As someone who has dated flight attendants both before and after becoming one myself, I can tell you that it is exhausting. We are always tired, we can be hard to reach, we’re constantly switching time zones, and we’re distant – in every sense of the word. But on the flip side – our patience level is high, we are incredibly attentive to the needs of others, our sense of adventure is unmatched, and we always know where to find the best food in just about any city. We’re not easy to love, but we’re most definitely worth it.
One of the most common questions we get as a couple of married flight attendants is, “How do you make it all work?” Between hectic schedules and working for different airlines, no one seems to understand how we keep our relationship going strong. We admit, being away from home as often as we are can make it difficult to maintain any sense of normalcy, but who wants to be normal anyway?
We keep our lives intertwined and yet separate. It keeps things from getting stale and monotonous. We have plenty of things in common, but we also celebrate the fact that each other has different interests outside of our relationship and our careers. If one of us wants to explore a new hobby or activity, then the other will cheer proudly from the sidelines. If one of us needs a night out with a friend, we don’t feel left out or bothered by it. These experiences only make our time together that much more full of life, laughter, and conversation.
We absolutely love traveling together but traveling separately for work has its advantages, too. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and they’re not wrong. As in any relationship, “me time” is so important so that you don’t lose yourself. You never want to wake up one day and realize you’ve lost sight of who you are. With overnights in hotels in cities across the globe, “me time” is basically built into our schedules as flight crew. You can put on a robe, pour yourself a glass of wine, and watch all sorts of trashy TV or movies that your significant other may not want to indulge in with you. By the time you get home, you’re missing your significant other and are ready for a romantic evening – that is, of course, right after you don’t talk to anyone for a couple of hours. Everybody needs to decompress after a trip.
If you can’t celebrate a holiday on the actual holiday, choose a different date and commit to it to make it just as special – except for New Year’s Eve because yelling “Happy New Year” on January 2nd is very anticlimactic… trust us, we’ve tried it. Plus, your neighbors will think that you’re insane anyway.
When ‘Two Guys On A Plane’ first met – we were living in two different cities, so we had to deal with long-distance and you know that doesn’t always work out. We had two options: put in a ton of effort to spend time together or simply not see each other at all. We both quickly realized that going the extra mile was far more worthwhile than not being a part of each other’s lives. Putting in that much effort and planning into every single date made things challenging but helped us see that what we were doing was worth it. While I admit having flight benefits made things easier for us than most couples, long distance can work if the two parties are willing to meet halfway – literally and figuratively. There were times when I was trying harder to see him, and times when he was trying harder to see me, but the important part is that we were both trying. Neither of us had felt like we were risking it all just to be together. We were both being vulnerable and putting ourselves out there. There were never expectations that one of us would be forced to give anything up; we embraced who the other person was, respected what their life looked like already, and either we fit into each other’s worlds or we didn’t. It was that simple. When it came time for our relationship to take the next step, things began to fall into place and our decision became quite clear: do we want to be together or not? It was far less complex than you’d think dating would typically be, and it’s continued to be that way ever since.
Communication in any relationship is paramount, and even more so when you’re apart from each other so often. Relationships aren’t easy, but as humans we love to complicate things when we don’t have to. We talk to each other about what works for us and what doesn’t, we find ways to keep life exciting, and we make sure that neither one of us ever wakes up and thinks, “Where did I go?”
It doesn’t matter how crazy, ridiculous, or off the wall your thoughts may be, if you can’t be honest and open with your partner about what’s on your mind, you ain’t gonna make it. Schedule date nights, schedule time apart, talk on the phone, FaceTime, text, sext, do whatever works for you to keep the magic alive. Throw out any ideas of “normal” relationships that you may have in your head and spice it up a little. Take some time for yourself and live your own life, it honestly could be exactly what your relationship needs… and our best piece of advice: never, ever stop “dating” each other.
