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One of the most common questions I’ve gotten about my job is “is it hard to be in a relationship when you’re a flight attendant?”
I’ve heard horror stories from people saying this lifestyle is the reason why they had a messy break up. Not to mention that Flight Attendants are in the top 3 occupations with the highest divorce rate.
My experience is nothing like that though and I wanted to show everyone that being a flight attendant can be great for relationships.
I was in a long distance relationship for almost 3 years before I started my career (see How We Made 3 Years in a Long Distance Relationship Work) so my job actually made our relationship much better. The long distance probably made my transition much easier, but I’ve been a flight attendant for 3 years and I truly believe this occupation can be one of the best for your relationship. Here are some of the reasons I think this:
1. You will build trust
When you’re away half the month and for days at a time, you and your partner HAVE to trust each other. If you or your significant other are naturally jealous, this can take some time but it will be really good for you in the long run.
2. You will become more independent (and make more friends)
If you’re someone who has to be with your partner 24/7, this job will be hard for you- but becoming more independent is always a good thing. You meet so many interesting people and go so many amazing places. You will learn to do a lot of things by yourself and also make great friends when you and your crew explore new places together. You two will always have something new to talk about because you are living independent lives and creating separate memories to share with each other.
3. You will never get tired of each other
Since you are gone so much, you and your partner will stop having the small, insignificant fights you might have and start to appreciate every moment you have together. You won’t take each other for granted.
4. You will travel together
Don’t forget, you get to put a travel buddy on your flight benefits! (if you are married, your spouse will automatically be on your benefits) This means so many more adventures and memories for you and your partner. Most of us flight attendants and pilots have taken our partners on a layover at some point. On my last trip, the husband of the lady I was working with came with us on all 3 flights we worked that day and stayed with her on our layover. You two can take a random trip any weekend. You can plan a fun international vacation without worrying as much about the cost. There are so many opportunities the flight benefits open up for you and these adventures you go on together can make the relationship stronger than ever.
5. You can live pretty much anywhere
Your significant other is thinking about transferring to another city for work? No problem! As a flight attendant, you can live almost anywhere- as long as you can make it to your base on time for work. You definitely don’t have to live where you are based. I would guess that over half of flight attendants don’t live in base. You can just commute by plane to your base before you start work. This means you will have no problem moving somewhere new if your partner needs to for work / personal reasons.
6. You will have a flexible schedule
This one comes with time. Our schedules are based on seniority. This means at first you probably won’t have the weekends or holidays off, but eventually you will be able to make your schedule how ever you want. All airlines are different, but I know most have a minimum and maximum amount of hours you work each month – and the minimum amount is not too different than being part time. We have online trade boards, so if there is a day you absolutely need off, you can post it and someone can pick it up. With time, this is the best perk for your relationship. You can be off work no matter what day of the week it is if your partner needs you to be home for any reason or if you are planning to go to an event / vacation.
Tips for making your relationship work as a new flight attendant:
These tips will be similar to the tips I posted in my Long Distance Relationship Post
1. Make time to talk
Layovers can be lonely. Plan for phone calls and FaceTime dates while you’re in your hotel room. Figure out the time change before you go somewhere and plan a time you can both talk.
2. Play phone games
There are so many 2 player phone games where you don’t have to be playing at the same time. We like QuizUp and Words with Friends.
3. Think of your time away as “Me Time”
Spend your alone-time becoming more independent. Turn your hotel room into your own personal spa. Make friends with your crew. Go on fun adventures exploring a new city. Focus on personal growth!!
4. Talk to your significant other about the life changes that are about to happen and what you two can expect
Yes, it might be hard at first. Talk to them about how you will be away for days at a time and how you won’t have the same amount of time for each other at first. If you have children or pets together, make a plan for taking care of them with your new schedule.
5. Plan fun dates for the days you know you will be home
Have something to look forward to with each other! Anytime spent together will be even more special now.
6. Utilize the flight benefits
Take them on a layover or plan a vacation!! Use the perks!
7. Take them with you if you have to work on holidays
I realize that this probably isn’t possible if you have kids/pets, but I know one of the worst feelings is knowing you won’t get to be with loved ones on holidays. If you are able to, take your significant other with you on your layovers during holidays!! On New Years eve, I flew my boyfriend out to spend the holiday with me on my layover. It was so great having him with me and we made fun memories together in a new city.
8. Trust each other
Don’t spend your time away worrying what your partner is doing. Trust them until they give you a reason not to. Try not to let your anxiety take over!
9. Realize it will get better
If you have a strong relationship, you can get through anything. In time, you two will get adjusted to your new schedule. As you get more seniority, you will be able to get the days off that you need. This job gets soooo much better with time. If you want to turn it into a normal Monday – Friday 9 to 5 job, eventually you can. You can ask for day turns and be home every day (if you live in base). Or you can work all your hours for the month in 2 weeks and be home the next 2 weeks. The job only gets better.
I hope this post helps people realize that being a flight attendant does not have to be bad for your relationships – instead it can be a very good thing! If you have any questions or need advice about your relationship while being a flight attendant, I would love to help. Feel free to email me, leave a comment, or DM on instagram!
Here are some books that might help: