Valentine’s day can be a tricky day for lovers in a long distance relationship…
Because many people travel for work or study in other cities and countries, it is not possible always to be with the person you love.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to celebrate Valentine’s day (or other holidays) without the person you love!
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Why Do We Celebrate Valentine’s Day on 14th February?
Valentine’s Day is celebrated by sixteen countries across the world and each country has its unique way of celebrating, from wine tasting sessions to a national chocolate day.
Aside from spending the day with loved ones and showering them with gifts or drinking wine, the true history of Valentine’s Day is often shrouded in obscurity. So where did the idea for Valentine’s Day come from and why do we celebrate it?
Valentine’s Day in History
Valentine’s Day has origins going far back to the days of the Roman Empire. One of the many Saint Valentines can be traced to events in 270AD.
This particular Saint Valentine stood under the scrutiny of Rome for performing wedding ceremonies and consecrating marriage for Roman soldiers, who were forbidden to marry and for promoting Christian values that, during this period, suffered great prejudice from the Roman culture who still held to beliefs of polytheism and not monotheism.
Saint Valentine was beheaded by his Roman oppressors on 14th February 270AD. Afterward, in 496AD, Pope Gelasius I consummated the events like the Feast of Saint Valentine.
The first celebration of Valentine’s Day occurred in the 11th Century (the 1200s) when the tradition of courtly love materialized. Courtly love was the medieval practice of a noble lady courting a court knight.
It started with French troubadours composing love ballads of knights and their ladies and thus, worked its way down the generations taking on different forms in tradition until we arrive at today’s celebrations of Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day in Folklore
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have bearings just in history, though. It is also common in folklore.
The UK tradition of giving sweets, presents, and cards on Valentine’s Day comes from Norfolk folklore of Jack Valentine, who has a mixed reception. He would present sweets and gifts to children after knocking on the backdoor of their residence, yet children, in the folktales, were scared of him. H
is legend is a denomination of the importance of Valentine’s Day back in Victorian England as it was considered just as important as Christmas time. Here then was born the British tradition of sweet, card and gift exchange from an ambiguous yet surviving folktale.
Another folktale several hundred miles away in Slovenia has its roots in Spring. February 14th is believed to be the day when new roots emerge and birds marry. This way, Valentine’s Day is presented as being the day where reproduction and new life is consummated.
Valentine’s Day in Poetry
Building on the Slavic folklore and French troubadours comes Geoffery Chaucer’s poem Parlement of Foules, written in the 14th Century (the 1500s). The poem enacts the anniversary of King Richard II and Anne of Bohemia, another example of courtly love and due to the popularity of the literary genre at the time, the poem inspired the actuality of celebrating Valentine’s Day.
In other words, people started to take from the poem the acts of spending time with loved ones and celebrating their love for one another in their own homes. There, it started working its way into society and became a tradition.
If at this point, you might be wondering about the appearance of flowers and particularly roses as a gift on Valentine’s Day, their origin can be placed in Edmund Spencer’s Faerie Queen. The “roses are red, violets are blue” poem is a deviation of a popular stanza from Spencer’s poem.
Since then, the giving of roses on Valentine’s Day has become a tradition all of its own and is possibly one of the more prominent acts on Valentine’s Day.
So, as you can see, the reason we celebrate Valentine’s Day is to carry on the tradition of celebrating the act and art of love, keeping the sacrifices and efforts of our predecessors alive.
Moreover, they celebrated love in the face of adversity and it is those acts that have been remembered and celebrated through the annals of history, whether we realize it or not. It is the value we carry on today by celebrating Valentine’s Day.
Another reason why we celebrate Valentine’s Day is we love to give and receive gifts. It makes us and the recipient feel special and the only people we really do that with are the people we care about, making a tradition all of its own account.
Why Should You Celebrate Valentine’s Day if You’re in a Long Distance Relationship?
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a wonderful day for couples. It’s a day to celebrate your love and an excuse to shower your loved one with affection. So it can be tough when your partner can’t be there with you!
