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Tell them why you love them
Love them? The nicest thing you can do for them is tell them why! There are so many ways to do this...
If you're on a budget, get creative. Use our 100 long distance quotes printable and write a short note on the back of each one. Or make a list of reasons you love them and things you admire about them using the alphabet.
If you're looking for something more polished, check out Love Book's LDR collection. Totally customizable, these books let you pick the perfect cover, customize every page, and illustrate your words with casually cute stick figures.
Make them laugh!
Add your face into a hilarious e-card. and dance your way into their heart without even having to shake your own hips. JibJab allows you to personalize e-cards for every occasion. And most of them are so ridiculous you can’t help laughing. You can even put your face on a (totally goofy) striptease. Better yet, you could put theirs.
Send them a box full of love and joy
Fill a NoteCube with wonderful things that will warm their heart when you’re not there to warm them up in other ways. Notes can be related to anything you want–reasons why you love them, good memories, kind words, future promises, inside jokes, and favorite quotes. Your imagination is the only limit, and it’s easy to get friends and family to submit a note too, which can make your NoteCube even more special!
NoteCube was founded by siblings after they filled a box with sixty years of memories for their Mom’s 60th. She loved it so much they figured others would too. This makes a fantastic, classy LDR gift they’ll treasure forever.
Find the right words
One of the nicest things you can ever do for someone you love is to tell them how you feel about them, and why. But it can be really hard to find the right words, can’t it?
Here are some great resources that can help you do that:
Send a smile-a-day
Sending someone you love a whole bunch of Open-When (or Open-Whenever) Notes is a long distance relationship gift that keeps giving for weeks!
You can do this on a budget (check out 30 Open When topics perfect for long distance relationships).
But if you want to take it up a level, you check out KindNotes. They will help you fill a glass jar or tin with personal notes, and customize the colors, trim, and packaging. Gorgeous AND personal. Can’t go wrong.
Use those happy snaps
Did you know that remembering the good times you’ve had makes you happier? If you’ve got photos of the two of you having fun, why not pull some of these together to create a highlights reel of happy memories?
You can do this the old-fashioned way–with photos and a glue-stick. Or you can save time and check out Custom Photo Books at Mixbook. MixBook allows you to create classy photo books and other gifts (calendars, cards etc) quickly and easily. They can also print your photos onto canvas and stretch them for easy hanging.
If a “photo book” is not your thing, think about buying them an electronic photo frame and loading it up with happy snaps. I did this last Christmas. Here’s a link to the frame I chose.
Show them that they’re your “other half” with one of these fun paired Gifts for Long Distance Love. BoldLoft sells a whole range of “halved” long distance relationship gifts – from tee shirts to mugs to pillow cases. Here are some of my favorites:
Send a bunch of happiness
Sending flowers is a classic gesture that never goes out of style. A bunch of roses might not quite cut it on birthdays or Christmas, but flowers are the perfect “just because” gift. Classy, cheerful, fragrant.
You have plenty of options when it comes to shipping flowers, but I recommend VIVAROSES. There is a wonderful love story behind these family-farmed roses, as well. (Use my code, MLD15, to save 15% on gorgeous roses at VivaRoses.com!).
Grab coffee with them…
Two friends have given me lovely coffee mugs recently, and I think of those friends every time I use their gifts. It sucks that you can’t actually have coffee together most of the time, but coffee mugs are a great way to stay on someone’s mind and subtly remind them that they want you even more than they want that first cup of coffee in the morning! Check out these sweet options…
Wear your heart on your sleeve
Yes, there are actually LDR-themed clothes out there that won’t make you cringe. Surprised? Yeah, I was too. Here are a couple of my faves. I adore the “love in every language” tee shirt. The grey missing her like crazy (pictured) could be a good choice for guys, and you can always buy big for sleeping in…
Warm more than their heart
Even if you can't be there in person to warm them up with snuggles, you can still keep them warm in other ways. Sure, it's second-best. But you can bet that they'll think of you when they're snuggling into a cozy blanket or putting on a cheerful pair of socks. Then their hearts AND their toes will feel warm.
