Can you travel for a living AND have a love life??
I dedicated a whole chapter in my book to the hazards of dating at work. If you haven’t already read it, The basic premise is that dating fellow crewmembers’ or passengers is highly discouraged for MANY reasons. While there are a few situations in which that has worked out for some people, statistically it has been more troublesome and not worth the trial.
So if you don’t date at work, and you are “on the go” all of the time, you may ask; Where the hell can you meet someone and how does that even work long term??”
First, meeting people is a little easier these days with Internet dating. You can Perouse the dating pool and schedule dates from the other side of the world or country. Technology also makes things easier to communicate and stay in touch. Apps like Skype, whatsapp, google talk, etc, allow for easy and low cost communication from all parts of the world. So I feel, and based on experience, meeting people is not the hard part.
Once you meet an eligible and compatible bachelor (or bachelorette), you really need to be up front and honest about your crazy lifestyle. The unpredictable schedule and schedule changes are difficult enough on us! Not to mention being AWAY for days, weeks, even maybe months at a time. A person who has no clue about our careers and industry are really in for a rude awakening! Be fair to that person and really help them understand what it is all about. Either they will know right away that it is NOT something they can handle, or, they will be willing to give it a shot. The hardest part for most people seems to be the reality of plans consistently being broken, changing, or the inability to plan at all. Holidays, vacations, etc., may never happen together, and that is the sad reality. If you fly “contract”, you may have a better schedule and more control over your life- making it easier to have a “love life”.
If you reach the point of a committed relationship, congratulations! Now, you have to work hard to keep things GREAT at home to make up for the time you spend away. Maybe pampering your partner, bringing home special little gifts from foreign lands, and just being very attentive while you are home- is a very good idea!
Also, even non- jealous partners may become jealous or insecure with the knowledge of you spending so much time away and all over the world in hotels with fellow crew members. As one once said to me; “ you are in all of these romantic cities and places without me”… Yes, he was right. I was…but little did he know I spent all of my time completely alone! The job can be very lonely for us too. We would much rather have our loved ones and friends with us on these trips than our co-workers and strangers. Am I right?! This is the point you need to stress to your significant other. Lots of communication on the road is essential.
I do not mean to sound pessimistic with any of this. Of course you can have great marriages, relationships, and friendships with this job!. You just have to work really hard at keeping them. I have seen both ends of the spectrum in my years of flying which include the best relationships and unfortunately many divorces. Like anything in life, if you want something to work bad enough, you will put in the effort for success. And if you are with the right person, someone who truly loves you for who and what you are, the success will be that much easier to achieve..
As always, I welcome comments and stories!
Cobblestones and Heels