Monday, December 5, 2011

The Long Distance Relationship His and Hers Gift Guide

In my mad search to find the perfect Christmas gift for Cayden, I scoured through all of the previous (and mostly lame) LDR gift guides and came up empty handed. So I decided to create my own. Here are my top 20 favorite LDR gift ideas inspired by my own relationship, my friends, Etsy, Pinterest and some seriously creative Google searching. The gifts below vary in prices and include DIY ideas. These gifts aren't limited to LDRs, either. I'm sorry if this gift guide is too little too late for some of you. But if that's the case, there's always Valentine's Day, right?

---Long Distance Gift for Him or Her---

Memeoirs (Book of your emails) 
I literally almost peed my pants when I found this one. I'd been wanting to print out all of my emails with Cayden since we met and keep them in a binder somewhere. You know, just in case Gmail ever explodes and disappears forever. But I literally have thousands and thousands of emails. Email is an essential part of LDRs, which is what makes this gift so freakin bad ass. All you do is grant access to your email account, pick the date range, and designate the to and from and the program does the rest! You name it, choose a cover image, and write the forward and dedication page and they mail it to you when it's done. 

What I Love About You (Book)
I just saw this book as I was waiting for my coffee at Barnes & Nobles today. Usually, I'm not into these type of relationship journals, but I found myself flipping through it well after my coffee was in hand. The first page said "The 5 Ws of Our Relationship" (Where we met, Who we were with, What we were doing, When we met and Why we were there). I started filling in the blanks mentally. I turned the page and saw another one that said, "The moment I knew I'd fallen in love with you." I wanted to rewrite my entire relationship in these pages and give it to Cayden. Maybe it's something you'll want to do for your man or lady. 

Do you know your girlfriend or boyfriend's favorite book? Turn it into a poster! The words of the book are spaced out on the poster to create an image in the white space. To the left, you'll see the poster for Huckleberry Finn. I know this gift idea isn't specifically for LDRs, but it's too cool to not include it! Right now they're only focusing on the classics, but you can suggest a book and they'll email you when they have a poster ready for it. Buy it here:

Countdown Clock
This gift doesn't look all that fancy, but I love the idea behind it. You can set the clock to countdown to any specific date. I'm always keeping a mental countdown of Cayden's next visit, but the ticker in my head is always a little off. To make this one more visually appealing, you can create your own design when you place your order. Or, leave it white and add your own personal messages in Sharpie. Buy it here:

Framed Message and Map
Price varies
Is there a certain quote or saying you and your boyfriend or girlfriend hold near and dear? Frame it! This is the gift I made for Shanna and Ronnie for their wedding. They were in a long-distance relationship at one time, and the quote is something Ronnie said to her that Shanna that meant the word to her. I made a collage of maps (from Half Price Books for less than $1!) from cities they lived and went to school and where they live now. Then I printed the quote on vellum and taped it together. Bought the frame at Hobby Lobby for less than $30. 

---Long Distance Gifts for Her---

The Coordinates of Your Heart Necklace
When it comes to gifts for women, you can't go wrong with jewelry. But this hand-crafted sterling silver necklace is all about location, location, location. You can add the latitude and longitude coordinates of any location that's special to you. It could be where you met, where you had your first date, where you first fell in love, where you first told her you love her, or where you plan on moving with her. It's up to you! And that freshwater pearl adds a nice feminine touch. Shout out to @E_Ione for finding this one!
Buyt it here:

Inner message ring
This ring got me all chocked up. I think it's really symbolic of a long-distance relationship. When the ring is in place, it's solid, stable and real. But when it's not there, the love is still present. Just like in an LDR. Besides the heart, there are two other options you can choose: "Always" and "Marry me." Don't even get me started on how much I teared up when I saw that one.
Buy it here:

Long distance necklace
This is such a cute idea for couples in an LDR in the US. You pick the two states, and the heart bonds them together. Just like in real life, right? I don't think this one works for international LDRs, though. There's no mention in the description of other countries. But it's worth a shot! Etsy items are handmade, so there's a chance the seller would be willing to make an exception.
Buy it here:

2011 Calendar
Price varies
There are a few different ways you could go about personalizing this gift. You can keep it humorous and buy this 'Perfect Guy' Calendar and cut your face out and glue it to every half-naked man. Or you can create your own photo calendar on or one of the other various custom photo services. Fill the pages with photos of you both together, or pictures of places you've visited. Or have each month show a picture of you holding up a sign with a different word. When she flips through the calendar, the words will create a message. Whichever way you choose to do it, make sure your circle all of the important dates and leave sweet messages in there before you give it to her. Try to circle anniversaries of when you first met, first kiss, first dated, first said I Love You, etc. Buy the Perfect Guy Calendar here:

Q&A A Day Journal
This is a fun spin on your everyday journal. It includes 365 questions, one for every day of the year. But the journal lasts for 5 years. You answer the same question on the same day over the course of five years so you can see how your answers have evolved. They aren't specifically relationship questions, but if you're in an LDR, you know you have your good days and your bad days. Your answers will probably reflect that. If you close the distance between now and five years from now, I bet your answers will change dramatically!
Buy it here:

