Dating, in general, is already difficult enough, much less when you have a career in travel nursing. Moving around constantly for shorter periods of time can make it challenging to meet and build a foundation with a significant other, causing many travel nurses to wonder if it’s even worth it.
Fortunately, dating as a travel nurse is possible. If you’re wondering how to make your dating life more fun while traveling, read on to find out some great tips for getting started.
Why Is Dating Hard as a Travel Nurse?
There are many reasons that dating can be difficult when working as a travel nurse. Besides not being in the same location permanently, you may find it challenging to even meet someone in the first place. If you’re not the type of person to get out of your comfort zone and try something new in your downtime, the likelihood of meeting someone outside of work can drastically decrease.
Additionally, travel nurses tend to work long shifts, both during the day and at night. If you’re busy with a full work schedule, and you still want time to yourself in your downtime, you may not even have the space in your schedule to consider dating around.
Some travel nurses may also have higher expectations than the situation allows, leading to miscommunication and misunderstandings with potential dating partners. For this reason, dating as a travel nurse can quickly become difficult.
Are There Any Benefits of Dating as a Travel Nurse?
Even with the challenges that come with travel nurse dating, there are some positives to the situation. Travel nursing gives you the space to think about what you want in a potential partner. If there are specific traits you are looking for, now is the time to make a checklist and see how different individuals may check those boxes.
The travel nursing environment can also encourage you to date people from different states, ethnicities, and cultures. You are given the opportunity to meet people you would’ve never come across had you not worked in that location. This can allow you to meet someone completely different from your usual “type”.
And, if you do meet someone you want to move forward with, you may find that a long-distance relationship post-assignment serves your needs well and gives you the space you need so that the relationship can flourish. Or, you may discover with the distance that they aren’t the right fit for you.
Tips for Dating as a Travel Nurse
Starting fresh in the dating world can be exhausting each time you arrive at a new assignment. Whether you’re looking for something short-term or want a more serious commitment, there are ways to meet potential partners and enjoy the dating scene as a travel nurse.
However, it’s best to keep in mind that, as a traveler, there are certain realities you must face when entering the dating scene, and you’ll want to keep your expectations appropriate for the situation.
- Meet Locals at Meetups or Group Activities
If you want to enter the dating world as a travel nurse, one of the first steps you can take is to get out and meet the locals. Consider getting involved with group activities or joining a meetup, especially if they involve any hobbies or passions you have outside of nursing.
Interacting with locals allows you to meet individuals outside of the workplace. Some activities you can consider to connect with others may include sports leagues, volunteer opportunities, local entertainment, DIY classes, and more. Even just sitting at a bookstore or coffeehouse is a great way to build new connections with people.
- Use Dating Apps
While some people may have negative opinions of dating apps, they can be a great way to connect and get to know people in the area. With dating apps, you have hundreds of options at the touch of your fingers, giving you the flexibility to find someone you like without having to spark up a conversation with strangers in public.
If you decide to use a dating app, be honest about your expectations from the beginning. Not everyone is looking for a serious relationship when they use these apps, so it’s best to explain what you’re looking for from the get-go to avoid any uncomfortable or undesirable situations.
- Keep Your Expectations in Check
While dating on assignment can be fun and fulfilling for many reasons, you’ll want to keep your expectations in check. Know what you want from the beginning and set your expectations early on so that you don’t find yourself disappointed or heartbroken.
In the dating world, you never want to force anything. A 13-week time constraint can be stressful, and if you’re putting yourself out there and nothing is connecting the dots, don’t waste your time trying to push it. Instead, move forward and focus on individuals you may meet on a future assignment.
- Be Wary of Serial Daters
Serial daters are common in the dating world. You may even be one yourself, and if that’s the case, another serial dater may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Otherwise, serial daters are best avoided. People who date around constantly are likely to only be interested in you for a short time before deciding to move on to someone else. Additionally, they may even be dating multiple other people besides you at the same time.
Don’t give in to someone who may take advantage of you and your vulnerabilities. If you decide to go out with someone known for being a serial dater, stay wary of the situation and go with your gut if something feels off.
- Avoid Dating Co-Workers
As a travel nurse, the hospital or healthcare facility where you work is likely where you’ll meet and connect with the most people. However, we do not recommend dating your co-workers.
Co-worker relationships can work, but they also come with the possibility of drama in the workplace. If the relationship doesn’t work out, work may become awkward, affecting your ability to perform your nursing duties. The last thing you want is to develop a bad reputation because of an unfortunate dating situation, since this can quickly derail your travel nursing career.
Further, it may be against the hospital’s policy for staff members to date each other. Healthcare facilities know that these situations can become tricky fairly quickly, especially if you supervise the person you’re dating or vice versa.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid dating coworkers to prevent fostering any negative situations that may impact your job and daily interactions with the people around you.
- Keep Communication Open
One of the most important parts of any relationship is ongoing communication. With modern technology, there are plenty of ways to stay in touch with people, especially if you continue dating someone post-assignment. Chatting via snail mail, texting, or FaceTime/Skype are great ways to continue to get to know someone from a distance and explore the relationship further.
You’ll also want to be open and communicative about what you want. Everyone has different expectations in their current dating life, and the last thing you want to do is waste your time on someone whose expectations don’t align with yours.
Dating in the travel nursing world can be hard to navigate. Overall, it’s best to keep your options open and not let your dating life dictate your career. If you’re second-guessing whether you should continue with a future assignment in a different location because of one person, you may want to reevaluate what’s important to you. Travel nursing is meant to be an adventure and should be treated as such, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to give up pieces of your career to satisfy someone else.
As a travel nursing agency, OneStaff Medical is here to ensure your success while on assignment. To learn more, or to get started in the travel nursing world, contact us today at 877-783-1483.