A woman sitting back while listening to the Amazon Echo Studio.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so the saying goes. But it can be difficult to be apart from a loved one on Valentine’s Day, particularly if you relish in celebrating the occasion. But don’t worry, tech is here to help! There are ways to leverage the latest technology to celebrate a long distance Valentine’s Day together if you aren’t physically in the same room, or even province or country. Here are 6 ways you can say “I love you and want to be with you for this occasion in whatever way possible, even if we aren’t together right now,” including tech items would make great Valentine’s Day gifts to help you accomplish them.

1. Organize a virtual date

A woman with the new HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook, sitting on a chair in her home.

After more than a year of virtual Zoom meetings, gatherings with friends, virtual TV streaming watch parties, and more, we all have a pretty good handle on how to video chat with loved ones. A virtual date could work perfectly in a scenario where you’re in one place and your partner, or the person you want to celebrate with, is in another.

The first thing you’ll need is a laptop where you can download an app like Zoom or use a service like Google Meet, Facetime, or whatever your preferred video chat service is. You already know the date (February 14th, of course) but set a specific time and set up a scheduled call. Get prepared with dimmed lights in the background, fancy outfits, and a special dinner and cocktail for virtual cheers.

Since you can’t go out to dinner together, consider ordering in something special, like sushi or steak, and coordinate dishes so you can share in the meal experience. Use a portable Bluetooth speaker for background tunes so it feels like you’re in a restaurant, and surprise them with a special Valentine’s Day playlist you can both play in your respective spaces and listen to at the same time.

Apple iPhone 13 with FaceTime and 6 people on the screen chatting.If the date has to be quick due to other obligations or perhaps a significant time difference, you can just use a smartphone. But make sure you’re set up with a good plan ahead of time. Using video chatting versus phone call means you won’t incur long distance charges, but if you plan to chat for a long time, make sure you’re on your home’s Wi-Fi network. Or, if you’re outside the home, check that you have enough data in your wireless plan. If you don’t, call your wireless carrier as, in most cases, you can increase data for just one month, then set it back to regular again, to avoid hefty overage charges. With that said, video chatting doesn’t use too much data. If your date can only consist of a phone call, make sure you have the right long-distance plan so you aren’t left with exorbitant fees.

2. Prepare a long distance Valentine’s Day meal together

Amazon Echo Show 10 with a man and child on the screen.

Instead of just sitting down to virtually eat take-out together, why not cook together, too? If you decide to go this route so you can enjoy shared conversation as you prep the same (or different) dishes, a smart display set up in the kitchen can help. The Amazon Echo Show 10 is a particularly great option because it pivots on its base to follow you around the room. This way, your partner can see you at all times and vice versa as you head over to the stove to stir the sauce, then pop back to the counter to mix the batter for your dessert.

Prior to the long distance Valentine’s Day celebration, decide on a meal, grab the groceries, and have them ready to go so you can cook in sync.

3. Plan a future trip together

A man and a woman sitting outside of a two-person tent.

Whether it’s a trip to see one another, or a trip to go on together once you’re back in the same place, planning a trip gives you something to look forward to and allows for positive conversation on Valentine’s Day.

Surprise them by sending a new set of luggage so when you connect virtually, you can Set of three pieces of Samsonite luggage.surf the web to look at various destinations and settle on the perfect one for the next vacation.

If you want to go all out and show them you’re serious about booking together to soak up the sun or enjoy an adventure, fill the luggage with other travel goodies, like a pair of noise cancelling headphones, travel backpack, digital camera, and e-reader.

4. Plan for activities at home

If travel isn’t in the budget or time allowance right now, you can also plan some fun activities to do together at home. This might include gadgets like a drone, or even a set of paddleboards you can use at a local destination once you are back in the same place.

Look at other sports and recreation gear, from camping equipment for a one-with-nature trip for two, to bicycles for starting a new hobby together. Strap a point-of-view camera to your head or chest and you can even share your journeys with one another when you’re apart so you can feel like you rode together.

5. Watch a movie together online

Amazon Prime Video series Upload on a TV screen with the Watch Party links on the side.

With a laptop and subscription to a streaming service, you can easily watch movies together. Amazon, for example, has a feature with Prime Video called Watch Party that makes it easy to stream the same movie or TV show together with other people (as long as everyone has a separate subscription) and even text chat while you watch. You can pause for bathroom or drink refill breaks and their screen will pause, too. It’s a great way to celebrate with a group of friends or family members for Valentine’s Day, to watch a romantic comedy with your friends, for example.

Alternatively, set up a video call on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone and everyone can play the same movie or TV show on the big screen TV and watch “together.” Comment on scenes or discuss plot points, just as you would if you were together in person. The best part? You don’t have to share the popcorn!

6. Play card games that help you get to know more about each other

Guess Who Card game cards stacked in piles.

Perfect for those who might only be newly dating and haven’t had the chance to get to know one another well just yet, consider playing a card game together that doesn’t require you both to be in the same room. Send them the same card game and each person can draw from their own set of cards. You’ll get to know a lot about the person’s sense of humour (and they yours) and it’s a fun activity you can do to eliminate any awkwardness of the call.

Games like What Do You Meme?, for example, can be fun for long distance Valentine’s Day entertainment, with two people playing in different places. Card games are especially fun if you decide to get together (virtually) with multiple friends and family on Valentine’s Day instead of celebrating romantic love.

Long distance Valentine’s Day can be fun

Whether you’re trying to ignite a romantic spark with someone who’s far away or celebrating Valentine’s Day with friends instead (ever heard of Galentine’s Day?) there are ways that technology can help. Gift the person one of these great Valentine’s Day gifts ahead of time then enjoy a virtual date, cooking session, game or movie night, or simply a chat to plan what you’ll do when you are finally together once again.

Check out plenty of great Valentine’s Day gifts at Best Buy Online.

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