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The long distance guide to Valentine’s Day

| Monday, February 14, 2022

Couples who start dating their senior year of high school always have to face the dreaded conversation of college. In the summer of 2019, my boyfriend and I decided to stay together and move our only months-long relationship into a long distance one. When choosing our colleges we made the decisions for ourselves and ended up over 2000 miles, and a three-hour time zone, apart. Considering this will be our third Valentines Day together on zoom, I call myself somewhat of an expert on long distance. So, this year I’ve collected my past experiences and have decided to make a couple’s guide to a long distance Valentine’s Day. 

1. Lay out the ground rules.

We do not always celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14. Don’t get me wrong, we have a long call every year and we typically send each other something small, but with a conversation in advance we always determine exactly what we expect from one another. Freshman year, he visited Notre Dame the weekend after Valentine’s Day, so while we watched a movie with one another, we planned a dinner and a bigger event that next weekend. 

Another important thing to communicate in advance would be if and how you are doing presents. Last year, we both decided to ship each other our presents and have a date night on call. Due to the fact that the shipping cost more than what was in the actual box, we have since abolished this practice. Rather, we exchange gifts the next time that we see each other.  Sadly, travel is hard, especially in the times of Covid, and this possibility is not always feasible. So, this leads to my next point …

2. Even though you are apart, make the date special. 

I hate to stereotype, but men do not always think about making dates extra special. This is even more true for long distance. There are very few special dates you can go on via zoom.  The best, and the go-to would be to watch a movie and order dinner. Although Telaparty has been in existence for a few years, post-Covid, the brand connected with a lot more streaming services, making it significantly easier now to watch a movie together (and be certain it’s on at the same time).  

If a movie is not your thing, there are still plenty of other options available for couples. You probably haven’t thought about this one since middle school, but we enjoy pulling up Buzzfeed quizzes and answering them for each other. There are also plenty of other games online specifically created for the pandemic or couples. Card games like “We’re Not Really Strangers” have become popular recently, and it is really easy to play via FaceTime. 

No matter what you do, the main point is to do something different. If you are anything like me, you text your boyfriend constantly and FaceTime minimum once a day. While it is not reasonable to fly out to each other every Valentine’s Day, it is always nice to plan something special. 

3. No presents doesn’t actually mean no presents. 

Whenever I say “no presents” I don’t actually mean no presents. As I stated before, my boyfriend and I almost always postpone present giving until we are with each other. In saying this I always expect at least a letter, and I always try to send him candy or food in return. If this is your first Valentine’s Day apart, I would most definitely talk about this ahead of time, but seeing as this is being released on February 14, GrubHub is always a perfect solution in a pinch (what better way to show love than take-out Chinese food). 

For the past few years I have scoured the internet with google searches akin to “what’s the equivalent of flowers for men?” I have since come up with two solutions: food and flowers. I am sure you have heard the phrase the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Honestly, the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. I do not know a single person, regardless of age, gender or sexual preference who does not love some good food. Number two, I saw a post online last spring saying that the first time a man will ever get flowers is their own funeral. Flowers are objectively pretty, and I think men deserve more flowers. 

Regardless of how you celebrate, just make sure the date is special. We have all heard the argument that Valentine’s Day is a made up holiday and it should not be celebrated. So what if it is made up, I believe we should use whatever excuse we have to celebrate love in a time where we as a planet have been distant for so long. Plus, who doesn’t want some cheap candy the next day? 

You can contact Olivia at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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