There’s just something about a man in uniform that makes us swoon.
But what is it? What makes them different from the other men in our lives? Is dating a military man really that different? It certainly can be.
Here are some things you should know about dating a military man.
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11 Things You Should Know About Dating a Military Man
…And how they are different from others.
Military men will have many similarities and many differences from other men you’ve dated. While you may not see all of these things at once, it’s good to know what to expect in particular situations before they happen, that way you are prepared.
1. They seem unpredictable.
As much as they want to stick to a schedule and be able to be home for every holiday, birthday, and celebration they just can’t promise this.
2. They can’t always be your first call.
We all want a significant other to be there at all times for us, the good and the bad. When you’re dating a military man, this isn’t always an option.
3. They don’t beat around the bush.
Communication is important in any relationship, but your military man will probably not sugar coat anything. Be prepared to learn to tell it to him straight.
- What Spouses Can Expect Regarding Communication During Boot Camp
- 7 Crucial Components of Deployment Communication
- 5 Smart Strategies to Improve Post-Deployment Communication
4. They have some awesome stories.
Exaggerated or not, war stories are fun to listen to. Get ready to listen to the same few stories on repeat, especially when out with friends.
5. He’ll be pretty worldly.
One great thing about military men is that they are exposed to different cultures, places, and people. He’ll have a lot of knowledge about other areas and other ways of doing things
6. He’s defensive about you.
It’s so wonderful to have a military man by your side, figuratively and literally. You’ll find your own confidence increasing each time he takes your side or supports you through something.
7. He’s disciplined.
Perhaps in some ways more than others. And while you may think he’s only disciplined about work, you’ll soon see the other areas in his life that are structured, neat, and tidy. You don’t even have to get up at o’dark thirty to appreciate this in him.
8. He’ll appreciate your strength.
Chances are, this military man of yours is going to deploy or leave for training. He needs to know that you can handle everything while he’s gone. At the same time, he’ll want to know you miss him and greatly prefer it when he’s home.
9. He’ll speak a different language sometimes.
Man, the acronyms and terminology are so hard to keep up with! You’ll catch on quick, and sometimes, it doesn’t even matter what it means, just listening is what he wants.
10. He is part of a package deal.
His friends, his brothers, they come with him. Be prepared for late nights with all the guys. Understand that he’ll drop everything if they need him. Remember this devotion is what you love about him.
11. They have secrets.
Sometimes, they can’t tell us what’s going on at work, and sometimes they don’t want to. Either way, the secrets he’s keeping are not a reflection of his trustworthiness. There are some things he just can’t tell you, and you’ll soon learn not to ask.
How to deal with a military boyfriend.
As you date a military man, you may see some changes in yourself as well. You’ll start to learn what you can really handle, and what is important to you.
Here are some things you may soon discover.
1. This is a relationship of sacrifices.
If you’re dating a military man, there are times it will feel like your life comes second. Your education or career may be at the bottom of the list of priorities. Your reaction to these times will give you an idea as to how the future may look.
- 47 Things No One Tells You About Being a Military Wife
- 10 Things Military Spouses Won’t Tell You About Deployment
2. You will worry!
“No news is good news” is the mantra of military spouses everywhere, and you should quickly adopt this too. Deployments are hard, trainings can be scary, and when you don’t hear from him in awhile you start to worry. Try not to let this get the better of you.
3. People just will not understand.
There are people out there who are going to think you’re crazy for dating a military man. These people may include your mother. But you can’t help who you fall in love with, so try not to take it personally.
- The Best Advice for the Military Girlfriend
- A Letter to the Military Girlfriend Who Feels Discouraged
4. You may not always fit in.
Years ago there was a big separation between military spouses and those who were “just dating” a service member. The community has come a long way, but even still there may be times when you don’t feel you fit in. Try anyway! Make some friends, be polite to everyone, and listen more than you speak.
- Why Military Spouse Friendships Are Exactly Like Dating
- 15 Hilarious Stages of Military Spouse Friendship – Explained in GIFs
- To My Military Spouse Friends, You’ll Never Know…
5. You’re going to be lonely.
No matter how close you are to family, you’re going to feel like you’re in a different world. People outside the military community just don’t understand what it’s like to date a military man. They think movies show it all, but you’ll quickly learn that’s not true. And sometimes you’ll be lonely, even if you’re in your hometown.
