It’s not the years, it’s the mileage

“Your flight has been cancelled.”

These are the five words I like least to hear. Ever. Especially when it means I no longer have a way to get back to Charlotte for a 4 day trip I’ll be working early the next day.

Well, curses, I think to myself. What do I do? A quick perusal of my employee flight scheduling website tells me there is a 5 am plane from Chattanooga to Charlotte the next day, but there’s no guarantee it won’t also be cancelled due to this ridiculous weather. Or worse— full from all the people who missed the aforementioned flight that was just cancelled. I can only get on a flight if there is an open seat that hasn’t been sold.

If I don’t get back to Charlotte in time to check in at 8:30, I am royally screwed.

I could take a chance, and hope for the best.

“Or, I could drive you back, and guarantee you make it on time,” said Darcy.

I shake my head.

“It’s a 5-and-a-half hour drive, and we wouldn’t get there until 3 am,” I object. “That would be exhausting for you.”

He shrugged. “We’ll do what we have to do. Bottom line is you need to be back in Charlotte.”

We checked every reputable weather site for information on whether or not the 5 AM flight to Charlotte would be a safe bet, but the results were mixed. Some said it would be clear, but others showed ominous signs of storms moving around the general area.

It looked like driving would be the best option.

The entire way back (and 2 red bulls later) Darcy never complained. I was talkative and excited to go on a “road trip” together at first, but then I passed out asleep for the remaining hour or two of the trip. I had asked him to wake me if he got too fatigued, and needed me to drive awhile, but he never took me up on the offer.

What’s funny is he wasn’t trying to earn “boyfriend points”  or use it to lord over me later in some douchey power play. I’ve known couples who do that to each other. It ain’t pretty.

He views it as a part of his duty to the people he loves, and does it without question.

2 hours after we arrived in Charlotte, and crashed in bed, we got a notification that the flight to Charlotte from Chattanooga had left on time. So, the bet we took didn’t pay off. Technically.

But that’s not the point. I’m not even trying to prove that Darcy is the best boyfriend to ever grace this planet (although he is).

One of the toughest things about this job is the relationships we try to maintain back where we came from. A lot of the people I went to training with have gotten divorced or broken up over being a flight attendant. Jealousy or ego or any number of other hidden/ignored relationship problems seem to surface when you require this much freedom in your job. A lesser man would’ve told me I was on my own in the above situation. But he didn’t. Instead, he gave up a weekend night that he could’ve spent with his friends or family, and selflessly made sure I got back to where I needed to be.

If I didn’t make it back to base on time, as a reserve, I could’ve gotten in huge trouble—even fired. It’s no-nonsense in the flight attendant world!

Get with someone who supports you, and doesn’t make you pick between them and your job. Get with someone who compromises and communicates with you. Get with someone who doesn’t have envy issues, or control issues, or any number of other issues that crop up when you have a long-distance relationship.

Anything less isn’t worth your time. As the saying goes, “its not the years, its the mileage”. Aka, its not how long you’ve been together; its how far you’re willing to go to create a healthy relationship that lasts. Trust your instincts. If there is passive aggressive guilt tripping going on, there may be more to the story than your partner is telling you.

I’m not going to sugar coat it for you; having a relationship as a flight attendant doesn’t always work. In fact, it usually doesn’t. As I mentioned before, this job is the end to most romantic relationships because it asks so much of the person you’re leaving at home.

Consider what you need, what you can offer, and what you should/shouldn’t expect from another person. I got very, very lucky with Darcy, and I’ll never take that for granted. When you gamble with your heart, and win big, its worth all the risk in the end.