How To Survive Valentine’s Day When In An LDR

Ever since I could remember, Valentine’s Day has been the day I look forward to every year. I could easily blame the reason being on my lovely grandma, who always bought us chocolates growing up, or on sappy films like The Notebook or Love Actually for making me desperately want to celebrate love and all it has to offer; however, when it truly comes down to it, I think that I’m just a hopeless romantic. 

I have never been the person who believes you have to be in a relationship to celebrate this special day, but when my wonderful partner came around three years ago, I certainly didn’t mind the company as I gushed over Jenna and Matt’s budding romance in 13 Going on 30. 

Every February 14th, making homemade pizza (which we could never seem to be able to cook correctly) and curling up on the couch to watch a few movies together became an absolute must and something I looked forward to every year. It didn’t seem like much of a celebration to some, but to us, it was perfect. 

Unfortunately, our little tradition had to come to an end when we chose schools in different provinces; my partner heading East to New Brunswick, and I, settling down in the heart of Toronto. Of course, the distance didn’t seem too far, merely a small obstacle to plan small visits around…until the pandemic hit. With the campus sadly closed, I opted to stay home in Vancouver with my family—the furthest you could get from New Brunswick while still being in Canada. Despite the travel restrictions put in place and the rising fear that we would grow apart, my boyfriend and I took a deep breath and hugged ‘goodbye’, already counting down the five months we would be apart. 

Over time, we began to adjust to the situation and with the help of FaceTime, we were able to bring some sense of normality into our romantic lives. We were able to talk face-to-face regularly and have breakfast together on occasion but when the first of February arrived, the feeling of loneliness came back to flood my mind. What were we going to do without our Valentine’s ritual? 

Trying to make the best out of our current situation, I thought long and hard about ways I could feel closer to my partner on this special day whilst being apart, and here are five ideas that I have come up with. 

1. Have a movie night


There was no reason why we couldn’t still have our movie night; we would just need to compromise with the circumstances. Netflix Party allows you to stream the same program at the same time and is a great way to accomplish the perfect ‘staying-in’ date night, even if you have to curl up on separate couches. Plus, more popcorn for you!


2. Virtual board game night


Nothing says “I love you” like kicking your partner's butt in a round of Uno. Here are a few games that are available to play to bring out your competitive sides. 


3. Host a Facetime dinner date 


Imagine, a romantic candlelit dinner for two on the most loving day of the year. A traditional Valentine’s date with a twist, turning on FaceTime and cooking or ordering a meal together can make the evening feel more intimate. Out of candles? No worries! The illumination from your screen will create that fairy-tale ambience for you. 


4. Send care packages


If you are willing to spend a bit more money and effort, sending a small care package to your distanced loved one, that includes their favourite snacks or nick-nacks, can make them feel special and could be a fun test to see how well you two truly know each other. 


5. Make each other a Spotify mix-tape 


A staple in sappy rom-com’s, putting together a mix-tape for your partner can be a way to show them how you feel about them without having to articulate it into words. Add songs that remind you of them or the entire Shrek 2 soundtrack, both are just as romantic.

Being away from your partner sucks, especially during stressful times like mid-semester or when the world is enduring a pandemic. Nevertheless, it is always important to find the silver lining in situations that seem against your odds and make the best out of what you’re given. Thanks to the advanced technology we have today, I count myself lucky for even being able to speak to my partner daily, never mind having the ability to plan an entire Valentine’s evening just for us. Despite the change in tradition, I will continue to look forward to making new memories with my loved one, even if it’s through a screen.