Being awake for enough of the same hours as your partner to spend time with them seems like a basic requirement for a relationship to flourish.
After all, if you never spend time together, how are you supposed to build rapport, trust, and establish healthy physical intimacy?
Initially, finding out that someone works night shifts if you work a regular 9–5 might seem like an almost insurmountable hurdle.
However, where there is a will, there is a way.
Don’t let the fact that someone works graveyard shifts put you off dating them. Here are a few tips for how to manage dating someone with an incompatible schedule and for how to make the absolute most of your shared waking hours.
10 Great Tips to Date Someone Who Works Nights
- Text each other often
- Don’t play games. Be clear about what you want!
- Stay positive about the situation
- Make sure you are sleeping enough hours
- Schedule video dates
- Send voice note updates from your day
- Go on fun and unusual dates when you are both awake
- Make seeing each other when you can a priority
- Talk about the future
- Make a joint playlist that you both add songs to
There is no denying that dating someone who works nights if you work during the day is a challenge.
However, if your feelings are strong enough, you will make it work.
Here is a run-through of some ways you can try to mitigate the difficulty caused by the difference in your schedules.
If you treasure every moment you’re together and feel grateful for the moments of physical connection you do have, it won’t matter so much that your waking hours don’t always align.
1. Text each other often
If you can’t be with your partner for many of hours you are both awake, texting is a great way to tell each other about your days, share jokes, check in emotionally, and maybe even get a bit frisky. Texting can be a surprisingly intimate and authentic form of communication, so take advantage of modern technology if you’re dating someone who works nights.
According to science, there is a surprisingly positive power or texting in a relationship.
The most important thing when you are dating someone who works the night shift is that you maintain your connection.
If you almost literally never see each other, it might mean that you almost never talk face-to-face.
Thankfully, we live in 2022 and there is a ready solution to this problem, which used to be an inevitable reality for anyone dating someone who worked a night shift.
If you’re going to sleep and you know that the person you’re dating is on the way to work to begin their shift, you can simply text them.
Whatever the hours and minutes are that you are both awake and free––even if you can’t be in the same room for them––take advantage of them by establishing a good texting rapport.
Some couples swear by texting to keep the momentum of their relationship going and keep them excited to see each other.
The good thing about not being able to spend all the time together that you might want to, is that when do you finally get to spend some time in each other’s arms, all that waiting will be worth it.
2. Don’t play games. Be clear about what you want!
If you are dating someone who works night shifts, don’t leave them in doubt about your interest in them. If they aren’t sure how invested you are, they won’t want to prioritize spending time with you when they can. You will face enough challenges without the worry that arises from someone playing hard to get.
We’re all familiar with the game playing that has become a standard part of the modern dating world.
How many people across the globe are sitting around right now looking at their phone, hoping it will buzz with a notification from someone they’ve been on a date with.
When you are just getting to know someone and have been on just a few dates, there is often an element of insecurity to your connection.
Until you have a conversation about exclusivity, both people are free agents who have the right to change their mind at any time.
When you like someone you’ve just started seeing, there is always some amount of fear that they will turn around and say, “I am not ready for a relationship.”
While some amount of mystery can be good, if there are already significant logistical hurdles that you need to overcome to make your dating life work, try to remove any unnecessary obstacles.
If you want to see the person you’re dating again, don’t hold back. Just be straightforward.
You’ll thank yourself when they respond by making sure their schedule is as clear as it can be, and they prioritize making time to see you.
3. Stay positive about the situation
If you and the person you’re dating want things to work out, they will. But you have to believe they can! If your attitude towards dating someone who works nights is that it’s too difficult, then you or they may decide it isn’t worth trying. Stay positive and make the best of the time you can spend together.
As in most areas of life, having a positive attitude towards your dating life is crucial.
And this goes for everyone, not just people trying to straddle the divide of two highly divergent work schedules.
If you don’t believe in the possibility of something going right, then it probably won’t, because you will project your negativity onto it and will be less willing to take chances.
So, if you begin dating someone who works nights, try to keep your negative thoughts at bay.
If you start to wonder whether your incompatible schedules mean that you two are incompatible, check yourself!
If you and the person you’re dating really like each other, then having different working hours won’t be enough get in the way of your budding relationship.
4. Make sure you are sleeping enough hours
Getting seven or more hours of good-quality sleep reduces stress and improves mood, both of which are crucial for making a good impression when you begin dating someone. Encourage the person you’re dating to get the shuteye they need (and not to stay up all day texting you) and make sure you aren’t sacrificing your sleep either.
Scientists have repeatedly shown that a good night’s sleep is linked to happiness. In actual fact, sleep doesn’t necessarily have to happen at night, but it is essential for everyone to get in enough sleep during each 24-hour period.
