How Can I Be A Good Military Girlfriend
And I have the feeling that a lot of newly military girlfriends feel this way mainly because I hear them say it in their emails and Facebook messages, in their responses on social media. Its easy to feel well lost.
Being a military girlfriend has a lot of grey area and it can be a little tough to navigate, especially if you are like me and know absolutely zilch about what youre getting yourself into.
When I get into situations I dont know a lot about, that are confusing, or that make me anxious, I intellectualize them. I read everything I can. I do research. I try to figure out whats going on. So I dug in. I read a ton of books. I found websites and message boards and I listened and read and participated.
I spent a lot of time looking for the military girlfriend mold and trying to shape myself into what I thought it meant to be a good Navy girlfriend.
Give Support Near Or Far
The most important part of a military relationship is to know that your member needs your support. Whether they are stateside or deployed, your understanding and love makes their time in the service much easier. With that said, its not easy.
- Prep for long periods away You will spend a lot of time away from your service member. Youll probably spend more time apart than together, actually. This is a hard reality for many significant others, and other than potentially dangerous deployments, it may be the hardest part of a military relationship.
- Connect when you can Daily texts, calls, or emails are great when your service member is stateside. When theyre deployed, youll rely a lot on letters, emails, the random call, and the even less frequent video chat. Staying connected takes effort, but its well worth it when you hear from your other half.
- Be their cheerleader Military life is tough. Theres plenty of long hours, strict deadlines, and cranky higher-ups your service member deals with weekly. When theyre down, lift them up in the only way you know how.
Twenty Things Military Girlfriends Need To Know
1. Communication Can Be Difficult 2. Educate Yourself 3. Deployments are NOT the End of the World 4. OPSECInternet Safety for Military Spouses
|Photo Credit: Military Avenue|
5. Connect 6. ASK What You Can and Cannot Put in Care Packages7. Cry If You Must8. Wine instead of whining. 9. Keep Busy! 10. Don’t Forget Your Identity 11. “Army Wives” is only about 50% accurate
|This picture was taken back in 2013 when my husband and I were dating|
12. A Little Love Goes a Long Way 13. Supportive Clothing 14. The Silent Ranks do not exist. Period.15. Travel!
|Taken during a road trip to Dallas in 2013|
16. The Art of Letter Writing 17. Don’t Dispair 18. Take advantage of skype, facebook chat, whats app, etc. 19. Do Not Expect Everyone to Understand 20. If you and your SO can get through the craziness of the military….you can get through anything!
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Have A Date On The Calendar So Both Of You Can Countdown The Days Until You See Each Other
Knowing a specific time and date that you will physically see each other again helps keep the long weeks and months bearable. For example, if you can remind yourself and each other that you will see each other next Tuesday, it makes it easier to get through the week together.
If it is going to be for an extended period before you see each other again, it is helpful to create a calendar for both of you to mark an X for each day you get through and countdown the days to when you see each other next.
Hate From Other Military Girlfriends
I’m really sad that this is part of the con list. I feel like all military girlfriends should stick together. However, girlfriends who have boyfriends currently in service or deployed think the academy girlfriends aren’t real military girlfriends.
It’s true that for four years, I won’t have to worry about deployments or having my boyfriend stationed to another country. I’m still an army girlfriend, but I face a different set of problems. At the end of the day, however, we all have one thing in common: Our SOs are out there defending our country.
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He Cant Be There During Important Events
Whether its your birthday, anniversary, holiday, or any important event, he expects you to understand that he cant be there with you all the time.
His plans can change any time due to his deployment getting extended or some other reason. You should go with the flow because the plans always keep changing.
This can be disappointing sometimes but it is something that you should understand.
what do military guys look for in a girl
Engaged Or Not You Dont Get Military Benefits
Even if youre engaged, its important to remember that the length of your relationship or how serious it is doesnt mean much to the military. What really matters is if youre enrolled in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System as a spouse.
