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Though I’m no stranger to military men (my grandfather, father and brother were all enlisted), this is the first time I have dated a soldier. I’ve seen a lot of websites that list ten things an Army girlfriend should remember and do, and some of them made great points. And your honey could be shipped out at any time, for months or years. Many of these are difficult and sometimes disturbing. If he wants to talk about his life in the Army, be it the crazy times with the guys in his unit, the tedium of the everyday, or even the tougher times, let him be the one to broach the subject.
Curious as to what I was in for, and wanting some solid guidance, I went looking for advice on how to be a good Army girlfriend. However, in my own time as an Army girlfriend, I’ve come upon a few revelations of my own. Dating a soldier is a commitment, and not one to be taken lightly. Above all, talk to people who’ve lived it and ask them to be honest. If you’re not ready for to be an Army girlfriend and all that it entails, break it off. As soon as my guy used the g-word, I hit the keyboard and called my sister-in-law (retired Army wife extraordinaire). Soldiers work long hours that they have absolutely no control over. If you’re one of those girls who always needs a guy on her arm, get used to disappointment. You’ll have time for your friends, family, hobbies and work. And odds are, one of the reasons his time with you means so much to him is because it’s one of the few times he can get away from that life. My boyfriend and I have plenty to talk about, from video games to the funny cashier at the grocery store, and I never bring up the Army to any extent greater than asking him how his day went. If your man is ready to introduce you to the guys in his unit and/or regiment, it’s a big step.
That coupled with the stress and exhaustion that comes with Army life can make it hard for him to spend lots of time planning things for the two of you to do together.
Now, this does NOT mean you should boss him around.
It’s very common for guys with kids to write in their profiles: “My kids come first,” or “My daughter is the center of my world! You want a potential mate to know that your life includes the giant presence of a kid or four. Plus, if you’ve gone through divorce or another crisis that landed you as a single parent, you are no doubt concerned about giving your kids extra care and sense of security. But it is even trickier if one or both of the parents put the kids before their partner.
You also want women to know you’re a devoted dad (it’s no secret chicks get hot for guys who are great with kids! It’s no surprise that so many blended families I know struggle with adjusting all parties to a home where everyone is suddenly expected to revolve around the new relationship. One dad I went out with nearly boasted when telling me about a four-month relationship that went sour because his girlfriend did not understand why he’d abruptly leave in the middle of dinner because his tween son would call, upset about some matter with his hockey coach.
As a soldier’s girlfriend, you’ll have to field a lot of the same questions, and frequently clear up misnomers about the Army. Far too many of my soldier friends have had “Jodi” get their girl (you may want to look that up), and it’s especially hurtful to them.
Your girls may not get why you don’t want to go out because you’re waiting on an overseas phone call. They live their lives by the ideals of responsibility and faithfulness. You may not think it now, but while you’re dating an Army man, weird things can get to you. I want to eventually marry my soldier and he is my world.
When it comes to relationships, I’m fond of saying, “But there are a few couples in my life who I look to as models of the kind of marriage I’d like one day. They are the dynamic centriforce around which the family’s life orbits. There is lots of research to suggest that a happy marriage is the cornerstone of well-adjusted kids. D., writes in her relationship guide, The Book of Love: “No matter how sacrilegious it sounds, you need to put your relationship before your children. If you’re not in a committed relationship, it is very easy to make your kids the prominent one in your life.
But he’ll probably appreciate it if you do a share of the date-planning.
Choose the restaurant, make the reservations, pre-order the tickets. I’m sure you have wonderful friends, and this rule may not apply to all of them. In fact, if being unfaithful is a possibility at all for you, I’ll have to recommend you head back on up to number one and give this relationship some serious consideration in the first place.
You have stories to tell, and passions to share, and things to talk about that are more interesting than the weather.
Get noticed for who you are, not what you look like.
So I spend my weekdays going out with my pals, catching up with my mom, and working on that promotion. Bonus: Meeting their girlfriends and wives provided me with a whole new support group. But a military man spends most of his time having other people telling him where to go, when to be there, and how to be dressed.