In order for any relationship to work, the people in it need to be healthy enough of body and mind to communicate clearly, feel joy, and desire physical connection.
If you are always cranky, there is very little chance that the quality of your relationship won’t suffer.
So, no matter how tempting it might be for you to wake up at odd hours to spend time with your partner, or for them to neglect getting their seven hours during the day so they can spend time with you, remember how important hitting the hay is for health and happiness.
5. Schedule video dates
Video dates are a great way to be able to see and hear your date without having to invest the travel time to go and see them in person. If you have even a bit of free time, schedule in a remote date. You could both order in food from the same restaurant and eat together apart, watch an episode of a TV show together, or enjoy a drink and chat to each other.
If you think about it, modern technology has made dating someone who works nights much easier.
Video dates are a great alternative to real dates because you can schedule them far more frequently and easily than actual in-person restaurant dates.
Ultimately, keeping in contact in any form is good, and using a channel of communication that allows you to look into your date’s eyes on a screen is second only is to looking into their eyes in person.
6. Send voice-note updates from your day
Voice notes are a great way to communicate. They are personal and allow the person you’re dating to hear your voice even when they aren’t with you. Send the person you’re dating voice notes when you wake up, before you go to sleep, and/or during your lunch break at work. They can listen whenever they have time!
Once you have established what your conflicting work schedules mean about the time you can spend with the person you are dating, you can start to develop habits that make the time you spend apart easier.
One lovely habit to establish is sending each other voice notes.
Whether the person you are dating sees a voice note notification from you when they wake up or receives one after their shift when they are getting back home, they will surely be touched by the fact that you have made the effort to tell them about your day.
In addition to communicating logistical things, such as which restaurant you want to go to for your next date, you can also leave them little compliments.
Tell them they looked great yesterday or let them know can’t wait to sit across the table from them over dinner again.
Why not give them the opportunity to think about how to respond to “I appreciate you.”
No one doesn’t like to feel like the person they’re seeing is grateful for the effort they put in.
You could also send a voice note asking them out on a date! They can give you their answer in another voice message and you can get a cute conversation going.
7. Go on fun and unusual dates when you are both awake
Determine what times you and the person you’re seeing are both free. Schedule in a running date to do something fun at that time every week. It could be a morning coffee walk when they get off their shift and before you begin yours, or just a walk by the river in the evening before they head to work.
Even if you work different hours, there is usually always a way to make sure that there is time for a communal fun activity once per week.
Make sure you find something that you both genuinely enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like a chore.
We all know that life can get in the way, and it is sometimes tempting just to cancel plans and sit around in your pajamas.
However, try to get out at the times you’ve agreed to.
Seeing each other in person is vital for allowing your connection to grow. If you prioritize your dates, your relationship will certainly benefit in the long run.
8. Make seeing each other when you can a priority
Spend a date talking through your schedules to identify when you are both free. Then, think about what you could realistically do during those times. Decide to make doing those things an absolute priority and then stick to your word.
We all have a limited amount of time during the day and to have to choose how to spend it. This time becomes even more limited when two people have conflicting work schedules.
Establishing your dating life with the person you’re seeing as a priority will ensure that you take advantage of the opportunities you have to see each other.
Even if you are feeling a little tired, or if you might rather just stay on the sofa, show the person you’re seeing your commitment by prioritizing your developing relationship and showing up when you have agreed to.
9. Talk about the future
If you are dating someone you really like but can’t see them often for scheduling reasons, talking about what the future might look like keeps alive the hope that you will be able to spend more time together eventually. Talk about holidays you’d like to take or fantasize about living together eventually.
Imagining a future in which you and the person you’re dating get to spend more time together establishes for both of you that you want to be more permanent fixtures of each other’s lives.
Having your shared hopes to reflect on after a long day at work will also help keep the spark alive, even if you can’t always see the person you’re dating.
10. Make a joint playlist that you both add songs to
Making a joint playlist on your preferred music streaming service allows you to listen to the same things as the person you’re dating. Joint playlists are a great way to share music with the person you like. Listening to songs they’ve added on your way to work will certainly make you feel closer to them.
The cute thing about having a joint playlist with someone you’re dating who works nights is that you get to wake up in the morning to new music.
You can enjoy it on your commute and add your own songs, which they can in turn enjoy when they get off work and are going to sleep.
Music can be a very intimate thing and knowing what songs the person you’re dating listens to will give you precious insight into who they are and what is important to them.
If nothing else, a joint playlist will help you determine whether you have compatible music tastes!
Hey, it’s me, Steven. Dating and relationships have always fascinated me. On Dategosu, you will find my best tips to make sure your next date is a great success!