Dating a pilot

It’s been almost eight months since my first date with The Pilot, almost seven months since I consider us “together,” and almost six months since he considers us “together.” 

I feel like I was born to date a pilot.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I tend to get rather clingy in a relationship while, at the same time, hanging tightly on to my independence.  It’s been a problem in more than one of my past relationships, and I actually wondered at one point if I had a disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder.  It’s been a while since then, but I came to that conclusion after searching online and pretty much self-diagnosing.  I was absolutely miserable in the relationship I was in at the time.  I felt like M didn’t spend enough time with me (“an irrational fear of abandonment and an inability to be alone”), but when he did spend time with me, I wanted him the fuck out of my life.  I was so depressed, so moody, I would have multi-hour breakdowns almost daily, and when I did a search online, I found a book called I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me, and suddenly I felt like I had an answer.  Maybe this what was wrong with me.

More than likely, I was just miserable, having moved 1000 miles away from everyone I knew to be with a man who changed into someone else after a life-changing (but completely minor) accident.  Regardless, I’ve noticed the same issues in other relationships – I get upset if I feel like he doesn’t spend enough time with me, but when he’s with me I feel almost claustrophobic, and I push him away. 

That’s why dating a pilot works out so well for me.  He’s gone half the time, and I get my independence, my “me” time.  And then he’s home, and we spend time together.  It works out really well, as long as I remember to take it one day at a time, and not plan ahead.  Because as soon as I start planning, say, to take him to a party to meet some friends, I get disappointed, because he can’t go, either because he’s working or because he has other plans.  And the disappointment can be a killer. 

I was having some…issues…the other day, and I did a search for “dating a pilot” to see if anyone else was going through what I was going through.  And what I found is that there are some great blogs from wives and girlfriends of pilots (as well as a facebook group).  The one thing they all seem to say is that independence and trust is key.  I’ve certainly got the independence part down, and I don’t have an issue with trust.  People have asked me if I worry about The Pilot being away – you hear all those stories about pilots who have another family across the country, or sexual relationships among the flight crew.  But I don’t worry about that – I think trust should be given outright, not earned, if you’re in a relationship with someone.  Because a relationship is nothing without trust.

What’s really funny is that in my search, I actually found dating websites specifically for people who want to date pilots, and I realized that there are a lot of women who are infatuated with them.  Like I said, I never really thought about it, so it surprised me.  I’ve never had a thing for men in uniform.  I’ve seen pilots in uniform before and, except for the occasional super-hottie, I’ve never been attracted to them.  I’ve never even wondered how you meet them (although, “the airport” seems like the logical conclusion there).  When The Pilot and I first started dating, I didn’t think much about his career, other than the possible perks (hey, free flights!).  Even when he took me flying, it was not something I thought much about.  And then…

And then I had to fly somewhere.  I was sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight, watching out the window as the pilots did their checks, taxied, and took off.  And suddenly, I found pilots so incredibly sexy, if mine had been around we would have needed to find a very private place.  Now, when I see him in uniform, I get very, very wicked thoughts in my head. 😉

The one thing that is the hardest to get used to is this:  I will never come first.  It’s something that I’ve read on other blogs, and I’ve learned for myself.  The Job is always first.  And the schedule is done month to month, so there is no planning of vacations.  I pretty much will never get weekends or holidays.  It’s just a given.  It will never be “All About Me.”  That’s a tough concept to deal with.  I’m working on it.  And I usually do pretty well at remembering this:  If he’s not with me, it’s not because he doesn’t want to be.  It’s because his schedule is shit.  And he has pretty much no say in it.

Yeah, that part sucks.

Why it’s worth the effort.

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5 responses to “Dating a pilot

  1. Wow. I really liked the blog: Why it’s worth it. It makes me see it from another perspective. Very interesting. Dating a pilot is a different sort of life and you have to appreciate it for what it’s worth. My only thought is: what happens when you have kids? How does that work when Daddy is always in the clouds? I think that would be very hard.

  2. delightfuleccentric

    Everything I’ve read elsewhere says what you might think they say – Having kids with a pilot is basically like being a single parent. So, yeah, I would think it’s quite difficult.

    And, yeah, a COMPLETELY different life!!

  3. The travel thing would be awesome…and the me time. I suppose it just takes time and compromise getting used to an unconventional lifestyle. But it sounds like if you can make it work and you have the personality that could benefit from that kind of arrangement, it would be awesome.

  4. Partner of a Pilot

    Very good blog post. I’m so glad you liked my blog! I think that you have to ignore all of the stereotyping-because anyone who let themselves get to bogged down in it would go insane very quickly!

    Bf and I have children, and he is a long-haul pilot, and whilst at times it can be difficult-I have to say that it has major perks too!

    I selfishly love that I’m the ‘constant’ in their lives (does that sound terrible?) and I also love a chance to spoil them rotten and do things 100% my way when he’s not home! Hehe…

  5. As I read through this blog I thought you were reading my mind. I’m having a hard time right now in dating a pilot and some of the things you mention are key…if only I had someone like you to talk to who understands what its like dating a pilot. Sounds like we have similar relationship histories too. In an odd way this set my mind a bit at ease.