equipped with phones and other digital devices that can do video calls, which are great ways to spend face-to-face quality time with a partner who might be 1,000 miles away.
“That is kind of a special thing. In 2020 there are all sorts of ways. If you’re long distance but available, you can connect through video,” Miley told Insider. “Instead of throwing up your hands, if it’s something that you want to participate in, you can have a date via video teleconferencing, through FaceTime, through Zoom, finding a way to be together.”
And even if you don’t have the time for a proper date, pre-recording a message for your partner or partners can help build excitement for the next visit you have planned to see each other.
“You might even want to create a special video message that your partner can view throughout the day,” Robinson-Brown said. “It’s also OK to express physical desires to your partner and create some anticipation for the next time the two of you will meet.”
Message them some selfies.
- Getty/Ella Uzan
While it might not be a written letter, sending selfies of yourself can be a cute way to remind your partner that you’re thinking of them even if you can’t be together on February 14, Rachel Wright, a sex & relationships expert, told Insider
Learn your partner’s love language and base a romantic gesture on it. If it’s physical touch, buy them a massage.
- FG Trade/Getty Images
Whether it be physical touch, words of affirmation acts of service, quality time, or gifts, knowing your partner’s love language can make a world of difference when figuring out what to do for them on the big day.
“If your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, write them a letter about how much you love and care about them and mail it with their Valentine’s Day card/gift,” Wright told Insider.
“If your partner’s love language is physical touch, you can make a play on it by getting them a massage and telling them you wish you could rub their back for them.”
Ask them what they need.
- Zackary Drucker/Gender Spectrum Collection
Ultimately, before you do anything, you should just ask your partner what their needs are and what would make them feel the most loved.
“If you’re really feeling lost, ask them if they have any ideas on how they want to celebrate the day being apart and how you can best make them feel seen, heard, and loved,” Wright said.
- Read more:
- 9 people in open marriages reveal what their relationships are actually like
- 7 celebrity couples who have gotten real about open relationships
- I’ve been with my spouse for 5 years, but I’m interested in an open marriage. How do I tell my partner, who also has zero experience with polyamory?