Dating problems only soldiers know

Killian McAleese

Forget about Basic, barracks, and banter. If there’s one experience every squaddie shares, it’s being tarred with the same brush when it comes to dating. We often say it takes a special kind of person to date a soldier: someone who’s happy to share their partner with the army, wait around, and worry, in-between getting to experience the good stuff. But what about these relationship issues from a soldier’s point of view?

Soldiers on an Assault Course

Dating problems, unconquered?

All squaddies know about that look you can get when you tell someone you fancy what your job is, or how awkward it can be meeting someone’s friends for the first time, and telling them you’re in the army. So next time you’re scratching your head and wondering what to do about your love life problems, consider these 12 dating problems squaddies regularly have to deal with.

Dodgy first impressions…

    1. As a soldier, you’re preceded by the mighty and often dubious reputation for being a bit of a player. And maybe this is true in some cases, but if you’re a quiet type who just wants to find a girlfriend, this can be a major issue.
    2. You’re seen as (let’s say) ‘not hostile’ to a weekend of boozing, and another one, and another, and so on… Sound familiar? Even if true, it’s the unfairness behind this one that really riles us. Ever wandered down a high street at 2am? Think they’re all soldiers?
    3. You’re perceived as aggressive. It’s true, a lot of what squaddies learn and do is essentially the art of war, but the aggressive tendencies of a minority of squaddies outside training and deployment tars the rest with an unfair brush

Dating challenges

    1. When you’re shacked up, the dating challenges continue. Express an interest in a ‘brave’, ‘dedicated’ and ‘patriotic’ career in the forces, and you’re dumped! Maybe this doesn’t happen as often, but it happens…
    2. It’s assumed you’ll be away all the time. From training and barracks life, to deployment overseas, potential partners assume you’ll never be at home, affecting your chances with a lot of women.
    3. You’ll be away all the time…. Well, some of the time. Even though you might enjoy most of a year close to home, there are the months away, sometimes at short notice, and this tends cause a few relationship issues.
  1. It’s also assumed that you’ll be cheating with a different person every week, as if that’s so easy. You may be a soldier, but you’re not a freaking boy band. And even if you do have the means, what if that’s not your thing? Tarred… brush… we’re looking in your direction.
  2. You worry about being cheated on every weekend. See, it goes both ways. That’s how dating issues work. Most of us want a trusting, respectful relationship, but it’s unfair to assume that the one who’s away is the only one who’ll face temptation.
  3. It’s assumed you’re an uncaring person. Because, you know, you obviously don’t care about anything if you’re committing to the armed forces. Eh?
  4. Sometimes it’s hard to care about trivial problems. The flipside is that small problems at home can be difficult to focus on when you’ve seen some of the stuff squaddies see, or when you’re worried about mates.

But it’s not all dating dilemmas!

There are also positives to being in the army. For one thing, you’ve got the best bunch of friends anyone could have. And when it’s good, it’s really very good indeed. Got any squaddie related dating dilemmas to share with us? Tell us your story in the comments below!