Travel nursing offers amazing adventures, great pay, and valuable professional experience, but travel nursing assignments can occasionally cause conflict in romantic relationships. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but this doesn’t make long-distance dating any easier!
Whether you’ve been with someone for years or recently met someone before your assignment, there are ways to make things easier on you and your partner.
Read on for a list of tips and strategies to maintain your long-distance relationship while on assignment.
Make a Game Plan
Planning is important in a long-distance relationship. Before you leave for your assignment, talk about what you expect from each other while you are gone. Outline your needs, wants, and boundaries. Setting standards will 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?
Once you make a game plan, you’ll both have a better idea about what to expect while you are away. That way, you won’t have to stress about your partner not responding to your texts or phone calls, and vice versa.
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.
Try scheduling your longer catch-up calls ahead of time. Having a skype date or phone call to look forward to can make those long shifts fly by.
Thankfully, technology has made long-distance relationships much easier than they used to be. 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.
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.
Maintain Friendships with Others
You may be tempted to spend every free moment talking to your significant other, but this can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness. Maintaining independent friendships outside of your relationship is important.
Don’t miss out on opportunities to bond with your coworkers or new friends outside of work, even if it means taking a rain check on that Skype chat with your partner. If your significant other wants the best for you, it will make them happy that you’re making friends.
While it’s important to set and maintain standards and expectations for your relationship, don’t let a change of plans stress you out. Keep an open mind and try to remain in the present, as your assignment won’t last forever. Plus, your partner will appreciate your flexibility – it will let communicate that you are confident in your relationship.
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.
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