Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

“I could never cope with a relationship with a pilot”


I have not written a huge amount over the past few weeks as I have been SO rushed off my feet. It’s all good though-most of it has been social events and nights out. I have been busy helping my mum prepare for an interview presentation too as she is facing a possible redundancy; and with dad already having been made redundant, it is a worrying time for them.

It’s weird how things turn out. All my non-aviation friends at some point have talked about how they ‘could not cope with a relationship with a pilot’ or the time he spends away… It’s such an assumptive comment to make, that I often wonder if this is true; or whether faced with being in love with one, they too would learn to cope with it the way I have. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I could deal with Bf’s choice of career as an airline pilot at the start; but here we are, still together and sprogged up… Living the life like it was always pre-destined.

These days, any tiffs we have tend not to be related to his career or lifestyle, but rather the usual stuff that most couples have disagreements about.

It’s funny, but yesterday, a friend that I met at my antenatal group confided in me that she and her partner had separated. They were engaged, and their son is only just over a year old. She is the third friend of mine (not related to the aviation industry) with a baby this age to tell me that they are splitting from the father of their child in the past few months.  It really makes me think about my relationship when I hear things like this so close to home. It seems so soon after they have had their child to be going their separate ways; especially as having a child is such a life changing event!

Bf and I by no means have a perfect relationship. At times I have feel like I’ve had enough of things! But then I calm down and realise that I am normally at least half of the problem, and knowing that I love him and would actually hate to wake up in the morning without any prospect of him in my day-to-day life. It makes me more committed to working harder at the relationship.

This relationship has not always been an easy ride. We have definitely had our fair share of bumps in the road, but together we have worked through them.  I honestly believe that this has strengthened the bond between us and made our relationship stronger as a result.

I never cease to be amazed over the reasons that I hear for couples splitting up. One of the guys left the 35 year old mother of his 1 year old (who is also pregnant with his his second child) for a girl of 16 years old! He gave her no real reason, it just came out of the blue! I cannot even imagine how I would begin to deal with that; but she has been a tower of strength.

Another guy left his wife and mother of their 9 month old for another woman apparently because apparently she hadn’t lost her baby weight quickly enough for him!  It had caused numerous arguments between them. His relationship with ‘the other woman’ lasted less than a month. In the mean time, my friend has lost weight, gone back to work and has her life reasonably back on track; and she has since had the opportunity of rejecting his offer of returning to her!

It makes me appreciate having a man who loves me through my imperfections. I just don’t think that people work hard enough at their relationships these days. I think that many women are so obsessed with marriage, that they are not as focused on whether they are with the right man to start with. I was definitely guilty of this with my ex.

I think that ‘bumps in the road’ sort the strong relationships from the weak too… How you handle these issues as a couple can define the strength of your bond together. It strikes me, that many couples work really hard at making their relationship successful all the time that they are working towards marriage or children, and then in some cases they start to take this success for granted. They simply expect the relationship to work out. The truth is that all relationships need to be worked at if the love and respect is to last.

I think that Bf being a pilot may actually have strengthened our relationship simply because we have had to work harder at it from the start. I know that there is no way I would have stayed with him if I were not convinced that he is the right man for me. The major problem with ‘Mr. Right’ though for me, is teaching him that his first name isn’t ‘Always’… This I think, MAY be a pilot trait! 😉

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20 Responses to ““I could never cope with a relationship with a pilot””

  1. Hi. I like your blog. I have been dating an airline pilot for the past 8 months and it has been a high speed initiation into the aviation industry. On the positive, the relationship is either all on or all off – meaning he is home and 100% available or away in another country and incommunicado. This eliminates any discussions of “needing space” which can happen in other relationships – space is built in. Also on the positive, he has taken me on 3 great trips in 8 months, 2 international – other men promise this sort of thing but never deliver. First class to Europe and back was incredible. Like many airline pilots he is adventurous, worldly, smart and confident. He also is well aware of the pitfalls of his career on relationships and tries very hard to make up for them.

    Sometimes I wonder though how things will play out over the long haul. He has been away for almost 3 weeks now, with 2 overnighters in between trips. This is not his usual schedule but worked out that way for various reasons. 3 weeks have been difficult and I’ve told him he needs to get a calling card or a satellite phone. Honestly, it’s been a little painful. I dont mind 4 day trips, with 3 days in between, but getting close to a month is a bit much. Meanwhile, there always seems to be an envious male friend around, who encourages you to break up with the pilot and date a normal guy like him… not to mention whoever he meets on trips.

