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My partner is a nurse. This statement would be innocuous if it weren’t for the fact that they work long hours and are constantly on call. In fact, their job has led to some serious communication issues in our relationship—and we’ve only been together for six months! Here’s what I’ve learned about how to make sure your significant other is happy and healthy when they’re working long hours at the hospital:

1. Forgo the romantic date nights

Date nights are hard to plan and expensive.

  • They are time-consuming, because you have to coordinate with your partner’s schedule.

  • They can be awkward, especially if it’s the first one you go on together.

  • And they can be stressful, even dangerous: You might end up sitting in a restaurant next to someone who is sick with something contagious!

2. Do not plan a holiday

The only thing you can plan for is the worst. You don’t know if they’ll have a 24-hour shift and be able to leave straight away, or if they’ll have no breaks between shifts and need to stay overnight in hospital. You won’t know which local attractions will be closed on the day of your visit, or which ones will still be open but packed with crowds.

You might want to give yourself an extra day before your holiday starts so that you can see what kind of weather conditions are expected during your trip (this is especially important if it looks like rain). Or maybe you could work out how much money you’re going to need while travelling—if not all at once then at least enough to tide you over until some point in time when things might get better financially? But what if this doesn’t happen? What if everything works out perfectly? What then?

3. Always expect the unexpected

It’s important to always expect the unexpected.

Filled with surprise!

When my partner comes home from work, I never know what she might be bringing home with her. One time it was a rabbit that needed a hospital stay for an hour or so before being released into the wild (or at least it got put on top of their fridge). Another time, it was a bag of kittens and kittens aren’t known for their ability to fend for themselves. But one thing is certain: when you’re dating someone who works in healthcare, you should always be ready for anything!

4. Don’t ever wait for them

This is the most important thing you can do for your partner, and it’s something that you should always keep in mind: Don’t wait for them.

I know I just said not to expect them home at a certain time or on a specific day, but this is a little different because it applies when they are home as well. There will be times when your partner is busy with work and unable to help you with whatever task you may need assistance with—and that’s okay! Just because they aren’t there doesn’t mean they aren’t thinking about their loved ones; if anything, it shows how much they care about others by sacrificing their free time so others can get what they need done without having to worry about getting their hands dirty themselves. This means that sometimes (okay, often) we have to do things alone even if our partners are around—but fear not! We learned long ago how independent we can be without relying solely on one person for everything…

5. Learn to not take it personally

It’s impossible not to take it personally when your partner is a nurse. But you absolutely must learn how, because there are a few things that are guaranteed to happen:

  • They’re going to be working long hours and will have little time for you.

  • They’ll be stressed out, which means they won’t always be in the best mood when they come home (or even on their days off).

  • They’ll be tired because they didn’t get enough sleep last night, or maybe even this morning! And if those three things weren’t enough, sometimes the stress of their job can rub off on your relationship and make them grumpy with you too!

7. Give them time off and make sure they do it right

It’s important that you give your partner time off from being a nurse. That way, they can have time to recharge their batteries and be ready for another shift. And if you’re going to do this, make sure it is done right!

Everyone needs breaks in their day/week/life; it’s important for healing, nurturing relationships with family and friends and even just enjoying hobbies. As a partner of a nurse (or any healthcare professional), it’s critical that we understand these pressures so that we can help them take the time off they need without feeling guilty about it or questioning whether or not they are doing the right thing by taking said time off.

If you want to be supportive of your partner’s career choice in nursing or any other field within healthcare then show them how much you care by giving them some love when they need it most—even though sometimes those moments may seem like busy times at work instead of downtime at home!


Nursing is a tough job, and it can be especially difficult to deal with when your partner is away from home. However, if you’re willing to give us some space every now and then and allow us to take care of ourselves as well as our patients, we promise we will return the favor in spades!