Dating a first mate: I think the job will make a relationship awful... end it now?

I wonder if there are any “other halves” on here – male or female – that might give me an opinion.

I met someone nice, we started dating, it was going well, then… he’s off at sea. For months. And is mostly not writing. It really seems like a terrible relationship to sign up for… no? Now that I’ve had time to think it over it seems like I’m possibly getting involved with someone who basically is gone a little more than half the time. Meaning there will be half the holidays, half the vacations, half the picnics, half the camping trips, half the sex, half of basically everything great I want in a relationship… Someday he could be, at best, half a dad. Argh, that seems awful.

What am I missing?!??

I feel like breaking it off now (when he returns) before it gets anywhere, but maybe I’m judging the situation unfairly??

This does not belong in the Professional Mariner section and frankly, I do not feel it belongs in this Forum especially because you are asking if it is ok to dump the guy just because of his chosen profession which happens to be the very one most of us here also share. This is a very sore subject for many here…have you no sensitivity lady?

I wish I knew who the fellow was so I could warn him of what you are seriously thinking of doing. Nothing like a man coming back from months at sea to find out his girlfriend had dumped him or worse, that his wife had run off with somebody else.

My opinion is the guy is better off without you and with a more understanding and supportive partner.

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I’m sorry - I should have done a better job at that post. I’m not as insensitive as I may sound. Also I am not his girlfriend, we went on just a few dates before he left – you are correct that a girlfriend dumping him for his career choice would be quite cold.

I don’t know anything about being a first mate, I hadn’t heard of it before I met him. I didn’t know this was a sore subject already. It does make sense though. (I didn’t find any threads on dating when I searched the forum initially – I’ll go back and try again.)

I wasn’t sure which area to post in either - I thot this was the best to get to other professionals, apologies a second time.

Mainly I was expecting to be told what the upside was/is, the part that I am missing. That was the intent of the initial post, to find out what I’m missing, so I can understand what I’m getting (possibly) involved with.

Sorry to offend. He’s a nice guy as far as I can tell, I will do my best to understand more of what he does for work. (elsewhere… :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=an0nym0uz;57199]I’m sorry - I should have done a better job at that post. I’m not as insensitive as I may sound. Also I am not his girlfriend, we went on just a few dates before he left – you are correct that a girlfriend dumping him for his career choice would be quite cold.

I don’t know anything about being a first mate, I hadn’t heard of it before I met him. I didn’t know this was a sore subject already. It does make sense though. (I didn’t find any threads on dating when I searched the forum initially – I’ll go back and try again.)

I wasn’t sure which area to post in either - I thot this was the best to get to other professionals, apologies a second time.

Mainly I was expecting to be told what the upside was/is, the part that I am missing. That was the intent of the initial post, to find out what I’m missing, so I can understand what I’m getting (possibly) involved with.

Sorry to offend. He’s a nice guy as far as I can tell, I will do my best to understand more of what he does for work. (elsewhere… :)[/QUOTE]

I can tell you as a former merchant seaman (I was an engineer, your First Mate is in the deck department) that getting and keeping relationships beyond “friends” or “dating” was very difficult while going to sea. You are correct. There are long periods away from each other. I did eventually meet someone and got married (although we aren’t married anymore, we split long after I came ashore). Like anything else, I would guess that any benefit would be from what the relationship meant to the two of you. Since he is a Chief Mate, one can assume that he has put quite a bit of time into his career so far, and therefore is unlikely to give it up for a relationship. There are many couples that stay together for the long term, but those individuals are pretty self assured and happy with a long distance relationship. There were many times that I thought that I had a meaningful relationship with someone before I went back to work, only to find that it wasn’t the case when I got back home. After a couple of years I just stopped looking and found that I was pretty happy just being single. As I stated, that only lasted a couple of years. I stayed at sea for the first year I was married, but eventually came ashore when our first was born (some 24 years ago). Spending time raising my kids was only part of the decision. Getting laid off and a tight job market (and getting a pretty good shore gig) were larger factors. In fact, my shore side work had me gone almost as much as if I was going to sea. Just not for long stretches.

[QUOTE=an0nym0uz;57193]… Meaning there will be half the holidays, half the vacations, half the picnics, half the camping trips, half the sex, half of basically everything great I want in a relationship… Someday he could be, at best, half a dad. Argh, that seems awful.

What am I missing?!??

I feel like breaking it off now (when he returns) before it gets anywhere, but maybe I’m judging the situation unfairly??[/QUOTE]

You miss the other side of the coin, which is long stretches of time at home. Unlike traditional nine-to-fivers who are lucky get a few hours in the evening and hectic weekends, especially when there are kids in the mix, a sailor comes home and doesn’t have to worry about going to work for a while. If you’re able to spend that off time together, you’ll have great opportunities to travel, spend long stretches of time together, or just be lazy and do nothing. If you’re punching a clock though, you’ll spend his off time being jealous as he sleeps in when you have to get up to go to work.

