View Full Version : Dilema...

03-13-2011, 10:04
So i just put my two weeks in last friday with my last day being March 25. It was a great feeling to leave a menial job and finally feel like my thru hike will be a reality. However, I started dating this girl a few weeks ago. She does not understand the thru hiker mentality and wants me to stay. I've already told her Im going and that we can have a few great weeks together and if it all works out get back together in about 6 months. She is starting to understand the importance of this hike to me, but is their any better way to handle the situation to help her understand? Thank you in advance for the advice.

Lone Wolf
03-13-2011, 10:08
stick to your plans. girls are a dime-a-dozen

Joey C
03-13-2011, 10:10
First, understanding how preparing for a thru hike can be consuming.... if you wish to persue a relationship with her, make sure you continue to show interest in her, not just your thru hike. It can't be all about you.

Then, and only then, get her involved with the AT. This forum is great, and so are trailjournals.com, if you are keeping an online journal, for example.

Remember the first part - interest in her - when you call or write home to her. As well as sharing as much of your experience.

After 21 years in the Marines, through numerous deployments and 23 countries, as well as an abundant number of extended hikes.... My 22 years of marriage has not suffered as much because of me keeping that first rule in mind.

03-13-2011, 10:12
Go for the hike. If she is there for you when you return, she's yours; if she is not there when you return, she never was.

Pioneer Spirit
03-13-2011, 16:25
Arrange for her to meet you on occasion along the way. Maybe walk certain sections that have frequent road crossings and pick-up services so she can share a small portion of the hike.

If she doesn't approve of your hike, what happens when the wanderlust for other trails returns each year?

03-13-2011, 17:15
Go, hike your hike as planned and keep in touch with her to see how she is doing.

03-13-2011, 18:16
Arrange for her to meet you on occasion along the way. Maybe walk certain sections that have frequent road crossings and pick-up services so she can share a small portion of the hike.

If she doesn't approve of your hike, what happens when the wanderlust for other trails returns each year?


litefoot 2000

03-13-2011, 18:55
i'm a girl, and i say go hike. if it's in your heart, it's in your heart and if she doesn't approve now, she probably won't approve later.

are you two even official yet? o.O

keep a trail journal. give her its link.
are you taking your cell phone? text her pictures of awesome landscapes.
send her postcards.
call her when you're in town or have a signal.
let her mail you cookies. give her a copy of your mail drop schedule. and if you're not planning on doing mail drops, at least plan to check a few drops along the way so she can mail you. that way she's not sitting around waiting on you for contact; she can feel like she's actually contacting you as well.
as others have said, let her hike with you. i know that's not an option for some people, whether it's because your SO can't take off from work and drive hundreds of miles to meet you or some other reason... but if it is an option, have her do a day hike with you. or spend a zero in a town with her.

i'm extremely jealous that you've already put in your two weeks' notice, btw.

03-13-2011, 22:32
I'm also a girl, and I also say go. But that's not really what you asked... you asked how to help her out. If I were in your situation I would just postpone the relationship until you got back; having your heart halfway into any endeavor sucks. But, again, you didn't ask that... sooo...

I got left for the outdoors once, and these are the things that would have made me feel better:

1. Call her often (twice a week would be nice... once a month, not so great)
2. When you do call, make sure to mention that you miss her, and ask about her before launching into epic updates on all the fun you're having.
3. If you meet any female hikers and mention them to her, be sure to also mention that they are married/unattractive/unintelligent/otherwise uninteresting in the same breath. Jealousy is not rational, and even confident women can feel insecure, especially during long seperations.
4. Do romantic stuff. You guys are in the first stage of your relationship and you have to keep the momentum going. Maybe you can get her invested in your hike by sending her something unique from every town stop/state, or send her a letter or flowers when she's not expecting it. Once when I was working at a camp all summer my boyfriend and I took turns writing each other letters asking random hypothetical/biographical questions, and that was pretty cool.
5. Let her feel like she is important to you by finding a way she can contribute to your hike.

Sorry if any of this doesn't apply, sounds patronizing, or sounds like I'm underestimating women--just one opinion!

03-13-2011, 22:34
Oh, sorry, I just realized I mis-read your original post... you actually are going to break it off until you're done with the trail. Sorry for the long-winded TMI!

03-13-2011, 23:35
Correct. Don't try to maintain any sort of relationship with her while on the trail aside from maybe an update every 3-4 weeks. Don't call every town, if you are early in the relationship and have fallen for each other then she will probably talk you into quitting quite easily if every 5 days you are on the phone for a couple hours talking about how much it sucks being apart.
Point her to the enormous number of books and hordes of people passionate about backpacking and she will maybe realize it's not about her, it's about your interest. If she wants to hold you back after realizing it is important to you, then that's a clear sign that she's not ready to make sacrifices that any meaningful relationship is based on.

Many Walks
03-14-2011, 01:04
Ask her if she has a life dream she wants to pursue in the future that would require months of dedication. She may not intend to travel to distant lands, but remember she could be in the same house but her thoughts could be a million miles away. Separation can be both physical and mental. It may at least get her to think how important the hike is to you and may help her to decide to support you so you may reciprocate in supporting her later. If reason fails, enjoy your hike!

03-14-2011, 01:19
I agree with Lone Wolf on this one.

Plus the girls you meet on the trail will teach you what real woman are. They are so much hotter and tougher then any little cracker that you are going to meet in town. If you are a nice guy, you will be able to find a girl in no time on the trail. Who knows your future wife may be starting the same day as you. After hiking many miles on the trail, town girls still hold nothing on trail girls. Go out and talk to some, if theres no spark you will still always be friends because you're sharing the trail together. Then walk till you meet the one for you. If you cannot find a girl to share your intimacies with on the trail, then maybe their not for you. :) JK

Don't try to reason with your current one though, either she gets it or she doesn't. Either way her desire for you to stay isn't based on what's best for you, but rather based on her fear of being alone again.

Hit the trail.
What would Evil Knievel do?

03-14-2011, 13:08
take her with ya