This is the second half of my guide to finding the perfect gift for your long distance partner. In my previous post (which can be read here) I talked about finding out what your partner is interested in and pairing ideas together. However, this will only get you so far, as it can be an exhaustible list, and quite often you realise you’ll have to start repeating your ideas. So, in this second half, I will talk about how to be a little more creative to find something that your partner will love, using Valentine’s Day and anniversaries as examples.
The Significant Gifts
When trying to think of ideas for gifts, a great starting place is to think of significant moments, or places in your relationship and try to build up an idea around that. This is how I came up with the idea for Chelsea’s Valentine’s Day present. I wanted to give her something that was meaningful specifically to our relationship. Of course, there are many websites that offer to personalise random commemorative items for you; a plate, glasses, ornaments etc. But deciding on a personalised item is not as simple as selecting one of these from random.
The first step is to decide what significant moment you want to immortalise. For me, it was the moment Chelsea and I met. From here, I had a number of options: the date, the place or the location. Personally, I believed the most significant of these was the location. We met at The Seco Lounge (a bar in Plymouth), this was the place. But the location I decided upon was not the name of the bar, because bars come and go. I decided upon the latitude and longitude. It may sound a little geeky at first, but it is the one thing that will always be there, long before and long after The Seco Lounge.
Having decided on the longitude and latitude (the location) as what I wanted to gift Chelsea a reminder of, the next step was to decide what the present itself should be. I knew that I wanted it to be decorative (after all, Chelsea was moving into a new house), and something she could keep close to her. So, I returned to Etsy, which is fast becoming my one stop shop for gift ideas, and began browsing. After a couple of hours, I came across decorative pillows from the ktboundary24 store. These matched everything I was looking for: they were well designed, could be kept close, and most importantly, I could spray them with my aftershave to give Chelsea a more tacit reminder that I am, and always will be there for her.
The Personal Gift
While I was extremely pleased with what I had managed to come up with for a Valentine’s Day gift, I had inadvertently set myself the difficult task of topping this for our anniversary. And this had me stumped for quite some time. I knew I wanted it to be significant and unique to our relationship. Something that showed not only that I understood Chelsea, but also us. This is probably the most difficult I have ever found it to think of a gift. But then it was handed to me on a silver platter. And this leads to the most important piece of advice I can give in this article: pay attention to what your partner says!
As Chelsea and I were Skyping one day, she showed me something she had come across, a company that printed leather bound photo books called Artisan State. She explained to me that one day, when she could afford it, she would like to start a collection of these beautiful books, one for each of our trips to visit each other. Bingo! It was perfect. It was something that Chelsea wanted, but also would not suspect. But more importantly it would serve as a reminder of all the good times we had while we were apart.
So, I began subtly gathering information. Asking what her favourite trip so far had been, or if she ever started a collection how many photos she would have. Each question spaced apart enough, and subtle enough not to become suspicious. And then, when I had everything I needed, I began to put together the design for our first photo album, and sent it off to Artisan State. Within a few days it was shipped to Chelsea (as unfortunately I could not deliver it in person). And then began the agonising wait until our anniversary. But when Chelsea opened the box, everything was worth it, just to see the smile on her face.
That concludes my guide on buying a gift for your long distance partner. If I were to sum up the advice across these two posts, it would be to pay attention to what your partner wants (whether it is specific, or just general interests), try to think of something meaningful to your relationship, and most importantly trust your instinct. So long as you have put thought into the gift, the chances are your partner will love it (something I wish I knew at the start of this process). It will put your mind at ease, although still expect some butterflies while you watch them open it on Skype!