Holidays in general present a lot of challenges for military couples and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Celebrating a long-distance Valentine’s Day is an unfortunate yet very common reality for servicemembers and their spouses.

Still, there are many different ways to show you care this Valentine’s Day, even if your servicemember is away on deployment.

Here are 10 ways to show your servicemember love this Valentine’s Day:

1. Mail a Valentine’s Day Card

Valentine's Day Card

One of the best ways to show you care and that you’re thinking about your servicemember is to keep up with old traditions, like writing letters or sending cards. In this digital age, it can be refreshing to receive something so tangible and personal, as opposed to a text or email. This Valentine’s Day, fill a handwritten card with all the loving, kind words you wish you could share with your spouse each day.

2. Customize Dog Tags

Customized gifts are a great way to show someone you’re thinking of them. If you’re celebrating a long-distance Valentine’s Day this year, this is the kind of gift you need to consider sending a a few weeks in advance so that your servicemember receives it by the 14th. Need ideas for what gift to customize? Dog tags are a gift your servicemember can keep close to their heart. In addition to engraving your servicemember’s name, you can add a personal message that will remind them of you over and over again.

3. Gift a Dual-Timezone Watch

If you’re looking for a unique gift to send your servicemember this Valentine’s Day, a dual-timezone watch allows your servicemember to keep track of the time difference between you two, making it easier to schedule calls home.

4. Create a “Love Book”

Love Book for Servicemember

What better way to show you care for your servicemember than to fill a book with reminders of your love story? You can create your own “love book” for your servicemember by filling a journal with photos, drawings, or written notes to show your appreciation for your life together and all the experiences you’ve been able to share with one another.

5. Send Personalized Playing Cards

Playing cards are an easy item for your servicemember to keep with them for entertainment, and customization can elevate this gift to make playing games with their buddies even more fun. Consider getting your spouse a personalized set of playing cards, printed with some of your favorite family photos.

6. Plan a Weekend Getaway

Depending on where your servicemember is stationed, it may be possible to schedule a short getaway with them sometime around the holiday. If your servicemember is able to use paid leave for a Valentine’s trip, search online for nearby hotels that offer military discounts.

7. Take Care of Yourself

While it’s important to show your servicemember that they are loved and missed during a long-distance Valentine’s Day, it’s also important to remember that you can still enjoy the day, even though you’re not spending it with the one you love. Buy yourself flowers, pick up takeout from your favorite restaurant, relax with an at-home spa night, etc. The day is what you make of it, so treat yourself to all the love and care you deserve.

8. Stream a Movie Together

Streaming services make it easier than ever before to watch a movie with the people you love, even when you’re not physically together. Pick one of your all-time favorites or opt for a new release — it’s kind of like you’re going to the movie theater together!

9. Make a Personalized Playlist

personalized playlist for your servicemember

One of the most romantic ways to show you care for someone is to put your feelings into an experience you can share, regardless of whether or not you’re celebrating a long-distance Valentine’s Day. Curate a personalized playlist for your servicemember filled with songs that they love, that have significance in your relationship, or that make you think of them and smile. Then send them the link so they can listen throughout their day and feel as though they’re with you, even when you’re miles apart.

10. Send a Video Message

Sometimes it’s hard to coordinate schedules or know when your servicemember will be available to talk. You can always show you care by recording and sending a quick video message letting them know you love them, miss them, and are thinking of them throughout the day. It may seem small but it can make a big difference in your servicemember’s day.

Showing your servicemember that you love and care for them doesn’t have to mean extravagant gifts or acts. You can remind them in small ways that you’re thinking of them to help make a long-distance Valentine’s Day easier.

How are you planning on spending Valentine’s Day this year? Share your ideas with other MilSpouses on our Facebook page!

More Ideas for Celebrating Valentine’s Day With Your Servicemember:

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