As many of us may know dating as a travel nurse can be tough. When we decide to pick up our life and head out into the travel nursing world, we don’t just put other aspects of our life on hold. While we may not be actively looking to meet someone while working or be on a quest to find that extra special someone while only on a 13-week travel assignment, it may just happen to be out of our control. Life has a funny way of throwing things in our path that we need to learn from, we get to cherish, or we get to hold on to. It’s up to us to figure out which one is which.
In saying that, it doesn’t make it any easier to know what to do in these situations. Whether it is you showing interest, or someone showing interest in you, we still need to know how to act or how to react to it happening. Below are some helpful tips to help you navigate your new adventure of dating as a travel nurse.
1. Be Cool and Be Honest
When we first meet someone that we connect with our minds have a tendency of running wild. Scaring off someone that you are interested in is something that can happen much more easily right at the beginning of a relationship, especially when we throw some nerves in there. Though your contract is short, and you may be on a bit of a time frame, try to be cool and start off by casually talking with them. Remember, if it flows it flows, if it doesn’t then step back and let it happen naturally.
Good communication is the key to any solid relationship. Be completely honest and upfront about the fact that you’re on a 13-week travel assignment. Let your partner know that your job often requires you to change locations and that contracts can also be extended which is ideal if you meet someone and your relationship gets serious. It’s also important to let dates know about other aspects of your job such as your shift schedule or the type of nursing that you do.
For example, the emotional impact of working in a trauma unit can be heavy, so explaining that during the early stages of a relationship may help your partner be more perceptive and open towards your feelings or actions. Ensuring that your partner also understands that you work overnight shifts (if that’s the case) may also give them the ability to plan dates and fun activities around those work hours.
2. Don’t Skip the Friendship Stage
Sometimes when we know there is something a little more special about a person and a little more special about the connection, we tend to try and skip past one of the most important stages – the friendship stage. Getting to know someone is a little bit of an art form. Everyone is different, while some people are more ready to open themselves up others might not be huge sharers and it might take a little more time. That’s why you need to either be able to pick up on the signals that the other person is giving off or voice your feelings in a respectful way.
If you two have common interests, good conversations and feel a genuine connection, then it’s more of a signal that maybe this is something that could be long term. Hang out after work, catch a movie, or go for a walk in a park. Do the friendly things first and see how the vibes are and where things take you.
3. Be Bold – Get Out and Explore!
Don’t make grabbing a quick drink your go-to date. If the person you are dating is from the area, then have them give you a tour of the local attractions or take you to some of their favorite spots that only locals know about. You could also compile a bucket list of things you want to do and turn them into fun dates. One of the greatest perks of being a travel nurse is the ability to explore so many new and exciting locations. With each travel assignment comes a new city, new activities, and new events to get involved in. All you need to do is explore your new city and see what all is out there.
Finding activities and events that interest you will likely put you in contact with others who share similar interests as well:
- If you are an outdoor adventurer, try getting involved in a local hiking club, a biking club, or kayaking meet up.
- If you consider yourself more of a fitness enthusiast, try joining a local gym with a month-to-month payment plan, signing up for tennis lessons, or joining a sports and recreation group.
- If dancing is a favorite pastime, try signing up for salsa lessons, find a two-step dance class or check out a local dance club to meet others that share the same passion.
- Take a DIY class at a local hardware store or a craft class at Michaels or JOANN Fabric and Crafts.
- Take a cooking class at a local restaurant, attend a wine/beer tasting or sign up for Painting With A Twist – a fun class where you can sip wine while an instructor teaches you how to paint a unique picture. As a bonus you can keep the picture as a memento of your fun travel nurse assignment.
- Coffee shops and bookstores are also great places to meet people with similar interests. Just ask someone if they’d recommend the book they’re reading or what drink on the menu is the best. Most coffee shops also have a dedicated night where local bands play live music which could be an interesting place to meet locals.
In general, the most important thing to remember while dating as a travel nurse is to have fun! Not only will you meet potential dates, but you’ll also be able to make friends, which can help reduce the feelings of loneliness that are often associated with being in an unfamiliar place during new travel assignments. The options are endless. Just get out there and start exploring.
4. Be Realistic With Your Expectations
At the end of the day, you are in a unique position and must be realistic about what it is that you want and the things that you expect from the other person while dating as a travel nurse. Setting expectations from the beginning can help keep you from not only wasting the other persons time but potentially save you from heartbreak.
Asking yourself the following questions can help put you in the right place and mindset to have a long-term healthy and successful relationship:
- Do I only want to date casually, or do I want something more serious?
- Am I able to be in a relationship?
- Am I willing to compromise?
- Am I willing to continue a long-distance relationship?
- Am I open to dating other travel nurses or coworkers?
- How much time do I want to spend on dating?
Being honest with yourself from the start can help you also be honest with the other person. By determining what you want while dating as a travel nurse, you can truly have fun and live in the moment. These questions can aid in a positive and healthy dating life.
If you decide that you’re open to a long-distance relationship, travel nursing can work in your favor and keep things exciting. Just because you’re on a 13-week travel assignment doesn’t mean that the relationship won’t work. If you meet someone that you see a future with, you can ask to extend your contract or have your recruiter find you another travel assignment in the same city.
Since you’re able to live in different locations all over the country, it can give your partner a good reason to come visit you on your days off. You’ll be able to rekindle your relationship while exploring everything your new location has to offer. You can also stay in touch via Skype, FaceTime, Snapchat, text, or email after your travel assignment over.
5. Going On The Date
When it comes to the date, keep it simple. As this will be fresh due to your 13-week travel assignment, you do not want to be doing anything over the top. You can keep it simple with a dinner and movie, lunch picnic where you both go shopping and get your picnic food together, head out to an arcade and do a round of bowling or have them show you something in the town you wouldn’t know because you are new there. The more casual, the better. It puts less stress on you feeling like you need to perform and less stress on them thinking that you’re taking it too fast.
Dating is tough in general, throw in a 13-week travel assignment and it could be quite daunting. Though life doesn’t just stop when we move into our next phase and developing feelings for someone new is completely normal.
Choosing TheraEx Staffing as your travel nurse agency is the first step to a successful travel nurse career.
There’s a reason that over 94% of nurses and physical therapists highly recommend us.
We pride ourselves on our excellent communication skills and our ability to connect with each and every clinician to ensure they’re placed in the location of their dreams.
Our dedicated recruiters find ideal placements for you with competitive rates, benefits, and unlimited referral bonuses. Let us help you find your next travel assignment in the location of your dreams (and maybe even the place where you’ll meet the date of your dreams!)
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