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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.
If you make the effort once in a while, then he can sit back, relax, and enjoy the evening you planned. However, in my experience, finding people who understand the trials and tribulations of being in a relationship with a soldier is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Needless to say, soldiers place a LOT of value on loyalty.
Among my friends, I’ve had girlfriends who want to hook them up with soldiers in my guy’s regiment, guyfriends who ask me if he’s going to kill them if they flirt with me, and even coworkers who, shall we say, were less than supportive of the military in general. So if your guy has committed himself to an serious relationship with you, he’s most likely going to stick to that commitment, and he expects you to do the same.
It’s sending him a funny picture that will brighten his long, hard day. It’s also, according to my Army friends, one of the most rewarding careers a person can have, and one of the greatest things one can be a part of. A soldier is brave, he’s smart, and he’s a tough son of a gun. Feel free to show your pride in the conventional ways: a bumper sticker, a t-shirt, etc. So prepare yourself, you’re about to embark on what can often be a trying adventure. Each time I can make his life easier, his simple gratitude fills my heart. But I fell in love with this great guy who wanted to serve his country. I finally got his address from his parents the week before and I’ve written him 5 letters. The way Bubba and I met (and lol no he’s not some kind of backwoods redneck haha I promise ladies but that’s his nickname he’s had since he was little and its just suck for the past 25 years) is a really great story, I think its kind of like a lifetime movie type of story.
It’s giving him a backrub if he’s been doing hard PT all week. This conflict runs through a soldier’s mind every day. But simply telling him you’re proud of him, and meaning it, will say so much more. If you’ve decided to enter a relationship with a soldier, congratulations. As my soldier recently put it, some the toughest jobs in the Army belong to the women who date, or marry into, it. I knew going into this that I wouldn’t see him for long periods of time. He has only been gone for 4 weeks and its already starting to tear me apart. Well anyways we met a long long time ago, the very first time that we met I was a freshman in h.s.
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.