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Ask Ainsley: How do I manage a long-distance Valentine’s Day?

Dear Ainsley,

Last year, my significant other of three years graduated and moved to Vancouver while I remained at McGill. We have always gone out and celebrated Valentine’s Day together by doing something special. This is our first year apart on this holiday, and I don’t know what I can do to show them I miss and love them when we’re so far away. Any ideas?


Long Distance Valentine (LDV)



Dear LDV,

Your question is very near and dear to me, as I’m also spending Valentine’s Day far apart from my significant other. While it can be difficult to show someone you care when you’re far away, there are many creative ways to make sure you and your partner have a romance-filled Valentine’s Day, regardless of distance.

If you’re looking to give your partner a gift, consider going the traditional route, and send them a care package in the mail. Fill it with corny classics like heart confetti and chocolate, or personalized items like reminders of your best inside jokes or your favourite sweater. Throw in a letter explaining how you feel without them by your side, and you’ve got yourself a heartfelt valentine’s gift. Alternatively, delivering some flowers or Edible Arrangements to your partner’s house is an easy go-to way to make sure they know you are thinking about them. Taking the time to send a loved one some of their favourite things is a sure-fire way to put a smile on their face and make them feel loved.

Many couples tend to have V-Day traditions, such as watching romantic comedies or binge-eating take-out food. If you have traditions like this, consider adapting them to keep them alive despite the distance. Instead of going to the movies or binge-eating sweets on the couch, combine these activities and arrange a FaceTime dinner-movie date. Whether you decide to cook together on FaceTime or get your favourite meals delivered, this will be a fun and unique way to share the special evening. To end the night, watch a movie together and have a FaceTime sleepover.

If you’re looking for some spicier ways to show your love this Valentine’s Day, consider asking a friend to take nude polaroids of you to send to your partner in the mail. Or, if your significant other is into it, go the digital route: Take a bunch of nude photos in advance, and Snapchat them to your valentine throughout the day. Since you’re three hours ahead of Vancouver, send some as soon as you wake up, so that your partner gets them first thing in the morning. Once you and your significant other have some time alone, use technology to your advantage and share some intimacy through FaceTime sex. Although it may seem daunting, by learning to dirty talk and get comfortable on camera, sex with your Valentine will be just as satisfying as the real thing.

Understandably, being away from your valentine on a holiday created for public displays of affection may feel sad. Try not to get too down on yourself; think about all of the long-distance couples that are going through the same thing and try to remember that you are not alone! If you have friends who are also in long-distance relationships this Valentine’s Day, consider planning an activity to do together to fight off feelings of loneliness. Nothing beats a Palentine’s Day with your best friends.

Albeit cliché, it’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. As long as you and your significant other are both invested in your relationship, know that no distance can come between you two. Instead of dwelling on how far away you are from your valentine, focus on the fact that you have someone to share it with, and make this day as special as you can.  

Sending lots of love this V-Day,

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