The internet and cheap airlines have made getting in touch with people easier – but falling in love and staying in a relationship with someone who lives far away is never easy.
Through phone calls, e-mails and texts are great for staying up-to-date, your local post office is a portal to connecting with your long-distance love in a physical way: with courier services and quick delivery options, you can send something today and it’ll be in your lover’s arms tomorrow.
Maybe you find letters too twee, too old-fashioned and kitsch to be fulfilling means of contact? Here are 10 ideas of things to send that are original, fun and most importantly, fit in the post:
• A mix CD
The mix CD is a classic: an aural love letter, crafted with sweat and tears, tried and tested by generations of rom-com Romeos. Choose carefully from ditties that you’ve listened to together, tunes you’ll think they’ll love and soundtracks of favourite movies. Challenge yourself: try making a CD solely composed of songs that feature their name.
• Baked goods
If you’re planning on sending them something delicious, you might want to steer clear of anything with a gloopy sauce and opt for next day delivery. Small cookies, sweets and treats local to your area are a lovely idea – it’s nicely reminiscent of the tuck baskets and emergency provisions parents send to boarding pupils or university students. Your beloved will feel warmed and cosseted.
• A diary
Fill out a diary for a couple of weeks, on your coffee break or before you go to bed. It doesn’t have to be anything too deep: funny things you’ve noticed, times you’ve thought of your far-away partner and conversations you’ve had. Anything that makes them feel like they’re a part of your life is good – leave blank pages for them to do the same and send it back.
• An annotated book
If you’re not comfortable with the full-on diary idea, maybe limit yourself to personalising a paperback copy of your favourite book. Put notes in the margins, underline special passages and doodle on the flyleaf – it’s an understated way to reveal a lot about yourself, with no need for gushing confessionals.
• A memory stick
Fill it with pictures, notes, internet links, videos and slideshows. They’ll be able to browse through the files at their leisure and then save them forever on their computer – the ink will never fade on this multi-media message.
Take a picture of something and cut it up – or take lots of pictures of something that can be fitted together to create one large image. This can be as innocent or as naughty as you choose to make it: the ‘something’ could be a present you plan to give them, a place you plan to go, or even an image of yourself (in whatever state of dress you think is appropriate). Deliver sections of the picture on different days so they have to wait for the payoff.
• Cut out and Keep
Half-finished crosswords and Sudoku puzzles, articles you’ll think will interest them: send them the things you’d be reading and doing together if you weren’t apart. Try and completely fill an envelope up – it’s like you’re making your own magazine, published by your love and tailored to their interests.
• A questionnaire
Another alternative to the diary idea above. If you’re just starting a relationship, you might want to learn more about them – asking questions over the phone is all very well but you might find you get more considered and detailed responses if you send them a list of questions. They’ll respond in kind, in all probability, so be prepared to share.