Letter: “I’ve heard almost nothing from him.”

Advice: “I’ve heard almost nothing from him.”

Hi Megan! I recently discovered your blog and thought I would reach out for some advice, wisdom, etc. I just started dating a commercial Fisherman who is also in Alaska right now for the season. We met through mutual friends and saw each other for about two months before he left. The catch is he lives in Hawaii, and I live on the west coast. I am also 26, and he is 43 (17 year age gap Eek!), but we have, so I thought, a strong connection.

Before leaving, we talked about our plans for me to visit again when he got back and, potentially, even meeting him in Anchorage at the end of the season. All the conversations leading up to him leaving led me to believe he was really interested in continuing dating and more (he mentioned me moving to Hawaii several times, lol). He kept up pretty regular communication with me, returning calls and texts when he got to Alaska and was prepping his boat for a couple of weeks. But since around the end of June, I have heard almost nothing from him.

I know they are in peak season right now, and he’s the captain, so he is probably EXTREMELY busy, but I can’t help but get my feelings hurt and worry things are fizzling, or worse, I am getting ghosted. (Haha!) My gut tells me he is busy, doesn’t want distractions, and that I will hear from him at the end of the season, but I can’t help but be insecure, considering I haven’t actually talked to him on the phone in over two weeks now.

Your insight and wisdom would be much appreciated!

– Bristol Babe

P.s. He is at the Naknek cannery in Bristol Bay if that gives you any context at all 🙂

The Response:

Hi, Bristol Babe!

Thank you so much for reaching out! How magical it is to meet someone who makes you sparkle on the inside. It sounds like y’all have had open communication about the plan to reconnect after the season. And what a dream it would be to go to Anchorage, too!

Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable time right now. I’m here to say that what you’re feeling is TOTALLY NORMAL. It’s hard when you just start dating someone, let alone when you’re long-distance dating a commercial fisherman who works in remote parts of Alaska! On top of that, he’s a captain. This means even more responsibility and stress! It’s normal not to hear from them for a while. And it’s normal to feel insecure about the relationship because of it. How could you not! Others may protest, but if I were you, I would send a text into the ether. Something like, “thinking of you and hope you’re doing well,” or however you want to say it.

Then, let it ride.

Sit back and think how it will be when he texts back or *gulp* if he does not. (And I’m not saying that he won’t!) He may appreciate that you’re not probing him to respond so he can concentrate on work. What I’m trying to say is, you’re in a great position right now, learning what it’s like to be POCF right in the beginning to see if that road is supportive for what *you* want out of life. Commercial fishing means that a lot of the time, it’s about him: when he’s fishing, when he’s coming home, how much prep time is needed between seasons, etc. So the most important part of being a POCF is to look out for number one – ourselves! This lifestyle isn’t easy, so whatever we can do to buoy ourselves with self-care, family, community, career, hobby, etc., needs to be a priority while they’re gone. When we care for ourselves, we can support our loved ones on a much greater scale.

The takeaway? Use this time to check-in and see what you want for your future – what is in YOUR best interest – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, all the “-lys.” A POCF’s independent life is what carries them through, and you’re at a perfect age to choose the path the calls to you. You got this!

I hope this helps in some way. I know it’s not easy to ask questions like this. But as a 27-year-old, young, and fabulous woman you are, you must do. You know what I mean, sister?

Seeing you a big hug and please keep me posted!

Xo, Megan

What advice would you give our fellow POCF? Have you been in this position before? How did you make it through? Please share your wisdom in the comments below! 

*Photo by Daria Mamont

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  1. We have all felt these feelings! I met my fisherman 2 weeks before got on the boat and I had no idea what being a POCF entailed. I lived in NZ and him in Colorado/Alaska so no lack of on-going distance. The lack of communication initially really bothered me but I’m not one to shy away from what I want. My fisherman is a captain also and also lacked majorly in communication skill to begin with haha and when I was feeling ghosted, he was was feeling totally committed to me. Go figure.
    Anyway, I learned to ask for what I want, saying I need a text every 2 or 3 days to make me feel secure. Telling him I really appreciate a phone call when he has 5 minutes. Sharing my feelings allowed him to work on opening up to meet me halfway.
    Communication is everything and making the level I expected known made a difference for us.
    6 years on and he texts me if cell coverage allows and calls from the satellite phone every few days because he knows I appreciate and because he WANTS to hear my voice too.

    • Sally! Thank you for your sharing your experience with communication! I really love that you clearly expressed your feelings and he was/is willing to be open to that during the season! After reading other POCFs responses on Instagram, I realize that isn’t always the case. So glad you both found ways to work together to keep your relationship where you want it to be! Also, thank you so freakin much for being on the video chat yesterday! It was so amazing to finally meet a few of y’all “in-person”/zoom! Looking forward to the next one! And feel free to submit anything you’d like to discuss. I’d love to keep it an open forum for us to discuss our feelings, thoughts, and any advice we seek from other POCFs! Thanks for being here, Sally! Sincerely! <3