You’ll need to decide whether or not it is worth it for you to get involved with a sailor. Whatever you do, if you decide to stick with him and get serious, don’t ever try to force him into giving up what he loves and think that will make you happy. It will make him miserable, if he’s enough of a pussy to give in. That’s a certain recipe for disaster, and there are many folks in this industry who have tried and failed to do that for the folks back home. I tried it for a woman once, and we’re happily divorced now. I got it right my second time around and am fortunate to be with someone who just wants me to live my life doing what makes me happy and fulfilled.

Or, you could just play with your shiny new chief mate toy for a while and when he goes away move on to someone else. You’ve got lots of options!

On occasion c.captain and I disagree and this is one of those times. I think a lot of relationships in this industry fail because the girl did not ask enough questions, did not really know what she was getting into before falling in love with the guy. So, I’m glad that you wrote in.

I’ve been on the other side of the coin, my wife being at sea while I was home, and, yes, it can be very difficult especially in the first couple of years fo the relationship. More recently I’ve been the one at sea with my wife at home and I can say being the one at sea can often be easier only because work on a ship is intensive and it keeps your mind off of home.

There are two types of relationships at sea… those that work and those that don’t and, while every situation is different, the marriages that seem to work are those with a strong, intelligent and independent woman… AND a man who is willing to give up some control. My wife takes care of the bills, deals with contractors and repairmen and isn’t afraid of the lawnmower. All of which I’m very much appreciative of. In return I don’t micromanage the house and I try my best to support her decisions (even the bad ones… of which she still makes less than me!).

The advantages of being married to a chief mate are great… financial security, travel and 6 months vacation time each year being just a few. Yes it’s hard for my wife when I leave (even harder for the children) but she enjoys being fully independent those 6 months… she gets to do what she wants when she wants to. LAst year she took the kids on a 2-month cross country trip to see everyone in our extended family and had a blast. How many wives get to do that?

Plus you’ll have a lot more time with him than if he worked a 9-5 job. 2 weeks vacation per year is nothing! Getting home at 6 or 7 or 8 pm every-night after sitting in traffic waiting for your weekend just to do the things you couldn’t get done the rest of the week is no way to live. 6 months of quality time per year is a lot better than a few hours every night and a couple more on the weekends.

So if you are the independent type who can do things for yourself and want to have financial security then his career shouldn’t stop you! If you are the dependent type who can’t handle stuff on your own then, yes, leave now.

And don’t worry about him not calling you… the job of a chief mate is hands-on and intense. He’s likely to call much more often once he’s a Captain.

[QUOTE=c.captain;57194]This does not belong in the Professional Mariner section and frankly, I do not feel it belongs in this Forum especially because you are asking if it is ok to dump the guy just because of his chosen profession which happens to be the very one most of us here also share. This is a very sore subject for many here…have you no sensitivity lady?

I wish I knew who the fellow was so I could warn him of what you are seriously thinking of doing. Nothing like coming back from months at sea to find out his girlfriend had dumped him or worse, that his wife had run off with somebody else.

My opinion is the guy is better off without you and with a more understanding and supportive partner…[/QUOTE]

Oh c.capt, My favorite grouch on gCapt! Although it may have not been posted in the “right place” here. I don’t see why a relationship, at whatever caliber, shouldn’t be discussed.

As far as [I]breaking something off[/I] Doesn’t sound like there is a commitment to break off. How can you be in a relationship with someone that you know that little about?

And as far as the person “not writing” are you kidding me? who knows what internet access, phone, etc. he uses or has access to while he is out. Are you talking about hand-written letters? Did you ask, how or if he would like to keep in touch? If you had no idea about what he does for a living, he probably is no inclined to tell you how things are going,[I] nothing would make sense to you.[/I]

Lol, 50% of the time(?)…cracks me up, geese already throwing statistics (demands) around, that’s the way I’m taking that, And the part of " Someday he could be, at best, half a dad!!!" OMG ! I hope he wore protection, anybody who makes a projection like that needs to grow up. How depressing that must be, to think that negative. Like Doug says, he may be gone for 50% of time, but when he is home it’s for 100% of that.

I loved being gone for a few weeks and then coming home and having a few consecutive days to do things.

Go google “life of merchant marine” or something. I suppose you are very young, and not to ambitious. Posting here is a way to get instant gratification for your questions, and hardend answeres from some. I would suggest taking an interest in asking [I]him[/I] about his work, life etc. and be earnest. Then be earnest with [I]him[/I] about what you do/don’t understand.

