Is dating a military man as glamorous as Hollywood presents it? Apart from the appeal of strength, power, and maybe handsomeness, how convenient is dating someone in the military? Is dating a service member different from dating regular everyday men?
Away from the pizazz of parades and genuine show of honor for soldiers, how easy is it to date a soldier? Are you in love or dating a military man but terrified that your heart will be stomped on in different ways because of his career? Then, you are in the right place.
Dating an active service member comes with its thrill, uncertainties, and fear. However, service members are humans like everyone else and so, they deserve the chance to be loved like a girlfriend would her regular boyfriend.
On the other hand, if you want to have a robust yet stable relationship with someone in the military, you should also prepare for the dynamics that dictate the lives of service members in the military.
In this article, you will get 19 useful tips for dating a military man successfully.
Table of Contents
Depending on the level of your relationship with your military guy, you will have to be as close to him as possible. If you’re married to him, it’s a given that you will move around with him, especially if you have a child or two with him already.
Whether or not the union is official, you will have to make being close to your man a priority overseeing your immediate family regularly. Except if you and your guy have an agreement that he will always come to you wherever you are, it is only wise that you’re as near him as possible so that you don’t miss any moment he can spare to be with you.
Military men are brave people who carry out important duties that not only ensure the country is safe from external attacks but also, their actions affect your life and family. You are in love with a special man who has made it his life mission to do his best to serve his country.
When you let these heroic and noble intentions sink into your mind, you’ll learn to respect his job, be a source of strength and love him without putting unnecessary pressure on him.
Because his job requires that he is away on dangerous missions during the years he is enlisted, you should become familiar with the fact that he will be absent more often than not.
If you can understand this abnormal situation that’s normal among military personnel, you’ll know peace and your reunion with your partner will always be the sweetest because there’s a mutual understanding in place.
One of the most challenging parts of dating a military man is the communication aspect. Yes, you’ve accepted that you won’t get to see or hold your partner anytime you want, but not to talk to him at will too?
This fact might be a deal-breaker for anyone, including you and that’s okay. However, if you want the relationship with him to work, you have to accept the reality that you won’t get to talk with him the way you want.
To put your mind at ease, reach an agreement with your boyfriend on how you will communicate with him while he is away.
Believe it or not, men in uniform get tired of their job description too and so during his downtimes, he wants to hear you tell him how amazing he is at what he does.
Advising him to quit his job won’t be the best course because his displeasure over the job will only last a little while. Stand by as his number one fan and cheer him on.
The life of a military couple is one of sacrifice, selflessness, and necessary compromises. As such, you might need to make a career or education compromise because your man moves a lot.
For example, instead of attending a regular day school, you can go for online classes that will give you the exact equivalent of the certification you’ll get if you attended a mainstream school.
Special days such as anniversaries, birthdays, Thanksgiving, festive periods like Christmas and Easter are days your military man might miss. He might make it to some but, he will miss most of them.
You should understand that it is not his desire to miss your traditional holidays and family moments but his job takes so much from him that he can only make it home whenever he is released to do so. He will try to be available via phone calls or FaceTime but it won’t be the same thing as him being there in person. However, you’ll have to understand and be fine with it.
Loving a military man means getting familiar with the ups and downs that come with military life. You will be anxious and fearful most of the time because your partner’s life and that of other military people you’ve come to care about are on the line.
Fear and risks are a part of everyday people but military people eat and breathe both. You’ll learn to control your anxiety and have faith that your man will come home to you in one piece. Leaning on other military wives and partners is also a helpful way to stay sane and calm while your man is in active service.
You can date a military man casually but if you’re in a committed relationship with him, you need a level of maturity to handle the relationship. As such, if you’re not ready to make spontaneous changes that will be influenced by your man’s job, you aren’t ready to live the military life.
Be ready to make important adult decisions on the spot without consulting anyone. Be ready to have your emotions thrown here and there while you still maintain control. There are times when you’ll have to make life-altering decisions concerning your man and feel ready to face the outcomes – whatever they may be.
Dating a military man means nothing is set in stone and no location is permanent until he leaves service and decides to settle down in a particular area. Therefore, you might be uprooted at any time. So, don’t get too attached to the people or locations in a particular place you and your man are currently situated.
Form relationships but avoid becoming too attached to a particular place or the people. You can create a bond with people without becoming attached to them. As long as your bond can be strengthened across the world, you won’t be losing much.
It might take a while before you feel like you belong in the military community because it’s a whole new game ball from what you were used to. Except you were a military brat growing up too, it will take some getting used to before you can feel like you’re home.
The military with its language and terminologies can throw off a newbie and so, you’ll have to study, understand and get used to their peculiarities before you can blend in. You can also study other military relationships to understand how to navigate the military world as a partner to a military man.
You should prepare yourself for the competitive streak that some military couples would exhibit. You are not in a competition with anyone but, you should still be aware that some spouses or partners of the military men in your man’s circle will exhibit competition.
