FIFO miner Joe Ranford imparts the rules of a happy relationship to help fellow FIFO families.
FIFO miner Joe Ranford imparts the rules of a happy relationship to help fellow FIFO families.

FIFO miner shares his tips

I’VE been with my wife Alison for many years now (she will know the actual number) and sometimes I wonder if I’ve actually learnt anything. But I’ve been asked to provide advice on how to keep the long distance partner happy while working away during “important” events.

Mining relationships are unique at the best of times and you need to work on things that work for you. When asked to offer some advice on ideas for keeping us miners in the good books I am at a bit of a loss as I am not sure I do it that well anyway, however, everyone is different and here is my advice for what it is worth:

First you must understand the ground rules – what days are important? Most of us blokes understand the importance of our wedding day, but to remember that day in perpetuity as a cause for celebration is foreign to us. We celebrated on the day, so let’s move on. If your wife/partner believes some days should be treated as “special”, you should ask her to explain why and also to reinforce the dates. And if she wants to be happy, why not get her to explain what would make her happy – surely that’s the safest way to achieve the best result?

Get your partner to make a list of important days. Then get them to remind you of that important day at a suitable time beforehand. Most blokes would not mind being reminded in a tactful way (“Honey, you do remember it is Mother’s Day next week, don’t you?”). Mother’s Day is actually a day that blokes think they should ring their own mothers – and even then there are a good deal of mothers out there who are still disappointed. So understand that you will need to work on this one.

Partners, use a calendar or something and write in the special days with a big red ring around them. Say to your bloke: “Honey have you checked the calendar for any special events coming up?”. You reap what you sow in the case of these important events.

Blokes, put the phone number of your local florist in your mobile phone. Even if you only remember an event on the day, a quick call to the local florist will get you out of the doghouse before the day is through. I am on a first-name basis with mine.

If you’re too late even for flowers, send a decent text message. She’ll still like it.

If you are not one to remember special occasions, invent your own. Buy her something next time you’re passing a shop and say: “I know I’m a bit slack at those days you think are great, but I’m a bloke and we are a bit forgetful with those details so I have bought you this. I have kept the receipt so you can return it if you don’t like it – but I figured you were a size 8.” That should work even if it is a Shimano BTR4500B reel to match the new boat rod you just bought her.

More great ways to keep the missus happy:

1 Folding the washing (even if you do it badly), stacking the dishwasher or getting up off the sofa first when one of the kids screams “Muuuuuuuuum” from their bed is an incredible turn-on.


Next time you go to the video store, get two DVDs - one you know she’ll love (yes even if it’s a romantic comedy) and also that jam-packed action thriller that you’re keen to see. Start watching early, right from when the kids go to bed so you can watch hers first but still have enough time to see Van Dam pulp the bad guys. If you really want to earn some points, bring home a couple of Magnums as well.

3Make the effort to do something special. Ring the babysitter or mother-in-law to look after the kids, book the restaurant, and maybe even get a hair cut. For girls, it’s all about the fact that you have been thinking ahead to plan something special.

4Can you cook? Even if you can’t, she’ll love it when you try.

5Dress nicely for one. We know the trackies, flannies and stubbies are comfy, but you like her in the LBD (little black dress) so how about you put on the ensemble to turn her head. Simple but effective.

6Be nice about her parents. Ask the outlaws over. (Yes, yes, it can be hard - but showing sensitivity in tough familial situations can be a massive point-scorer.)

7And we don’t mean to harp, but flowers are ALWAYS a winner!


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