Convincing the Significant Other...

Joined
Sep 25, 2006
Messages
275
Location
Livonia, MI, USA
So I recently mentioned to my fiance that I wanted to head out to the plains next year to bag a tornado or two but she is quite hesitant since I "would be going out of my way to put myself in danger." I understand her concern and despite explaining that I'd be going with someone who's done it before and knows what they're doing, she still is skeptical.

So, I pose to the other chasers out there, how do I go about convincing her I'll be pretty darn safe, at least in respects to other things we do daily, like driving to work.
 
if you go alone im positive she will freak out since you said you have never been out storm chasing before. With that being said if you go out with other chasers and you maybe introduce them to your fiancee and let her see how much experience they have and that they have been safe doing it then i dont see the harm! Maybe even mention the fact that she can tag along??? last but not least get into one of those storm chasing tours i know a number of tour groups go out and chase its costs a bit of money but you both can bond and realize if you know what you are doing its practically safe. The only thing you really have to worry about is other drivers and road conditions but you deal with that every day anyway

i suggest the college of dupage tours over the spring and summer only because i go to that school and have first hand knowledge with the program www.weather.cod.edu
 
Yeah, tours are out of the question money-wise and I don't think I could get her anywhere near a storm. She has a hard time dealing with the trailers for horror movies on TV.
 
haha i see.....well in that case invite a few would be chase partners over for drinks or dinner or something casual and share stories or videos. That way if you do go out she'll be more comfortable knowing that you are going to be safe, after that first chase once she realizes how happy it makes you, she'll realize its okay. My mom was the same way when i was 10 and went on my first chase, she was in knots, but now its like.....okay guys be careful and pick up dinner on your way home. You just have to make her comfortable with the subject :cool:


Yeah, tours are out of the question money-wise and I don't think I could get her anywhere near a storm. She has a hard time dealing with the trailers for horror movies on TV.
 
Simply say, "Yo woman I am the man. I wear the pants in my house. I am going chasing and that's that." Lol that’s what I tell my wife. Of course she and I have a relaxed relationship so jokes are a dime a dozen in our house and she knows if she said no I would at least think twice about it.

Really though there’s not much you can say that will change her mind. So buy her a new rock and you can blackmail her with that. Again I am joking. There’s only one way to get the jitters out of her, just do it. She will naturally get over the fear of you going chasing and after a few years of being married she will be begging for chase season to come so she can get you out of the house.

Mick

 
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You should try to convince your parents to let you chase by yourself at 15 :eek:

I had to convince my dad at 13 years old to take me chasing, since I had no way to drive myself, obviously. The notion given by some predicating that chasing is a dangerous hobby is virtually fictitious. I honestly think some like to fabricate this idea soley to make the hobby sound more like sky-diving than chasing clouds. I'd have to go out on a limb and say that one would have to purposely try hard to get hurt by a storm in order to get hurt by one.


The #1 danger while chasing is lightning, which isn't much of a danger to begin with, given that you'll be in your car much of the time anyways. I've been nearly struck twice -- 6/12/2005 and 9/22/2005 -- both times CG's struck within several hard yards of me, and both of the times I was messing around with tripods set up in a field far from my car. Other than that, unless you're an idiot that's gonna drive through a flooded road, there isn't much else to discuss dangerwise that's gonna pose a threat for the majority of the chasing expierence. I've gotten within close range of many strong supercells, and have personally bagged thirty tornadoes in the past three years, and have gotten with <0.50mi of +F2 tornadoes on at least two occasions, but did so safely and left safely.

The 3/12/2006 tornado event off I-72 near Springfield, IL left me nervous -- given that it was a nocturnal event, and I got too close to the tornadic circulation, which was hard to see given the infrequent lightning the storm produced as it approached the city. I ended up getting extremely intense sfc wind gusts brought upon by the RFD, which approached +100mph several times (I was within about 0.25mi of the tornadic circulation at the closest) which was nearly-pulling my car off the ground.


If one plans on becoming a chaser, the thought of tours should be put aside. You simply cannot beat true expierence, which can be attained easily, especially if one starts out chasing with a more expierenced chaser to begin with. All you have to do right now is read -- learn about the science behind severe storm forecasting and behavior. The key to becoming a successful chaser is learning how to forecast yourself, and learning the mechanics behind supercell (and convection in general) formation and behavior.

Prove to your wife how much you've learned, and explain to her that chasing is not as dangerous as it sounds, especially for one that knows what their doing. If you ever have any question related to chasing, feel free to ask, especially since your a fellow Detroiter... :D
 
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Stay with it fellow chaser...