Romantic comedies make dating look alarmingly magical. A few perfect dates in and it’s time to get married, but that’s not realistic, is it? We know what you’re thinking, aren’t these ‘Two Guys’ married? Well, yes, we are – but we owe it all to being happily single! Every time people say to us “I wish I had what you two have” – we both smile. We smile because of all the experiences you could have in life, it’s completely okay to put romantic relationships on the back burner. First and foremost, it’s so important to be in a committed relationship with yourself, because chances are there’s a better version of you that you’re working towards. Spend time with that human and love them unconditionally before allowing someone else to be a part of your life. As cliché as it may be, RuPaul said it best: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Put you first, and then you’ll suddenly find space to allow someone else into your little world. Then, conveniently, that person will somehow find themselves drawn to you… trust us. It’s a whole universe thing. You’ll see.
My husband and I are each other’s person through and through, but we also know how crucial it is to just be true to yourself and still maintain your own identity, especially when in a relationship. Long before we knew each other, we both spent many years of our lives losing ourselves while being involved in toxic relationships. When we first met, neither one of us wanted anything to do with commitment, oddly enough, and yet that’s when it came to us in the absolute best way. It was so unintentional and carefree that it was honest, and it was blunt. By the time we both caught on to the fact that we had feelings for each other, they were much deeper than either of us realized. Sure, we were dating, but neither of us had any expectations or put any pressure on ourselves. The beginning of our relationship was organic because neither of us were trying too hard or worrying about messing things up. We were both putting in the same level of energy, and it’s because neither of us were “looking” that we got exactly what we were looking for.
So now back to you, how does that translate? It’s actually pretty easy. Sit down, figure out what you want for yourself, and go live your best life! Be afraid of absolutely nothing – except maybe spiders. That’s a valid fear. Burn your house down and move. Otherwise, take risks, travel to new places, and try new things. The worst thing that could happen is you realize that you simply don’t like whatever it is you’ve tried doing. You’ll be much happier with yourself for doing it anyway before you find yourself trapped in a relationship having no idea who you are at the core. Don’t let age get in the way of this journey, either. Don’t say you’re either too old or too young for something, because it’s simply not true. Don’t compare yourself to people around you and what they have, because their journey is exactly that – their journey.
Sometimes, the best travel companion is you! Go see places by yourself. And don’t tell yourself you can’t afford it, either. Pack a backpack, some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and go stay in a hostel for a couple of nights somewhere. If you want to make it work, you will. This isn’t the time for excuses. You don’t have to go to Indonesia for three months alone, start smaller than that. Go to dinner or a movie, spend time dating yourself first, and getting to know who you are. Take a little road trip or weekend getaway, or even just a day to pamper yourself. You don’t necessarily have to “Eat. Pray. Love.” it – just hang out with you because you’re awesome! You’ll be surprised by how much there is to learn about yourself.
Now, we’re not advocating for the single life forever, but just learn to be independent, so when you find your person, you can continue that journey along and be authentically you. If your person is out of town, go out and have fun! If they’re not okay with you living your life to the fullest, you’re with the wrong person and you need to run anyway! Maybe you don’t want to go out without them, that’s okay, too. You’re not looking for someone who completes you, you’re looking for someone who complements you. Your significant other should be someone who adds value to your life. That’s right, we’re Marie Kondo-ing it. Does this person spark joy? No? Get rid of them. Life is too short to be anything but happy.
So as we enter coupling season, do yourselves a favor – catch flights, not feelings! Don’t go chasing someone simply to have a relationship because you’ll end up annoyed or heartbroken, or both. Take the adventure you’ve always dreamt about. You’ll get to a point where you are finally happy with yourself and where you are in life. You’ll be grateful for what you have and yet at the same time, grateful for what you don’t have. And sometimes, when you least expect it, someone will walk into your life and add value to your journey. You never know where your life will take you. Say hi to your seat mate on your next flight, they could be the one! Or, they could be a weirdo. Feel it out. Trust your gut. But sometimes you get lucky.