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Dec 17, 2015
What it takes to date a female business traveller
Every relationship with a frequent business traveller is different. If you’re in your 20s there are likely different issues than in your 40s. If you have kids, a regular stint of single parenting is taxing and being separated from the little ones feels like you’re missing out. I never gave much thought to specific challenges of the single female business traveller until I discovered Jaclyn Goldman’s blog, The Travelling Saleswoman.
Crisscrossing the country
For the past decade, Jaclyn has travelled from Canada’s Atlantic to Pacific coast and everywhere in between in the pharmaceutical sales biz. She estimates she’s been on the road about 30% of that time. Some sales have involved daytrips throughout her home province of Ontario and other times she’s put up stakes in cities such as Calgary or Halifax for an extended stay of three weeks or more to cover that territory. In other words, she’s a veteran business traveller.
You take the good with the bad
“The reality of travelling for sales is different than what a lot of people think,” explains Jaclyn. “It’s great to be a nomad for awhile and to see new places, but it’s often exhausting.” Jaclyn did a stint in veterinary pharmaceutical sales, which meant lots of time in rental cars driving to rural areas. Jet setting is not always glamorous.
Being single also means no one on the home front to look after her three cats or monitor her house. I’ve complained that the minute Steve leaves on a trip, something goes wrong that needs my immediate attention. It seems he’s always off the hook. It’s worse for Jaclyn. She recalls, “Once I had a water pipe burst while I was gone causing a huge amount of damage.” She finally invested in a sophisticated camera-equipped security system, which has given her peace of mind.
Despite the drawbacks, Jaclyn loves work travel because it feeds her adventurous side and the opportunity to visit so many different places regularly keeps life interesting. “I’d hate to give it up,” she says.
So, what about dating?
Jaclyn has had a number of relationships during her time on the road. “Basically, they’ve all been long distance relationships,” she says. She explains that it doesn’t matter where the men she dates live because essentially whether she lives in the same place as them or not, they’ll be apart much of the time.
Jaclyn finds it the biggest challenge to date men who are not also business travellers. “They just don’t get it,” she says. She was in a relationship with a man she met in another city who never travelled for work and it ended badly. “We would see each other once a month. Either I would use points to fly to his city or to fly him to whatever city I was in.”
It was the in between time that didn’t work. He would text message Jaclyn frequently and get upset and suspicious when she didn’t respond right away (because she was working). He wanted to join her on business trips not understanding that it would mean him waiting in a car in the middle of some isolated rural area while she went on sales calls. Other times he suggested she cut a trip short or postpone it to be with him. In the end, trust was a growing issue. “He wanted more than I could give,” says Jaclyn.
“Personally, I find it difficult to focus on a relationship when I’m at work,” she says adding, “I want my relationship time on weekends so that I can give the other person 100% of my attention.”
I can appreciate Jaclyn’s situation and would probably feel the same way in her shoes. She expressed some surprise about how Steve and I make it work. But being in a long-term, committed relationship is very different than starting a relationship. To be honest, if Steve had been a frequent business traveller when we met, I’m not sure how I would have coped with it.
Early relationships take time to develop into committed ones (if that’s what you want). When Steve started to travel a lot, I didn’t like it. It took adapting on both our parts. Early on I might have just moved on to the next handsome dude I met, but when you’re 10 years into marriage and have no other source of tech support, you figure you should try to find a way.
*In the event you read this post Steve, I love you for way more than your free tech support. You make a mean pot of chilli too.”
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