The Realities of Dating a Truck Driver

Are you considering being in a relationship with a man who drives a truck over the road for a living? Are you already dating or married to a truck driver?
There are many unique issues you have to deal with when dating a trucker that do not arise when dating men in other professions. Some of these issues can be very challenging and it’s definitely not the lifestyle for everybody. There are actually support groups for people who choose this because of the level of difficulty involved. I love my trucker boyfriend and have been in this type of relationship for over a year now so I am sharing my viewpoint and experiences.This is not written to encourage or discourage anybody but I am not going to sugar coat anything either. It is what it is, not the glamorous life.

When my boyfriend and I started dating he was NOT a truck driver, but it started out as a long distance relationship anyway because he lived over 3 hours away. After awhile he moved closer and then chose a local driving job. He injured himself doing that, was out of work for almost 2 years and then had to search for a job. Apparently, over the road driving was all he could find to do so he took a job and was gone almost immediately.

After years of being with him daily I found myself alone. I had mixed feelings about this new situation which included excitement, sadness, and soon resentment. I was left to figure out how to deal with being alone and the new challenges I faced, alone. 
Believe me, the adjustment period was harsh.

Distance

Let’s start with the obvious. Truckers are gone most of the time which pretty much turns your relationship into a long distance relationship. It has also been compared to the life of a military wife. That alone is very uncomfortable for most people who want to be in a relationship to actually have someone around to enjoy life with. By hey, if you just want a phone/pen pal, you’ve got it! That is until there is a cell signal issue and they are out of range.

Topic of conversations
You don’t exactly have the kind of conversations most people have either. If most people ask their boyfriend what they did today they have many things to talk about and elaborate on. If you ask a trucker that question the only answer you will get is “drive”. You had better start enjoying learning about the truck they are driving and everything else about the industry because you are going to hear A LOT about it. A multitude of our conversations have consisted of listening to my boyfriend talk about the tires on the truck, the tires on the trailer, air pressure, airbags, wipers, cracked windshield, brakes that aren’t good enough, fuel economy, log books, his uncomfortable seat, leaks, the loudness of the truck, weather conditions, weigh stations, scales etc. None of these things are all that exciting to me but I listen and learn and try to empathize when possible, because it just isn’t a great lifestyle. 

Planning
This is one area of being involved with a trucker that gets quite frustrating. If you like to make plans for specific things to do with your significant other that needs to be on certain dates such as concerts and other events, good luck with that. Truckers come and go at all different times of the day/week/month and can’t really plan to be home for anything.

Holidays
This brings me to the next topic of holidays. Most people in relationships look forward to sharing the joys of holidays with the one they love. Well, if a holiday happens to fall on a day they are home, GREAT. Otherwise, forget it. I have spent almost every holiday alone. My boyfriend was unexpectedly delayed for days on a trip that was right before Christmas so he ended up arriving on Christmas Eve. That was awesome, but it was a fluke thing and had nothing to do with purposely being home for the holiday.

Vacations
Again, you can’t plan anything. Don’t buy plane tickets for two unless you are all set to go on vacation alone when he doesn’t show up in time to go with you. I have heard of truck drivers who have missed once in a lifetime events such as their children’s graduation or wedding as well as anniversaries and other vacations their families planned and counted on them for. Very disappointing to say the least.


Raising children
Yeah you guessed it, you’re on your own. If you would like help with the kids or need something fixed in the house you just have to wait until whenever your boyfriend/husband comes into town.

Relationship problems and when to discuss them
Uh, well that’s difficult as well. I have read not to discuss stressful things with truckers while they are on the road because their job is stressful enough and they are dealing with so much out there (weather, sleeping in a truck, no home cooked meals, etc.) I get that, sort of, but then they come home stressed, tired and grumpy and just want to relax to “escape it all”. You wouldn’t want to ruin their days off with the realities of life that you deal with everyday so I guess you just hold it all in until you explode. Yep. That’s what happens! If you can’t talk to them when they are on the road or when they are home there aren’t any other options.

