8 Great Long-Distance Dates for A Really Gay Valentine’s Day

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and that means that everywhere you go people are scheming up various ways to go overboard in displaying their affection for someone else. For those of us in long-distance relationships, all of these things are complicated by miles, time zones, and perhaps even some oceans. But even if we can’t spring for round-trip tickets for two to a shared favorite destination or get enough time off work to visit for a long weekend, we can make it an adorable night.

I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for over a year, so I’m not so much upset about the impending doom that is Valentine’s Day as I am excited to have another excuse to shower Geneva with love from my side of the continent. Everything about February 14 is translatable for long-distance folks who have internet access and a local Post Office: you make Skype dates, you send care packages, you write love letters, you order flowers. It’s all possible! The limit does not exist!

Here’s eight ideas for all-inclusive LDR Valentine’s Day packages: Skype dates and the gifts that make them possible. You choose your own sweets, though, because nobody can tell you what sweets to get for your sweet except your sweet one themself.

Side note: they don’t have Little Debbie in Canada which makes me think Geneva had a twisted childhood. She’s cute, though.

geneva and eli ruff each other

Geneva and my dog ruff each other.

Theatre Geeks

Send your person a gift card for a local movie theater (maybe an AMC, Regal, or Fandango partner theater?) and invite them to a screening that matches up closely with one near you. Text each other about how awful the movie is the entire time while they kick back and eat some popcorn on you, which is only second best to eating it off of you.

Candlelight Dinner

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For your Skype date, tell them to get really dressed up – and you do it, too. (This is for the kind of people, probably, who like pants, but please do prove me wrong.) Beforehand, send them some flameless pillar candles and Ferrero chocolates, and order them some flowers. (Also, I highly recommend bow ties as gifts. Especially sparkly ones.) If you each bring a bottle of champagne, order some fancy-ass food, and come prepared to tell a good story from your day, you’ll be set for the romantic night of a lifetime.

Pancakes in Pajamas

Do you guys both have robes? Because all I wanna do is hang out with Geneva in a robe. I actually did spend my entire trip to Vancouver in a robe, and after a while I got Geneva to the dark side. Coincidentally, the dark side looks cute on her.

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Sipping cocoa in our cabin, NBD.

This Valentine’s Day, tie your robe tight and get cookin’. Send your boo some pancake or waffle mix, (you’ll also wanna buy some for yourself) and a pair of really cute old lady pajamas; on Valentine’s Day, schedule a Skype date where the two of you cook your pancakes together and then curl up in bed with a bottle of maple syrup.

Morning Coffee

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The couple that succumbs to caffeine addiction together stays together, so give your better half an early-morning Skype call with a cup o’ joe in hand and enjoy The Breakfast Routine of Champions: interacting with someone you actually like before 10AM. You’ve got an opportunity to lay it on really thick by sending them some gourmet coffeetea, or hot chocolate and homemade baked goods for dunking in advance along with a mug.

Pro Tip: Get your special snowflake’s mug in a set of two and keep one at home; when your video chat screen finally loads in full screen, you’ll both be sipping out of matching mugs with matching grins.

Book Club

Send them your favorite book from your collection (extra cool if they’ve never read it) with a note written inside about how much you love them. On Valentine’s Day, Skype and talk about the book and why you sent it to them and how much you love them.

Late-Night Pizza and a Movie


This one’s easy: each of you orders the other a pizza (Papa John’s sells heart-shaped pizzas for one), and then you screen-share a movie on Google Hangout and pretend you’re in love at the drive-in.

4:20 Smoke Sesh

geneva sleeping

Geneva and Teddy are NOT PRETENDING TO BE ASLEEP, I swear.

You send her a mixtape, some light snacks, and maybe something else inside of a small envelope along with a passionate love letter. On Valentine’s Day, you call her at 4:20, light up, and listen to the music with her like The Doobie Brothers 2.0. An hour later, you both take a cat nap, but it’s unplanned.

Dairy Queens

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The only thing better than eating ice cream while crying softly alone in your room is eating it with your long-distance lovah. Call your life partner up late at night and eat ice cream sundaes with her while you shoot the shit. Make sure you ship her gift on time so she’s ready with an adorable set of ice cream bowls with matching spoons a la your childhood, some slipper socks, and an electric blanket.

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Carmen spent six years at Autostraddle, ultimately serving as Straddleverse Director, Feminism Editor and Social Media Co-Director. She is now the Consulting Digital Editor at Ms. and writes regularly for DAME, the Women’s Media Center, the National Women’s History Museum and other prominent feminist platforms; her work has also been published in print and online by outlets like BuzzFeed, Bitch, Bust, CityLab, ElixHER, Feministing, Feminist Formations, GirlBoss, GrokNation, MEL, Mic and SIGNS, and she is a co-founder of Argot Magazine. You can find Carmen on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr or in the drive-thru line at the nearest In-N-Out.

