Are you a driver looking for love? Someone who's been burned before by the long-distance nature of on-the-road relationships?
Or maybe you're married or already in a relationship, but struggling to connect with your partner thanks to constant days (or even weeks) apart.
Regardless of your specific status, we understand that relationships can be difficult to maintain as a driver. That's why we rounded up a few tips for dating while on the road. Or for the more sarcastically minded, check out our funny post on how to have a miserable relationship as a truck driver.
5 Tips for Dating When You're on the Road
1. Make Your Time Count
When you're a driver, time away from home can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. And then, when you finally make it home, there's no guarantee how long you'll get to stay before setting out with another load.
It's understandable to simply want to sleep or catch up on household tasks when you're home, but studies show that the happiest couples spend at least two hours of quality time together each day. Since that daily time isn't always possible as a driver, it's important to make the time you do have at home count.
Take the time to eat a sit-down dinner together (even if it's take-out!), or just catch up over a cup of coffee. Quality time doesn't need to be a fancy occasion, it simply needs to be together.
2. Maintain Positive, Consistent Communication
This goes for both partners in a driver/non-driver relationship. Long distance relationships, even if they're only long distance part-time, require both partners to make a solid effort to communicate when they're away from each other.
Schedule times to talk on the phone, or even FaceTime if you're done driving for the day! And most importantly, do your best to keep these conversations lively. Ask your partner questions about their day and how they're feeling. Talk about things you're excited to do when you're back together again. For more tips on great communication while on the road, read our feature on the Van Driesen's! They've been at it for quite a few years!
Additionally, don't be afraid to show a little extra affection. Sending your partner an "I love you!" or "Thinking of you!" text out of the blue can go a long way to boost spirits and make them feel a little less lonely while you're apart.
3. Learn to Manage Daily Stress
Both you and your partner are likely to be facing stress on a daily basis. On the driver's side, that may look like traffic, deadlines, or difficult customers (although we're pretty intentional to work with amazing customers here at K&J!). For the partner who isn't driving, managing life on their own can take its toll on stress levels as well.
Life at home can look like managing bills, maintenance projects, and possibly kids all by yourself.
It's important to train yourself to manage at least some of this stress on your own, to avoid time together being nothing but an outpouring of complaints. The last thing you should be doing when you're finally spending time with your long-distance significant other is complaining about traffic or a broken heater.
Keep your partner informed, but try to avoid overwhelming them with stress that could be managed on your own time.
4. Set Expectations Up Front
If you're looking to get into a relationship, have only been dating someone for a short amount of time, or are even considering getting engaged as a driver, it's vital that you set expectations up front.
Your partner needs to know what they're getting into when it comes to a serious relationship with a trucker. Be clear with them, and don't promise anything you can't actually fulfill. Sometimes life as a driver means being unable to communicate for periods of time, or being on a different sleep schedule than your partner. This can be shocking for your significant other if they aren't forewarned.
Even with clear expectations, long-distance relationships take some getting used to. Be patient with your partner and continue to communicate honestly about both of your hopes, needs, and desires when it comes to your relationship.
5. Build Trust Between You and Your Partner
Trust is key to any relationship, but it's even more crucial when you're dealing with long-distance relationships. While it isn't fun to think about, partners on either side of a driver/non-driver relationship may find themselves fearing their partner is cheating on them.
Of course, in some unfortunate circumstances, their fear may be right. However, it's important to build trust between partners to avoid the negativity of doubt. Even when no one is cheating, doubt and lack of trust can be damaging to your relationship.
To avoid these feelings bubbling up and shattering your trust, practice open and honest communication, even when it's difficult. That vulnerability will pay off in the long run.
Remember that Every Relationship is Unique
Every driver is unique and has a different style of communication. That means every relationship with a driver will be unique as well. However, we firmly believe that following these tips will enhance and support your relationships.
Never forget that relationships aren't one-sided. If you're experiencing frustration in your relationship, don't automatically put the blame on your partner. More often than not, there's fault on both sides.
If you have tips for handling long-distance dating while OTR, share them in the comments below!
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