Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines from afar...

long distance for dummies: valentines from afar

From Susie:
We decided to write this post together because, well, it's valentines day, and it's romantic. We aren't together today, but lucky for us, we will be tomorrow night! Lars is coming to Vermont this weekend. We've both said in previous posts that we make a goal to see each other once a month, so this is our february visit. Anyways, valentines day...

This is Lars's and my third valentines as a couple. The first we were apart, the second we were together, and this year we are apart again. We haven't made a huge deal of it in the past. Last year it was my turn to plan a date so I surprised Lars by decorating his room while he was at work and setting up a little romantic dinner for us.

Our first valentines day was the week after a weekend visit that I spent with Lars, his mom, and his brother. I left him a gift to open, which was a box of Susie Q's and a handmade card (which, I just found out in the course of writing this post, he gave most of them away because he doesn't like them :( ). He sent me sunflowers (my favorite, I did not give them away). I don't remember doing much of anything except that we probably skyped. As I said, we didn't make a huge deal of it. However, there's lots of great ways to celebrate valentines even if you aren't together.

The obvious thing is to send each other little gifts. Personally, I don't think valentines gifts should be extravagant or expensive, just sweet and thoughtful. That's why I thought the Susie Q's were such a good gift, because they were sweets and were supposed to remind him of me. Turns out, not so great... but cute, still.

One idea that I had a lot of fun with for Lars's birthday this year was that I sent him a box filled with balloons with his gift on the bottom. It's cute, and balloons don't weigh a lot so it's not super expensive to ship.

And I can't overemphasize how awesome pinterest is for helping brainstorm homemade gifts, if that is your thing. This year Lars and I are making each other gifts, but I won't say what yet because Lars is reading this.

Also, valentines is a wonderful opportunity to set up a Skype date. You can cook and eat a meal together, open each other's gifts, watch a cheesy romantic movie, and feel like you're almost together. Skype dates are awesome. If you both have a couple of hours on valentines day, this is absolutely the way to spend it if you're long distance.

Anyways, here is Lars's take on Valentines day in long distance relationships:

From Lars:
I agree with most of what Susie said in this post except for the explanation that is needed as to why I gave the Susie Q's away. It was for two reasons, the first being I didn't grow up with hostess type pastries (son of a baker who owned a bakery) and second there was a family that had children in the same hotel we were in and they couldn't afford that type of treat, so I felt it was better to give them away than for me to carry them around while I was working.

Anyway, this post isn't to discuss specific gifts. As Susie mentioned, the idea is to get something with real meaning. Anyone can buy expensive things if they save up for them, but I think the gifts that are remembered and appreciated the most are the thoughtful ones that took time to think about and plan out. For example the box full of balloons with little gifts was a great idea. I haven't used Pinterest, but the best way to plan a gift is to pay attention to your significant other when they mention things they wish they had or what they most want. This will win you big points when you remember those small details and actually follow through with those ideas they mention in passing.

Doing long distance is difficult no matter when you do it. Holidays are the hardest if you aren't together. It's especially difficult if the other one is with their family and able to be around the other ones they love. To make this easier, we have committed to using our video chat as often as possible. We also text frequently. This may seem like it will leave you nothing to talk about when you are skypeing, but really it helps each of you stay connected throughout each day and will help you remember the small details you would otherwise forget to bring up.

Be sure to remember your "I love yous" and find ways to show your sincerity through creativity. Be sure to surprise your loved one because this shows them you are thinking about them even when you aren't telling them you are thinking about them. Most of all, keep that spark fueled.

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