I’ve run into quite a few challenges since becoming a travel nurse, but many people are surprised to hear me say that dating isn’t one of them.
I’m definitely no expert when it comes to relationships, but after four years in a long-distance relationship (both before traveling and after), I’m happy to share some pros and cons of long-distance relationships as a travel nurse.
Con: We don’t live in the same city.
Pro: Every time we see each other, it’s a vacation.
Over the years we’ve met in various cities across the United States and even different countries. One of the first things I do at a new assignment is plan our first date in that city. It’s so much fun to be a “tourist” for a day and check some experiences off our bucket list. Travel nursing gives us the opportunity to explore new places together, and make new memories as a couple every few months.
Con: We don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like.
Pro: Our time together is special.
We’ve all heard it — absence makes the heart grow fonder. However, I never appreciated that statement until it became my reality. Since my significant other and I don’t see each other every day, it’s a special occasion every time we meet. It also gives me something to look forward to during my assignments. I usually schedule a weekend off in the middle of my contract to make plans with loved ones. Spending time with my significant other is always the highlight of my assignments.
Con: Living without your significant other can get lonely.
Pro: You’re not dependent on each other, which is healthy.
When we’re apart, it can get lonely. As a travel nurse, though, I’ve learned to be more outgoing, meet new friends, and not be afraid to explore on my own. I’m independent in many ways, which is something my significant other loves about me. Many people get so intertwined in their relationships that they lose themselves. That’s definitely not been the case for my relationship. Being a travel nurse gives our relationship a healthy balance of independence for the both of us.
Con: Long distance is the ultimate test of any relationship.
Pro: If your relationship can survive the distance, it can survive anything.
I’ve noticed over the years that maintaining a genuine relationship with anyone (friendship or partner) is more difficult when you’re thousands of miles away. However, your true friendships and relationships will pass this test and grow stronger. Over the years, being apart from my significant other has built trust and communication on many different levels. We’ve learned to make each other a priority. I believe, if we can survive the distance, our relationship can survive anything.
Sarah Gaines, MSN, RNC-OB is a labor and delivery nurse, nurse mentor, and educator that has been a travel nurse for the last three years.
Passionate about travel nursing (14 contracts and counting!), she’s created the 6 Figure Travel Nurse Course to educate and empower nurses to maximize their income so they can work less and travel more.