It can mess with your self-esteem and sense self-worth. You need to know who you are. Have interests, hobbies, and friends. If your whole identity is wrapped up solely in your service member, it is going to be a tough, lonely life. Click To Tweet Honestly, I think these are good things to think about before entering into any relationship— no matter the affiliation to the military.
Of course, you might have to modify them a bit, but the basic gist is there. For those of you who have been there and have done that, what other advice would you add? You have to be able to pick up and start over. You have to be able to form new social circles wherever you go. As much as you LOVED your friends at one duty station, it may be hard for some to find new friends at another duty station.
You may not always fit in. You might encounter dependapotamus jokes. They ridicule anything from your personal life to your looks to the things that you buy. You may find yourself comparing to other military couples. The best shot you have is to downplay or avoid it. It can be as simple as dress codes some commissaries have really strict dress codes or what you post on social media yes, people can and have gotten in trouble for posting sensitive information. There are many rules that your service member had to abide by and some spill over into their personal lives.
Some people will see you as naive or crazy. But with that said…. Respect the band of brothers. You need to understand that the military is a brotherhood. Military men may never have closer relationships than those they made in the military. That is not a good thing or a bad thing, that is just a matter of fact and something you need to understand. It is not a competition between his military friends and you; they are people who shared a very intimate part of his life, and you should want to be close with them, too.
The unconventional relationship is the norm in the military. Many military creeds reference loyalty or unity. Military men are used to their band of brothers, and are bred to be loyal and protective. He will love you fiercely and be the most faithful companion, if you can promise the same. Get over the air of authority. Granted, that is earned due to the nature of their work and how much they put on the line. However, in the civilian world, or in a relationship, it may be a little hard to deal with.
His way is the best way because he knows best. You need to understand this and realize how difficult it is. Recognize the invisible wounds. Not every soldier comes home with post-traumatic stress.
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8 Reasons Why Dating A Man In The Military Has Made Our Bond Stronger
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