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How Farms Work: Bringing an outsider inside the farm life

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They say opposites attract, so it’s no wonder how this farmer ended up with a girl from the city! I’ve come to find that dating someone from a different lifestyle than my own can have perks; it has given balance to my life, among other things. I’m always working, so taking time off to spend with her has helped me to live a fuller life — one not just of working all the time, but one of going places, socializing with new friends, and doing things that have just never occurred to me to try.

While many people will say that a farmer dating a city girl will result in the two butting heads, I’ve come to find quite the opposite — so long as you both are open minded. She has shown me many things that the suburban lifestyle can offer, and I’ve shown her the many things that farm life can offer.

If you’re looking to introduce a partner to farm life, I’ve laid out a few tips below that may help you warm them up to the idea.

Start slow!

Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t drop everything on them at once. Many people from urban or suburban areas can have difficulty adjusting to rural life, since in a city there are always many options of things to do. This may require you to take some time off from farming to show them what local activities there are in your area. Being able to find things to do to keep yourself from getting bored is something people from rural areas take for granted as many farmers work to fill their time. Your partner may not be able to easily find things to do on their own around the house or farm. Try to get them started on feeding your animals if you have some. If they start to feed them without being asked, you’ve found yourself a keeper.

Involvement is key

Keeping your partner involved with your life is important when introducing them to the rural lifestyle. While some may find it stereotypical, asking my girlfriend to make me lunch has made her feel a part of my life, which she enjoys. Most farmers will agree that they could use another helping hand on the farm. Try asking them to tag along for the day, give them something to do while you’re working so they’re not just watching you, or even help them get a garden started. Getting your partner acquainted with your family and their significant others can help them make new friends. It may come to a shock to someone used to the city that rural communities are tight-knit without much anonymity. Many people in town will know who you are, and often you’ll be related to someone who is related to any given person — which will sometimes result in rumors spreading around town.

You’re a part of their life, too

Don’t forget to take time out of your day for them if they are doing so for you! Being so busy with the farm has resulted in me neglecting my relationship during the busy seasons, so it’s important to have found someone who understands that they can’t always come first and that there are particular jobs on the farm that must come first and get done. Because if those jobs don’t get done, the cows could go hungry or the crops won’t get brought in before the snow flies. Farmers are among the hardest workers in the world economy because of these high-risk deadlines. If you find yourself standing around looking for things to do, it’s probably best to spend time with your loved one if possible. With my girlfriend, I’ve discovered many new places, such as parks and family owned diners, that I would’ve never found by myself.

Be patient

It will be a struggle for your partner to adjust to farm life. It won’t happen overnight, but the adjustment will come. Stay persistent when trying to help them because home is where you make it, and you never feel like you’re home the first few weeks you move anywhere, let alone an entirely different environment with a different set of ideas than you’re used to.

Thanks to the advancement of technology, many farmers are looking to find a significant other using technology (it’s hard to escape those FarmersOnly.com commercials, isn’t it?), even if they come from a different lifestyle. This has ushered in a new era of relationships on the farm that will continue to make farmer/suburban relationships more of a commonplace.

 

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