Valentine’s Day can be tough when you’re on the road and your significant other is back at home. The trucker’s life is difficult enough on couples at the best of times, but a day dedicated for lovers just makes it all the harder to be apart.
That’s the bad news, and it isn’t news for most couples in the situation. The good news in that Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to spend time with the most important person in your life. Companies should encourage drivers to keep the connection with loved ones strong despite the distance, helping increase driver morale and retention.
Here are a few Valentine's Day tips for drivers to get the mental wheels turning:
- Watch a movie together. Make plans to watch the same movie at the same time, then talk about it over the phone later. A favorite TV or radio show, or even two copies of the same book can provide a shared experience even when you are apart.
- Eat dinner together—over the phone. Eating while talking on the phone with each other feels surprisingly like sharing a meal in person, plus it’s just a little goofy. Make it a Skype date and you can at least see your sweetie smile.
- Send flowers, chocolates, or pajamas. Most florists can send flower orders anywhere in the country through networks of cooperating shops. Pro tip: find out what kind of flowers your sweetie likes first, because roses are not everybody’s favorite. There are also companies that deliver other kinds of surprises including, yes, pajamas.
- Send a whole flock of tweets. A whole series of tweets, texts, or other messages over the course of the day is a lovely way to get your sweetie thinking about what you’re going to say next. Keep them thematically related, like top ten favorite things about your mate or top ten favorite memories you share.
- Get help from conspirators. Getting help gives you a whole new world of options. You could set up a scavenger hunt where you send clues throughout the day or have a friend hide your wrapped gift at home or at work.
- Issue an IOU. If necessary, agree to celebrate Valentine’s Day a few days or a week later, when you are home together. The important thing is to make each other a priority, no matter what day it is.
And after Valentine’s Day is over, it’s important to keep the romance going. Traveling for work is a permanent part of a truck driver’s life, so it is important to shape life around that reality. A happy home life means developing ways to show the love from the road every day. A standing agreement to call at a certain time, in order to demonstrate commitment; mutually agreed upon ground-rules in order to foster trust; clear and strong communication are all great ways to stay on one another's mind for the long haul.