You don’t fit in with the coupled up crowd, but you also don’t fit in with the “singles awareness day* crowd. What’s a long distance couple to do?
Valentine’s Day Relationship Strain
Couples often fall prey to three things that make this holiday feel disappointing: expectations, comparisons and magnification.
- It’s all too easy to have expectations too high for a single evening or compare yourself to your friend posting on FaceBook about the super dreamy date they went on. These can cause problems in even the most stable relationships. Asking why you can’t be like Jane and Bob isn’t going to make your day any better, nor will it make Jane and Bob’s day any less awesome looking.
- The other issue is magnification. If a couple is already having issues, one or both people may feel pressure to have a perfect day to make up for it, buy a perfect gift. etc. No amount of incredible dinner in person or over FaceTime can fix deep cracks in a relationship – and if the day doesn’t meet expectations, it can cause problems to worsen.
The overwhelming consensus is to celebrate and appreciate your partner all year round: send them surprise flowers in August because you were thinking about them.
Not only does it take some of the stress off of a singular day. but it’ll make your relationship healthier in the long run,
Making Valentine’s Day Important to You
Before Valentine’s Day comes around, check your expectations (and maybe stay off of social media for a bit). It’s ok if things don’t go exactly as planned. It’s ok you’re not on an extravagant dinner date somewhere. None of that makes your relationship less special or valid!
You get to pick how you spend it. Talk to your partner and get on the same page for what you want to do or not do.
Communication, as always, is key. In fact, a 2012 USA TODAY article claims that planning out Valentine’s Day is the secret to making the holiday work in an LDR.
Just like any other holiday, Valentine’s Day is what you make it even in an LDR. Decide if you even want to celebrate the holiday. Many couples decide to do something special on a day of the year that has special meaning to them, and some decide to forego the whole thing entirely.
If you do want to do something to celebrate, try and break out of your normal routine. Plan your video chat session around a meal that you’ll both prepare (or maybe splurge and have their favorite food delivered). Send flowers to their doorstep. Stream that movie you’ve both been meaning to watch. Send them a letter through snail mail with a bag of tea you think they’d like – the opportunities are truly endless, and the internet has lots of ideas for you. If you both enjoyed what you decided on doing, maybe make it a tradition you modify and carry on when you can be in the same place.
In summary, Valentine’s Day is hard for couples in LDRs as they face unique challenges, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great day! The point is only to show the other person you care.
How to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in a LDR?
So how do you make this event something special for you and your (LDR) couple?
First of all, you need to know what Valentine’s Day means to your partner:
- Is it a romantic, unique and unmissable celebration for a couple?
- Or is it a hyper-commercial holiday which should be avoided at all costs (because we should celebrate Love every day and not once a year, right)?
If your partner prefers the second option then I strongly recommend that you read the 5th point of this article.
Otherwise here are several ways for you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your lover despite the distance between you!
Step #1: Gifts!
That’s right! Every celebration is another opportunity to offer a little something to your partner to remind them how much you care about them.
But beware: Valentine’s Day is the day of Love and Romanticism by excellence, so mistakes in taste and style are not allowed!
Among the best-sellers of February 14, there are, of course, chocolates, flowers, lingerie, and jewelry.
However, nothing prevents you from doing something more original to find the perfect and most unique gift.
To make your quest easier, you must ask yourself these 3 questions:
What gift, which I have given them in the past, did my partner appreciate? Why?
Did my lover mention anything they would like or need?
What is the mission I want this gift to fulfill? Serve as a timeless souvenir? Solve a problem? Entertain my partner? To show my love? Anything special?
If you can’t decide, right below you can find some nice ideas that I strongly recommend you to check:
- 7 Romantic Long Distance Relationship Gifts for Your Lover
- Top 5+ Best Long Distance Sex Toys (Teledildonics) for Lovers
- The 5 Best Sex Gifts For Long Distance Relationship Couples
- Top 10 Best Long Distance Relationship Gifts for Him or Her
- The 27+ Best Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Long Distance Lovers
When you’re traveling or in a LDR, you miss everything from the person you love to your best friend. So don’t underestimate the power of receiving a package from a lover!
