The Pros And Cons Of Dating A Pilot – And What You Should Know

Dating experience | | , Culture & Relationships Writer
Updated On: April 19, 2024
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Right off the bat, many of us can agree that pilots are hot. It could be the uniform or the fact that they are technically savvy, smart, and responsible. After all, it takes character and intelligence to fly large commercial planes carrying hundreds of passengers on board. Once you scratch the surface, however, dating a pilot has its own set of pros and cons.

While it’s not surprising that women, or for that matter men, love dating pilots, there are some things to consider before taking that leap. For instance, they travel a lot and stay away from home for 3 to 4 days. They face a lot of risks and have to handle high levels of stress. Still, it’s hard to resist their charms, right? So how do you handle dating a pilot? Considering the pros and cons of dating a pilot can be a good place to start, and we’re here to help you with that.

The 5 Pros Of Dating A Pilot

A career in aviation is not just about flying across multiple locations, it’s also a highly respected profession that requires hours of training and study. For a pilot to receive their wings, they have to be committed to their profession. Keeping that in mind, you can count on the following benefits of dating a pilot:

1. Flexible schedule

dating a pilot
Pilots have a flexible schedule

Pilots have a flexible schedule. Though they have to fly round the clock, they can only fly a certain number of hours consecutively. This means that after multiple days of work, they get multiple days off, too. The amount of time you get to spend together is one of the best perks of dating a pilot. Additionally, when you truly love someone, time apart only knits you closer.

As they move up the ladder, they get more say in their schedule. This becomes more favorable as they can choose their days off and even their layover locations. Translated, this could mean a spontaneous trip abroad. Many pilots prefer to fly domestic or short-haul flights to other countries. This basically means that your partner could easily get back by the end of the day. So dating a pilot is sometimes like dating someone with a 9-5 regular job but with much better perks.

2. High work satisfaction

It’s not easy to train to become a pilot. It requires high capital investment as well as dedicated study and training. Pilots also have to maintain high health standards since it is compulsory for them to undergo regular medical check-ups. Needless to say, it’s not a career one would choose just for the glamor of it. Most pilots get into this profession for their love of flying.

That being said, the life of a pilot is not all hard work and no games. Some of the benefits of being a pilot are:

  • Luxurious 5-star hotels stays
  • Pilots love taking spontaneous trips and their otherwise stressful job gives them plenty of opportunity
  • Work stays at work, which means in their free time they’re not obsessing over deadlines

Added to this is the fact that pilots are financially secure. Pilots are some of the most highly paid professionals, which adds to their high work satisfaction. Compared to many other professions, where people usually complain of being unfulfilled or underpaid, dating a pilot can be a boon. A person who is satisfied professionally will make an effort to contribute to the relationship. This means you can surely work toward building a happy and healthy relationship with them.

3. Dating a pilot can mean interesting conversations

Pilots travel to many destinations, and so they’re always bringing you things from exotic places. But, they also get an opportunity to engage with many cultures and meet diverse people. With such an exciting life, they have unique experiences to share. If you’re dating a pilot, the conversations will always be colorful and seem never-ending. It’s like talking to your very own local or international guide.

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4. Family and friend benefits

Quality time and conversations are not the only benefits of dating a pilot. Pilots and other personnel in the aviation industry often get friends and family discounts for travel to destinations all over the world. This could mean a trip to the Bahamas at an extremely low price.

If you’re dating a pilot, you can also count on being treated like royalty on flights. Flight attendants are especially attentive to the needs of friends and family of the staff onboard. They make sure you get the VIP treatment irrespective of whether you are flying business class or economy. So, expect to have more choices in meals and complimentary treats. These small indulgences can make a long trip comfortable and pleasant.

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5. Ideal work-life balance

In the post-pandemic world, when almost everyone is working from home, the distinction between work life and personal life is more blurred than ever. Frequent calls from the office and the hustle to reach targets before deadlines getting in the way of quality time are one of the biggest reasons for arguments among couples. Pilots, on the other hand, are completely cut off from the world except for contact with air traffic control while on the job.

However, when not working, they can switch off completely and focus on family and friends. You can achieve work-life balance as a couple, which is one of the best perks of dating a pilot. When they are not flying, they’re completely yours.

The 5 Cons Of Dating A Pilot

While aviation sounds like a great industry, it’s unlike most other professions where one can change jobs easily. Being a pilot is a niche profession. If they face any setbacks like ill health, the consequences are far-reaching and could mean great shifts in their personal lives. The following are some of the cons to consider if you are dating a pilot:

1. Long working hours

Pilot’s schedule allows them to fly a maximum of 125 hours a month. This doesn’t include the time they have to be on the ground, completing security checks, briefing flight attendants, and fulfilling other formalities. With the current demand for pilots, many are working extra hours. These long shifts may mean missing anniversaries, festivals, or weekends. No wonder a pilot boyfriend/girlfriend is always busy.

2. Unavailable when away

One of the things to know about dating a pilot is that once they are airborne, they can only communicate with ground control or the flight crew. If you are someone who loves to talk regularly with your partner, this situation could affect your relationship. Additionally, he or she might not be available should you require any help like moving houses or painting the living room. In such cases, you have to be prepared to do many things by yourself, and learn to be self-reliant and independent.