Carmen has written 919 articles for us.


    • I thought I had misunderstood what “maybe something else” meant, but I guess I understood it right… Isn’t it illegal to do so? Or in the states where they have legalized marijuana, people can send it through mail? (This is an actual question, I’m not American, I don’t understand anything about American laws.)

      • you guys it is SUPER illegal to send marijuana through the mail, don’t do it! obviously it’s a joke and it’s also a joke that doesn’t even mention marijuana. it’s against federal law, you could go to prison. (cris – even in states where it’s legal, it’s still not legal for citizens to send to other citizens in the mail, as far as I know. like all prescription drugs.)

        why is everybody so quick to assume the worst this week, it is making us all really sad

    • “Did this article really just suggest sending marijuana through the mail?”

      sending marijuana in the mail is illegal. it doesn’t say to send marijuana in the mail.

      i just ctrl+f’d “marijuana” and the first instance of it on this page is your comment.

    • rolling papers! a brand-new vaporizer! a package of lighters! there are so many gifts to send to the stoner in your life that aren’t illegal to send in the mail!

    • yes! thank you for providing us with a better place if we’re covered. i know lots of local places in DC do it, too, but wanted to link folks to a national pizza chain so that lots of people could indulge :)

    • yeah, I winced a little at Papa John’s, but understood why they were there. I remember all the shit they had to say about Obamacare. If I had to go there I’d slip the delivery person a $10, to restore balance to the force.

  1. this article is super-cute Carmen I think I’m going to move to australia so that i can do these things with my presently immediately-distanced girlfriend

  2. sitting in the back of the theater and texting your long-distance gf is THE CUTEST.

    also pancakes in pajamas! sending a homemade mix would be even more adorable though, but i’m probs just saying that bc i’m turning into one of those moms that cooks all day on sunday and freezes casseroles and soups for the week and buys grains in bulk. i’m getting ready to live off the grid, carmen.


    also idgaf re: papa john’s and their politics, ftr. bc pizza and i got big deals and i got little things also.

    thanks for the post carmen! (and geneva!)

  3. Coffee is always my go-to date place because I am obsessed with coffee and local coffee shops so the idea of an in home Skype coffee date is making my heart melt a little bit. SO CUTE.

    Pizza and a movie is ALSO an excellent idea. I’ve totally done that with friends, where we all press play on a movie on Netflix at the same time and chat the whole time. It’s always good times.

  4. OMG! This is so adorable.

    I want to be in a LDR with Geneva now!

    I love the book idea. I’m always really interested in what the person who knows me best thinks I would like to read.

  5. This article is so cute! I’m not a big Valentine’s Day person, but next week also features my anniversary with across-the-ocean girlfriend and now all I want to do is eat pancakes and/or ice cream while on Skype even though a six hour time difference does not make this a practical idea. (I may suggest it anyway, because it’s always time for pancakes/ice cream right?)

  6. I am singleasfuck but I want to do one/all of these with my best friend who also lives abroad. Well, all the parts that don’t involve mailing things, because we both live in countries where it is comically difficult to send and receive mail, and I don’t want to still be thinking about VDay in April.


  7. I’ve never been a huge fan of Valentine’s Day but everything in this article is unbelievably cute! The pizza idea is my personal favorite. :)

  8. This post actually made it ok that im an LDR (going for 4.5 years now!!!!!) Thanks for making me feel better Carmen. We actually do Fb chats while watching a mpvie at the same time..or use Wechat and a video call. But man this LDR situation though..now i have mixed feelings. I remember doing care packages..100 roses..the chocolates..the whole 9 yards. Really everything but the kitchen sink.

  9. the movie idea is nothing short of revolutionary. it had never occurred to me before that you could just go to different theaters at the same time and it would be its own little shared experience! i would never have thought of that in a million years.

    i’m going to force everyone who lives far away from me to go to the movies with me now.

    auugghg and then we can cry on our own but together at sad things. which is my current preferred way to cry.
    this is so great.

  10. Well, so, I’m actually going to be visiting my long-distance girlfriend on Valentine’s Day (and doing a pre-Feb 14 Valentine’s Day dealio with my local girlfriend), but long-distance girlfriend and I already do variations on several of these things during our weekly skype dates so what I’m saying is, why not celebrate Valentine’s Day like this every week??

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