The Best Advice for the Military Girlfriend
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.
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?
What’s your perspective on being a military girlfriend? Let’s chat in the comments!
7 Things I Learned As An Air Force Girlfriend
In April, my boyfriend left for Air Force Basic Military Training.
I’m currently a student. I got a second job while he was away. It’s not like I had nothing to do, I had plenty on my plate. But he was -- is -- my best friend. Having to communicate with your other half via snail mail is infuriating. But I did learn a couple of things about myself which is a plus side to the months spent as a barely functioning human.
- It’s okay to cry. A lot. I promise. I didn’t go to any classes the day he left, despite him still being able to talk to me on his way to MEPS since he didn’t officially go to bootcamp that same day. I needed the ability to cry. It’s gonna happen a lot. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pitiful or unstable. It’s more so a realization that everything you’re used to is changing.
- Having a loved one in the military is a time where it’s 110% okay to be glued to your phone. I would rarely go into the other room without my phone on me. Having a mere ten minute phone call was the light of my life while he was away at basic. It meant the world and more.
- He isn’t going to die. I was in several groups for my boyfriend’s flight. On the day where they entered the confidence chamber (aka gas chamber), people were freaking out. Albeit, the majority of the people that were in this group were mothers that were terrified of their little baby having to inhale and say a reporting statement while in a gas chamber. They were all fine. And their sinuses were fantastic afterward. You can worry, but don’t worry too much.
- You’re not going to die. It might feel like it. It might feel like the end of the world. But you’ll be fine. They’re home sick and you’re home sick for them. Don’t worry yourself to death over basic training. In fact, the day my boyfriend left, I talked to his mom. I wasn’t worried about my boyfriend at all. He knew what he was getting into and he was excited about it. I was worried about me. It sounds selfish, but aforementioned, he is my best friend. My other half. Usually no more than quarter-mile away at any given time. And suddenly, boom. Over one thousand miles away. It absolutely sucks. When he left, I knew it was going to be difficult. But I didn’t know just how hard it would be.
- Don’t take people for granted. Ever. I refused to let a single moment go to waste because I knew that he was leaving. And I would’ve been damned if I didn’t make the most out of every solitary moment I could spend with him. Have fun at the grocery store. Push each other around in carts. Go roller skating. Work out together. Do not take time with anyone for granted. Especially if you know they will soon be isolated from the outside world for two months.
- The Postal Service is important. I don’t think anyone really sends mail as a way to communicate anymore. It’s perhaps used as a nice way to say “thank you” or to send a birthday wish, but you don’t usually have full conversations via mail anymore. You will now. Well, you’ll be the one doing most of the talking. Yeah, the mail isn’t super fast. It took about a week to a week and a half for me to receive his letters and him mine. However, a single quickly written letter stuffed in an envelope was really all I needed to feel more human again, even if just for a second. Thank your mail carrier -- they’re how you’ll stay sane.
- Because of how much one has to write letters, you will become a master writer. Well, kind of. I got really good at conveying my utter grief. I used my letters as a journal as well. I wanted to keep him up to date on everything. It’s not like they can see your statuses or you can shoot them a quick message to explain a situation. You can’t catch them up at dinner. One learns to be much better with words when writing every day. Which, I did. I didn’t mail something every day, though. Of course, didn’t send anything on Sundays or holidays. Otherwise, I only missed a couple days. Otherwise, I sent something every day. Communication is more important in this kind of setting than ever before. Your writing and communication skills will improve, but only if you make the effort to actually write and include them in your day-to-day events to begin with.
- Distance sucks. Lack of communication sucks. In my situation, every moment I wasn’t working, in school, or sleeping was spent with my boyfriend. We were pretty much glued at the hip. I was merely existing while he was away -- not living. However, I knew that when we got through the two horrid months, we’d be stronger than ever. As usual, I was right. It sucks but it really does show the bond necessary to be able to be away from someone when you’re so dependent on them (in my case, specifically). It makes not only your relationship stronger, but you as an individual stronger as well.
How to Be a Good Military Girlfriend
Dear Ms. Vicki,
I am so nervous because my boyfriend is in the Army and he just went to basic training.
I'm a freshman in college, but I want to transfer to a school near where he will be stationed. Right now, he doesn't have any answers yet about where he will be stationed.
I can't believe the Army won't keep everyone informed instead of having everyone guessing about their future. If I knew where he was going to be stationed, I could go ahead and move there so I could get everything set up for us.
Can you tell me what to do right now and how I can show that I support him?
-- Wants to Know Now
Dear Wants to Know,
It's official: Plenty of Americans love the swagger of a man (or woman) in uniform, especially a military uniform. There is a mystique about dating them, and we who love them can't wait to marry them.
But figuring out who they are and what makes them tick is part of dating a service member. How to be a good military girlfriend or boyfriend is of the utmost importance.
Here are a few of my tips to be a better girlfriend or boyfriend:
Be flexible with your time. Serving your country is not a 9-5 job. A service member is on duty 24/7. Don't overthink this, just try to be available when they are and make your plans flexible. Things may change at the drop of a dime.
