Valentine’s Day: Long-Distance Style

Valentine’s Day. Some dread it, some love it. It can be a difficult holiday for those who are single and even for those who are in relationships. And let’s not even talk about those who would describe their relationship status as “complicated.” Valentine’s Day is another holiday that offers an opportunity to buy gifts for one another. But is it a big enough event to spend as much money, time, thought, and effort as Christmas? If you went all out for Christmas, are you even supposed to acknowledge Valentine’s Day? Media has set the expectation high with flower deliveries, oversized teddy bears, and romantic dinners. But what about the couples who are miles apart and cannot show up at the doorstep with flowers? Long distance relationships come with their own complications and to add to them, there are holidays like Valentine’s Day. It is hard enough to get days off work, making it hard to travel to see your significant other, and it is stereotyped to be a holiday that should be spent together in one another’s arms. But with miles between one another, long distance couples have to become creative. I speak from personal experience and these are my stories. I am sure there are other long-distance relationships out there who have their ways of handling Valentine’s Day, and I commend them for making their love work from far away.

Last year, I was a freshman in college, and it was the first time my boyfriend and I would be separated. The months went by and we had made arrangements to visit each other and all was going well. Then February rolled around and Valentine’s Day was during the middle of the week. With no reasonable way to spend the day with each other while fulfilling other responsibilities, we got creative. We decided that snail mail would be how we delivered our gifts (thank goodness for the florists who hand deliver flowers) to express our love and affection for one another. Of course, this took some pre-planning, but it worked and our packages had arrived days before. Next, we decided that on Valentine’s Day we would spend the evening on FaceTime...a virtual Valentine’s Day.

Individually we grabbed dinner and brought it back to our rooms and got set up. The call connected and the date began. Enjoying our dinners together, we had our version of a romantic dinner. Following dinner, the packages were opened and words of gratitude and love were shared. While a virtual Valentine’s day is not the most ideal or Cinemark moment, it means a lot when distance separates you from your partner. This year, we have decided to defy the holiday. Who says Valentine’s Day can only be celebrated on the 14th? So many of us have early or late Christmases in order to celebrate with everyone in the family or different sides of the family. For us this year, Valentine’s Day is no different. For me, Valentine’s day is coming on February 22nd, and it is going to be just as romantic and magical as it will be for those who celebrate 8 days before me.

Valentine’s Day, just like any other holiday, looks different for each of us. Do not compare your day to others, do what makes you happy, when it makes you happy. Long-distance relationships can be hard and a lot of times it can seem like you are missing out on many cute “relationship goal” moments, but the truth is you are not. You just have to find ways to create these moments for yourself. Get creative, run away from stereotypes, and fill your Valentine’s day with love, laughs and smiles. Those mean more and last longer than chocolates, flowers and expensive candlelight dinners.