Distance may make the heart grow fonder — but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Frankly, relationships are challenging in general, but if you and your S.O. are in an LDR, it can be even more difficult to express your love and keep your bond intact. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, the quest for finding the perfect gifts for long-distance couples is all the more pressing. Sure, you could opt for mailing your boo a standard box of chocolates and a sweet love letter, but why not opt for a more unique gift that will actually strengthen your bond — whether through a dash of humor courtesy of a “girlfriend” pillow or a sex toy that allows you to get intimate with your partner even when you’re restricted to remote love-making?
Whether you’ve moved away from your loved one to embark on a new career journey, or decided to take on a graduate degree at an out-of-state University, long-distance love may not be an easy feat, but keeping the romance alive from a distance is far from impossible (pun intended). One of my ex-boyfriends and I lived about three hours apart during the entirety of our three-year partnership, and while the 150 miles away from one another was frankly nothing compared to distances apart that some of my friends have endured with their boyfriends and girlfriends, it was still a bit of a struggle to make things work — especially when it came to holidays, anniversaries, and of course, Valentine’s Day.
While seeing your main squeeze IRL for the holiday of romance is obviously the ideal scenario, it’s not always a feasible option when you’re on opposite ends of the country. However, sending thoughtful gifts is a bona fide “love language,” and the gesture will show your partner how much they mean to you — even if you can’t be together to celebrate your love for one another. We’ve rounded up a few gift ideas for LDR couples that will show them you care, and be a useful ally in keeping the passion alive and palpable, whether it’s V-Day or not.
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This genius love letter book allows you to send notes and words of encouragement before splitting, allowing your partner to open a surprise message when they’re feeling down or need a bit of a pep talk when you’re not around.
When your S.O. lives miles and miles away, keeping intimacy alive is well, kind of impossible. We-Vibe’s sync-enabled vibrators, however, are honestly the next best thing to the real deal. Basically, you buy the toy and download their app, Touch, on your smartphone, and you’re able to get off and get it on with your partner — even when you’re apart. It’s seriously a game-changer for long-distance lovers.
So this may not exactly be the most practical of choices, but if your boo has a sense of humor he/she will love it. As a side note, I had the “Boyfriend” version at my desk for over a year before my real-life BF and I started dating, and it definitely kept me warm and cozy on the days when my office was cold AF. Don’t worry, a pillow will never replace you.
Communicating via text, Skype, or even Google Hangout is critical when you’re not near your partner, but not even the most advanced technology can replace physical touch. Fortunately, these next-level bracelets simulate the feel of being touched by your love — even when you’re oceans away. Powered by a corresponding app, these bracelets vibrate and light up when one partner touches it, allowing you to signal to your partner that you’re thinking of them.
If you can’t cuddle with your honey IRL, trust me, weighted (alternatively dubbed “anxiety blankets”) are the best alternative to get you through your solitude. I may not be in an LDR, but I definitely have anxiety and trouble falling asleep on the reg, and this 15-pound (you can also opt for the 20-pound) weighted blanket makes me feel like I’m being hugged from every angle. I literally cannot sleep without it.
I’m not going to lie: every time I start seeing someone new, I instantly start googling my potential future BF and I’s relationship prognosis based on the Zodiac. This in-depth book gives you a detailed account of not only love but also sexual compatibility. It’s a really great gift that feels like a fresh alternative to the standard Kama Sutra.
These friendship lamps may seem like a bit of a gimmick, but if you’ve ever embarked on long-distance love, you know that any means of feeling closer when apart is totally welcomed. When one partner touches their in-sync lamp by hand, its corresponding lamp emits the same glow, regardless of where each person is located. I mean… that’s super cute, right?
This may not be the gifting choice for the anxious at heart, but it does give you and your partner a visual reminder that there’s something to look forward to— the next time you get to see one another IRL. Having a countdown to get you excited about the next trip is a sweet way to add some mutual, healthy tension to keep the longing for one another on a positive note.
This may seem like a random choice, but clearly, when you’re in an LDR, video chat is an absolute must. Unfortunately, your arm may start to ache after hours of holding your phone and the right angle, so investing (or gifting) your beaux with a ring-light-powered tripod stand is a serious game-changer that will improve your communication 100 percent.
This charming little love box takes texting with Bae to the next freaking level. Basically this “kinetic, modern take on the classic love note,” allows you and your partner to send texts using the corresponding app, which prompts the heart-adorned box to shake (see GIF above).
If you’re a constant selfie-sender (and really, selfies are so essential for LDR lovers) this photo-sharing system takes mutual photo sharing up a notch. This unassuming little box allows you to quickly send pics straight to your partner’s TV so they can feel like they’re there with you in the moment.
This article was originally published in January 2020.