Travel nursing offers amazing adventures, but leaving home for weeks or months at a time can be difficult for RNs in romantic relationships.
Whether you’ve been with someone for years or recently met someone while on assignment, there are communication strategies that can help make things easier. We’ve created a list of ways to stay connected and keep things fresh with your significant other while enjoying the perks of being a travel nurse.
Before you hit the road, create a game plan and establish basic expectations with your partner. Setting standards about communication can prevent a lot of worry and stress.
Do you like texting throughout the day, or checking in by phone? Are there certain times of the day you are more available to speak? Will you take a trip to see each other during your assignment? Expressing your needs and boundaries is essential to maintaining a fun, healthy connection.
Once expectations are set, you can rest easy knowing your partner isn’t ignoring your texts or phone calls and vice versa. Plus, having a skype date or phone call to look forward to can make those long shifts fly by.
The physical limitations of long-distance relationships can be difficult, but you can avoid feeling like you’re in a rut by getting creative with your communication.
When you arrive at your destination, giving your partner a “full tour” of your new housing is a fun way to make them feel like they’re along for the ride. Small, thoughtful updates about your day will let them know they’re on your mind. If you’ve established specific times of day to communicate, that doesn’t mean you can’t be spontaneous – send a link to a song you both like, snap a picture of something silly, or talk about what you’ll do during your first date once you’re back home.
Thankfully, modern technology has made long-distance relationships much easier. There are still ways to share experiences, even if you’re halfway across the world from your partner.
Try picking a show that both of you haven’t seen to watch while you’re away. Scheduling evenings to watch it together and discuss new episodes is a great way to stay engaged and connected. You can do the same thing with movies, articles, or books.
Invest in Yourself
The bottom line: the quality of your experience is up to you. Perceiving your travel nursing assignment as an opportunity rather than an obstacle is the best way to enjoy your time away from your partner.
Make plenty of time to focus on your own interests. Explore your new city, take on new or forgotten hobbies, and invest in your own happiness. Spend your time in ways that will eliminate future regret about your awesome nursing adventure.
If you develop the ability to be satisfied on your own, staying in your long-distance relationship will become more meaningful – because you’re truly choosing to be with the one you love.
Remind Yourself It’s Not Permanent
Even though it may seem like you’ll be apart forever, it’s simply not true! If you experience conflict, miscommunications, or you’re just feeling blue, remind yourself that your assignment will come to an end.
While it’s not a good idea to obsess over how many days remain until you’re back home, it can be useful during particularly rough days.
There are so many ways to stay connected to loved ones while you’re a travel nurse. With a little effort and honest communication, travel nursing can help you learn about yourself and your partner in exciting ways, allowing you to cultivate an even deeper connection than the one you have.