I just found out I’ll be out of country for most of February. This means I’ll be out of town for Valentine’s Day and I want to do something special for my fiancée. What kind of ideas do you have that I could use to surprise her which could be performed either before I leave, or, from the other country?
Aren’t you sweet? And very organized–I can almost hear the more laid back dudes out there reading this and going, “Wait…what day is it? I already have to start planning for Valentine’s? I just recovered from shopping during the holidays!”
I’ve written a couple times about making long-distance relationships work. While that’s not exactly your situation, I think the basic tenets of connecting from afar still apply. Be creative, and use what you know about your other half to guide what you give her (honestly, that’s not half-bad advice even for those of you who’ll be in the same zip code as your partner). Here are a few suggestions:
Plan something to let your sweetie know you choo choo choose him or her.
The Early Date
February 14 is just a day. There’s nothing magical about it. So celebrate early. Tell your gal you’re taking her out and tell her what to wear, but don’t divulge anything else. Then heap all the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts–chocolates, flowers, red and pink balloons–on her and make it sort of campy and fun. Take her out to dinner, or to a show, or cook for her at home. Do what you’d normally do if you were at home, just do it a couple weeks early.
The 14 Days of Valentine
Get her a small gift for each of the first 14 days of February, present them to her all together before you leave, wrapped and numbered in the order you want her to open them. By small, I mean small. The idea is not to turn this into the most expensive gift giving endeavor of your life (a diamond for every day!). You know that saying, “It’s the thought that counts”? Perfect opportunity to apply that. For instance, day 1 can be a box of her favorite tea, day 2 can be a printed recent photo of the two of you, day 3 can be a written list of reasons you love her, day 4 can be a bar of fancy soap or nice hand cream, and so on. If you want the final gift to be something bigger, you can do that, but that’s certainly not a requirement.
There are few things that you can’t order to be delivered these days. Flowers are the classic, of course, but think outside the box. Fresh baked cookies are such a treat and most major cities have a company or two offering this service. Or what if you had a basket of goodies delivered that are from where you’ll actually be? For instance, if you’ll be in the UK, order a gift basket (or hamper, as the Brits call them) ahead of time with biscuits, pate, and cheese. It will make your fiancee feel like a little part of you is with her.
I think these guys are available for hire, too…in case you wanted to send your girl a sick serenade.
A Scavenger Hunt
How about sending her on a sweet scavenger hunt on February 14, using clues that pertain to your relationship? Think of the milestones in your relationship–first date, first kiss, place you proposed–as well as all the best memories–favorite dates/restaurants/bars/parks. Organize the scavenger hunt using these memories as clues–“Roses are red/Violets are blue/This is the venue/Where we saw U2.” This will take some serious ahead-of-time planning, as well as enlisting the help of friends and family: someone will have to be at each place waiting for her so that she can get her next clue. But I think it can be done with the aid of organization, planning, and a bit of enthusiasm. The final clue can lead her to a great gift (her favorite store where you’ve picked out and paid for a gift ahead of time).