Trust issues
Trust issues will be magnified if you are in this type of relationship. I have read many stories on trucker forums from girlfriends or wives of truckers. The majority of them have the same fears and doubts and wonder if their man is cheating on them. We have heard all of our lives about how men just can’t go very long without having sex. So, what do they do about that in this profession? There are truckers with girlfriends in towns all over the country. Pretty convenient for them to just drop in, have sex and leave. Then there are what are called Lot Lizards-prostitutes that hang out at truck stops. I have read complaints from women because they have no idea who their man is talking to throughout the day and night or what they are doing on their computers except for the women who have actually looked at the phone bill and their suspicions were confirmed. They repeatedly don’t answer their phones and always have some reason for why they couldn’t – didn’t hear it, were out of cell coverage, were talking to their mother, etc. Ladies, if you don’t trust your man then end the relationship. Don’t put either of you through the agony of constantly wondering what he is up to. My boyfriend says he is faithful and I have chosen to believe him. I remain 100% faithful to him as well.

Concerns and changes
Like I said in the beginning, life on the road is very different from the ” normal” life we are used to living. Truckers don’t always have access to good food and don’t always have the time to sit down and have a meal so they snack on junk food all day. They rarely get out of the truck so they have an extreme lack of exercise. That mixed with the crappy eating habits leads to weight gain. They don’t get daily showers and remain dirty for days at a time. They sleep at different times of the day and night depending on where they are going and what time they are scheduled to deliver. These are only very few of the things that my boyfriend complains about. Because of the this unhealthy lifestyle taking its toll, I have noticed a huge difference in him – physically, mentally and emotionally. Another huge concern I have is my boyfriend’s safety. Truckers drive through inclement weather, park in unsafe areas and are in contact with many questionable people often. The news channels have reported trucks sliding off the road and/or crashing, being pinned under their trucks while doing routine checks on the truck, as well as being approached by weirdos wanting rides or selling something.

Staying connected
There are things you can do to feel closer to your man when he is absent.
Your number one source of staying connected to this person is through your phone so I suggest that you have unlimited minutes and love having a phone attached to your ear. I have learned to hold a phone in one hand while vacuuming, doing dishes, cooking, driving, shopping and juggling the rest of life, just to continue our relationship through the only way available. We talk, text, email, occasionally Skype and play games with each other on our phones. The games are great. It feels as if you are actually interacting and doing something fun “together”.

Join him
If you have the opportunity, you can join him on the road for a trip every now and then. You get to be with him more and actually experience what his days and nights are like such as eating, sleeping in a truck ( pretty much like camping), showering in a truck stop and being in a different state every day. I did this once and absolutely loved it! I took lots of pictures and it was just awesome to get first hand knowledge of it all. On the one and only road trip I have taken with my boyfriend, we stayed at a rest area in Kansas for the night and I was awakened by a minivan on fire and blowing up just feet away from our truck. Now that scared the crap out of me! I imagine this isn’t the norm and you may not encounter this.

Stay Busy
Find ways to stay busy as much as possible. The mind can play crazy tricks on you if given too much time to think. Take up a new hobby. Join a church group. Surround yourself with friends and family, or just enjoy the solitude if you prefer. Just think, if you find enough things to occupy yourself and your mind, you may not even notice that much that the person you are in this relationship with isn’t present for most of it!


Oh come on, it can’t all be terrible, so on the upside of being alone most of the time, you get the bed all to yourself with nobody snoring and keeping you awake every night. But, if you want daily affection and someone to snuggle up with at night, being in this type of relationship is not a good fit for you.

Bottom Line
Think carefully about what you truly want in a relationship and then decide what’s best for you. When you are dating a trucker, you and your man live two separate lives and occasionally blend them. It’s rough on everybody.

If you are already so in love with a truck driver (this would be my case) that you are willing to take what you can get whenever you can get it and are satisfied with that, then by all means be with him. I learned to adjust to all of this after about 3 months. Of course there are often times that I miss him but now I actually enjoy the time to myself.
It is extremely important to make the time you spend together  quality time. Appreciate the little things. Focus on the good in each other and why you fell in love with this person to begin with and make every effort possible to work through the challenges. After all, love conquers all,….. right?

 

 

 

Author: TJ

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