Step #2: Dinner time!
Valentine’s dinners are one of the most intimate things you can do with the person you love, as Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity for two people to spend a romantic evening together, no matter how far away they are.
Indeed, distance can even be erased and forgotten as long as you put double efforts on the atmosphere, all thanks to Skype and a little bit of planning.
To do this, make an appointment at a specific time on the video chat software you’ll use and make sure that you are both fully ready when the time comes.
By that, I mean that you both agree and take care of the little details that will make this Valentine’s Day magical: candles, evening wear, music, soft lighting, wine bottle, good food, good mood, etc.
All you have to do is enjoy your dinner as if you were in a real romantic restaurant. Et voilà!
Step #3: Watch a Romantic Movie Together
Whether it’s at the dinner “table” or after, watching a romantic movie just the two of you can be a great way to spend the evening together.
It’s fun, efficient and easy to organize: you both start the movie at the same time, and enjoy and contemplate each other’s reactions with Skype!
Try to choose a film that you both want to see that is light and casual (romantic comedy, anyone?).
I particularly recommend the Top 5 Best Movies on Long Distance Relationships, ideal to give great vibes and motivation to your couple on such a special day!
Step #4: Raise the temperature with a Strip-Tease
Whether in a funny or sexy way, a webcam striptease is sure to be an unforgettable memory for your couple!
But I can see that coming… You’ve never done a striptease before in your life, right?
It doesn’t matter!
Fortunately, it is possible to learn and practice through a plethora of lessons available on the web as well as on YouTube.
Then, no matter how good the performance is in the end, your partner will appreciate the attention and effort put into providing a truly original experience!
To try at least once.
Afterward, nothing prevents you from going further…
Alternative: Spend the evening with your single friends
Finally, if it turns out that for some reason, one of you is unwilling or unable to celebrate Valentine’s Day from a distance, then don’t stay home and mourn. Go out with friends!
Whether it’s singles, those who don’t like Valentine’s Day, those who are separated from their partner or just friends in couples who prefer to spend the evening with you, many are those who don’t feel concerned by all this and just want to have fun.
After all, Love should be celebrated every day and there are plenty of opportunities to do so, right?
Other Long Distance Valentine’s Day Ideas
The restaurants are packed with couples sharing a candlelit dinner, the movie theatres are bustling and everyone seems to be coupled up for Valentine’s Day.
This day can be challenging for couples in long-distance relationships, but fear not, if you cannot be with your loved one on Valentine’s Day, then there are plenty of things you can do, even across the distance.
Valentine’s Day Countdown
What could be more romantic than sending your paramour a short note on colorful paper for each day of February, running up to the 14th? These notes are best kept short, you don’t want to run out of things to say!
Make the notes stand out by telling them things you’ve never told them before, intimate things that you feel nervous revealing. Remind them of why they are special to you.
Don’t just go with their eyes are beautiful, really go deep with how you feel and what they mean to you. Then, on Valentine’s Day. follow up with one of these other ideas. It’s a genuine winner!
Skype Movie Date/Dinner
I’m sure many long-distance couples are used to the Skype date, but you can make this extra special for Valentine’s Day. Pick a romantic movie, turn on some fairy lights and have a cozy movie night with your loved one.
You can even take this a step further and cook yourself a nice home-cooked meal (after all self-care is in right now!) to share your experience with your significant other. Adding these few special touches can turn a nightly ritual into a romantic Valentine’s date.
Send your loved one flowers
Just because you can’t physically give a gift to someone on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that they can’t receive one. If you want to go traditional, then many websites will allow you to send a beautiful bouquet of roses to your sweetheart.
If they are not into roses then you can send them a treat from websites such as Amazon, that even allow your item to be gift wrapped!
Make something handmade/Send a care package
Alternatively, you can add a personal touch and send something handmade. This is very thoughtful and your significant other will likely appreciate the effort you have put in.
Some examples of handmade items include a handmade card, a coupon book of loving deeds, a handmade cuddly toy and much much more. If you have a deck of cards, you can string them together and write something you love about the person on each card.
