Military dating isn’t for everyone, but when you are aware of the struggles you may face beforehand, you can be better prepared for what lies ahead. Here are 10 common struggles many people experience while dating a military person.
1. It is difficult fitting in with most people.
Whether you are a civilian or if you are part of a married military couple, you never quite feel like you belong anywhere. Civilian friends won’t understand (or they don’t even care to understand) what you’re going through. You can’t really blame them for not understanding because they never had to. People who grew up with it or married into it just will not understand the situation. Sometimes, it’s always a good idea to have a few military friends who you can talk to.
2. Civilians don’t understand why people “sign up” for this lifestyle.
Yes, when you decide to join the military or date someone who is in the military, you are making the choice to live this way. People tend not to understand these choices that are made. You go into the relationship knowing full well the expectations and about the deployments. You have to keep in mind you aren’t doing this for the glory, you’d doing this because you love that military person.
3. You cannot keep up with their workload.
You’re going to want to connect with your military partner and talk about their day. However as good as your intentions may be, the truth is you won’t be able to keep up with the jargon. Granted, with time you will come to understand the terms, but you shouldn’t expect this knowledge to come overnight.
4. All you can do is listen.
As mentioned above, when your military partner is going on about work-related issues, you won’t be able to offer advice or anything really constructive. All you can do is be a supportive ear to listen to them. In truth, sometimes this is all they need.
5. You’ll discover how badly you can miss someone.
You may be prepared to miss your partner for a certain amount of time, but until that very moment comes and they are being shipped off thousands of miles away from you with little to no contact for that time… It can be excruciating. It’s that longing and sense of not knowing what’s going on is what will drive you batty. Just keep faith and keep yourself as busy as you can. This will help make the time feel like it’s going by a lot quicker than it actually may be.
6. You’ll start comparing relationships with your own.
This may or may not be the case with many military couples, but there are some folks who cannot help but compare their relationship with that of a civilian couple. It can make some people feel a bit bitter toward those who get to have their partners with them all the time. Not only that, but you may experience instances where even people who are in the same boat as you will try to one up you. For example, they may say that they’ve spent three months away from their spouse whereas you’ve only spent three weeks.
7. Experience countless jokes regarding your dependence on your spouse.
This kind of teasing may come from family and friends after they hear how much you’re missing your partner, but it could also come from others who doesn’t know your situation. This often comes from jealousy, as these people think you are only dating your military because there is something for you to gain from the relationship, such as money, medical care, free base housing, and other “perks.”
8. Your future isn’t carved in stone.
For people who feel like every aspect of their lives have to be planned out, you are going to find it extremely difficult just going with the flow while dating your military personnel. They cannot blow off an order to relocate — they have to follow their orders or they would be punished for noncompliance. If you are coping with the time apart now, you may not find it so easy in the future.
9. That “home” feeling won’t last.
You know how you walk in from a long day, you exhale and let that feeling of “Ahh, I’m home,” wash over you…? Unfortunately when you are moving around a lot, chances are you won’t have that feeling for very long.
10. Your relationship could be effected by the surroundings.
The weather can greatly change the dynamic of the relationship, especially if both people enjoy different temperatures. If you enjoy colder climates, you may find that you don’t want to go outside if the place you’re stationed at is hot and humid. This change could add stress to your relationship, especially if your partner thrives in the heat and want to go, go, go!