- What to Do When You Feel Lonely in Military Life
- The Blind Spots of Military Life You Didn’t See Coming
6. You can do this.
When you first start dating a military man you may think there’s no way you can handle a deployment, a move, or anything else the military will send your way. But know this, you can, and you will.
How do you maintain a military relationship?
You + Him + Military = Three in a Relationship
Ask any military spouse or long-term significant other and you’ll discover there are always three in a military relationship. “His mistress” is the one that seems to get priority over everything. And when you know this, it is a lot easier to maintain a military relationship.
1. The military comes first.
There is really no way around this one. If the military needs him, he will go. He’ll answer the phone on date night and leave in the middle of your sister’s wedding. He has to, so try not to hold it against him.
2. You need to be the flexible one.
Knowing that the military will come first, there may be things you can do to make it easier on your relationship. If you have children or pets, know that sometimes you’re going to have to take all of the responsibility. It’s just how it goes sometimes.
3. It’s not his commander’s fault either.
It’s so easy to blame “the boss” for the times your military man is called away. But the boss is also leaving his family behind to go into work and he’s not happy about it either. Try not to hold a grudge.
4. There are so many rules.
And some of them even apply to you. While the military can’t make you do anything, they do have the right to enforce rules on the installation. It’s best to ask about these rules first so you can be aware and follow them.
- 9 Embarrassing Things That Happened at the Military Base Gate
- The Ultimate Guide to Military Ball Etiquette for Spouses
- 12 Must-Know Etiquette Rules for Military Life
5. Listening is important. Fixing is not.
When your military man comes home complaining about a bad day, he doesn’t want you to fix it. He wants you to listen, commiserate, and then tell him he’s wonderful. Suggestions like, “Find another job,” or “tell your boss he’s wrong,” are not helpful.
Dating a military man can be the best experience of your life.
These men are physically and emotionally strong, and they have a work ethic like no other. They’ve dedicated years of their lives to fight for our country, and they deserve an awesome woman like you by their side.
Frequently asked questions I get about dating a military man 🙂
Of course! You may not be able to go on a date while you’re on deployment or training, but of course, you can have a significant other (e.g. girlfriend or boyfriend)
They can at times, but they don’t have to. Sometimes couples get engaged and then married quickly because of an upcoming deployment or duty station move. In the eyes of military, you must be married in order for your spouse to come with you. My boyfriend and I were together for years before we got married. So military relationships can move as fast or as slow as you’d like.
In short, yes!
This really depends on the base he is stationed at. At some bases “single” (i.e. unmarried) service members are required to live in the barracks. And if that is the case, spouses cannot stay there. At other bases, single service members are allowed to live off base, and if they are off base, you can live with them. Once you’re married, you can get a house on base.
Really depends on a multitude of factors. In my past experience, my service member did not have a cell phone while deployed. Things are always changing, so I would take that on a case-by-case basis with your service member.
I’ve written a lot on this topic. See below under “Want more on military life” for a few post links to help you dive in. But all-in-all, surrounding yourself with good people, being a strong advocate for your own mental health, and always humbly asking for help (as in, don’t wait until the house is burning down!)
Absolutely! Long distance, demanding training schedules, frequent moves, and more — all are serious contributors to a challenging lifestyle. If you truly love the person you’re with, you’ll find a way to make it work.
Lol. I’m gonna go ahead and say that is entirely unique to the person you’re dating and has little to do with him being in the military.
Want more on military life?
- 9 Relationship Truths Only a Military Spouse Would Understand
- 10 Relationship Saving Tips to Use During Deployment
- What I’ve Learned After Two Decades as a Military Spouse
- Being a Military Spouse Is Harder Than I Thought
- How to Plan a Military Wedding When the Date Keep Changing
Want more about a military member going to boot camp?
- Your Service Member Went to Boot Camp, Now What?
- 5 Best Ways to Support Your Service Member in Basic Training
- What to Expect Regarding Communication After Your Service Member Goes to Boot Camp
- 11 Boot Camp Graduation Gifts That’ll Make Your Service Member Smile