The limit here is your imagination! If you’re not into arts and crafts then you can send a hamper of items for your loved one. Think about what might comfort them, perhaps a bath bomb or a warm blanket. Anything to remind them that you care goes down an absolute treat!
Invite Friends Over
If you’re acquainted with your significant other’s friendship circle, throw them a surprise party. Contact those friends of your lover and ask them to be around them on Valentine’s Day so they won’t be alone.
It may take a bit of advance organizing but it’s super romantic when someone goes to that much effort and time to rally people around a loved just so they know they are loved on February 14th.
Don’t just assume they are on good terms with everyone on their Facebook friends list, though. Check the waters before you go ahead. The last thing you’ll want to do is invite someone round to your darling’s place when they’re having scuffles.
Get Your S.O.’s Friends To Act
Sometimes, your significant other’s friends will be tied up with their own things, so ask them to do little things on your behalf that won’t take them away from their own lives.
Ask them to slip messages written by you (either posted to them or printed off) and slip them under the door or leave them wherever your lover is going to be. Get them to leave gifts you’ve sent, so your lover will see them and once they open them, know they are from you.
It will make them feel as if you are there, but it will drive them crazy trying to figure out who is dropping off the messages and gifts. When they find out how much effort you put into it. they’ll be deeply touched.
Plan your next meeting/Future Plans
If you absolutely cannot wait to see each other again then Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to talk and dream about any plans. Whilst it is the season for love, you can show how much you care about your long distance lover by looking up your next vacation together or perhaps look at houses in an area you might want to live.
This can be as serious or make-believe as you want! It’s fun to play house and think about what your future could look like.
Play a game together
Whilst we live in the era of the internet, it is so easy to stay connected online. You can have a fun night playing a collaborative game online together. This could be an online board game or anything that you enjoy playing together when you’re not apart.
Playing games can foster strong relationships and it’s a fun casual activity that both of you can enjoy!
Send them a Spotify mixtape (playlist)
There is nothing that says “I love you”, quite like a curated list of songs that sparks feelings of the other person. Just like in your favorite 80s films you can create a mixtape to share with your significant other.
These days it is very easy to make a Spotify playlist that evokes feelings of love, so you won’t have to record an *actual* tape like in the old days! This will be thoughtful as you can enjoy listening to the songs together.
Depending on how far away from your paramour you live, planning a surprise visit on Valentine’s Day is always a sure way to jump-start your lover’s heart.
Just remember that with the distance you don’t have a full picture of your significant other’s life, so try to find out what they are doing in the run-up to Valentine’s Day so you don’t end up sitting on their doorstep while they’re busy at work.
If that’s the case, use the time to plant gifts and messages around their abode so they’ll be even more pleasantly surprised when you pop up.
If you’ve been living apart from your paramour for a time, then it’s an awesome idea to celebrate all the holidays you’ve missed once you’re back together. This may mean holding off a bit but it doesn’t mean you can’t send gifts.
It just means reuniting with your lover will be more special and you can both then make up for the time lost. Better still, make your own holiday, celebrating your own love so it becomes far more special than a simple act of tradition.
Be there for them
If nothing else, be the first voice they hear in the morning and the last thing at night. Just keep in good communication throughout the day and let them know how much you love them.
After all, Valentine’s day is just another day of the year for you when your love is important every single day. You may not even want to do anything on February 14th and postpone the day for when you next see each other.
These ideas may help you get through the distance and show your significant other that distance means so little when someone means so much!
Even though celebrating in a LDR can be complicated, it should not make your Valentine’s Day a day like any other, or even worse than another day.
Instead of being depressed, because you are not together for February 14, you should be happy to have what millions of people are constantly looking for: Love.
Above all, don’t panic if everything isn’t perfect. As they say, it is the effort and the intention that matter.
You will remember more the emotion and the good times than the small details. So don’t worry too much about the gift you send.
Focus especially on the positive atmosphere and all the emotions you want to convey to obtain an unforgettable Valentine’s Day. The rest will follow…