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3. Standby

Pilots have to be on standby on certain days. It may or may not be paid, but they can’t make any plans on these days. This also means that they have to be close to the airport. So if you stay at a distance from the airport, you may not always be able to spend time with your partner. It may start to feel like you are in a long-distance relationship with a pilot even though you live in the same city. When pilots are on standby, they have to be sober and undistracted so no pub hopping or partying.

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4. Health issues

Flying a plane is a stressful job. At any given time, you are responsible for the life of hundreds and even the smallest miscalculations can lead to a major disaster. So it comes as no surprise that such a stressful job takes its toll on their health. Compared to people who don’t fly regularly, pilots are more exposed to cosmic radiation and hence more susceptible to cancer as claimed in a study. Here are some common health hazards a pilot has to face.

  • Circadian rhythm disruption (jet lag) due to completely different time zones
  • Hearing loss due to aircraft noise
  • Communicable diseases due to confined air circulation

These medical issues could also result in their licenses being canceled. Needless to say, having to say a sad goodbye to a prestigious career that one has worked so hard for can take a toll on one’s mental health. The repercussions of which will invariably spill onto your relationship as well.

5. Insecurity

There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding pilots like:

  • Sleeping with flight attendants
  • Having kids in every city
  • Napping in cockpits
  • High divorce rate aka AIDS – Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome

With rumors such as this flying around, it’s easy to get insecure about your partner. Added to this, are the long stretches of time you spend away from each other. But according to a study conducted by U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 5-Year data, 2009-2018 the divorce rate of pilots was 30% which was way lower than the 53 % divorce rate of casino gaming managers. In fact, pilots don’t even make the list of top 20 of the highest divorce rate occupations. However, if you are serious about handling your relationship with a pilot, you surely can make it work. Remember, communication and honesty are essential here.

Related Reading: Relationship Insecurity – Meaning, Signs And Effects

Dating A Pilot – 5 Things To Consider

Though it’s a good idea to draw up a pros and cons list to consider before doing something, relationships are not that simple. Once you have deep feelings for someone, a pros-cons list can only help give you perspective. How you proceed thereafter requires insight and preparation. Here’s a list of things to know about dating a pilot:

1. Pilots are stereotyped

Pilots are often stereotyped, especially when it comes to infidelity and substance abuse. Owing to this popular perception, people often ask, “Is dating a pilot a bad idea?” You have to be prepared for unsolicited comments from people if you’re dating a pilot. They can pass snide remarks about how pilots sleep around or drink a lot. You have to learn not to let these comments fan your sense of insecurity. In any relationship, it’s important to be confident and have faith in your partner.

long distance relationship with a pilot
Pilots are often stereotyped, especially when it comes to infidelity and substance abuse

2. Character

One thing you must consider is that despite all the stereotypes and the charm that comes with the uniform, it’s ultimately a person’s character that should be the deciding factor in whether or not you should pursue a relationship with them. Pilots are people, and being good or bad is not a result of their profession but of how they are as human beings.

They’re just like other people and the way they behave in relationships is governed by their personality traits and not their profession. If the profession made a huge impact on a person’s character, then a pilot would in fact be very faithful in their relationship. After all, training to be a pilot and getting a pilot’s license requires a sense of strong commitment.

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3. Be ready for loneliness

Not trying to dissuade you, but dating a pilot can be hard since they are often away and can’t be contacted easily. You have to be ready to deal with being alone much of the time. If you want to have a weekend getaway, it may not always be possible. If you want to fix a shelf, you might have to do it yourself. Also, pilots prefer to stay near airports. This might make it difficult for you to move in with him/her if your workplace is located far from the airport.

4. Be emotionally independent

If you’re someone who has a lot of emotional baggage, then it’s not a good idea to date someone who will be away for long hauls and may not be able to get to the phone even when you really need them. This is an important factor to consider. To survive dating a pilot you need to be independent. You will have to have a strong support base from your family and friends to step in when your pilot partner is not around to help.

5. They won’t stop flying just for you

It’s not easy getting into the aviation industry and those who get in do so because they love it and are good at it. Whether you like it or not, they won’t change their profession for you. Pilots love flying and it would be unfair to your partner to demand such a career change. They’re in it for the long haul. If this is a deal-breaker for you, then you should not get into the relationship and save everyone a lot of tears.

Dating a pilot can be favorable if you’re part of the aviation industry as well. You understand each other’s schedules and problems and can even plan spontaneous trips together. However, if you don’t follow the dos and don’ts of dating a coworker, breakups can get messy and could affect your professional life. Moreover, you may often be flying to different destinations and it might appear as if you’re in a long-distance relationship with a pilot.

Key Pointers

  • Dating a pilot can feel like a long-distance relationship
  • There are a lot of stereotypes revolving around pilots and you will need to work on your insecurities
  • Life with a pilot will always be interesting thanks to their enriching life experiences

Relationships with pilots are as normal as relationships with other people and yet so different. While their profession plays a big part in their lives, you don’t have to let that get in the way of yours. If you like someone, then like them for how they are as a person, not what they do professionally. Looking at the pointers given above, you can decide on the question: is dating a pilot a bad idea? And if you think it’s not, then go for it.

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