    My sister asks me how I cope with worries about safety, but I know that statistically speaking, highway travel is worse than air travel… but I still check flight tracker to be sure he’s landed.

    I dont know. It’s worked out well so far, as long as he can balance his trips better I think things will continue. I have difficulty finding activities which can keep me busy while he’s away but be dropped when he’s back, which is how he would prefer it. I’m a 9-5er, so that presents its own challenges with travel and spending time together. Despite the challenges, things have progressed exceedingly well.

    Maybe this is a long rant but it’s nice to be able to discuss it, so many friends cant relate and just see the travel perks.

  2. Hi!
    Tonight, I am sitting in my bed, and am missing someone very much. The guy I like is a pilot as well, and we recently started to connect, and I think we are starting to progress into “dating” territory. I really am finding out that the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder…” really is true. I knew from the beginning, that it was going to be hard to even think of the possibility of making this work, but after this week, and a three and a half hour long conversation over drinks, and getting to know one another, I feel like we are connecting so well. I have never been so comfortable, and I think he is feeling the same way. I am not saying, I am going to marry this man (yet lol) hahaha but I feel like we are gaining some common ground sharing interests, and our pasts…and it is nice to have someone to talk to, finally. After we went out on Tuesday, he took my daughter and I to lunch this Friday, and it seemed like they had a great connection. I have always been straight forward about my daughter being the #1 concern for me right now. But I need to have a life too, so I decided ok, I am going to do this…so I did, and they connected so well. I wanted to kiss him goodbye so badly, but the timing and the kid weren’t so great, lol. But I did buy him some of his favorite candy to take on his plane ride. And then I sent him a text before his flight left that night saying I hope we can see each other when he gets back, and he said I will see you when you get back and that he had a blast with my daughter and I…

    So I guess maybe this means I am in a start of a relationship, with a pilot.

    I know this seems odd, but I knew what I was getting into in the beginning, and honestly, its been hard, wondering why no calls, no texts…all that stuff because you know, they cannot get to a phone, but for some reason, I feel like our connection is so strong, that we will be able to pick up where we left off. Its like Dee said in her comment, there is no need to say, “I need space” or “I need me-time”. I have an extremely busy life as well, I am a single mom, graduating from college, work everyday…as a private lesson piano teacher…so I am just as busy.

    I just can’t wait for him to finally get back because I like feeling connected. It’s a nice feeling especially in a world where true and honest people are hard to find. GIRLS, we are lucky to be with such great men. Stay strong! And thanks for your blog, it is nice to know I am not alone!

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  4. I met a guy no doubt he is a pilot from usa and working here in India.Our first meet was awesome, never knew that i would meet someone like that. Later i started to have a feels for him but after few months i realize he is back with his us girl here in India.
    We had a talk about it and later on i found that he is that sort of guy looking for some one for fun now that really hurt. So i decided to walk away from his life without a word because am not kind of person. I heard some people think life is all about “Sex” and indeed he has prove it to true.
    No matter what i believe some day he would realize that life is not just all about “Sex” only nor its a game.
    Where ever, what ever, who ever life is precious so try to be protective, be a cap man.

    😉

    • Awwww, Grace that really sucks, I’m sorry you had your heart broken! Which airline did he fly with out there, I know there are a few that take on US pilots out there

  5. It takes an understanding partner to date a pilot.

    Anyone who flies (particularly in the early part of his/her career) will be devoted and committed to the job before all others, and especially if he/she has had to finance the training to First Officer standard. The bank loan will be large, but the rewards in years to come will be many.

  6. Good afternoon…reading the blogs above I had to put my two cents in. I dated a pilot for almost 2 years and will say it was the hardest time of my life…more so when he cheated on me (and they are no ‘in love’ after only 2 months) but that was just the end of it all. In any man, whether he’s a pilot, a teacher or a CEO of a company, there will always be temptation because of their status but the person with strong values will be the last to bite the apple. Now, with a pilot, I believe there are more cases of infidelity based on the stories I heard from the guy I dated. If you are willing to put up with:
    1. 2-3 Days of seeing him and then splitting that time with his friends
    2. Him not calling for hours or days at a time
    3. Him thinking it’s OK to give his number out to stewardesses he works with infrequently
    4. Him traveling on the days off that he has to meet up with friends (girls) and you’re not invited
    5. Being in a long distance relationship (b/c that’s what it actually is)
    6. The loneliness that comes with him not ‘being there’
    7. Good lead above, him not able to join you for important events b/c he has to work…
    8. If ever it gets this far, being a single mom b/c basically when they’re tired, they don’t want to take care of the kids and then b/c of not wanting to take care of the crying baby, you both get into an arugument and he says things like, “I’m starting to feel sorry for myself again” and “I can’t wait to leave but at the same time when I’m not home, I miss them” (one of his best friends said that several times. Oh and that he wished he didn’t have a child).
    9. Sex or lack there of b/c of exhaustion
    10. His terrible sef-centered attitude

    I won’t ever do it again and I would hope anyone thinking its glamorous to date a pilot, it is not.