I've been married going on 15 yrs. and before I made any form of commitment to my wife Debbie, I made it perfectly clear that I am a weather junkie and chaser. This was hashed out long before getting engaged on Mackinac Island. The only time it became a problem was the Sept. 22, 2001 close call incident...but still very much chasing and plan to until I prove to myself that I cannot mentally or physically head to the nearest or meanest wall cloud. My advice is to be firm, up front, and be obvious. Once you get the storm chase bug, it's the point of no return !!
 
You should explain to her the "real" risks in life, like heart disease and an assortment of cancers. That pretty much accounts for most of the deaths. Car accidents are a significant risk, but wearing your seatbelt and avoiding drunk driving makes that dramatically safer.

Everything else in life is pretty much just a rounding error.
 
So I recently mentioned to my fiance that I wanted to head out to the plains next year to bag a tornado or two but she is quite hesitant since I "would be going out of my way to put myself in danger." I understand her concern and despite explaining that I'd be going with someone who's done it before and knows what they're doing, she still is skeptical.

So, I pose to the other chasers out there, how do I go about convincing her I'll be pretty darn safe, at least in respects to other things we do daily, like driving to work.

I think it's safe to say that your daily commute to work is just as dangerous as going storm chasing. You can pretty much predict what a storm will do but you can't predict what some knuckle heads will do on the roads these days.

You can get in position for a right turning supercell, but a right turning car at the wrong time can be a disaster.
 
Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this month.
:D
We have an agreement. I put up with her two absolutely worthless POS cats who leave Snickers bars all over the house, and a dog that I have to let out three times a night, that can also clear a living room with her gas....and she puts up with my storm chasing in return.

......and guess what? I think I'm getting the short stick.

Andrew...I don't meant to be rude...but this is an excellent time to get this worked out while she is your fiance. If chasing will be a part of your life, this is the time for her to see it. Ask her along. She might enjoy it.


Tim
 
Celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this month.
:D
We have an agreement. I put up with her two absolutely worthless POS cats who leave Snickers bars all over the house, and a dog that I have to let out three times a night, that can also clear a living room with her gas....and she puts up with my storm chasing in return.

......and guess what? I think I'm getting the short stick.

Andrew...I don't meant to be rude...but this is an excellent time to get this worked out while she is your fiance. If chasing will be a part of your life, this is the time for her to see it. Ask her along. She might enjoy it.


Tim

Man, that was good. Lucky for you the Bar And Grill is for members only.
 
Long before I even proposed, I made it clear that I will continue to chase storms. Essentially, the storms and I are a package deal. My wife accepted chasing while we were dating and continues to after a year of marriage. She even enjoys watching tornado videos but not nearly as long as I watch them. She also enjoys watching lightning. I have offered to take her chasing but she doesn't want to do the long drive, sit in a cornfield with no bathroom for hours and potentially see nothing. If I could guarantee a tornado with a short drive and get her back in time for a trip to the spa and dinner, she would like chasing :) Ginny did go with me "waterspout chasing" last summer which was mainly sitting at waterfront bars in the Keys (we didn't see anything.)

Our philosophy is that it is healthy for each partner in a marriage to also have some of their own interests separate from the other. Mine is chasing and photography while she is a singer (opera). We have learned to appreciate each others interests.

Maybe you can show her some of the more beautiful chase video (pre screen first to leave out baseball hail, trashed buildings etc.) to give her a sense of the wonder and excitement of chasing.

Bill Hark
 
Compare the number of storm chase related deaths to the number of everyday traffic related deaths, and I am sure she will start to give in.... if anyone ever marries me, I definately won't be holding out on chasing! In fact, he'd have to fight to try to keep me home.

But really... just tell her how chasing really is. Most non chasers tend to think of Twister when chasing is mentioned, but it ain't like that in real life. Tell her you always keep your eyes peeled and stay away a safe distance in case you need to turn around, and if you're going with someone else, one of you will be doing the driving while the other watches the sky. If you're tired, pull into a motel to get some sleep.... She's just worried because she's never gone chasing and doesn't know what to expect, but if you explain how you keep safe, and call her every night that your gone, I am sure her worries will ease. Good luck.
 
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I figured if our relationship could pass the dating school while I was majoring in meteorology and actively chasing, we'd survive as a marriage. I made it clear early on that during storm season, I would not be scheduling "dates" in advance. She understood, and there are no issues here!
 
Tim and some of the others have a good point. My wife and I have been married for fifteen years. She has things she likes to do, and I chase storms. Make sure you chase your first few times with people who know what they are doing, and study forecasting during the off season like Nick suggested. If the opportunity presents itself, introduce your significant other to some of your chasing buddies. She'll realize you're not the only one with this addiction and she'll start to relax. Oh yeah, buy her some good snacks and spend some quality time with her before you leave for each chase.
 