Anyway, I would suggest being a little more resourceful, starting with him.

[B][I]Shall we move this thread to “Ask Capt. Anonymous ?” lol[/I][/B]

Ya know, this is a question for Capt_Anonymous.

[QUOTE=NAUTICART;57211]Oh c.capt, My favorite grouch on gCapt![/QUOTE]

I prefer Grinch myself but can live with being called an ornery old curmudgeon.

And at least I am willing to stir things up…think of what it would be like here without any controversy or fisticuffs…BORING!

[video]www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzXKWKaxt3c[/video]

.

[QUOTE=c.captain;57218]I prefer Ginch myself but can live with curmudgeon.

At least I am willing to stir things up…think of what it would be like here without any controversy or fisticuffs…BORING![/QUOTE]

[I][B]…yes, a bad banana… with a greasy black peeeeeeeel ! lol[/B][/I]

[I][B]I have to look up “curmudgeon”[/B][/I]

[QUOTE=NAUTICART;57221][I][B]…yes, a bad banana… with a greasy black peeeeeeeel ! lol[/B][/I]

[I][B]I have to look up “curmudgeon”[/B][/I][/QUOTE]

One of the big benefits of aging is that it allows one an excuse for being rather grumpy and opinionated (although I like to think in a sarcastically humorous way) . People who know me would say I was old even when I was young and now I have just grown into myself.

You know that Andy Rooney finally had to retire from 60 Minutes…I wonder if they’d take my application to be his replacement?

.

You know that Andy Rooney finally had to retire from 60 Minutes…I wonder if they’d take my applications to be his replacement?

[B]Well probably, send in some material, or a pic of your eyebrows. You will have to quit signing autographs.

John will have to retire your login if anything ever happens to you, like the professional football players retire their Jerseys.

You will be quoted many moons from know, probably at KP. : )

glad I can’t get spanked in the head over the internet. lol[/B]

Dating a first mate: I think the job will make a relationship awful… end it now?

Reverse the question for the true answer.

End it now. Awful relationship. the job of a 1st Mate isnt worth a date.

I think anonymouse actually answered the thought process by the title of the post.

[QUOTE=NAUTICART;57223]Well probably, send in some material, or a pic of your eyebrows.[/QUOTE]

Man, my eyebrows are KILLER and have grown together so it is now a unibrow! And the hair growing out of my ears is so long I can braid it and tie little pink bows at the ends! That’s one of the other benefits to getting old…not giving a shit for personal appearance or hygene (just kidding…maybe :wink:

Happy Halloween everybody :smiley:

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2011/09/does_absence_actually_make_the_heart_grow_fonder.html[QUOTE=an0nym0uz;57193]I wonder if there are any “other halves” on here – male or female – that might give me an opinion.

I met someone nice, we started dating, it was going well, then… he’s off at sea. For months. And is mostly not writing. It really seems like a terrible relationship to sign up for… no? Now that I’ve had time to think it over it seems like I’m possibly getting involved with someone who basically is gone a little more than half the time. Meaning there will be half the holidays, half the vacations, half the picnics, half the camping trips, half the sex, half of basically everything great I want in a relationship… Someday he could be, at best, half a dad. Argh, that seems awful.

What am I missing?!??

I feel like breaking it off now (when he returns) before it gets anywhere, but maybe I’m judging the situation unfairly??[/QUOTE]

Here is a good article"Does absence actually make the heart grow fonder" at Slate

It is true that long absences can be a strain but I see my friends under strain always rushing, no time. My wife works part time. We spend lots of time together in contrast to trying to rush out the door every morning. I used to walk my son both to and from school when I was home.

I agree with John you did the right thing to post here. I was lucky that when my wife met me one of her best friends was the wife of a SUP sailor and she explained things.

K.C.

Yeah, I suppose its tough being alone for a few months at a time. But think of the reunions. A new honeymoon every couple of months. Travel, if you’re schedule can do it. But,if you can’t handle the time away, find a factory schlub.

This belongs on MTV not gcaptain

[QUOTE=c.captain;57194]This does not belong in the Professional Mariner section and frankly, I do not feel it belongs in this Forum especially because you are asking if it is ok to dump the guy just because of his chosen profession which happens to be the very one most of us here also share. This is a very sore subject for many here…have you no sensitivity lady?

I wish I knew who the fellow was so I could warn him of what you are seriously thinking of doing. Nothing like a man coming back from months at sea to find out his girlfriend had dumped him or worse, that his wife had run off with somebody else.

My opinion is the guy is better off without you and with a more understanding and supportive partner.

.[/QUOTE]

Sounds like you’ve been burned sir. But I sincerely hope you have no relationships with women because you are. Mysogenistic ahole. Good luck being single!