Valentine’s across the miles – What (and what not) to send your significant other

valentines day

Are you stressing out about what to get your significant other for Valentine's Day? Well spare a thought for those currently in long-distance relationships, for whom the pressure of finding the right gifts is even more intense. All relationships require effort to some extent, but those who find themselves constantly separated from their loved ones are required to put in some extra work here and there.

When you can't physically be together, there are few better ways to show you care than to exchange loving gifts around the calendar's most romantic day. It's not enough to just stick a gift card in an envelope, or to tape grubby pound coins to the inside of a soppy greetings card, however. You've really got to put some thought into this if you're going to get it right. Here are a few ideas of what to look for, as well as some things you definitely shouldn't be sending.

A picture's worth 1,000 words

It's possible that this commonly-quoted idiom overestimates the value of an image slightly, but that's not to say it isn't a great Valentine's gift. Skype and FaceTime are fantastic tools for communicating, but there's only so long you can stare at someone in silence before it starts to get a little awkward. The solution is to send an old-fashioned photograph of yourself, or both of you together, printed on real-life paper. For a nice touch, place a secret message behind the framed photograph, ready to be found in the future.

Be creative

You don't necessarily have to get the camera out to send a nice picture to your loved one; you could get a little creative and make something yourself. It doesn't have to be a self-portrait either - in fact, this might be a little creepy, so it's probably best to avoid. Instead, aim to make something relevant to your relationship - whether it's based on an in-joke or a favourite memory.

An old-school mixtape

They say music is the food of love, so why not send some to the special person in your life? No doubt there will be plenty of songs you've grown to love as a couple, whether it's through seeing artists live or dancing nights away in bars and clubs. Even if not, you'll have a good idea of what your partner enjoys, so go ahead and send some recommended tracks for them to enjoy! Spotify playlists won't suffice here, so go for a CD or cassette tape with a hand-drawn cover and tracklist for the old-school romance that requires much more time input (and therefore means a lot more).

What not to send

There are a few things it's probably best to avoid sending through the mail in the build-up to Valentine's Day. Sweets are great but think carefully before sending any other foods - especially strawberries and melted chocolate.

Unless they're artificial or pressed, flowers won't be a great idea either; they're only likely to get damaged in transit. Also, you'll want them to arrive at the other end still fresh and fragrant, so stick to a florist for this.

With the above in mind, you should be ready to woo your most loved one this Valentine's Day, whether they're in Bristol or Barbados.

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