Working in the aviation industry and frequently traveling for work, could eventually cause conflicting feelings. While you are proud of your career and excited about the adventures on the road, being away from home for a prolonged period can put stress on you and your love life. However, when you are sharing your life with the right person, it can be an opportunity. Be aware that these tips can have a positive impact to help you remain close to each other, even when the distance is far.
1. Communicate openly and creatively
Especially on a trip, it is important that you maintain continual dialogue to be up-to-date with one another’s lives. A lot of couples forget to stay connected. It can be as easy as wishing your partner a good morning and good night. For long-distance couples, even the most trivial details about our daily lives can become the connection. “How was work? What did you have for dinner?” Mix it up with pictures, videos or voice messages during the day to create a context of your daily life. It might come in handy to refer to during a phone call or Skype-session later that day. Don’t think of the details as boring. The days of sky-high costs to call home are over, so there is really no excuse. Keep general communication with your spouse/partner your top priority at all times.
2. Synchronize schedules
Whatever state, country or time zone you might be in, there is always a way to make conversation work with the home front. Inform where you are, what your schedule looks like and what time would be best to (video) call if there is no time for spontaneous communication.
Be sure to choose a mutually convenient schedule to prevent frustration. When you’ve promised to call at a certain time, make sure to call. Set a reminder on your phone or share your agenda. In the event a work-related event intervenes with your appointment, give your better half a heads-up and reschedule. This will be much appreciated!
3. Keep the romance alive
However routine it may sound, planned dates are crucial to a long-distance relationship to make the best of the situation. And when you’re away from home for an extended time it is extra important to make the effort to keep the romance alive. There are countless ways to show affection. Be imaginative. Though you can’t take your partner on a date, current technology and some creativity can go a long way. Who doesn’t like to receive a gift every once in a while? Send a gift from their favorite retailer, write postcards, order flowers from the local florist or even arrange a pizza delivery on a rainy day. Listen for clues when you’re together that you can implement when you’re away.
Meet whenever possible. If your budget and schedule allow, bring your significant other along on one of your trips. Extend your stay and make memories together. When you’re within a reasonable driving distance, consider a visit home and schedule a date. Success guaranteed.
4. Pursue activities alone AND together
It is essential that you keep a routine to maintain your own hobbies, social life and interests while you’re away on a trip. Spending time apart can enhance your time together. Your individual activities enrich who you are and provide stories to share when you’re together. When you pursue your interests away from home, you’ll likely be less homesick too.
While it might sound counterintuitive, it is possible to pursue shared goals even when you are thousands of miles apart. Plan to watch the same TV series or movies and maybe text if your watch time is the same; listen to podcasts and share playlists; train for a 10K run; join an online photography challenge together. The possibilities are varied and available, if you just do a little creative research. Pursuing goals together and separately will create intimacy and stimulate a wider range of conversation topics.
5. Stay positive
All relationships require attention and energy, and our aviation lifestyle affords an extra challenge. Cognitive reframing is a useful approach in this situation and many other difficult life events. It is crucial to stay positive and thankful for the relationship you have with your partner. Instead of drowning in sorrow while apart, focus on how this lifestyle can help you grow stronger together. Multiple studies have proved that couples who spend significant time apart enjoy more balanced perceptions of their relationships and even appreciate their partners more than geographically co-located couples. Comparable research even shows that long distance relationships are as successful or may be even more successful!