    • Been there done that and I think we dated the same person, LOL. Someone once asked me about all of the benefits of dating a pilot. There are none, not one.

    • Yes, I alo think I dated him. It’s the worst, especially when you’re dating a person who is not sympathetic and has a plethora of women in his past. I’d never wish dating a pilot on anyone. If you have success with a relationship, then you are with a rare and evolved man.

  7. Good afternoon…reading the blogs above I had to put my two cents in. I dated a pilot for almost 2 years and will say it was the hardest time of my life…more so when he cheated on me (and they are ‘in love’ after only 2 months) but that was just the end of it all. In any man, whether he’s a pilot, a teacher or a CEO of a company, there will always be temptation because of their status but the person with strong values will be the last to bite the apple. Now, with a pilot, I believe there are more cases of infidelity based on the stories I heard from the guy I dated. If you are willing to put up with:
    1. 2-3 Days of seeing him and then splitting that time with his friends
    2. Him not calling for hours or days at a time
    3. Him thinking it’s OK to give his number out to stewardesses he works with infrequently
    4. Him traveling on the days off that he has to meet up with friends (girls) and you’re not invited
    5. Being in a long distance relationship (b/c that’s what it actually is)
    6. The loneliness that comes with him not ‘being there’
    7. Good lead above, him not able to join you for important events b/c he has to work…
    8. If ever it gets this far, being a single mom b/c basically when they’re tired, they don’t want to take care of the kids and then b/c of not wanting to take care of the crying baby, you both get into an arugument and he says things like, “I’m starting to feel sorry for myself again” and “I can’t wait to leave but at the same time when I’m not home, I miss them” (one of his best friends said that several times. Oh and that he wished he didn’t have a child).
    9. Sex or lack there of b/c of exhaustion
    10. His terrible sef-centered attitude

    I won’t ever do it again and I would hope anyone thinking its glamorous to date a pilot, it is not.

    • I am dating a pilot and the relationship seems to be going wrong. Everything was great to start with – great sex, laughing but then I found “something” in his glove box and his”pills” in his airline bag which made me suspicious. He had a valid excuse about them but somehow I didnt believe him. OUr relationship is struggling at the moment because he says I am suspcious and untrusting. I was married for a long time before losing my dear husband and not used to the behaviour this pilot exhibits – I was full of life to begin with until I began to notice he is always on his phone, texting and emailing – looks shifty at times – I have this feeling he is up to no good and I cant shake it off. He says I am damaging this relationship – but when I find he has a birthday card sent to him and he hides it and then we have a row because I mentioned he hadnt brought it with him. Obviously it was from a female and if it was innocent why did he hide it? All these things make me feel very insecure. He was very keen to profess his undying love in the very early stages – wants to know my finances so that we can “retire” together even though I am not near retirement age yet. He is 60. I cant talk to him about things because he gets stroppy. I know he has 3 phones + he has lots of emails addresses. Says he has nothing to hide – well I think he does. He has pictures of his flight attendants on his camera – and they all seem to be a similar type! I love him dearly but feel he doesnt really love me – and thats why I cant commit. He has done some very strange things – I know his bed was not slept in one night but he said I’d imagined it. I’d made the bed the previous week and I make it in such a way he cannot copy – when I got into bed it had not been touched. He had spent the night somewhere else. I would bet money on it. So all in all his behaviour makes me very insecure and uncomfortable but fool I am, I love him. I dont trust him – he has to earn it and so far he has done nothing to make me feel good. He has even moved in with me as such although he has his own couple of properties and owns his own plane. I earn very little but he is quite happy for me to buy meals etc for him. I never complain because whats the point. He says hes coming at a certain time and then changes it 2 or 3 times – I dont know where I am. If I question him over it he will say “you dont trust me” well hes right – I think he is down right shifty at times but now he is making me feel as if I am crazy and imaging it all! I know the things he does and the things h e has done but theres no point in having it out with him because he will say I am blaming him again and its all his fault. I notice has has others email addresses but has he ever asked for mine – I dont think so. I dont know what to do with myself most of the time he is away and I get very low and when he comes back and says straight away – do you want the good news or the bad – it just winds me up. In short – its not worth the heartache going out with a pilot – theres too much temptation out there. And from my experience of this particular guy saying he never tells lies – well I’ve found him out on many an occasion.