I "convince" mine with lots of chocolate. It gets a little rough in the spring when I'm out and about and there ARE times when it does get in the way of family funtions, but for the most part, she understands. It's kind of like when I was fishing tournaments. She understood as long as the major family functions were attended. I've only dodged the F5 Frying pan once or twice in 10 years.
 
My wife enjoys chasing a lot in her own ways, but "some professional help" is a good idea a few times. The suggestion of the DuPage tour experience sounds like a good one for you, without breaking the bank.

TTI it's lonely chasing without her (and I believe she feels the same way), so the solution is a compromise that will respect our varied interests. Since she's an aspiring painter wanting to perfect her plein air skills, I think we have a good match next spring and beyond and beyond.... :)
 
I'm lucky with my lady in terms of my chasing. As with any relationship, I told them that chasing was part of the package and I would not be giving it up. She's been with me a few times and doesn't really enjoy it too much, but she understands my passion for it and realizes its something I love more than anything. While I'm not saying take her chasing, but I guess with me, it was easier to take her along and show her how I was when I am out there. I haven't had any issues with it, even if I am gone for two weeks on very little notice.
 
I agree with most of the comments here. I think the OP said his "significant other" was his fiance, and it makes a difference if that sig. other is a new girlfriend or a wife. If she knows it's important to you, and she knows you love doing it, she really shouldn't a problem letting you go do something you love. Now, the OP is new to chasing, so I could certainly see why his siggy other would be hesitant. The above (she should let you go if she knows that it's a part of you) refers to those who chase regularly and have for a while. Many folks have misconceptions about chasing, so you getting a few chases under your belt should help show her what chasing is really like (which, much of the time, is sitting under a hot sun in some desolate location for a few hours before driving hours to set up for the next day's wishcast LOL). Build up her trust and make her confident that you can keep yourself safe by chasing several times, and I think it'll be easier for her to stop worrying.

From my own experience, I've found it easiest to call her during the "down-time" of the chase to touch bases. In addition, when you are home, make sure you give a little extra attention to your relationship (cards and flowers help). My wife knows chasing is a passion of mine, and she's never told me not to go out. That said, I know that she sometimes gets disappointed when I have to back out of a movie-night or something for a last-minute chase, so make sure that you make extra effort to show her that, just because you back out of a datenight or something else, you still value her OVER chasing (assuming you want this to be a long-term relationship). My wife understands that I obviously value her over chasing, but she realizes that chasing opportunities are limited (usually to a few months a year, a few times a week, with several long-term downtimes). As such, I can't always plan to chase 4-5 days ahead of time, and the extended chase times will be followed by extended downtime. My wife has chased with me numerous times through the years, though most frequently during the terrible 2002 year. Actually, I'm insanely frustrated that my success ratio when she's in the car is terrible (1 or maybe 2 "good" chases through probably 15-20 total chases with her). I really, really want to get her on a 'blockbuster'-type of chase, since she's given the time and energy to keep me company on many chases in the past and hasn't seen much a reward in terms of beautiful storms or tornadoes. Statistically, it's bound to happen sometime, I suppose...
 
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Well, I chased tornadoes alone, and unsuccessfully, since the late 1970s. Last April 7, I took along the woman I'd been dating for a year at that time for her first ever chase outing, a nearby chase enhanced by the first ever day-prior high risk (thanks, SPC). I had slowly enticed her with cellphone calls from the field over the previous two seasons ("Wow--I wish you could see these clouds--they are incredible!" etc etc)

Not only was she an eagle-eyed field spotter, but before long she was muttering at her camera for not cooperating on the mammatus she was shooting--true chase behavior.

And she, and I, saw our first tornadoes that day (thanks for nowcasting, Bob Shafer).

This has to be a new definition of "getting lucky."
 
Forget about the countless times I have chased and come up emptyhanded as far as tornadoes are concerned. The first time my wife chased with me we saw three tornadoes near Mulvane, KS. I should bring her more often.
 
Actually, I'm insanely frustrated that my success ratio when she's in the car is terrible (1 or maybe 2 "good" chases through probably 15-20 total chases with her). I really, really want to get her on a 'blockbuster'-type of chase, since she's given the time and energy to keep me company on many chases in the past and hasn't seen much a reward in terms of beautiful storms or tornadoes. Statistically, it's bound to happen sometime, I suppose...

Funny Jeff... my wife (common-law before I shock anyone) considers herself a jinx to me... although I have put her in some pretty cool (to me) situations. For instance, she went with me on May 10, 2004 where I introduced her to baseball sized hail near the CO/WY border. All the while, Verne Carlson, a fellow Colorandan, was enjoying a half dozen tornadoes less than 50 miles from home. Her first big (overnight) chase was the big May 24, 2004 bust in which we dogged over 1500 miles for absolutely nothing (Amos oughta remember this day well, too). During this chase, I blew out my shocks on a dirt road going over a "big bump" (Amos may remember that as well! LOL). Just this year, the van took a near lightning strike when a bolt picked off a transformer right over the van showering sparks down on us. Obviously, both of us felt some numbness in our hands and feet from the closeness of the bolt.

