Having different work/life schedule - is it possible?


Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2014
I was just wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation & if they had any helpful advice?

I've recently started dating a guy that works pretty extreme shift work - e.g he can work any shift pattern around a 24 hour schedule, including doing stand by & is also routinely out of the country. I'm a typical 9-5.30 girl, realistically I'm out for much longer when I factor in commuting, horse and various other things, but my routine doesn't change wildly.

I've only ever dated other 'office working with weekends off' guys so am totally used to using evenings & weekends to juggle things about & see them, which obviously won't always be the case.

We both been upfront & understand each other's commitments & are happy to give it a go and see what happens. I'm certainly a fairly independent person - so it could work brilliantly or we could never see each other & it all comes to nothing! But, he seems a nice guy, so would like to give it our best shot.

Has anyone any experience dating someone with totally different shift patterns & how you find it? Am I just going to have to learn to work out different time zones (unlikely, I don't understand a 24 hour clock as he fairly quickly learnt when he confirmed times to meet in that format & I was 2 hours late & still in a different county when I should have been with him ... Oops!) & become a morning and/or late night person?!


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2003
My daughter and her OH had very different work patterns. She a surgeon on call and working weekends with nights and some free time mid week. He a high flying professional travelling a lot with evening engagements and often away at weekends. It worked for years - they made it work.
But relationships dont stay the same. When they started a family it was only possible for them both to go on working (she part time) because they had a full time daily Nanny who worked a flexible schedule for them and could sleep overnight when both parents were away. Hospital doctors worked such long hours that it needed a full time Nanny to cover for a part time doctor.
It did finally get too much for the one who did all the travelling. He made a career move to be in the UK and have more regular hours - most evenings and weekends at home. And like many women when their children get older, my daughter increased her hours back to full time. So that is three different stages - just altering things to make life liveable as circumstances change. I dont think anyone can plan for sure a long way ahead, at least OH and I didnt. You can work things out as you go along.


Well-Known Member
Feb 16, 2013
My dad and stepmum have always worked different shifts - she does nights (she is a midwife) and he does days - and they've got a very happy marriage!


Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
On an island
Never been in that situation - guess it depends on how much you like each other:D Good luck anyways, just see how it develops.


Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2004
I have a lot of friends who are 'oil wives' with hubby working on the rigs or abroad. They manage because when hubby isn't home, they have what they describe as a whole other life. Different routine, different lifestyle. Admittedly for a number it has not worked because after having kids they've become resentful of being left to deal with children, home and associated crises. I don't blame them one bit and it's why I would never have settled down with someone who works away.

As their friend, I can see those with absent hubbies have to work much harder at their relationship. They have to schedule time together. Birthdays and anniversaries are missed. But they seem ok with the compromising.

You know what you can 'put up' with. And remember what's for you won't go by you :)
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Equine Karaoke Queen
Apr 15, 2012
I agree with the points Skib and EB made.

I'm seeing a guy just now who works 2 jobs. On a Friday and Saturday night when I'm free and want to meet up he is working. We just make the most of the time we do have together since we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like. He wants to join the RAF and is waiting to hear if he's been successful. I'm not going to lie I'll be absolutely gutted if he gets in, purely for selfish reasons (obviously I want him to be successful and I know how much he wants this, I do want him to get in). I wouldn't let that get in the way of our relationship though, I'd certainly be willing to give it a go but that's how I feel about this current relationship and I know that I wouldn't have felt the same in previous ones.

You have to make a decision based on what feels right for you. See how things go and, most importantly, talk to the guy about it so you know you are both on the same page.

KP nut

I'd rather be riding.
Dec 22, 2008
At this stage in the relationship (ie the very beginning) I really wouldn't worry. See each other whenever and see how it goes. Later on you either decide it's worth making the effort to make it work, or you don't. But opf course it is possible. Anyone partnered with A&E staff, midwives, care workers, fire fighters, people in the armed forces, people who work on oil rigs, people who travel extensively for work, airline pilots or cabin crew etc etc etc etc have to juggle these sorts of issues. And circumstances change too - a friend in a 9-5 has been made redundant and he now has to work 2 hours from home and be at work for 7 am. Another lost a job and now works in LONDON, whereas his wife is in North Derbyshire. He travels to London Monday morning and back home Thursday night staying in a tiny flat near work the rest of the time.


Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2012
My bf and I have pretty different work schedules and sleeping habits. I'm up early and work early. He is mainly up late and working till late, and doesn't do going to bed early wheras I love it! It is putting a huge strain on us, we have been together 4 and a bit years though so have made it work so far, even though we barely see each other these days :/
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