Three years ago, I found myself single. So I did what any desperate millennial would do: download dating apps. It was utter hell. Men would hit on me, despite my very lesbian bio. Couples would want to make me their unicorn. I nearly gave up on my search for love.
Until, one day, this cute woman messaged me. I decided to give Cupid one more opportunity and that little winged angel did not disappoint. We chatted back and forth a few times. Those few times turned into a few hours and then all night. We talked about being mothers, our football team rivalry, our college days, even our exes… no topic was off limits. I felt like I could tell her anything. For the first time in a long time, I felt a true connection to another person. The only caveat was, in stereotypical lesbian fashion, we lived in separate states. Despite the distance, I knew she was for me. Thus, I found myself in a very special camp: the camp of the long distance relationship.
Now, after three years, my girlfriend and I have become quite the experts at ensuring things don’t get stagnant and keeping open communication. She always sends a “good morning, beautiful text.” I call her while I’m readying myself for the day and we discuss her day, so far, at work. I text her throughout my day, share daily selfies, and call her on my lunch break. Thanks to our fantastic communication, I’m still as enamored with her as I was the first time I met her.
That doesn’t mean that a LDR isn’t hard. LDRs are difficult and take a lot of work on any given day, but on Valentine’s Day? It can be downright ledge-worthy if you’re not able to spend it with the woman you love. But there’s no need to fret, my dearies! I owe much of my relationship success to tossing the “rules” of relationships out the window. Rules box us in and in a long distance relationship, there needs to be flexibility. We have no time for boxes. So I’m here with our favorite tips and tricks that’ll have you popping the bubbly this Valentine’s Day if you are away from the one you love. Read below for my proven tips for making a LDR Valentine’s Day romantic and beautiful.
Alter your expectations. Some people have higher expectations of romantic holidays than others. For instance, I’m a rather sentimental person, whereas my girlfriend is not. I had to change some of my expectations to meet her where she was and she had to do the same. I adore cards. She thinks they’re a capitalistic Hallmark paper factory. However, she knows how much I love them so she always takes the time to send me a card for special occasions. I’m not a very physical person but that’s her love language, so I adapted some of my behaviors, like holding her hand, so she felt more loved. When we’re apart, I tell her how I can’t wait to embrace her and how very much I miss her. I describe how she makes me feel when a moment as simple as her hand grazing mine makes me feel goosebumps.
The purpose of readjusting our expectations isn’t to give others a free pass to skip what’s important to us. It’s simply a compromise. After all, being apart is difficult on our best days, so when the pressure is on to celebrate one of the most romantic nights of the year and you’re staring down a candlelit dinner alone, it hits harder. Adjusting your expectations can help you be more emotionally prepared to be by yourself on important days.
Use tech to your advantage. With our technology, we’ve sent a man to the moon. We’ve genetically engineered pig hearts for transplants. We even have pocket sized computers that fit into the palm of our hands! Therefore, there is no reason you can’t see bae on V-Day. At least through Facetime.
“If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” -Beverly Cleary. One of the most amazing gifts I’ve ever received was a book my girlfriend had made for me. She titled it, “My Reasons Why” and it included all the reasons she loved me. Talk about crying over a gift! Bonus, the stick figure illustration made me quite svelte. This kind of loving gesture isn’t as hard as it sounds. It can easily be accomplished using Shutterfly or what my babe used, LoveBook. Have it shipped to their house and on Valentine’s Day, Facetime them and watch their reaction.
Watch your favorite movie together. Chances are, if you were physically together, you’d end up snuggled on the couch watching a movie to wind down your Valentine’s Day. Did you know you can both login to Netflix and watch the same movie at the same time using a browser extension called Teleparty? Or do what my girl and I do. Call each other while streaming the same movie (we’re horror movie and documentary buffs) at the same time. Nothing says Valentine’s Day like Jason Voorhies at Camp Crystal Lake! Bonus points for when they scream and you’re chill because you just knew the killer was behind the shower curtain.
Share a meal together. With omicron sweeping the nation, very few of us are braving sit-down restaurants anyway. Since you’ll miss the experience of cuddling in a booth together at your local Italian eatery, why not share a meal together using tech to your advantage? Grab your phone, laptop, or tablet and chat while you prepare your meal. Then, sit down and eat together. If you’re more likely to make a mess or a fire than a meal in the kitchen, be fancy and order in to your respective homes and share a meal.
Send something special. My girlfriend and I have never lived in the same city. We don’t take our time together for granted, so every time I leave her house, I spritz my perfume on a t-shirt of mine that I leave behind and try to leave a small note telling her I love her. When I send a care package, it includes another perfume-doused tee, her favorite candy, and one of my infamous handwritten notes. While yes, you can send flowers or candy, as I have occasionally done, sending a care package based on your partner’s love language speaks volumes.
Hook-up virtually. If I need to explain this one, we need to be back in Mrs. Bacote’s sixth grade sex-ed class, so I’ll just leave this one here and give y’all some privacy! Just make sure you aren’t recording – unless you’re both into that.
Surprise them IRL. I have a penchant for random road trips and dramatic gestures and who doesn’t love surprises? Many a time has gone by where I’m on the phone with my girlfriend and I tell her to open her garage door while I wait outside. She has been known to scream all the obscenities into my ear in one fell swoop in excitement. Obviously, this can’t be accomplished for everyone, but surprising her on Valentine’s Day is one of my top ten achievements as a girlfriend.
Valentine’s Day isn’t about jewelry, roses, and chocolate. It’s about spending time with the people we love. Long distance relationships shoulder burdens, inconveniences, and lost time, but have the potential for so much love you’re sure your heart will collapse from the intensity of it. Valentine’s Day is one day of the year we can throw the rules away and be with each other on our own terms. And hell, with the rulebook thrown out, who says everyday can’t be Valentine’s Day?