There’s a reason that firemen make calendars: They’re hot. Dating a fireman is one of those things that people love to say because it just sounds so cool, but there are important things to know, pros, and cons.
First responders are on the frontlines of tragedy and emergency situations on a daily basis. They love the thrill of the job but understand that the job has risks that are unlike anything faced in other professions. Any day could turn tragic.
It takes a special person to understand the unique challenges of dating a fireman. You have to be strong, too, and willing to endure the stress of knowing that your significant other is out there fighting fires and going into dangerous situations on a daily basis. In other words, dating a firefighter is not for the faint at heart.
Understanding the benefits and detriments of dating a firefighter will help you to better understand what you’re getting into and how to navigate the challenges and rewards that come with a relationship with a firefighter.
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Things to Know About Dating a Fireman
There are different kinds of firemen. There are career firemen who have gone to school to become firefighters and there are volunteer firefighters that show up when they are needed. There are wildland firefighters and the hotshot firemen who drop into forest fires and battle the dangerous blazes from the middle of the action.
For the purposes of this article we will be looking at career firemen, as in those who live and work in local fire stations around the country.
A fireman’s shift usually follows one of two formats: A 24-hour shift followed by 48 hours off, or three to four 10 or 12 hour shifts per week. When a fireman is on the clock he’s at the fire station, which means that if you’re dating a fireman he won’t be sleeping at home when he’s working.
Firemen are known for the family bonds they form with their station crew. Many firemen are multigenerational, with their fathers, brothers, and sons working in the profession with with them. While the work they do is incredibly important, they put their lives on the line every single day and it takes a strong person to be able to deal with that.
Pros of Dating a Fireman
You’ve probably seen a fire truck parked outside the local grocery store and an entire fire house inside buying groceries. It’s no stereotype: Firefighters can cook, and they cook really good food every night of the week. They often take turns making meals at the station, but don’t be surprised if your firefighter takes over cooking duties at home, too. He’s probably perfecting recipes to share with the station. Taking cooking classes or cooking together can make for a fun and relaxing date night with your firefighter, and there’s no question that the rest of the fire house will probably appreciate the efforts, too.
While they are very self-sufficient, they also appreciate when you bring food to them at the station when they’re working. Though a call might come in to interrupt the meal, it’s worth the effort to bring food to your fireman at work.
Gaining a Second Family
Given the risks associated with the job and the fact that firefighters do die in the line of duty, it’s no surprise that firemen develop strong bonds with their station crew and they become a family. That means they’re your family, too. And the other wives and girlfriends become close as a result. You’ll spend birthdays and holidays together. You will celebrate births and graduations. And if the unthinkable should happen, they will be there for each other when a member of the family is lost in the line of duty.
When you’re dating a fireman don’t expect to be introduced to the station in the early stages of the relationship. Like bringing a date home to meet the parents, he will want to be sure about you before introducing you to everyone. Once you take that step, it’s a sign that it’s a serious relationship.
Firemen put their lives on the line every day. They are selfless and they love their jobs so much that no matter what happens they wouldn’t change anything for the world. This is an admirable trait.
If you’re struggling with the stress of the job, don’t expect that he will change professions for you. This is a job for life and most people who become firemen retire from the force. They don’t jump around unless they suffer an injury or move to another first responder profession like law enforcement. That kind of loyalty is something to be admired and respected, so be ready to fully embrace the profession when you start dating a fireman.
On Your Own During Emergencies
When a natural disaster strikes, firefighters will be called in even when they’re off duty. This means you will have to deal with fallout on your own. Some people can deal with this, but others want to have their partners there. It doesn’t help knowing that you’re dealing with a stressful situation and your partner is also in danger. This is one of the many instances when you have to be ready to accept that the job will always come first.
Tragedy Strikes the Firefighter Family Often
Being a fireman comes with countless risks. At some point you will be confronted with the loss of a fireman, whether it’s a local fireman, someone in another part of the country or even in his own station. No matter who it is, that death will hit your partner hard and it will serve as a reminder of the dangers of the job. If this isn’t something you can face, then dating a fireman isn’t for you because it will happen.
A fireman’s schedule can be flexible in that he can request time off in advance for birthdays or special occasions, but if he’s called into work there’s nothing he can do but to go. Even when he’s off the clock he’ll be keeping an eye out for sirens to see if something is happening.
All firemen will work some combination of holidays, so if having your partner around to celebrate is important, know that these things are outside of his control. And if there is a natural disaster or if someone calls out sick, then he will have no choice but to go into work.
Dealing with the Cheating Stereotype
Firemen work long shifts and they have earned the reputation as being the cheaters of the First Responder world as a result. The rule of thumb is that not all firemen are cheaters and they only tend to cheat if that was something they did before they became firemen. It’s not something that just happens.
Just because you’re dating a fireman doesn’t mean he will cheat, but there will be jokes and rumors and this could make you constantly wonder if it’s happening. If you don’t have the ability to deal with the jokes and rumors that probably aren’t true, then you probably shouldn’t date a fireman because it’s something that will constantly be on your mind.
Stress, Stress and More Stress – For Everyone
First Responders have to deal with incredibly intense situations. Every call can be a life or death situation, and when they have a rough shift it will follow them around for a while. Losing a bystander is devastating. Losing a member of the force, even in another city, can be a huge blow because it will remind them of other friends lost, or even their own mortality.
For a firefighter’s partner, every goodbye could be the last. That might sound extreme, but the fact is that when he or she walks out the door that day you could be saying goodbye for the last time.
Dealing with stress is a major part of dating a fireman and if you can’t handle it, then this is not a good relationship for you.
Can’t Have Facial Hair
If you’re a fan of scruff, dating a fireman won’t work because firefighters can’t have facial hair. It makes sense, right? They have to go into hot fires with heavy equipment and facial hair can prevent air tight fits on masks or be singed by the flames. It’s a major safety issue, but for anyone who wants to have a man with a beard it’s something you can’t get around.
Despite the challenges of dating a firefighter, and even with the dangers that come with the job, most people agree that they wouldn’t change anything. Dating a fireman is an incredibly rewarding thing to do but it takes a special person to make it work. Patience, a level head and lots of compassion help to make relationships successful.