The Complete Guide to Dating a Military Man

Woman dating man in military

There’s just something about a man in uniform that excites women, but what exactly is it? Is dating a guy in the military different from dating a “civilian”? Why are military men unique? 

Regarding relationships, military guys are often walking and talking green flags and will treat you with the utmost respect.

Here are some other things you may want to know about dating a military man and how they differ from other guys.

Men in the military have many similarities as well as differences from other guys you’ve dated. You may not have seen all these differences at once, but it’s good to know what you should expect in specific situations before they happen. This way, you’re better prepared.  

You Shouldn’t Make Them Your First Call.

You may be dating a military man and want him to be there for you at all times, through your good and bad moments. Unfortunately, this won’t be the case. Sure, if you have good news, you can call them, and hopefully, they’ll be able to talk to you. But understand that this isn’t always going to happen, and that sucks!

If you have bad news, it would be nice to have them console you. But that won’t always happen, especially when they’re many miles away.

Typically, when our car breaks down, or we have a flat tire, or any other annoying life circumstance that pops up, we call our significant other to help get us out of the jam. But unfortunately, they won’t be around to take care of the small things. In cases like this, you’d better have a good AAA plan.

They Appear to Be Unpredictable.

They may want to stick to a schedule and be at home with family and friends for every birthday, holiday, and family celebration, but unfortunately, they can’t make this promise. 

When you ask them months in advance if they can make it home for Christmas, they may suggest it’s possible, but don’t keep your hopes up. Even if it’s a “yes” at the time, their schedules constantly change, so that holiday visit might not happen after all.

It’s not a case of them being unpredictable. It’s more like they have to adhere to military standards, including personal time off.  

They Always Have Awesome Stories to Tell.

Some stories may be exaggerated a bit, but so what? A good war story is always entertaining to listen to. Some of the military stories may be on repeat when out with family and friends, but each time he tells them, they get more exciting. The best part is, when they tell their stories, there is always some sentiment behind them. 

They Don’t Bother Beating around the Bush.

Communication is vital in every relationship, but your military guy won’t sugarcoat anything, regardless of whether or not it may hurt your feelings. So, be prepared for him to always be straightforward with you. 

If they have a problem with something you’re doing (ex, not putting dishes away when the dishwasher finishes), they will voice their grievance. Just know they’ll never ask you to do something they wouldn’t do themselves.

They’ll also tell you everything they appreciate. “I love how hard you work,” or “Thank you for making a beautiful dinner last night.” 

He’ll Have Plenty of Worldly Experiences.

One good thing about military men is that they’ve been exposed to different places, people, and cultures, so they’ll likely have plenty of knowledge about other areas and different ways of doing things.

Travel is also part of their allure, as they tell family and friends about the kinds of food they enjoy from all around the globe. Military men have stories about varying cultures that may be shocking to others. 

He’s Disciplined.

No one wants to date a flaky guy who doesn’t know what he wants to do in life. While you may believe he’s only disciplined about work, you’ll soon understand that his discipline flows to other aspects of his life. 

Small things like keeping a tidy place and cleaning up after himself may not be necessary to everyone, but if they are to you, you’re dating the perfect guy.

He’ll Sometimes Speak to You in a Different Language.

Depending on how long and where he’s been deployed, your military man may come back fluently speaking a second or third language. Don’t worry; you’ll likely quickly catch on to his newfound terminology. He could even teach you and the kids a few words here and there.

He’ll Be Appreciative of Your Strength.

Likely, this military man of yours will eventually deploy or leave for training soon. He should know that you can handle things at home while he’s away. You must show him that you’re strong enough to handle yourself and the family because it will bring him great comfort when he’s away. 

However, at the same time, he still wants to know that you’ll miss his daily presence around the house. 

So, when you contact him while he’s away, remember to tell him how much you love him and that you can’t wait for him to return. Sometimes, it’s the small things that keep a long-distance relationship alive.  

Military man seated in public transportation vehicle and hugging woman and smiling

He Can Become Defensive Regarding You.

Not defensive in a negative way, but more in a manner that continually supports you no matter what. He never wants to see any harm come to you because you’re his soul mate and the partner he adores. He’ll always be by your side, figuratively and literally, and consistently encourage you through good and bad times. 

He’s Part of a Package Deal.

Military guys have a certain camaraderie with each other. His brothers and his friends all come with him, so prepare yourself for many late nights with all the guys.

Because of his reliable nature, you must understand that he’ll probably drop everything whenever they need him, just as he’d do for you. This is the kind of devotion made you fall in love with him in the first place.

They Have a Few Secrets.

