I was messing around on Facebook the other day and came across an article one of my friends linked to titled “Fifteen Reasons to Date a Paramedic.” At least that’s how I’ll explain to my girlfriend why I was on eHarmony.com looking at an article on dating advice. Curiosity got the better of me with this one and I figured the slight ego boost that comes from seeing how my profession might make me a more desirable romantic partner couldn't hurt. So even though I’m in a happily committed relationship with a saint and not in need of dating tips, I read it.
Articles like that one, while well intentioned, are basically fluff pieces put up by websites that need to have some sort of “content” to get page views. They’re usually written by a person with no direct experience with the subject at hand. While I wasn’t exactly looking for Dan Rather level reporterage I was still left disappointed by the piece. Most medics would be. For example, the article’s reason #15 claims “Paramedics are strong. If you have fantasies of being carried over the threshold, your date is likely physically up to the task.”
To that article’s #15 I counter with every coworker I’ve ever had who considered gas station burritos to be a food group. Besides, paramedics are “ALS” providers and we all know that “ALS” means “Ain’t Lifting Stuff.” Do you really want your romantic partner to designate a team of EMT-Basics to "carry you over the threshold?"
I’ve decided that there needs to be a bit of truth injected into this important subject area and since there’s nothing that people like more than a Gritty Reboot, I give you my own “15 REAL Reasons to Date a Paramedic.” Enjoy.
15 REAL Reasons to Date a Paramedic (Written By a Real Paramedic):
#15: Cleanliness – Paramedics do a lot of cleaning around the station during their down time. Most of them are just as handy with a mop and a vacuum as they are with an IV needle. Knowing how to quickly do station chores might not make them the perfect mate, but it goes a long way towards keeping your apartment tidy.
#14: Frugality – Paramedics don’t make much money. Many of them can only aspire to fry-cook levels of poverty. This teaches them to be shrewd with their cash since they have no choice but to stretch their dollars to their max. Looking for a cheap date? We’re your best shot.
#13: Personal Hygiene and Consideration – Paramedics spend a LOT of time with their work partners, sometimes spending hours upon end sitting in a parking lot waiting for the next call. When you’re in the close confines of the front of an ambulance with another person you learn quickly to bathe regularly, wear deodorant, and to be considerate enough to open the window when you fart. If you don’t, the same fate will come back to haunt you tenfold. This knowledge does wonders for any relationship.
#12: Entertainment – When you spend hours of your day with another person waiting for a call to come in, boredom can set in quickly if it isn’t kept in check. Since a bored paramedic is a dangerous thing they usually come up with fun ways to entertain both themselves and their partner. All of these ways are cheap (See #14) Have you ever roasted marshmallows in the front seat of a car using a toothpick and a lighter? It works as well as any camp fire. Boom, romance.
#11: Stockholm syndrome – Paramedics work very long hours for low pay and usually get abused by their employers, coworkers, and patients to boot. Still, they always seem to come back for more. Most paramedics are unwaveringly devoted to their patients and communities. To make a career in EMS is to enter into an abusive, co-dependent relationship. If you’re looking for a person who will be as loyal as a German Shepard while you treat them like dirt, you’re looking for a paramedic.
#10: Free time – As a benefit of the long-hours and low pay that comes with the job, paramedics spend almost all their time at work. Just last week I put in 96 hours and nobody thought it was unusual. Are you looking for free time to do whatever you want or to have another relationship on the side? Great! We’ll be too tired to care.
#9: Free Medical Advice – The other article has this one exactly right. We’re happy to provide free medical care and advice to those we love. It may not be quality care for all conditions… but at least it’s free and provided in good faith. Who needs a doctor to treat that growth on your neck? You’ve got an in-home healthcare quasi-professional.
#8: We can cook – Every now and then paramedics actually get the chance to eat something that isn’t congealed to the bottom of a fast-food deep fryer. When we do, we usually cook it ourselves. You should try my “Doctored Ramen” recipe. We just need to stop by the dollar store first and get some off-brand maple syrup to go with my crate of microwave noodles.
#7: Never worry about deadlines again – The other article says that paramedics “Know the value of timeliness” because we work in a profession where “time is always of the essence.” While that’s not blatantly untrue for all paramedics, the other 99% aren’t so timely. Fortunately we’re very good at performing under pressure and in getting things done very well at the last minute. Are you a procrastinator and have somewhere you need to be? No problem, we got this.
#6: You don’t have to be so concerned about your own physical appearance – Feel free to let yourself go a little. Paramedics see a lot of naked people and most of those people are not people we want to see naked. A lot of them are also very sick and sick people don’t smell good. Are you putting on a few pounds? Did you not have time to shower today? Chances are you’re light years ahead of the last fifteen people we were forced to look at in a state of undress. You’re good.
#5: Access to crates of medical grade personal lubricant – This one almost speaks for itself until you realize that most of the things we use this substance for are decidedly not all that much fun.
#4: Your parents will LOVE us – As long as you lie to them about our long-term income potential, parents universally love paramedics. They think we’re nice people and that we do good things. Paramedics are also very confident when they walk into new situations and meet new people under stressful conditions. It makes us masters of the first impression. Your friends will love us too.
#3: We know all the best restaurants – The places with the best food in town are almost never those fancy sit-down places with tables and stuff. They’re the little out-of-the-way diners where the preferred place setting is the “Stand Up and Wolf it Down” method of gastronomy. Ever eaten your breakfast at midnight over the hood of an ambulance? The heat from the engine can warm up even the coldest fast food. It might even warm your heart.
#2: The Code-3 Club – This is gross due to all of the various bodily fluids and other pathogenic materials that tend to fly around in the back of an ambulance… but if you really want to join, you have a better chance with a paramedic than with anybody else.
#1: Humor – Do you like laughing until you cry? Date a paramedic. We know funny
Got any better than I do? Leave your reasons in the comments section.