Here are some fun options:
Get co-ordinated with these meaningful long distance relationship gifts
There’s a lot of cheesy LDR jewelry out there, but some of the jewelry and art that uses co-ordinates is classy AND meaningful. Check out some of my fave options (and if you love this idea, check out this article on 30 gorgeous jewelry pieces designed using co-ordinates):
If you’re not into numbers there are plenty of other LDR jewelry options. I like the look of all of these options, especially the fingerprint pendant and the floating heart necklace.
Send them a secret message
So you want something personal and beautiful but not completely obvious? A special, secret message just between the two of you? Check out these cool options…
- Silver “I love you” morse code necklace (pictured)
- “I am always with you” morse code black and silver bracelet (suitable for men and women)
- “I love you to the moon and back” morse code bracelet
- Fingerprint bar necklace
- Matching spinning secret message bracelets
- Personalized coffee mug with secret message that shows up when the mug heats up
Show them the way home
Let’s leave aside the fact that not many of us actually know how to use a compass nowadays… the object itself still carries the aura of romance. It speaks of epic journeys, uncertainty, and navigating solo by the stars as you press on towards home–just you against the elements. Does that sounds like a long distance relationship to you?
- “Grow Old With Me” compass with leather case (pictured)
- “I carry you in my heart” engraved brass compass with leather case
- Robert Frost’s “Road Less Traveled” Compass
- Follow Your Heart Pocket Compass
- Or, personalize this compass with the words or quote of your choice.
Entertainment for the road
While we’re talking all things navigation and epic journeys, how about giving them something that can help fill those loooong hours on the back of a camel while they’re navigating by compass (OK, OK, those long hours on a plane or bus while they’re traveling to see you next.)
The 8-inch HD Amazon Fire Tablet is easily the best tablet you can buy for under $100. With it, you can surf the web or enjoy movies, TV shows, books, music, etc on the go. (And don’t forget to get a case for it, as well because it is WAY too easy to break your fave electronics when you’re on the go.)
Lighten their (book) load
What else helps keep traveling tolerable? Portable books!
I love reading, but I'd always been a "paper versions are best" sort of person. That is, until my sister bought me a kindle in 2011. Guys, I was converted. Literally overnight. And now I don't want to read any other way.
And if you buy someone a kindle, buy a case, too. I like this one.
Make the rest of the world fade away
Travel… gets old. Long lines, crowds, delays, and lots of noise all combine to make traveling stressful.
There’s not much you can do about the lines and crowds, but you can help control the noise. A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones can do a lot to make traveling more peaceful and less stressful. This affordable pair work well.
Get organized to hit the road
What else helps take the sting and stress out of packing, unpacking, and traveling? Help make their journey easier and more fun with these cool travel gifts:
- I’ve tried lots of different ways to pack my jewelry, but keep coming back to this simple drawstring case.
- These packing cubes are invaluable for helping a suitcase stay organized. Anyone who loves to stay neat and tidy will love these.
- This toiletries bag is one of the best I’ve ever used (and I’ve been through a few!)
- And in this e-age, this electronics cable organizer is a great travel tool.
Want more travel-related long distance relationship gift ideas? Check out 45 Gifts For Travelers That They’ll Actually Use
Tell them they mean the world to you
While we’re talking about traveling world, how about telling them they mean the world to you? Your love spans many miles (and, in some cases, the entire globe) so show them you love them “the world-over” with a globe-themed gift. Here are some fun options…
Or, tell them you love them to the moon and back
Aim for the stars and tell them you love them to the moon and back. Here are some of the cute options along these lines…
Give them the key to your heart
At first, a keychain may not seem like the most romantic of long distance relationship gifts. However, it is something your love will pick up and carry with them every day. And every time they use their keys, that’s an opportunity for them to remember how much you love them. Check out these fun options:
Tell them their fortune
This silver plated fortune cookie is hinged, allowing you to put your own message or fortune inside.
This would be the perfect sweet token to pass back and forth on visits–take it with you when you go and see them, then leave it hidden somewhere with a sweet message inside. On their next visit to you they can do the same. And if you’re not sure what to put inside, check out our 100 LDR Love Quotes Printable bundle.
Light up their life
Why not add some (real) light to their life? Here are some fun and useful options…
I'm a sucker for dim-light ambiance and fairy lights (and photos!) so I love these cute photo-clip string lights. They're the best of several worlds - cozy AND happy.
