To make the day feel special, Chong suggests adding a more tangible and traditional element: an anniversary gift. “Send something to each other a few days before and open the packages together. Opening surprises together make you feel like you can relate to the other person at that moment. It’s a moment of heightened emotion that makes you feel closer,” she says. Does your partner love flowers? If so, sending them so they’ll arrive while you chat can take the celebration to another level. “My guy arranged for a delivery to be made just as I was talking to him,” says Chong. “It was a very pleasant surprise. It makes it seem as if he was almost right there with me.”
While spending your anniversary together online might not be the ideal scenario, Masini says to never underestimate its importance regardless of how you celebrate. The effort you put in is what you’ll get out of it. “Casual is fine — but for your anniversary — even if you’re doing it on Zoom, dress up. Plan ahead. Send a gift. And make sure that the Zoom anniversary is a special event,” she says. And if you’re still feeling a bit down, realize that having to celebrate with your partner online is not going to last forever. “Think of it as if your partner was out of town traveling for work, and you wanted to stay in touch. Let technology lead the way to stay connected and deepen your relationship when you can’t be in their arms at night,” suggests Spira.
So, if your anniversary’s on the horizon, embrace it. Make some plans and then celebrate your love the best way you can. At the very least, you’ve made a new memory with the person you love, says Chong. “Make the effort to make this extra special. In time, you will remember it as your pani-versary and you’ll be able to laugh about it. It will be well worth it until you can see each other again,” she concludes.
Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women
April Masini author, relationship and etiquette expert
Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships