Often, healthcare travelers forgo many social activities during assignments because they know their time in any one location could be limited to just a few months. Many younger nurse travelers decide that the traveling lifestyle is best suited for gaining experience, choosing a career path, and saving money. Dating, for example, is easily sacrificed in favor of those other pursuits.
Social activities, however, are an integral part of maintaining both a balanced life and positive mental health. For this reason alone, nurse travelers should reprioritize dating while in the field, regardless of how long their contract lasts. But mental health isn’t the only reason. Here are five more:
1. Discover Who You Are
Healthcare travelers have the opportunity to explore unique areas of the country, enjoy varied cultural experiences and experience different healthcare systems. Dating provides a similar opportunity. It is every person’s chance to see how they connect with someone new and experience that person’s unique point of view.
Also, by engaging in new relationships, people become more well-rounded and empathetic – two traits vital in the healthcare field. Learning how someone experiences day-to-day life can change world views, inform career decisions and open up new opportunities to grow. Relationships tell us more about who you are than they tell you about the person you are dating.
2. Discover Your Type
Regardless of whether you live in Seattle for three months before taking a six-month contract with a healthcare system in Tampa Bay, dating during those short sprints gives you the opportunity to figure out the type of person you like to date. Do you like someone who plans every aspect of the date or someone who is more into going with the flow?
Approaching dating similar to how you approach travel assignments – brief opportunities to learn about new people and places – will help you down the road when dating becomes a more serious proposition. You can even use a service like Matchmaker DC to help you find a date.
3. Explore New Cultures
If you are new to healthcare traveling, you may only know the people and culture from the city and state where you grew up. Traveling to new cities, big and small – and in some cases all around the globe – means absorbing all-new cultural traits. There’s no better way to understand a new location and all its quirks than by dating someone who lives and breathes the city.
Approaching dating this way allows you to focus on who you date and what you want from each day or night out. You can direct your date to take you to their favorite restaurant, best museum, and off-the-beaten-path hotspot. Plus, you have a fun tour guide who is sure to make each experience extra special.
4. Make New Friends
Even saying the word dating makes every encounter with someone in your new city sound too serious. So don’t call it dating. Instead, focus on finding a friend who will help stave off boredom and loneliness during your days off. They may also help you avoid burnout, which many nurse travelers encounter sometime during their careers.
Romance doesn’t have to come part and parcel with dating. As long as you set the rules, you can find a good friend who is happy to spend time talking about your crazy co-worker or share a pizza and a movie.
5. Put Down Roots
Just as healthcare travelers often find their forever job during their time as nomadic professionals, dating could net you a future spouse. Often travelers who choose not to date do so out of a fear of commitment or worry that they will fall for someone and then have to move just as things get serious.
No one knows when they will meet the right person, though. Deciding not to date, however, ensures that you do not even have the chance. And healthcare travelers are known for taking chances on new cities and new opportunities. When the right person comes along, take the chance.
While focusing on your career and building a nest egg are excellent goals for any healthcare traveler, those goals shouldn’t come at the expense of your social life. Dating can help you balance life and work while exploring your new location in a unique and adventurous way.