Your firefighter, society, and personal stories can teach you only a couple things about dating a career firefighter. To save time, I have compiled a thorough list of pointers I wish I had known before The Man became a career firefighter.

  1. First and foremost, firefighters come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities: from the guy who brags about using his job title to pick up girls at EZoo, to the guy who tells you at every meeting that he was once a vegan but wasn’t seeing the desired gains at the gym, and the family man who goes to Boys Night Out for one drink then drives home to his wife and kids.
  2. Get used to nights alone– and attending birthdays, holidays, events, and family gatherings alone, as well.
  3. If the two of you have plans between 6 and 8pm, or 9 and 11am, you have to face that you might be going alone.
  4. Chances are that after a long shift, you’re going to want to be with your firefighter when he has a night off. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for this desire.
  5. Hearing a house’s tones and the sounds of an engine or truck’s siren will never truly sound the same anymore.
  6. There. Are. Fire. Cats. On. Instagram. You’re welcome.
  7. Probies, and some buffs will point out features of nearly every building you pass: Is it new code or old code? Fireproof? Even if you don’t care, he’s going to tell you.fire perception v reality.jpg
  8. Chances are you’re going to become a buff, yourself!
  9. You will learn all of the lingo and ways of the department: the difference between the words “engine” and “truck,” what an “up and down” and “MX” are, and all of his buddies’ group numbers.
  10. You’ll get used to him arriving early, setting up, cleaning up, and leaving late at every house/department event during probation.
  11. The guys from the academy and those in the house will just be last names to you. It will probably be up to you to learn everyone’s first name.
  12. Firemen give each other a lot of smack talk for long periods of time, so when you’re man is home but someone didn’t clean the officer’s bathroom properly, messages will be exchanged for hours.
  13. Firemen talk about each other’s personal lives. A lot.
  14. You’re going to hear comparisons of volunteer versus career. You don’t have to pick one as being more noble than the other. While different, both are necessary for the protection of lives and property across the globe.real men beards
  15. You’re life is about to be 50 Shades of Blue! So, get used to blue shirts. Department, sporting event, memorial, and every other damn shirt is some variation of blue.
  16. When shopping for or discussing what you need around the house or apartment, be prepared for suggestions like water cans and halligans.
  17. Movies like Backdraft and Ladder 49 will never be the same for you.
  18. Chances are, your regularly scheduled programs will be replaced with the likes of Rescue Me and Chicago Fire.
  19. Setting the rules of engagement as far as what you and your firefighter can handle discussing in terms of the job and what he sees on a regular basis will take time. There will be rough conversations and testing the waters to see what both partners can handle discussing together.
  20. Learning how to prioritize might take time. If your firefighter handles it properly, his priorities should be: you (his partner), the firehouse, himself, everyone else. Some don’t naturally have this approach.
  21. Remember, at the end of the day– or rather, the start– if your firefighter is just beginning his career, neither of you really knows what to expect and adjustments will have to be made as far as expectations of the relationship. His whole life: routines, eating habits, sleeping rituals, everything is changing; and so is yours.
  22. The worrying might get better, and sometimes it happens quickly. Sometimes the worrying doesn’t get better at all.
  23. No matter what happens before he leaves for a tour, you kiss your firefighter hard, hold him close, and tell him to be safe. Don’t ever let him leave with the two of you feeling angry at each other.