      • Hi Jane,

        You’re right-trust has to be earned. This guy as some very questionnabe habits, and if he is innocent; he is shooting HIMSELF in the foot with his defensive, murky antics. You have every right to want openness and total honesty, and not to just blindly trust someone. He has no right to simply make you feel bad for having what come accross as perfectional rational doubts!

        If you are wrong, and he truly loves you; he should WANT to do everything in his power to show you that you’re wrong without shifting the burden of responsibility on to you for his lack of openness.

        If he is in fact true to you, it may be worth getting to the ottom of why he feels the need to hide things from you.Was he in a very dis-trusting relationship before, for example? By carrying old habits into a new relationship-he will cause repeat cycle of events to occur!

        • Hi partner of a pilot

          thank you for your reply – it makes a lot of sense. But even over the last few days his antics have turned me off him a little. I suppose the longer he behaves in this underhanded way – then I will just pull away. The hurt is too much to take at times and I dont laugh anymore. He says he has had lots of failed relationships in the past – Im not surprised. He’s a very silly man.

          Regards

          Jane

    • In answer to your points above ‘Onewhogotaway’:

      1- He also has to split that time with my work and my friends too! …I am not going to drop everything just because he came home. I would find it suffocating if he wanted to be with me 24/7 when he was home
      2- Mine never doesn’t call for days on end, and we text each other throughout the day and speak 1ce or 2ce a day at least if he’s away
      3- Mine NEVER gives his number to stewardesses.
      4- He is a home bod when he’s home, he see’s friends locally, but if he goes away, I go too usually
      5- It’s a long distance relationship at times yes; but I knew what I was getting into before I dated him
      6- I don’t find it lonely these days… I have found that I’ve adjusted, and actually now believe I’d be very frustrated by someone who was home all the time
      7- yes, he is sometimes away for special occasions, that DOES SUCK
      8- Being a single Mum when he’s away, but mine is never too tired when he’s home… In face I barely get a look in with looking after the kids when he’s home!
      9- I really cannot relate to this one. We have a great sex life.
      10- He can be a bit self centred. But a swift reminder that he’s home now, not away in a 5* hotel is usually enough to give him an attitude re-adjustment

  8. Real quick, he works for American Eagle, sits in the left seat and is based out of Dallas (as far as I know) and his initials are DK

  9. Update. We got skype and now talk either by phone or web on every trip. The travel perks continue after 3 years. He’s been wonderflly supportive. My one question is: how do others handle the sexual relations aspect – they’re away and then want sex on demand upon their return.

  10. What a wonderful article. You have given me a lot of hope.
    Much needed, thank you.

  11. Hi,

    Just met a pilot I really like and would like your advice.

    He was in town for just a couple days and he approached me in a bar. We hit it off immediately, met for breakfast the next morning and then went out that night. That evening he said he thought I didn’t understand how much he likes me. He stayed at my place and we slept together. I told him I would have made him wait if we lived in the same town. He kept going on about loving my wit, my body, wanted to stay another night, but got sent home. (He flies smaller planes, not for an airline). We have a lot of common interests in music, flying, the arts, and the sex was great for both of us. Oddly, not sleeping with him just didn’t feel like an option since things were going so well. Before he left he asked if I would move anywhere for my job. I said well, not “anywhere,” and I would have to have a reason.

    He wrote me an email that night as soon as he got home calling me both lovely and amazing, and said he included photos to keep me company until he could see me again. I wrote back the next day when I got his note, but haven’t heard anything. That was ten days ago and I haven’t heard anything.

    It also happens to be Valentine’s Day. Do I write him a short email, do nothing? Should I read his note as further interest or just let it go?

    He has been married once (which I read as a sign a guy has the ability to commit), but I should also mention there is a significant age difference (I’m 11 years older).

    Appreciate your help! There are a few aviators in my family, so I think I could handle the lifestyle . . .

  12. I don’t know what to do. i have been going out with a pilot for 2 years and I love him to bits. But I have a really hard time trusting him when he is gone. At the moment, we are not even living together. He wants to marry me in the near future but I am so scared to take that step because I think I will go crazy whenever he is away and get really lonely and upset. I am wondering whether I have to break up with the man i love. I don’t know what else I can do. Please help if you can.

  13. Am 24 yrs female,I´ve always loved pilots,and wouldn´t mind dating one,a good one for that matter,my question is,where do i find them?


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