Military Girlfriend

The Brutally Honest Guide for Dating a Military Man

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.

Military man and girlfriend kissing on a bridge.

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.

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.

Military boyfriend and his girlfriend hugging after he returned from deployment.

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.

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.

worried military girlfriend looking out window waiting for boyfriend to return home.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

military couple kissing on bridge

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 🙂

Can you date while in the military?

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)

Do military relationships move fast?

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.

Can two enlisted service members marry?

In short, yes!

Can you live with your boyfriend in the military?

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.

Can service members have cell phones on deployment?

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.

How do military wives cope?

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!)

Is it hard to date in the military?

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.

Are soldiers good in bed?

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?

Want more about a military member going to boot camp?

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  1. It is interesting what the note says, you must have a lot of compression and position of listening and tolerance. There are no military in my country, so I know little about this.

  2. I just started dating a Marine and being from Belgium I don’t know anything about the US military. This has been so helpful for me and makes it all make sense!

    Thank you!

  3. Hey! I loved your article. I am from Czech, my boyfriend from France. He is curently in Emirates on mission. we started dating a month ago after a year knowing each other (kinda- long distance also haha) Your writting helped me a lot! Thank you. Have you had an experience with being long distance military girlfriend with long distance relationship? I know its hard to explain. But we live in a different country and now he is even more away. Thank you 🙂

      1. In my experience. Join the military too… then there are countless options. Before I enlisted I never even met someone who serves. But now all I see is green and camo and more green.

    1. Hi I’m darlene I’m dating a military man deployed to Israel never met him yet this is hard in me. I’m much older than him not sure what will happen when we meet

  4. Hey I’m kinda new to all this military dating life. I’ve know my Parnter for some time now but not long enough and he was sent off to boot camp. We both know what we want in life and want to start a future together. I feel like everything is moving fast for me, he wants us to get married and live together if he get stationed at a remote location (somewhere in the US) I would love to but I’m only 19 and idk if I’m moving to fast in my life because young marriage end in divorce and I don’t want that to be us. It’s my second year in college but he insists we can make it through. I just want some thoughts on this… should I marry him and move with him or should we wait till we both get our life figured out. I really do love him and I want to start a future it I don’t know if I should at this age. (He’s 20 right now)

    1. My name is Breanna, and I’m going through this situation, too. I just started a relationship with a marine, and he just left for bootcamp. I’m also 19. I believe if you really love him, you’ll go anywhere he goes. Dont automatically believe it will fail. Dont forget you can always do online classes and travel with college. I really hope this was helpful and wish the best for you both.

    2. I’m dating someone in the military right now. We’ve only been dating almost 3 months. He has some big trust issues due to ex’s cheating on him or using him. He’s in the reserves but is considering going active. His friends though really don’t like me and tell him to breakup with me all the time. We’re considering moving in together but I just wish his friends accepted me more. I can say that I don’t want him for those reasons or I don’t even think about other people because I love him, but I don’t know how else I can help him feel more secure.

      1. I am Ally. I am in the same boat as you are because I dating a USA ?? man for three months and it very hard for him be away in west Africa but good news is he coming home in December 2020 for Christmas season for good and I might get a great Christmas gift ? from him when come home back USA ??. I sometimes want to give up on him but I say to myself that I love ❤️ him and he love me to and he coming home in 43 days and six weeks.

  5. I am in new relationship with a USA ?? sergeant army man for two months and he in west Africa and I am a Canadian woman in relationship with a USA ?? army man. We said in email ? that we love each other really quick and we miss each other . Sometimes I say to my self that this hard to be in relationship with a USA ?? army man but I know he come home ? USA ?? in December 2020.

  6. Recently starting going out with a military man. He doesn’t want to really date or want a relationship at this time. He will be getting deployed for 10 months come December. He wants to be “friends “ first and take it from there. Thing is we really like each other. We get along and the chemistry is there. So I’m not sure what the problem is. He did say we will still communicate while he’s deployed over seas to Africa. I’m confused by the whole thing.

    1. Jenna I just started befriending a Sergeant I met on a dating app. Although you both like each other I believe in letting it flow naturally. My friend I met 4 days ago and I find myself waiting for his messages like we are dating. I find myself missing our conversations . I do not know what is wrong with me lol. He is in Afghanistan presently and will be home to the USA in a couple of months. Just take it one day at a time. Build your friendship for THAT friendship makes for a great relationship. Don’t you want your mate to be your best friend; I know I do. Let it run its course. Hope this helps

  7. I’m only young (18)and I have speaking to a guy for the past month and where getting on so well. He’s in the military and had recently been deployed. I’m finding it hard as I miss the conversations we used to have and I miss him. How do I cope

  8. Hi Rebecca.
    This is a PERFECT Training Manual for women (and men), who get involved with someone who is serving in the Military.
    As an old soldier I thought I would share some of my wife’s insights.

    My late wife often told me (or her friends)
    “You may have left the Army. But the Army never left you”. LOL.
    “When he says he will do something. It gets done”
    “He says what he means. And he means what he says”
    “He never tells a lie”
    “He takes responsibility if he screws up”
    “He doesn’t go ballistic if I screw up”
    “He never complains about me/us. Whinge maybe – but never complain.”
    “Everything he does – he does Right! Not for me. Not for himself. But to Do The Job Right”

    I never realised any of this without her pointing it out to me – but I know it now.
    The Army / Navy / Air Force / Marines etc. Never Leave.
    It is always the major part of a Soldiers life – For Ever. Until he/she dies.
    Like the words from Hotel California: “You can check out any time you like – But you can never leave”.

    Love comes and goes. The Army is For Ever.

    Thank you, Rebecca.
    Stay Safe.

    Franco. M
    Flight Lieutenant (Retd.)

  9. My name is Nomalanga I’m in South Africa I just started dating this military man I fell in love with before we talked about his career. He said he avoided talking about it cause he love me so he feared l won’t give him a chance if he told. I also did not ask him too as I was attracted to him already. I’ve been reading your notes they’ve helped me with my new relationship. Cause he is in training already l feel all the things you wrote about. Thank you so much keep with good work

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