What does that mean for you?
- The ID is everything A military ID shows you are an official part of the military system. If you dont have this, you cant get on base alone, go into the commissary, or generally do anything without your service member by your side when it comes to the military.
- Base access is a process Your military member has to be with you at all times on base. Theres no exception to this, ever. They will have to meet you at the gate and bring you in when they show the guards their military ID and your own valid government-issued ID.
- Moving is a big deal If you decide to relocate to your service members new location, you get to foot the bill. Its a tough decision that will come up often, especially if youre not ready to get married just yet.
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Schedule Designated Time Enjoying Each Others Company
You must find time to be on the phone while you drink your evening tea or morning cup of coffee. Maybe you like to FaceTime while cleaning or planning your day. Just as you would if you were in close physical contact, sharing little moments from your day that you wouldnt otherwise get to see are essential.
The Best Advice For The Military Girlfriend
There is rarely a week that passes where I dont 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.
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 wasnt a fling. And I definitely wasnt a floozy. I was a young professional with a career and my own money. In the civilian community, people wouldnt dream of constantly reminding you of your place..
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.
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What To Send In A Barracks Care Package:
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If you want to send a care package to your boyfriend in the barracks, you can send almost anything that would be useful to a college student. Reading the description above should give you a better idea of his daily life and how he is spending his time. So here are some things that are usually appreciated by anyone living in the barracks:
- Toiletries like soap, shampoo, shaving cream, deodorant, or cologne
- gel pods, and dryer sheets
- Cleaning supplies like sponges and scrub brushes
- , dried fruit, trail mix, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Microwavable food like Cup o Noodles, Easy Mac, soup, Spaghetti-Oâs
- Nice towels or sheets
What I Am Saying Is That Theres No Wrong Or Right Way To Be A Military Girlfriend
Military girlfriends come in all shades of diversity, experience, background, and life journeys. Theyre investment bankers and teachers, baristas and college students, pastors and rabbis. Theyre conservative, moderate, liberal, and not political. Theyre Air Force girlfriends, Navy girlfriends, Marine girlfriends, Coast Guard girlfriends, and Army girlfriends. Theyre tattooed or not, wearing locs or wavy hair, moms or aunts or not at all. Some may find a big part of their identity in military life While there might feel like theres a military girlfriend stereotype, theres not. Because military girlfriends are more than one thing.
Youve got this. After all, youre you. And thats why s/hes with you anyway, right? Not because youre the perfect military girlfriend, but because youre you.
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He Can Get Deployed Anytime
When serving in the military he can be deployed suddenly to another country.
There may be instances when he cant inform you and this is something you need to understand. Even during his deployment, he might get limited time to interact with you.
A deployment can range from months to over a year. And when he is doing his job, he shouldnt have to worry about you or he cant focus on his job. The last thing he wants to hear from you is about your struggles.
Top Tips On How To Survive Life As A Military Girlfriend
Being someones girlfriend comes with many ups and downs and too many trials and tribulations but I dont think anything compares to being a military girlfriend. Now that is a beast all on its own. I have put together the top tips for you to survive the military girlfriend lifestyle.
When I started dating my husband, he had already been in the military for over 10 years. I must say that is part of what attracted me to him. Come on, who doesnt love a man in uniform ! However, I didnt realize I was about to be dealing with a whole other level of a beast.
Through trial and error, laughs and tears I made it through the journey of being a military girlfriend and became an honorary wife. After all, isnt it a girls happy ending to marry the man of her dreams ?! So here are my top tips on how to survive the military girlfriend lifestyle that I learned through my journey with my husband. I hope they help you and get you to your ultimate goal of marrying the man of your dreams.
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Seek Out The Positive
Try to see the good in every situation, even when its 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 dont sugar coat challenging circumstances, but they often look at things through the perspective of others, realizing that things arent 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. Dont 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 marriageseparations, frequent moves, and a demanding job just to name a few. Think rationally, logically and wisely about marrying into military life.
