There is rarely a week that passes where I don’t hear from a military girlfriend. She is seeking support, friendship and acceptance into the military community. Researching this post, I found much of the advice for military girlfriends discouraging.
She needs to know “her place.”
She is “just a girlfriend.”
She is “not entitled to anything.”
Related: Boot Camp Communication – What You Can Expect Phone Calls, Letters, Graduation Day, etc.
Geeze! It made me think back to my days as a military girlfriend and how small the military community made me feel at times. It hurt most at the time because my service member and I had been together for years. I wasn’t a fling. And I definitely wasn’t a floozy. I was a young professional with a career and my own money. In the civilian community, people wouldn’t dream of constantly reminding you of “your place.”.
Related: 13 Useful Gifts for a Deployed Service Member
Of course, there are a few military girlfriends who give the title a bad name. They lack character and morals. They take advantage of service members and make poor choices.
As a military community, we have so much encouragement and sound advice to offer the military girlfriend.
One day I hope I am lucky enough to sit down and have a cup of coffee with one of those military girlfriends, who email me each week genuinely seeking help.
And when I do. I will tell her this…
Having a life in addition to the one with your service member will help you remember who you are as a person. Military life tends to take over a bit from time to time, but remember your individuality. Remember what you love to do for fun. Doing this will help your survive long deployments and separations so much better.
Connect with others in your community through Facebook groups, blogs and community events. This could be military community members or civilians. Establishing friendships and good relationships with others will offer you the support you need to overcome the ups and downs of military life.
Related: Where to Find MilSO Groups Online for Support and Encouragement
Grow your relationship.
Learn beneficial ways to improve communication in your relationship. Be open and honest with each other. Learn to grow and establish trust with your significant other. Honesty and trust are the foundation for every strong military relationship.
Use this as a time to weigh the positives and negatives of this life. Take time to really consider what it looks like long term, consider the possibility of moves (and not just the exotic possibilities but the very real not ideal possibilities), deployments, training, absences… talk to other spouses your your boyfriend’s trade honestly about what it’s looked like for them. Make an informed decision now, because that’s what dating is about. It’s okay if it’s not what you’re willing to accept in life, it’s not going to be what everyone wants (nor should it be). But make that decision now.
Take an open mind to making friends within the military community. There’s so much to be gained through positive friendships with other military spouses! — Kim
Seek out the positive.
Try to see the good in every situation, even when it’s not easy. Keeping a positive attitude through everything makes a HUGE difference. I often think of the Danes, who are touted as the happiest people on the planet, and how they seem to find the positive in every situation imaginable. They are what many like to call realistic optimists. They don’t sugar coat challenging circumstances, but they often look at things through the perspective of others, realizing that things aren’t always as bad as they seem.
Discover ways to become more understanding and patient. The military will dictate many parts of your life and allowing yourself to remit control will prepare you for the unexpected.
Give the relationship at least a year before making plans for your future. Don’t rush it. Take your time to know whether this is the life that is right for both of you. The military introduces a unique set of challenges to every marriage–separations, frequent moves, and a demanding job just to name a few. Think rationally, logically and wisely about marrying into military life.
Embrace it as much as possible.
Embrace your time as a military girlfriend. This season of life will help you learn if military life is where you want to be. It isn’t for everyone, and that is okay.
Surround yourself with supportive and positive people who see military life in a good light. There will be challenges and day to day frustrations and at times it can be overwhelming, but with a group of people that truly support one another in a healthy empowering way it can be an incredible experience. — Judy
Being a military girlfriend feels hard sometimes. It’s normal to feel that way.
Hang in there.
You are welcome here in this community.
Want more on military life?
- 43 Awesome Tips for the New Military Wife
- 31 Encouraging Quotes for the Military Spouse
- The Biggest Mistake a Military Spouse Can Make
- The Brutally Honest Guide to Dating a Military Man
- 42+ Top Missing Him Quotes to Send Your Long Distance Boyfriend
What’s your perspective on being a military girlfriend? Let’s chat in the comments!
Happy to have my lover back after 3 months of breakup, thanks E-mail: Robinsonbuckler11 (@) gmail com…..
As a personal rule, I’ve stayed away from military men pretty much all my life… and now that I am recently divorced I decided to throw out my “rules”, since they obviously didn’t work out. Long story short, I’m “casually dating” / “in a situationship” with an airforce guy while he’s stationed here in Japan. (I’m an expat and we met through a dating app) He told me from the get-go that he had a girlfriend back in the states, who he supposedly had an ‘understanding’ with, that they were both allowed to have sex with others while he was deployed. Hence he didnt want anything serious.
At first it was fine, we both had our own things going on, so we weren’t making waves. Then he started to actually get jealous of whenever I did see someone else, and he started trying to monopolize my time and see me whenever he could. And now it seems like we are somewhat exclusive, and he constantly tells me he gave up on all his other “booty calls”. So of course now I’m worried we are both catching feelings for each other.
I’m just trying to figure out how frequent/rampant this sort of casual dating stuff goes on in the military… would he ever pick me over a gf back in the states? Do I need to put an end to this thing before hearts are broken? He still has at least a year left on his deployment, and has told me he really likes what we have going on, and would like to continue if possible.
Hey I’m going out with this girl na me Jennifer she is in the military but we are trying to get married and trying to be with her family she wants to get out.
Would like to find someone who can help me cope with haveing the love of my life being deployed. I t help me to have someone that I can talk with. please help me
I have truthfully been struggling a lot as I adapt to this new lifestyle. I come from a big city in which none of my friends (until recent) entered the military.
My boyfriend of two years, who was my best friend prior (for 10 years!) left this past Friday for his first phase of officer candidate school. I’m having the hardest heart break moment. I feel so lost and lonely without my person and it’s 3 days in. While this is a fast 15 days he has absolutely no contact with myself or his family.
My friends don’t seem to understand how much I need them now either so I feel like I’m truly alone in this battle. Thanks for warming my heart a bit better tonight knowing I can’t vent it here and hopefully many can relate.
Hoping it gets easier.
My boyfriend left at the beginning of the month for bootcamp. He enlisted into the Marine Corps. I have gotten a couple of letters and it feels really good to hear from him. I act okay in front of everyone but deep down inside Im crying. I miss him so much. No one can really understand what you’re going through unless they go through it too. It is hard to talk to someone who doesn’t understand.
I’m currently in a military relationship he’s a Marine and I love him to bits but one thing I find hard his him not always talking to me and I have terrible anxiety and also think the worse and end up crying until he tells me everything is okay and this happens about every other week or so but he’s such a trooper with my anxiety adhd ptsd and depression. He’s have mental issues right now and idk how to get him to talk to me about what’s wrong I know he just lost his best friend back home a few weeks ago so maybe that’s it? The other thing is my aunt supports but doesn’t support my relationship and one of my best friends doesn’t how do I deal with that because he lives in a completely different state then me and right now he’s in cali until he’s out in April which was supposed to be December and then medical pushed it to February and then pushed it out again to April which we both find that annoying.
I am having a really tough time. With how dating sites go and fake military guys being there it’s hard to trust real military guys. I am previously military and have been married to two military guys before so you would think I would have learned not to fall for another one, but it seems my heart doesn’t want to listen. This deployment with him is about 10 times worse, and I don’t have an frg to go to because I’m just the girlfriend. I don’t really understand why it’s so hard…I mean I have experience. How does the girlfriend find out when they are coming home other than the service member? How does one dress for the welcoming home?: