Long-distance relationships are rough, but long-distance relationships on Valentine’s Day can be pretty much unbearable. It’s hard to be away from the one you love on a normal day, but a day when smoochy couples are shoved in your face is like knife through the heart.
Thank God it’s 2017. What the heck did people do before the internet? We’ve got some romantic virtual date ideas that are almost as good as being with your valentine in person. Almost.
1. Create a lovey-dovey video and upload it to YouTube
Of course you don’t want the rest of the world hearing your romantic whispers so make sure you mark your clip as “unlisted” when you upload. That means only those who have the direct URL can see it. If you need help creating a video from images and text choose from loads of free web applications, such as Stupeflix and Animoto.
2. Set up an online treasure hunt
It’ll take time and imagination but your beloved is worth it, right? Email your partner the first clue, which should lead them to one of your social media accounts where they have to find the next clue. Only when you know they’ve found the second clue, can you post the third, and so on (to make sure they don’t skip any steps). For this to work, you’ll have to have as many social media accounts as possible: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest for starters. Your final clue could lead them to their special Valentine’s gift, such as a pin of a luxury hotel that you’re planning to whisk them off to the next time you’re together.
3. Make the whole day a virtual love-in
Kick things off in the morning with a romantic e-card asking your partner to join you for an evening of virtual fun. It’s probably best that you agree in advance to keep the night free or your Valentine’s Day could end in disaster. Over the next few hours send him pictures of yourself letting them know how much you’re looking forward to your date. When it comes to the date itself try to spend it doing what you would do if you were together. So you might watch an online movie (keeping up a running commentary via chat) or play pool, bowling or mini-golf on an online games site. Stay connected throughout using chat or text. At the end of the date treat your loved one to a big virtual kiss.
4. Set up your web cams or FaceTime
Have a romantic meal together, complete with candles and champagne and your favorite dishes. It’s the next best thing to doing it in person. After you’ve eaten, take all necessary equipment somewhere a little more comfortable. OK, so snuggling up next to your iPad to watch a movie may not strike you as being very sexy but you never know what might happen if you get in the mood…
5. Send Valentines cards in bulk
Instead of sending just one card on Valentine’s Day, send each other a whole bunch of them. Agree to open each one at an agreed time (for example, every two hours), and you’ll get a kick out of knowing you’re both reading one another’s loving (or funny, or sexy — whatever you guys are into) messages at the same time. You’ll feel connected at that moment, no matter how many miles are between you.
6. Create a special playlist
Create a Spotify or 8tracks playlist in your partner’s honor, featuring songs and musicians that are special to you both — such as the song that was No. 1 when you met or the first song you danced to at your wedding.
7. Create your own private online place
Set up a Google+ account for you to share and post pictures, quotes and random musings throughout the day.
8. Make a surprise gesture
Find out where your partner is going to be on Valentine’s Day. Out with colleagues after work? Arrange for a round of drinks to be delivered to their table. Grabbing a bite to eat with friends? Ask the restaurant to pass on a romantic message.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.
Originally published February 2015. Updated February 2017.