Rather than allow their subtle or vocal jibes to get to you, focus on building the best relationship with your boyfriend. After all, you have little quality time to spend together while he is still a service member; why waste it on comparing ranks and status?
Leave the other couples to bicker about what ideal military relationships should look like while you make every moment with your man count.
Be realistic about what your boyfriend can give you while he is still in active service. Don’t expect diamonds and roses when all he can give at the time are stolen brief calls whenever he can.
Avoid comparing your relationship to that of your girlfriend who is dating a civilian; you will end up frustrated, depressed, and eventually ruin your relationship. Contentment is a vital virtue you will need to develop if your relationship with a military man will last beyond his service years.
If you are patient enough, your man will give you all the attention in the world when he is on leave or finally leaves the military.
The military has rules that guide not only their soldiers but extend to their military spouses. Something as simple as the right dress code is just as important to the military as you keeping high-profile information a secret.
As such, what you say in public or in private to anyone who is not your spouse or military official can put you and your boyfriend in trouble. Likewise, you should monitor what you post online to make sure you are not putting your government or anyone else at risk.
Most importantly, don’t flout rules that will lead to prosecution; if you do, not only would your relationship shatter, your lives won’t be the same anymore.
Dating a military man can be a lonely journey sometimes because many people you expect to support you will oppose your decision to commit your life to someone in the military. You will find yourself in the face of discouragement when all you need is helping hands in your tough time.
You will have friends or family members who will scorn you for choosing the life of a military partner. However, what you need is a listening ear that can also offer you comfort when you are missing your man.
If you have a child with your husband, you’ll be both the mom and the fad he/she knows in the marriage for a while because her father is always away. In the midst of all these, you need to be strong.
When you come to grips with the fact that neither you nor your boyfriend has any control over his days and life, you will feel more in control of your emotions and feelings. However, if you don’t accept the reality that the country owns the right to call on him anytime and he has to answer immediately, you will keep courting anxiety and depression.
Your man doesn’t need you anxious, he needs you calm and understanding of his service to his country and humanity at large. Meaning, you have to make do with the moments you can get in between but also that you have to prepare for the worst too.
With the understanding that your man owes his country his attention before you, comes the ease of letting go whenever he has to leave you to go do his job.
He doesn’t need you clinging to him or throwing tantrums at that point; he needs you to send him away with all your love and promises in your eyes that you’ll be waiting at home for him whenever he returns.
Yes, it is a tough life to live and if you aren’t strong enough to do this most times, your relationship with your man might not last.
Dating someone in the military means dating a widely-learned man. As such, he will know so many things that would require you to live his life to understanding.
While you don’t need to visit the places he has or go into the military yourself before you understand some of his experiences, you will need to learn through his eyes and his stories.
You will have enough excitement when you move around with him to stay as close to his base as possible; prepare your mind to be swept off whichever way the service takes him. The good thing about this rollercoaster life is that you’d have also picked up lots of experiences, knowledge, and maybe even languages at the end of your man’s service.
A marriage or relationship for military spouses means more independent living than codependent exchanges. Meaning, your husband or boyfriend cannot be your emergency/first call in any given situation.
This is not the case because your partner is not reliable but because you know he won’t be reachable always. Therefore, you will have to put other people’s numbers as your first call when you’re in danger or in urgent need of help.
Also, you will have to learn some skills that a regular husband or partner would always do for his girl; these skills will come in handy when he is not around and you can’t reach for anyone else immediately.
The military life is one of urgency, sparseness, and acquisition of only the necessary things. Therefore, dating someone in the military means you need to use straightforward, clear, and precise words to communicate with him.
Dating someone in the military means there’s no room for games and such a man doesn’t want to come home to drama; he has enough of that in the field. He will see you like his home, peace, and comfort; playing games with him will only make life difficult for him when he should be regrouping for his next mission.
As such, be straightforward and clear on what you want from him and he’ll appreciate you for that.
Just like no one can know whether a regular guy will be faithful, you also cannot know if a military guy would cheat or not. A man’s character, words, and actions, not his job, will give him away as to the kind of partner he is.
If a service member likes you, he will use all his free moments with you because he wants to get to know you as quickly as possible.
He will also be direct in his dating approach; he won’t beat around the bush.
You shouldn’t date a service member if you can’t control mental stress and generally keep everything together even when things are falling apart. You shouldn’t date a service member if you aren’t mature enough to make drastic decisions.
Let him know you like him and be clear about why you do so. Assure him you are strong enough to hold the forte whenever he has to be away from you.
Most military men do move fast because every moment counts and there’s no certainty that they will get to see the next day. However, some take their time because their mindset is that, ‘what will be will be’.
As scary as dating a military man can appear, if done properly, you will always look forward to seeing your man rather than dread the day a flag will lead him home. Hopefully, these tips will help you reshape the way you’ve been handling your relationship with your man.
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