how to live with a nurse:
7 tips for a happy relationship

If your significant other is a nurse then you are aware of the sacrifices they have made to helping others. The internal desire to be there for people at the worse times of their life drives them in a way that is often misunderstand. Nurses often put all their love, energy, attention, and care into their work. If you are sick or dying, nursing devotion can make an extreme difference to your life. But have you ever thought what is must be like for the nurses significant other? These tips just might save your relationship!

#1: Don’t take things too personal

This is much easier said than done! You deserve and need attention, just don’t think for a second that a lack of attention at times has anything to do with you. Of course, your husband or wife thinks your attractive and yes, they are happy to have you, just don’t worry if their minds are not always there. Give them time to process whatever they have experienced for the day and then real them back in slowly. Nurses deal with some pretty deep stuff and can take a while to snap back into the present. Just remember that their distance or zoned out appearance has nothing to do with you. I know that sounds a bit harsh, however it’s the truth.

#2: Let Them Talk at Their Own Pace

I understand you love and care about this person and you want them to let it all out. I mean, you will certainly understand how they feel or what they went thru. Before you do this think of this first. Have you ever experienced something very scary and horrific in your life? Do you like talking about it? Do you like reliving it, re-experiencing the feelings again over and over? Allow them time to slowly talk about things without pressure. Many times, the feelings will rush back if they do open. Thus, this may create a situation in where you perceive they are angry with you. Again, don’t take this personal. Nurses deal with many emotions. From the difficult patient or family member, challenging co-workers, and new initiatives that the may struggle with.

#3: Refrain from Jealously

If you watched too much ER or Greys Anatomy, then you must think all we do in hospitals between patient care is run around like crazy high school kids dating one another. This is just not true! Although work relationships can get personal (as in any job), nurses work very closely with their co-workers and often time they become family. Don’t worry guys, your girlfriend is not interested in the new physician hired for the hospital. Chances are she can’t stand him because his orders are incomplete. Don’t let your mind go wild thinking things are happening. Sometimes only other nurses can understand certain things. Therefore, they are friends and become close. Please never mistake this for romance. Let your significant other have people in their lives to deal with issues they face. This will allow them to be more in the moment when they are with you and this is a win!

#4: Don’t Expect to be Pampered:

If you have a headache and a backache, take something for it and move on. The amazing nurse in your life is probably not going to pamper you and cry all over you. Why not? Because we don’t do that on the job either. If you hurt, take something, if your going to puke, puke here is a bag, and if your tired, sleep! We don’t like drama! We like to fix and move on. So please take something for your ailments or at least don’t do silly things to add to your problems. This will get you no sympathy at all!

#5: Its OK they wash their clothes Right Away!

If your girlfriend gets home and throws her scrubs in the washing machine right away, then be happy she didn’t rub all over you what’s on her! Chances are it was some guys blood, urine, or sputum all over her. It’s not what your thinking. No, she wasn’t having a romantic time with some handsome physician in the backroom and she is worried you might smell him on her clothes. She doesn’t want the MRSA or flu patient in her home! So, get over it!

#6: Find a Connection:

I would encourage anyone involved with a nurse to get curious and interested in what they do. Taking interest will show support and provide a little connection that can make your relationship closer. Don’t judge healthcare either because you may have had a bad experience. Nurses aren’t bad because you had one be rude and hospitals don’t suck because you waited in the ER “forever!” Give them a break and connect with them and validate how hard they must work. Learn what they do and then maybe you will get our humor. Maybe?

#7: Learn to Stay Awake!

You are sad because he doesn’t get home until 3 AM and when he does your already sleeping. When you wake up he is sleeping and you wonder why he doesn’t want to be up with you for coffee. You feel like he doesn’t love you. My advice, stay up a few times to see him after his crazy shift is over. Nurses put in a lot of hours and often work crazy hours. This can seem cold and lonely, often leaving you to wonder why would someone do that? Again, the internal desire to care for people leads us to working strange and bizarre hours. Someone should be there for you when you’re in an accident or suddenly become sick. Try to be flexible and understanding to the space that is created because of their schedule.


These seven tips have a lot in common. The basic theme of not letting your mind wonder and assume things are going on because the love of your life is distant, gone, or closed down. Nursing is very stressful and if you take it personal on how you may perceive this, your relationship can suffer. Allowing space and time and having understanding can be the difference of a great love versus a failed romance.