Charm Bracelet
Price: Varies
What I love about a charm bracelet gift is that you can add to it every time you see each other. If you take a trip to Paris together, surprise her with n Eiffel Tower charm. First Christmas together? Find a giftbox charm. Did you meet your girlfriend at a bar? Start her bracelet off with a cocktail charm. The charm bracelet pictured is the Love Story Charm Bracelet from Fossil, but a simple Google search will pull up a variety of charm bracelets to fit your budget. And as you add charms, the gift only gets more valuable. She'll be able to wear iconic memories around her wrist while you're away.
Buy the Love Story Charm Bracelet here:

T-Shirt Quilt
Price varies
I stole one of Cayden's shirts during one of his visits, and it's been my favorite shirt to sleep in since then. It smells like him and it reminds me of him. Chances are, your girlfriend does the same thing with one of your shirts. So this Christmas, let her sleep with all of your shirts by giving her a T-Shirt Quilt. OK, not all of your shirts. Pick a handful of T-shirts you're ready to part way with and send it to a quilting company or beg your sew-master of an aunt to do it for you. If you can't give up that many shirts, buy some that represent your relationship (Trip to NYC? Include an I <3 NY shirt. Go to a sporting event together? Find a cheap jersey online). But before you wrap it up, don't forget to spritz it with your cologne. Buy it here:

Bracelet Engraved with 'Patience' (as seen on 'Like Crazy')
Price varies
'Like Crazy' is a movie about a long-distance relationship that's so much like my life it's, like, crazy. During one scene in the movie, the guy gives his girlfriend a gift. It's a bracelet inscribed with the word 'Patience.' I cried. But then again, I cry all the time. This bracelet might help your girlfriend remember that good things come to those who wait. 

---Long-Distance Gifts For Him---

Boudoir Photos 
Price varies
My first thought when I saw a Groupon for a Boudoir Photo Shoot was "Um, hell no." My second thought was, "Cayden would love it." Imagine how excited your man would be if you sent him home with a few professional sexy photos of you? I mean, it's not like he gets to see that everyday. Boudoir photos are tasteful and classy, and you don't have to wear lingerie, either. Go sexy casual with just a T shirt and cowboy boots, or just wear your boyfriend's favorite sports jersey. Watch for a Groupon in your area. Otherwise, these photo shoots can cost anywhere from $300+.
A few DFW-area suggestions:,

Local Sports Team Starter Kit
Price varies
If you read my earlier post about what I gave Cayden for his birthday, this one will sound familiar to you. If your man is moving to your city (eventually) or you're both moving to another city to be together, get him Sports Fan Starter Kit. Cayden is moving to Dallas next year (fingers crossed), so I got him a Mav's T shirt, a Dallas Cowbows hoodie, a Rangers T shirt and a pair of OU basketball shorts because I'll be forcing my alma mater on him. He absolutely loved it. If you have a bigger budget, splurge on actual jerseys.

Scratch Map
Almost as fun as scratching off a lottery card, the Scratch Map lets you track your travels by scratching away at the map's surface. The underlayer reveals different colors to show where you've been. With enough skill, you could probably scratch a little message into the Pacific Ocean before you give it to him. Or scratch little Xs into the places you want him to take you.
Buy it here:

Hidden Message Tie
Usually, I designate a tie as a fall back Father's Day gift, but there's something special about this one. Inside a little hidden pocket is a little hidden heart. No one has to know he's walking around with his girlfriend's heart so close to his. I love this gift because it's both classy and romantic. You can add an engraved message on the heart for an extra $6.95.
Buy it here:

Dual Time Zone Watch 
This gift is especially handy for people dealing with a drastic time difference. Cayden is always 6 hours ahead of me, so we have to stop and do the math before we call each other. A dual time-zone watch would make that math a little easier. If you don't like this one, Amazon has a lot of other styles, but this one had the most feasible price in my opinion. Make sure you set the clocks to both of your time zones before you wrap it.
Buy it here:


Well, that's all I have for you for now. I hope that helped somewhat! Please feel free to leave any other suggestions in the comments below. Good luck with your holiday shopping!


  1. here's another idea!

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  2. Jenn, I've seen that a few times and I LOVE the concept. Unfortunately, though, it's just a concept for now. The company just got approval to start on an actual product once they raise the funds. If I'm still in an LDR by then, I'm ALL OVER IT.

  3. I was in a LDR for the first 5 years of our relationship (We've been together for 10 years now, just got married this summer!) but one gift that we always enjoyed making each other (and still do) was to make funny computer wallpapers. A collage of photos from when we did get to see each other along with funny random inside joke elements mixed in. Every time you turn on your computer you can smile and laugh and be constantly reminded that its worth it. It also only costs a little of your time and shipping is just an email away :)

  4. These are amazing! My boyfriend and I have been in a LDR for the better part of our three year relationship, and it's about to turn into a longER distance relationship [though thank goodness not international]. I'll definitely be sharing some of these ideas with him! :)

  5. Hey!

    We're really happy that you appreciate the concept behind Memeoirs! We developed it with people like you in mind.

    Thanks for the love!

  6. Megs: You survived long distance for 5 years??? Holy crap. I feel like such a weenie for complaining about 2. The funny wallpapers is a super cute idea!

    Alex: A longER distance relationship??? That's my nightmare. Mad props to you for making it work no matter what! I'll keep my fingers crossed that you two close the distance soon :)

    John: I'm OBSESSED. It's seriously the perfect gift! I'm going to need to buy one soon :)

  7. The watch is a brilliant idea. I know what I'm getting my beau for the next gift-giving occasion, now! :-)

  8. Love your site! What a great resource! I make custom LDR prints:

  9. Wonderful ideas! I found some more here:

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