This ring-light with cell-phone holder will really brighten up your video calls and leave you hands free for... doing stuff like cooking dinner while you chat :).
This personalized night-light will add some glow to those dark night-time hours.
Plan to play
While we’re talking about fun and games during your next visit…
Games!! Board games are so totally overlooked as gifts. They are literally hours of fun in a box. Here are my picks for games for couples. And as a bonus, many of these have online versions, so you can learn the game when you’re together, and then play online when you’re not. Here are some awesome options to choose from:
Sing them sweet songs of love
Make them a modern mixtape that has all the old-fashioned romantic glamour of the old-school ones! This creative retro cassette flash drive gives you that throw-back feel AND lets you load up to 2000 songs!!
Given you have room for 2000 songs, you really should include at least one LDR playlist on this gift. If you want some inspiration on that front, check out this article I wrote for LifeHack on 15 LDR Songs To Fit Every Mood.
Make it personal
Today, you can add monograms, messages, or personal photos to almost anything. Personalizing something is a fun way to add that special touch to something ordinary or useful. As an extra bonus, your present will remind your partner of you whenever they use it. There are plenty of companies who do this. My picks from Zazzle for personal, practical, and fun?
- Photo collage bowl (good for everything from cereal to an extra large cup of coffee)
- Personalized notebook
- Custom Love Wedding Photo Magnet (a bargain, and a good long distance relationship stocking stuffer)
- Personalized Photo & Monogram Dry Erase Board
- Customized Bath Set (toothbrush holder and soap dispenser)
- Personalized iPhone case
- A pair of “Miss You” mugs featuring your respective states in the U.S.
A visit journal
What about something to capture a record of your visit. Surprise your loved one with a beautiful, leather-bound journal. This is one beautiful option.
Bring it with you on visits or trips and use it to write notes or letters to each other and/or keep a scrapbook of your experiences together.
If you each write one note to each other during every visit, it won’t be long before your little book will be overflowing with love and memories.
Give them an I-O-U
My family moved a lot while we were growing up, and receiving an IOU in place of an actual present became a bit of a family joke. However, I now believe that the IOU actually makes a good present if you use them to plan experiences. Research has shown that money can buy you happiness if you spend it in on moments, not stuff. So get thinking about the sorts of moments that make good long distance relationship gifts. What would be something special that you could do together during your next visit? A spa day with couples massages? Dinner out somewhere classy? Musical tickets? A hot air balloon ride?
If you want to take this gift to the next level, give them personal IOUs for all sorts of different moments (a half-hour massage given by you, a free pass out of cleaning up after a meal, etc). The possibilities are endless. And if you want to package this all up an an awww-worthy way, check out LoveCoups.
A countdown clock
You can set this clock to countdown to any specific date (i.e., your next visit!!). But think twice with this one. Some people will love it and others will find it pure torture.
Get all arty
There are some pretty fun and hip art pieces out there suited for LDR couples. Just like jewelry, some of my favorites use co-ordinates. One classy option (pictured right) is sold by DefineDesign11 on Etsy. Not your cup of tea? Check out some of the other options I’ve linked to below, or get searching. The internet is your oyster…
Make a difference with a KIVA card
Stuck for what to get your loved one? Why not give them happiness by helping them give to others? Research shows that doing something nice for someone else gives you a mood boost that lasts.
When you give a Kiva Card, you give someone else the chance to make a loan to a borrower who inspires them. When that loan is repaid, they can lend those funds again and again to make an even bigger difference. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving!
Email is seriously awesome, but once it a while it’s fun to do things the old-fashioned way. When it comes to communication you can’t get much more old-fashioned than sending them a telegram.
Telegram Stop charges one flat rate to send a personal telegram anywhere in the world. At just over $7, this long distance relationship gifts option is both cute and cheap.
A ticket to ride
When you’re in a long distance relationship, time together is the best present you can get. Travel to see each other is a necessity, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a present, also. Consider buying a ticket for your love to come and see you (or a ticket for you to go and visit them). Take this gift to the next level by putting “glamming up” your gift announcement with personalized boarding passes. You can download instructions for DIY boarding passes here: