Whether you’re a traveling nurse or an allied health consultant who flies from client to client, you’ve got a varied, exciting job. But have you considered how your career impacts your primary relationship? It’s an important thing to think about; there are inherent challenges when you’re away from home so much. It’s not impossible to maintain a healthy relationship, though. It takes trust, communication, and intentionality. Here are several areas to focus on to keep your relationship thriving.

1. Get On the Same Page

Before you leave for your next traveling assignment, get together with your loved one and get on the same page. Mutually determine a set of shared expectations and “ground rules” so you both can relax and feel secure while you’re gone. The conversation itself might seem daunting, but having it will strengthen the foundation of your relationship.

2. Establish a Rhythm

Routines are the scaffolding of a mutually supportive partnership whether you’re at home or away. Small things make a big difference. You might decide to always say good night or good morning. It’s not necessary to be in constant communication, but little rituals are comforting and uplifting. Also, in this age of FaceTime and Zoom, it’s even easier to keep your bond alive. 

3. Look Out for Each Other

Long-distance relationships can be tough at various times. It’s normal — expect it. If you are upfront about those feelings with your significant other, it’ll help ease the ache and bring you closer. You may feel this way at different times from when your partner does, and that’s okay. 

4. Communicate Creatively

It’s fun to mix up your modes of communication. Send a funny video, tell about mundane moments — don’t be afraid to get a bit random. This makes your communication more similar to actually being together.  

5. Spend Time Together

Yes, people in long-distance relationships can spend time together doing enjoyable things. Set a date every week to watch a favorite movie (find a screen-sharing app like Teleparty), or play an online game. 

6. Be Honest and Transparent

If you’re considering going somewhere or doing something that might cause your loved one concern, communicate in advance. Relationships flourish with proactive communication. Sharing after the fact is much less desirable. 

Keeping a healthy relationship alive as a traveling healthcare professional requires honest sharing, clear expectations, and creative thinking. Try these suggestions to bring you and your partner closer.