Be Ready To Say Goodbye
As a military girlfriend you should be ready for deployment without notice. Whether your man is being sent overseas for a full tour or just a couple of months you should be prepared to say goodbye and do it with a smile. Deployments are not easy on either of you but you can get through the time apart. Use your new friends and your support group to help you and talk to each other as much as possible while he is away. Find something to do while he is away that focuses your attention and gives you goals to aim for to keep you grounded. It is always wise to limit the amount of news programs that you watch while your partner is away on active service too.
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He Wants You To Understand The Military
The more you learn about the military, the more you learn about his job. In the military, it is common to use military terms and abbreviations and he might get used to it so much that he will start similarly speaking to you.
You may feel left out if you dont understand what he is talking about. When you become his girlfriend, he makes you a part of his unit and expects you to learn about the military so that you can understand his job. He can even have some fun conversations with you in military codes.
He Wants You To Be Positive
It is easy to drive yourself crazy and start worrying about his safety when he gets deployed. This is where you have to do your best to stay positive no matter how long it takes for him to get back.
While I cant generalize for all the military men, these are some of the things I can share on what do military guys look for in a girl. If you are planning to be a military girlfriend know that it is not for everyone. Remember that not every relationship is perfect and comes with their own set of struggles.
When it comes to military relationships, they are known to be stronger than other relationships since they already overcome a lot of struggles. Also, dont forget about the perks of being a military girlfriend. If you can find the right person, it might be worth it.
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The Difference Between Military Girlfriend To Military Wife
While browsing the interwebs today, I came across a military significant other blog. Someone was asking the upgrade in privileges from being a military girlfriend to a military wife. This got me thinking about the differences between the unmarried and married .
Heres my take on the difference from being a military girlfriend to a military wife.
Military Girlfriend: I want to travel The WorldMilitary Wife: Aw, man, another PCS?!
I Fell Into Being A Military Girlfriend
Trust me. I had absolutely no interest in the military outside of one tiny, little singular fact: the guy I had a crush on had literally just signed up for six years in the Navy.
Our love story is very long , so I wont bore you with the details. But even though I knew John the first week of my freshman year in college, even though we went out on that failed date my sophomore year, even though he asked me out again later it still took us 7 years before we started dating.
Yes. Roll your eyes at me. When I have a moment to think about it, I roll my eyes at myself.
Talk about missed opportunities, right?
We joke that Im the reason John joined the Navy in the first place: thats what guys do when their heart is stomped on by a girl. They sign up and ship out.
The truth is, John had always wanted to join the Navy I even remember him talking about it in college. Me, on the other hand? Before we started dating, I knew nothing about the military. I had a few friends whose parents were in the National Guard and one or two college friends who were in ROTC. The only thing I really knew was from the movies and from reading the newspaper.
And, yeah, being a Band of Brothers aficionado isnt really the way to prepare for what the military is like in the 21st Century.
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Work Is Sometimes A Secret
The military is a fascinating organization that is often run on secrecy. Entire missions and game plans depend on confidentiality. As a significant other of a military member, you will also be require to keep secrets its called Operational Security or OPSEC, for short. Its hard to keep secrets, but keep this in mind:
- Its really a secret Your significant other would love to tell you about their day. But sometimes they are bound by contract not to do so. This is especially true for military members who work with classified information, which is many of them. If they say they cant tell you, they really cant. Try not to pry as it will frustrate them and you.
- OPSEC is real As a significant other, youll also be expected to follow certain procedures as well when it comes to security. Sharing when and where a Navy ship pulls into port, for example, is off limits until its publicly announced by the ships command. Its to ensure the utmost safety of service members.
- Its not you, its the government The government keeps information under wraps for a long time sometimes even a century. If you ever get the time, check out the CIAs declassification process. If they just recently released details of classified information from 1918, you can bet you probably wont get to know all the details of your service members military intelligence activities anytime soon.