I think she enjoys the longer, overnight chases mainly cause of the feeling we're constantly doing something (meeting with other chasers, driving to and from, etc) as opposed to going out 200 miles to sit under the sun for hours on end. And while I haven't taken her out as often as you (maybe half-dozen times or so), I'm hoping to one day reward her with a blockbuster day of her own where she'll totally see me in complete euphoria!
 
Great topic, Andrew. I would suggest that you first determine how passionate you are about stormchasing (difficult if you haven't been on a serious chase before). I say this because she might find it easy to convince herself that this is just a phase--that you just need to get it out of your system, and then you can settle back down to being the guy she fell in love with--not exactly the victory you are looking for. If your passion runs deep, it IS who you are. It is at least a small part of who she fell in love with. She needs to know the probability that this is not just the newest thing in your life.

I like Tim's suggestion that couples should have some areas of independence. It is part of what keeps relationships interesting (hopefully not often painfully interesting). If you can point out a passion of hers that she would have difficulty giving up, and compare your interest in chasing to her interest, hopefully she will begin to come around. Also, help her understand the minimalistic risk involved in informed responsible chasing vs. other nobel indeavors, and allow enough time for her to become informed; she won't be convinced overnight. And don't allow her to be misinformed by Hollywood or the media or YouTube; help her learn what it's all about from people who really know.

Now I'm beginning to repeat everyone else's comments, so I'll stop here. I'm not really an authority anyway, as my last girlfriend broke up with me while I was on a chase...but there were definitely other issues involved. :mad:

Best of luck...maybe she will be drawn in by the power of the dark side. :p
 
Hi Gang

Think I must be lucky, my wife, Cindy, loves chasing. She gets upset if I have a chase to go on and she has to work. I have to admit that I was suprised by her excitment with the first couple of chases we went on together here around the home region in Australia.
And as for our 5 week chasing trip to the USA in 2006, we had a ball.
It was great to meet up with some of you guys in Nebraska; Pete, Nick, Dan, Kurt and others.

my advice ... get her interested in weather, specially in the photographic aspect, it will make her feel part of the chase with a responsibility to get a good record of the storms. :) This will help to negate that "I'm just tagging along" feeling.
Do what you can to meet up with other chasers. Generally there are a good number of partner (husband/wife, etc) teams. and she will get to meet them and make new friends :)

good luck
 
Great topic Andrew, thanks for starting! Congrats on your upcoming wedding. I've blown out a knee skiing, twisted ankles hiking, and broken fingers playing softball. Can't say I've seen these happen chasing, and personally, I feel a heck of a lot safer driving in rural areas on a chase vs. my daily commute in Denver.

My wife has always known I was something of a wx nut since we met 14 years ago. We moved to CO from CT in 01 and in the spring of 05 I got turned onto actually chasing. Considering that in a well constructed house, she always cringed at a flash of lightning, and jumped at a clap of thunder, I was completely surprised when my wife said she wanted to go as well. The first chase either of us did was a 23 hour marathon with a tour group on 6/12/05 from Denver, to Jayton TX and back to Denver. We saw our first tornadoes together (thank you Roger & Caryn Hill), had lightning strike close a couple times, and was pelted by hail while shooting video, and we enjoyed every second of it! We've chased a few times together since, and I've gone many times without her. Even when she does not come along, she keeps an atlas handy to track where I am as I call her with updates. She definitely does not share the same level of passion that I have for wx and chasing, but I am extremely lucky that she not only understands what it's all about, but encourages it as well. I can thank her for talking me into keeping a WX Works system that I've had new in the box since Feb 06. Although the laptop to run it on is yet to be part of my chase equip, (which will be rectified before this spring) and after many discussions, she told me "If this is something you are really interested in, you will regret selling it, so you need to keep it and put it to use.", which I intend to do thanks to my other half.

When people hear for the first time about chasing, they seem to always ask the same question, "Isn't that really dangerous?". My response (as well as my wife's) is always the same, "only if you have done something horribly wrong or irresponsible". I don't want friends or co-workers getting the wrong impression that this is a daredevil hobby or it's done for a rush, so I always talk down the danger, talk up the safety and science, and put focus that it's not just about tornadoes, but that weather and storms as a whole are what makes chasing interesting. Hopefully you can do the same so that you and your other half can strike a balance that both of you are comfortable with.
 
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