Ties that Bind: Travel Nursing And Relationships

Trying to begin a relationship while working in travel nursing can be a challenge, BUT it is not an insurmountable one.  Despite the challenge, it is important not to neglect current relationships, or avoid creating new relationships when on an assignment.  Republic Health Resources recognizes understands the importance of recent research about the correlation between close relationships and happiness levels.

Why Dating and Relationships Are Important

A study published in 2009 found that the stronger a person’s support system, whether that be from friends or a romantic partner, the more their likelihood of mortality decreased.  One hypothesis to explain this result comes from a study conducted four years earlier.  It showed that people with strong relationships reported greater levels of happiness and personal satisfaction.

In 2005, a study was published that indicated that happiness levels can predict lower heart rate and blood pressure.  A 2010 study expounded on this, asking people to rate their happiness on a scale of one to five, and measuring their heart disease risk based upon a variety of factors.  A staggering 22% decrease in heart disease risk was noted for each one-point increase in the patients’ happiness rating.  As it turns out, a “broken heart” may actually contribute to worse heart health.

In short, relationships can help travel nurses take care of their health by reducing stress and providing greater satisfaction in their lives.  So, what can a travel nurse do to help make meeting people and forming relationships easier.

Meeting People at Work

A great way to form relationships as a travel nurse is at your new job.  One advantage to meeting a potential partner at work is that they would be able to start working as a travel nurse with you, if that were something you both decided to do.  Imagine, getting to travel the country doing what you love, with the person you love.

Workplace relationships actually have among the highest rates of success if measured by number of resulting marriages.  A study shows that nearly 40% of romances that spark in the workplace end up walking down the aisle.  So, if you’re looking for Mr. Right, you may not have to look too far!

Workplace relationships are also good bets because you have s certain amount of predetermined shared interests, a similar economic status, and education level.  So, the odds of ‘hitting it off’ may be higher in this type of situation.

Finding a Mate While Traveling in Becoming More Common

A study by YouGov determined that 1 in 8 males under the age of 30 now hope to find a significant other while traveling.  The same study revealed that one in eleven people now have, in fact, met their significant other while traveling.  It seems that adventure and love do mix.

You DO Have Time to form a Lasting Relationship as a Travel Nurse

Statistics show that if you have been dating for at least 3 months, you are likely to end up dating for 4 or more years.  This means that by the 3-month mark, people know whether they view the other person as a long term mate.  Once that decision is made, their willingness to make changes in their life in order to continue the relationship increases.  Most travel nursing assignments are 13 weeks, which is around 4 months.  In addition, many travel nurses choose to extend their assignments, giving them even more time to meet and get to know people in their new city.

Make Friends (or Maybe More) While Exploring Your New City

Common interests are crucial for every type of relationship, whether friendly or romantic.  Try joining some local meetup groups or pursuing your interests while in town.  If you’re seeking love or companionship in the local bars, you may be looking in the wrong place.  Statistics show that only 9% of women and 2% of men meet their significant other in a bar.

Instead, try going places that suit your interests and passions.  If you’re artsy, why not tour a museum in your new city and strike up a discussion about the paintings.  Or maybe you’re the sporty type?  Try out one of the local golf courses. You’ll be put in a group with three other people who probably live in the area, and who knows, maybe Prince Charming can help with your putting.  If you’re more intellectual, book clubs are a popular meeting place where you can engage on a more cerebral level.  Or if you’re a music fan, why not see a hometown band play in a small venue.  Who knows, they might make it big someday and you’ll be able to say you saw them before they made it big.  Ask that cute guy or girl in the crowd what their favorite song is and enjoy the evening.

By pursuing your own interests, you’re more likely to meet people you will connect with.  Meetup (an app for your phone) can be a great resource to see about meeting groups to do these things with in your new city also.

Consider Your Partner’s Needs

With friends, it’s easier to stay in touch once you leave town to pursue your next travel nursing assignment.  You can make a friend for life on a job, and keep in touch through the various social networks that are now available.  However, it is much harder to maintain a dating relationship if your significant other cannot travel with you.

When dating people on travel nursing assignments, it will be important for you both to determine whether travel together will be possible.  Only 10% of marriages begin as, or start early on as, long distance relationships.  For this reason, it may be prudent to take your partner’s situation into account before getting too serious.

Ideally, your mate has a career that allows them to travel.  They might be in the military, or maybe a fellow nurse.  Perhaps they work as a remote contractor, or they run their business online.  There are plenty of rewarding careers that do allow for flexibility and mobility, so don’t be scared of meeting people or assume that it has to end when your assignment does.  Travel nursing and relationships CAN work together!

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