There is something about seeing a man in a uniform, but is it is not easy to date a man serving in one. As someone who is dating someone in the U.S. Army, I know that it takes a lot of patience and resilience in order to date a man serving our nation. In fact, I never thought I would date someone serving in the military, but it just so happened that my boyfriend is serving our nation. There are also pros and cons to dating someone who is serving our country.
While movies such as Dear John and Pearl Harbor depict relationships with civilian women and military men, a relationship with a service member is not as romantic as those movies show. Yes, the relationships can be romantic, but there is still a lot that one has to deal with when in a relationship with a man serving our country.
There are many dating rules that do not apply for military couples, and there are a lot of painful sacrifices in military relationships, including when it comes to spending time with each other or if he deploys. Sometimes, dates will have to be rescheduled at a moment’s notice because when duty calls, that is his priority. Life is also unpredictable for him with potential transfers every two to three years.
Early on in my relationship, I knew that my boyfriend and I would face challenges. At the start, we would go on dates, outings, or stay in and do a fun activity several times a week. This was just so we could get to know each other better, but we knew that seeing each other all the time was not going to be an option. Every two months, he would switch from day shift to night shift, then back to day shift. With his work schedule, I usually will see him every two weeks or so. Occasionally, I will see him several weeks in a row or several times a week. During the pandemic, after leave, he was not allowed off base for two weeks. He and I have had to reschedule several dates and outings because of work.
Gratefully, before I met my boyfriend, I already had a lot of friends in my area. Even during the coronavirus pandemic, I was able to hang out with them or call them often. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean you should hang out with your friends less or ignore them. It is also important to have hobbies, a career, and interests. While in any relationship, it is important to have a life and friends outside of your significant other, but even more so if your significant other is in the military. You will not be able to see him all the time.
In a military relationship, calling or texting is also not always an option. There are certain military locations where you are not allowed to have your cell phone, or there may not be cell service or even Wi-Fi. Just because he does not text you back right away or answer the call, does not mean he has lost interest. His duty will always come first. If you are in a relationship, you know how when you receive exciting news, the first person you want to call or tell is usually your significant other? That will not always be the case in a military relationship.
It is already difficult to plan a vacation, especially when it is one to meet your family and his. Planning one with someone in the military requires extra steps. While my boyfriend and I are fortunate to know each other’s families, not everyone in a military relationship will have that option right away. Many service members are likely to be stationed far from their families, and they can only visit them on leave days or if family is in town. Leave dates have to get approved, often many days in advance. Sometimes, leave will not get approved or it can get canceled. If leave is not approved or canceled, service members are only allowed to travel a certain distance.
Dating is already tough but dating a man in the military is even more difficult. You need to be resilient, you need to know who you are as a person, and you need to be strong and bold. Gratefully, a man who serves our nation is known to be someone to be loyal in a relationship, his family, and his country. He also is someone who truly loves deeply, and as someone who fights for freedom, he will give you your freedom.