Dating a Sailor

Sailors are one of the most exciting people to know – they go to faraway places, live a life of camaraderie aboard and get to taste the challenges of sailing on the open seas. However dating a sailor could be full of ups and downs. Here is a brief guide to what you can look forward to and how you can cope with the problems of dating a sailor.

How to find a sailor to date?

Traditionally the best places to meet a sailor have been the bars and drinking holes around ports. While this still holds true, there are several other ways to meet sailors like attending speed dating events or community celebrations in cities like Houston or Florida which are important halts for ships and thus have large floating sailor populations. Also if you are keen to meet a sailor, make it a point to attend Fleet Week celebrations or other Navy-based military events where you can come across handsome men in uniform. Besides these you can always look up dating websites which either cater specifically to the relationship requirements of marine professionals or have a vast pool of users from where you are certain find someone akin to your preferences.

Keep yourself grounded

When dating a sailor, it is necessary to have an open mind. The conventional image of a sailor is that of a rough-hewn guy who drinks as hard as he swears. Now while stereotypes are usually exaggerated, most often they are built around commonly found characteristics. So you might find your date drinking more than other men, but perhaps he can also hold his drink better than others. Again sailors are believed to have a girl waiting for them at every port, but this could be true of sales executives and airline pilots as well who travel a lot on account of business. So, be grounded to facts when you are dating a sailor and avoid blindly believing in popular perceptions. Go on with other aspects of your life when your sailor partner is unavailable – this will prevent you from obsessing over what he is doing or who he is with. And if you want to get serious about your guy, you can discuss the modalities of a relationship with him so that each of you are clear about the other’s expectations.

Adapt to a sailor’s schedule

Since a sailor’s work schedule is likely to be random and subject to change at short notice, they often have unpredictable leisure hours; so while you were planning an intimate evening with your guy, you may be shocked with a call that he can’t make it. On the other hand, if you are still winding up things at your workplace, your sailor partner may call you up to know if he can meet you within an hour. Also you may not always be able to spend important occasions like anniversaries and birthdays together. To cope with all this, you need to understand that a sailor’s duty and leisure hours are rarely within his control and you simply have to be ready to enjoy whenever he is free or on leave from ship duty.

Stay in touch

The biggest drawback of a relationship with a sailor is perhaps their absence for long stretches of time. A salesman or a journalist may also be on the move but then they are usually back home after a couple of days or a week at the most. Sailors, whether in civilian or naval ships, often have to spend months together on the sea. As a result you may not only be physically separated from your partner but also find him emotionally unavailable in times of crisis or need. However these days there are several ways of keeping in touch across distances. Cell phones are the most convenient of them and for regions where there is no network, satellite phones can be used. Sometimes however use of phones may not be permitted on board for security purposes and on such occasions, you can use the internet to reach out to your partner. Send emails, chat or use Skype to communicate with each other. Above all, be sure to write regular letters to your sailor boyfriend. Few things embody so much emotion and symbolism as a hand-written letter from a beloved across the seas.

Respect a sailor’s professional compulsions

For security reasons, sailors are often not allowed to disclose all aspects of their duty, even to their family members, and this is especially true of someone who is working for the naval forces. So you may find your partner not exactly forthcoming on when he will touch shore or where he is heading after this port. Thus when dating, be mature enough to understand these compulsions instead of berating your partner for his evasiveness or worse interpreting it as disinterest on his part.

Be patient

Sailors are more than aware of the many challenges that are posed by their profession in the way of a healthy relationship based on mutual give-and-take. Not only is your sailor likely to be absent for most of the times, as the resident partner you will have to take over all the responsibilities of running a home and family, should you both decide to have a committed relationship. In order to cope with this way of life, you need to be armed with loads of patience and a mature outlook. Apart from having faith in your partner and supporting him in his job, it also helps if you have an active life of your own. Take up a job you like and cultivate a support network of friends and family who will help you fill up the absences when your partner isn’t around. Nurture a couple of interesting hobbies which will not only help you to spend time on your own but also enrich your personality. And then when your partner comes home from the seas, you both can give each other your undivided attention.