Don't be too demanding about their future plans. Military men can't stand demanding girlfriends (or boyfriends) because they can't make any promises about their future plans, especially in the first two years of their careers. Your relationship may also be too new. Give the relationship at least a year before making plans for your future. And yes, sometimes the Army really doesn't tell them where they're going next.
Don't rush to the altar. Don't rush and start making wedding plans. Be willing to prove your worth. If your service member likes you, he will never lose your contact information.
Gain a little knowledge. Your service member's unit and job are a great source of pride. It's important that you are knowledgeable about both of them. Your anxiety and fears about his job will decrease as your knowledge increases because you will understand a lot of what is expected of him.
Cultivate independence and self-determination. If your relationship moves to marriage, you will need to be independent and have much self-determination. You may feel like you are leaving your family and close friends behind. However, you are embarking on a great journey of self-discovery where you will learn about a strength you did not know you had. You should try to see the good in every situation. Take time to cultivate your own dreams and passion. If you don't, your life could be filled with resentment and regret.
Meet the pros. You definitely want to meet other military spouses, partners, fiancées and significant others. These sisters and brothers have been making it work for years. You are free to be who you are. You can also gain a lot from the advice and experience of others. They will keep you out of trouble and stop you from wasting a lot of time. It was a military wife who gave me important tips about packing for my first move to Fort Benning. Find those people on Military.com and on the SpouseBuzz Facebook page.
As your soldier moves from basic training to his first assignment, your relationship will grow and change. Don't rush it.
Take your time to know whether this is the life that is right for both of you.
-- Ms. Vicki
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I’m not an expert on Long Distance Relationships. I haven’t been invested into one for years and years. I’ve only been doing this for about 9 months, but I didn’t learn the real struggles until he went off to Boot Camp.
This post is for all the girlfriends out there. I’m not going to tell you how to live your life and how your relationship should be, I’m just going to give some insight on MY experiences.
Being Just The Girlfriend
Personally, being a Military Girlfriend is way different than a Military Spouse. More often than not, I felt like I wasn’t important because we didn’t have a label on our relationship – we weren’t engaged, we weren’t married. We were just simply two people dating each other. I got discouraged many times because my mom would say something like “well, you are just the girlfriend” and she totally didn’t mean it in a bad way… but to me those were fighting words.
To me, it felt like if I wasn’t the wife then I wasn’t important. I’m not family, I’m just the girl. And I know that none of my friends or family ever meant to hurt me when they’d say things like this, but it didn’t take the pain away.
My advice: understand that your friends and family love you and that if they say something like that it is not a personal attack. Remember that your boyfriend loves you and cares about you very much, and not to get upset if he calls his family instead of you. It’s okay to get upset but don’t take it out on him. When they’re in boot camp they are under TONS of stress and do not need any added stress from you.
Take It One Day At A Time
At first I was super stressed out and emotional. I’m typically not an emotional person but when he left it felt like something was missing. I didn’t feel complete. No amount of distractions would keep me from thinking about him. I even cried myself to sleep many nights.
I can’t say there was a turning point in my healing process. I guess I just learned that there was nothing I could do except take it one day at a time. If I could just get through the day then that’s all that mattered. Eventually this was much easier. I got used to not being able to talk to him whenever I felt and I think that was the hardest challenge.
My advice: Keep yourself busy with the things you love. Make sure you spend time with your friends and family. And don’t be afraid to lean on your loved ones when you need someone. You will not be happy every single minute of every single day, so it’s very important that you can make yourself happy or you have someone to vent to.
I wrote a post about writing letters, but since then I think the biggest thing I have learned it to just write often. I wrote to him every day and it sort of ended up being like a journal to me. I would write everyday and once it got to be what I considered long enough, I sent it out. I found that I had a lot to say to him each day (some days way more than others) and if I went week by week he would have too much to read at once. I didn’t want him to be overwhelmed so once my letter got to be about 1.5 – 2 pages I would end it.
Some days I had so much to say to him. Other days I wrote two lines. I headlined each day like: Day 42 – Monday, March 21st. The beginning number is the number of days since he left and then the date, obviously. I wanted it to be more organized and not just a cluttered mess of writing.
My advice: Be patient when it comes to waiting for your first letter. His mom and Dad both texted me telling me they got letters in the mail and I was so certain that I wasn’t going to be getting one. Then the next day it showed up in my mail box! By the time I got my first letter it was exactly a month after he left. Be patient. It sucks and you are SO anxious but you will get something! In his letter he said he didn’t have much time to write, so I didn’t expect to get another letter.
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Force advice air girlfriend
And put the date of his birth. Roofing felts on the fifth, roofing felts on the sixth in December. We stopped at six.THE TRUTH ABOUT LONG DISTANCE - Air Force Girlfriend - MY EXPERIENCE
Will chill. Im so bad that I dont have to choose. As soon as the night of the enema went into my unhappy ass, and a solution of water and soap flowed out.
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I fulfilled his affectionate request. Seeing my child's penis, he smiled, took my hand and led me to the donkey. Then he brought a small chair and ordered me to stand on it so that my modest manhood was right in front of the donkeys.