Do you remember the first time you saw a crew walk through the airport on their way to work? Professional pilots walking upfront in their distinguished uniform and female flight attendants neatly dressed in high heels following closely behind. Well, a lot has changed since then. Thanks to initiatives to increase diversity in the aviation industry, there’s no longer anything unusual about finding women flying jets while men serve meals in the cabin. But that’s not the only change: as a result of more women gaining their wings, it’s not unusual for two pilots to land up in a committed relationship.
You’re probably wondering how a relationship like this could work. After all, you’ve probably heard of the challenges that arise when only one partner is a pilot. How could it possibly work when two pilots are involved? The answer is simple, and the principle can be applied to any aspect of life: if you really want something, you’ll do anything to achieve it. So there are several aviation couples who prove that love really is in the air and that pilots can have successful relationships.
Some pilots agree that their connection with a partner is deeper when they’re both aviators. Why?
Firstly, they have a shared passion for flying (remember, aviation is a lifestyle – not a job). So the chances are that your partner would be willing to allocate a monthly allowance to fly together in general aviation – imagine hopping into a Cirrus and flying away together for a romantic getaway.
Secondly, their partner understands what they’re talking about when they
offload after a bad day at work and lastly, their partner is familiar with the stress that goes hand in hand with an aviation career.
So, if you’re looking to build a relationship with another aviator, here are some tips from pilot couples who have managed to beat the odds and are still happily in love.
Without clear communication, no relationship can thrive. This is especially true with two pilots because the challenges faced are less predictable. Being able to talk through problems and having the ability to develop solutions when obstacles present themselves is the only way to build a solid foundation. This also applies when being away from each other while on layovers. We can thank technology for making this part easier – find out what makes your partner smile and do it! It might be having your morning coffee together over a Skype call, or watching the same episode on Netflix together (despite being in different countries). Trust me, even something as simple as a quick text saying you’ve landed safely goes a long way.
- Prioritizing Your Partner
Perhaps it’s your dream to fly long haul or to upgrade to Captain as quickly as possible. But, this might not be what’s best for your relationship. Setting your priorities from the get-go will help you make the right decision when opportunities present themselves. Maybe your partner is going through a challenging time and needs you to be around more than usual. Would you be willing to delay progress in your career to make your relationship work?
- Planning Rosters Together
The beauty of this job is that it is not a 9 – 5 routine like most other professions. The downside is that it can be hard to spend quality time together if your schedules don’t match. To avoid missing each other, discuss how to request flights every month to increase the chances of being on the ground at the same time. Some of the more progressive airlines understand the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance, so they are accommodating of crew married to each other – they’ll make a point of designing rosters to ensure maximum time at home together.
- Holidays and Special Events
Unfortunately, holiday seasons are peak travel periods and bringing people’s families together is only possible by spending time apart from your own. With some creativity, you can still find a way to celebrate with the one you love. For example, move Christmas celebrations from the 25th of December to a day when you are both off duty. And request days off for special events such as birthdays and school concerts (especially when children are involved).
- Disturbed Sleep
We are all aware that pilots sleep schedules are disturbed by odd working hours. But what most don’t realize is that it also affects their partner’s quality of sleep. When waking up at 1 am for duty, it’s hard to get ready without accidentally waking up your significant other. Perhaps having a spare room to get ready in during awkward hours of the morning is a suitable strategy. You wouldn’t want your husband/wife to have fatigue because of you.
- Building a Support Network
Things can become complicated once children enter the picture. However, this is true for any family where both parents are career-orientated professionals. Having a proper support network is the only way to maintain a healthy relationship while balancing all the rest. This network could be in the form of family, reliable friends or external services such as a care-taker. The option you choose would most likely depend on your location – if your career took you to another continent, the chances are you won’t have family nearby to help you through the challenges.
- Being Their Biggest Supporter
How would you feel if your wife was upgraded to Captain before you? Would you still cheer them on if their career progressed faster than yous? This industry is full of surprises – airlines that are here one day cease to exist the next. Being supportive through the ups and downs will create happiness despite the circumstances.
Whether you met in flight school or on the job, as you can see, dating another pilot shouldn’t be viewed as a disaster waiting to happen. Every profession has its challenges. Possibly dating someone within your own will give you greater insights into their difficulties.
Just remember that nothing worth having comes easy.
Hopefully, these tips help you flourish in your relationships – and in the future, you’ll be passing on the advice of what you did to make your marriage last. Then, you’ll be proof that love is in the air and that pilots can have successful relationships.
ABOUT GUEST WRITER:
27-year-old influencer, blogger, female pilot and a former flight attendant with a love for aviation. Well-known as Aviatrix West, originally from Canada but grew up in South Africa.
After working as a flight attendant in the Middle East, Aviatrix moved to Belgium to pursue a career as a pilot – after completing her Airbus A320 skills test. Aviatrix also holds a degree in Architecture
My aim is to help others realize their dreams in aviation by providing guidance to both flight attendants and pilots. I’d especially like women to see how exciting and accessible a career as a pilot is.
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