Distance makes the mind creative

Distance makes the mind creative is a column written for The Orion’s 2012 Valentine’s Day Guide.

I will be spending Valentine’s Day attending three classes, taking two scheduled exams and tirelessly copy editing the next issue of The Orion – all while being 200 miles away from my boyfriend.

I won’t be seeing him on this holiday for the first time in our relationship, because Valentine’s Day is inconveniently set on a Tuesday and as usual, life gets in the way. Those in long-distance relationships may want to try out these alternative ways to make a significant other smile from afar on the mushiest day of the year.

Play by your own rules

There is no reason why Valentine’s Day should be restricted to Feb. 14. Pick a convenient day when you’ll be able to see each other and treat it as the date of your holiday. If you’ll be in town together, spend the time at Bidwell Park or go to dinner at Tres Hombres. This will also help you to avoid the crowds.

Virtual dinner date

Skype makes the impossible possible by allowing people to see each other from across the world. This date can be just like one face-to-face. Pick the dinner menu, a movie on Netflix and a time. Cozy up in front of your computer screen and press play to share the dinner and movie just like you

would in person. Other programs like Facetime for iPhone and Oovoo also work well.

Pen, paper and postage

If you’d rather take a more traditional route, skip the Skype date and bring it back to simple pen and paper. A handwritten letter that arrives on Valentine’s Day always earns a good reaction, as they’ll appreciate the time you put into getting your thoughts on paper.

Creative cards

Websites like Shutterfly and Zazzle allow users to customize holiday cards for every occasion. Simply choose a template, add in your names and pictures, choose the date you want the card to arrive and you’re set. The cards are also often cheaper than those found in the greeting card section at the grocery store.

Feed your relationship

Food is often the key to the heart, and it is possible to spoil your significant other with sweets from far away. Avoid fragile pieces like layer cakes, and be sure to package the goods in sturdy containers that won’t be crushed. Firm cookies, pound cakes and breads often hold up well in the mail. Put the container in a larger box and secure it with packing peanuts. Try to choose a mail class that will arrive sooner rather than later.

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