Before the tech revolution, you might have sent a lock of hair, a printed photo or a perfumed note to a loved one far away.
And of course, you can still do that. Or you can choose from an array of clever high- and low-tech Valentine's Day gifts that send the "I miss you" message.
Consider the pair of table lamps designed by John Harrison and Vanessa Whalen of Wichita, Kansas, that are like a "thinking of you" text message. You each get one lamp, and sync them via Wi-Fi. Then, whenever one of you touches the lamp, its mate will glow. The fixture has an Arts and Crafts aesthetic, and the light cycles through an array of soothing hues. Available online at www.uncommongoods.com.
Little Riot's Pillow Talk is a set of bracelets and small, cushioned speakers that you each place under your pillow. When synced, the bracelets send your heartbeats to each other so you can fall asleep and wake up to the sound of your loved one's heart.
Another tech gift is a pair of HEY bracelets, which resemble Fitbit. Whenever one of you gives the bracelet a little squeeze, the other feels it on their wrist.
Your grandparents may have told you how thrilling it was to get a telegram back in the day; www.telegramstop.com will print up your message on old-timey-looking telegram paper and mail it to your loved one.
Keep the lovefest going all year long with a monthly subscription gift. Both avid readers? Then www.bookofthemonth.com can send a tome to your beloved on a three-, six- or 12-month basis. You pick, or let them pick. There's an option to skip a month if life gets too busy.
Or send your beloved a Note Cube; it's a small, clear, plastic box full of customized notes. You can have your thoughts - maybe poetry, shared memories or future hopes, up to 60 per cube - nicely printed and sent in under two weeks, worldwide.
The folks at www.paintyourlife.com will turn any photo into an artsy portrait; you choose the medium from a list that includes oil paint, charcoal, watercolor, pencil and pastel.
Find lots of inspiring mugs with messages like "Don't Measure the Distance, Measure My Love," ''Miles Apart Together at Heart" and "Love Knows No Distance" at www.ldrmagazine.com. Make a map of your two locations for free on LDR Magazine's website, then download and print it onto transfer paper to make a pillow case or cover.
Also on that site are hand-cut paper cards from Cardventure with sentiments like "You're My Favorite Notification" and "It Was Love at First Skype."
Got a bunch of Instagram memories from your last visit together? Shutterfly.com will make up a duvet cover, blanket or pillow with a collage.
If you or your beloved has a signature scent, consider giving jewelry from Vessel Scents of Style with little ceramic beads that you can either infuse with your own fragrance or buy already scented with fragrance or aromatherapy oils. There are unisex pieces, like arrowhead lockets that can go on leather cords and bracelets, as well as more feminine lockets, earrings and rings.
There were a few decades when giving a sweetheart a mix tape was pretty romantic. Now, you can buy a 1 GB USB stick in a retro cassette case at http://www.thehut.com so you can make a nice long playlist.
Or if you're crafty, go to www.instructables.com for directions on making your own, using a USB stick, an old cassette case, a couple of simple hand tools and some tape.
Etsy.com has a plethora of presents for geographically challenged paramours. Keychains and jewelry etched with latitude and longitude coordinates make cool personalized gifts for either sex.
Rogue River Jewelry in Rockford, Michigan, will etch your personal messages as sound-wave patterns onto tungsten rings; they'll also etch fingerprints. Back Zero Design crafts spiral silver rings and bracelets with the shape of your respective countries or states on each end of the curl.
And Cali Girl Customs in Redding, California, makes keychains personalized with location coordinates or initial sets, as well as inspirational messages like "Always remember we are looking at the same moon, under the same stars."
For those far apart from the ones they love, carrying around a heartfelt note on a keepsake might just ease the pangs till they're reunited.
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