As a nurse, you have a fantastic opportunity not available in many other occupations. Taking short-term assignments in medical facilities across the country gives you the opportunity to travel while honing your nursing skills.
If you’re considering travel nursing, you may be concerned about leaving your significant other behind.
So how should travel nurses handle long-distance relationships?
It can be a little tricky, but the following pointers will give you some great ideas on how to keep the spark alive while you’re separated.
Keep reading to discover 12 travel nursing tips for maintaining a long-distance relationship.
Table of Contents
- Is Travel Nursing Hard on Relationships?
- 12 Travel Nursing Tips for Maintaining a Long-Distance Relationship
- Trusted Nurse Staffing Offers Flexible Travel Nursing Assignments in All 50 States
Is Travel Nursing Hard on Relationships?
You may have many questions about travel nursing, and an important one is about how it may affect your romantic life. Travel nursing can be hard on relationships for some people, but it doesn’t have to be!
In fact, many people find that the adventure of travel nursing helps keep more excitement in their marriage or dating life. Check out our tips below for ways to help long-distance relationships thrive.
12 Travel Nursing Tips for Maintaining a Long-Distance Relationship
As a travel nurse, you may sometimes get a little lonely and find yourself missing your significant other. Try these strategies and see what works for you.
#1: Establish a Routine
When you’re in the same city, you often have to work out a system to make sure you get to spend time with your significant other based on:
- Work schedules
- Social interactions
- Family obligations
The same is true for establishing a routine in a long-distance relationship — it just may take a little more effort.
Nurses especially can often have opposite work schedules from their partners. That’s why it’s important to find a time for interaction that works for both of you.
Some methods of communication with your mate may include:
- Talking on the phone at a set time every day
- Using FaceTime or Skype to get that in-person feel; and
- Texting before and after your shift each day
Whatever routine works for you, stick to it so you and your partner will both know what to expect. Looking forward to these moments of intimacy will help build your relationship.
#2: Make the Relationship a Priority
Your decision to become a travel nurse probably has a lot to do with your goal to further your career by gaining new experiences. Your career should be one of your top priorities, but make sure your relationship is another.
Anyone who has been in a long-distance relationship before will tell you they take work.
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, choosing to prioritize your partner’s needs can be a challenge. But doing what you can to make them feel loved and important will help make the distance between you feel like less of an issue.
#3: Be Prepared for Bad Days
You’ll do better in the long run if you realistically set your expectations and know there will be some bumps in the road along the way.
Is your relationship perfect every day when you’re together? Of course not.
So why would you expect 100% smooth sailing when you throw in the added challenge of being in different cities?
Maybe you’re having trouble finding the perfect time to communicate. Or you really miss a big hug at the end of a hard shift. Whatever causes your bad day without your partner, remember that it’s only temporary.
The beauty of a travel nursing job is that it’s usually only 13 weeks long, and then you have a sweet reunion to look forward to!
#4: Support Each Other
A good partner will be excited for you as you use travel nursing to make advances in your career and explore the country. And you, in turn, should be supportive of their goals and interests.
One of the keys to building a strong long-distance relationship is committing to allow each other to grow and mature in whatever way each person chooses.
Sure, it can be tough to start dating someone and then suddenly need to move hundreds or even thousands of miles away while you are still getting to know each other. Or, if you already have an established relationship, you can really miss the ways in which you have come to rely on one another.
Regardless of your status or distance apart, you can build your long-distance relationship by pushing each other forward as you find ways to stay connected.
#5: Meet in Person Regularly
Part of the fun and excitement of travel nursing is getting to experience all sorts of new places and cultures. So make sure your significant other gets in on it, too!
Work out a tentative schedule for how often your partner comes to visit. This may be based on the length of your travel nursing assignment or just how long you think you can go without seeing each other.
Whether you decide to meet in person every other weekend, once a month, or once a quarter, make these visits count. Research all the fun things to see and do in your new location and make the most of your time together.
You may even take turns picking the activities for the visit to keep things exciting.
#6: Plan a Vacation Together
Just because you’re exploring a new area during your travel nursing assignment doesn’t mean you can’t go somewhere else during this time as well.
You may want to pick a destination somewhat close to your temporary home, or perhaps the two of you could find a fun spot at the halfway mark between your locations.
Take advantage of this opportunity to travel and build lasting memories as a couple.
#7: Occasionally Visit Home
It can be exciting for your partner to come to you or even to meet somewhere but don’t forget there’s no place like home.
If you’re on a particularly long travel assignment, you’ll probably want to plan a visit back to your home base every once in a while. This will help establish a feeling of comfort and normalcy in your relationship.
#8: Keep the Lines of Communication Open
No matter what happens during your travel nursing assignment, you can build your relationship with your partner by demonstrating that you are there for each other.
Ask each other questions like:
- How are you feeling?
- What do you need most from me at the moment?
- What can I do to support you?
Even though you aren’t there physically, keeping the lines of communication open in this way shows that you fully support one another.
#9: Send Unexpected Gifts
Who doesn’t love coming home to a surprise? Letting your partner know you’re thinking of them with an unexpected gift is a great way to send your love.
And it doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or expensive. You could have their favorite latte delivered to work first thing in the morning, or order a pizza to be sent to their home after a long day. Send flowers or a monthly delivery of something else they love.
The important thing isn’t the item itself, but the fact that you’re thinking of the other person while you’re away.
#10: Plan Virtual Dates
Who says you have to be together to do things together?
What are some activities you love to experience when you’re home? Take those and see if you can adapt them for your long-distance relationship.
- Do you both like to read? Create a mini book club by going through a novel at the same pace and planning times for discussion.
- Do you have a favorite TV show or are you excited about a new movie on your favorite streaming service? Put each other on speakerphone and watch together.
- Are you into board games? Pick a favorite that allows you to play each other online.
- Love cooking together? Pick a new recipe and FaceTime while you both try it out.
Whatever you decide, finding activities you can do simultaneously helps you feel more connected as a couple.
#11: Don’t Shy Away From Tough Conversations
Even when you’re living apart — or maybe because of it — you’re going to have conflict from time to time. If you ignore little problems or are afraid to address sensitive subjects, they can turn into bigger issues.
Some people even fail to express their true feelings during long-distance visits because they’re afraid of ruining that coveted time together. But if you can’t talk to each other honestly, your relationship won’t have the strong foundation it needs to withstand the challenges of a long-distance relationship.
#12: Think About the Positive Aspects of a Travel Nurse Long-Distance Relationship
It can be hard for a couple to spend long periods of time apart. But there are upsides to this situation as well!
As much as you miss each other while you’re separated, it can make your time together that much more exciting. You get to skip the mundane, day-to-day aspects of your relationship for a little while and devote 100% of your attention to each other during visits.
This also allows extra time to work on your growth, whether it be in your career or other personal goals. Even though you’re part of a couple, you should always feel comfortable taking some time for yourself.
Travel nurses who have successful long-distance relationships are able to focus on the positive aspects of their circumstances.
Trusted Nurse Staffing Offers Flexible Travel Nursing Assignments in All 50 States
Long-distance relationships are probably one of the toughest parts of travel nursing. Trusted Nurse Staffing prides itself on giving you a dedicated support team that provides an excellent working experience so you have more time to focus on your partner.
From housing to salary negotiation to impressive benefits, we’ll take care of all the details so you don’t have to.
Contact us today to find out how thousands of other nurses have taken advantage of our services and how you can get on board.