Unfortunately, sometimes they won’t be able to tell you what’s going on at work, and sometimes they prefer not to. Either way, the secrets he keeps aren’t a reflection of his trustworthiness. Understand that sometimes there are some things he just can’t tell you, and soon, you’ll know not to ask. 

Ways to Deal with a Military Boyfriend

When you date a military man, you may witness some changes in yourself. You’ll learn what you can handle and what’s off the table. You’ll also start to understand what’s truly important to you. 

Here are a few things you may soon discover about yourself and your unique situation.

The Relationship Is Full of Sacrifices.

When you date a military man, sometimes it will feel like you and your life together comes in second. Your career or education may be the low man on the totem pole when it comes to priorities. 

If you want an idea of your future, you need to check your reaction. For example, if you constantly get upset because he’s more focused on his orders than you, then this relationship may not be for you.

Some People Won’t Get It.

Many people out there will think you’re insane for dating a guy in the military–and they’ll be more than happy to tell you so. People constantly reminding you of your “bad choice” may include your family and friends. It may even include your mother.

Don’t be too upset with them. They’re only looking out for your best interests. You can’t help who you fall in love with, so don’t take it personally. Instead, thank them for their concern before telling them to “butt out and mind their own business.”

Worry Will Become Part of Your Life.

Your new mantra will be “No news is good news.” The sooner you adopt this saying, the better it will be for you. Deployments are always challenging, and training can be scary. You may start to worry when you don’t hear from him for a while (which happens quite often). 

Try not to let this situation get the better of you. When you find yourself stressed, do things that relax you. Some ideas include:

  • yoga
  • breathing techniques
  • working out
  • reading a book
  • taking a walk
  • hanging out with friends
  • meditation/prayer

Most Military Men Are Faithful.

We can’t say all military guys are faithful, but most of them are because their only “mistress” is the service. They don’t have time to go check out online dating sites like eharmony.com and meet new relationship prospects. When they do have extra time, it’s devoted to keeping the lines of communication open with their significant other.

You’re Going to Be Lonely Sometimes.

No matter how close you are to your family and friends, you may sometimes feel like you’re all alone. People who aren’t in the military community don’t understand what it’s like to date a unique individual like a military man. 

They may believe that the movies show all they need to know, but that’s far from accurate. Sometimes you will be lonely even when you’re at home. But the trick is to turn that loneliness into quiet, peaceful me-time.

If you feel alone, do things like:

  • cooking a special dinner just for yourself
  • clean the house
  • chill and enjoy some wine
  • watch a marathon of your favorite movie or TV show
Woman vaccuming house

You Won’t Always Fit In.

While the military community has come a long way, there may still be times when it doesn’t feel like you fit in. Several years ago, a huge gap existed between military spouses and women “only dating” service members. But try to fit in anyway! Be polite to everyone, and make a few friends. 

Don’t worry if it doesn’t happen right away. Instead, continue to keep up your polite demeanor. They will come around and warm up to you or continue giving you grief. However, continuing your pleasant demeanor will attract new friends in and out of the military.

Maintaining a Military Relationship

If you ask any military long-term significant other or spouse, you’ll discover that there are always three when it comes to relationships. And unfortunately, his “military mistress” gets all the attention over everything and everyone else. When you fully understand this, it makes it much easier. 

1. The Military Is Always First.

There is no way around this one because if the military needs him, he’s going. He’ll answer his phone on your date night and leave right in the middle of your cousin’s wedding. But don’t hold this against him because he has to. 

2. There Are Many Rules to Know.

And even some of those rules apply to you. Let’s be clear, the military can’t make you do anything you don’t want to, but they do have the right to enforce the rules within their own organization. If you don’t want to get caught off guard, it’s best to ask about these rules beforehand, so you can properly adhere to them if you choose. 

3. Don’t Blame His Commander, Either.

When you’re upset because he gets called away a week before Christmas, it’s easy to blame his “boss” for your inconvenience. But remember, the boss also has to leave his family behind for work, and you can best be certain he’s not happy about that either. Instead of looking for someone to blame, support your military man and send him off in good spirits. 

4. Don’t Worry about Fixing It. Listen Instead.

Did you ever have a bad day, and all you wanted was for someone to listen to you gripe about your boss and co-workers? Well, that’s how it is when your military guy comes home complaining about his bad day. He’s not looking for you to fix the problem. He doesn’t want to hear suggestions like “you should quit” or “tell him he’s wrong.”

Instead, he wants you to listen, commiserate, and share in his pain. He wants you to tell him everything will be okay and that you support him. 

Military men are physically and emotionally strong and have excellent work ethics. They’ve dedicated many years to fight for our country, so they deserve a good woman like you who’s just as strong as they are. 

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