Army Man

Dating an Army Guy: Pros, Cons & Helpful Relationship Advice

by John Santana

Have you gone on a few dates with an army guy, and are you starting to develop feelings for him? Are you a civilian yourself, and is army life completely new to you?

You’ll inevitably wonder what life would be like as a military spouse. It’s best to prepare yourself for the (possible) future or to decide that military life isn’t for you and to take a step back before you’re head over heels.

We’ll take an honest, down-to-earth look at what dating a military man is really like, so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

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Dating an Army Guy: What Can You Expect in the Early Stages of Your Relationship?

Whether the guy you’re already dating is talking about enlisting or you’re casually dating a soldier and wondering what to expect, you’ll soon discover that even that early stage has a twist when you’re dating an army guy.

1. Your Army Guy Won’t Make it to All Your Special Days

Your soldier doesn’t have a 9 to 5 job or a clear schedule. One of the first things you’ll learn when you date an army guy is that he won’t always be around when it matters to you.

The military man you’re dating can’t promise he’ll be there for your birthday, anniversary, or other important events — and he definitely can’t promise to be there for less important things.

If you have a predictable schedule yourself, your dates will revolve around your soldier’s availability. However, if you are always on-call, too (maybe because you’re a doctor, nurse, or firefighter, for example), finding time to spend together may be very hard.

2. He Won’t Always Be There for You

Your soldier can’t always be there physically, but he won’t always be around to be your shoulder to cry on, either. Many women struggle with that, but if you think there’s a future in this relationship, that’s something you have to accept early on.

Did you get into a fight with your mom? Did the pipes in your kitchen burst, and do you have to replace all your cabinets? Did you get laid off from work or have a health scare? In these situations, it’s only normal to call your boyfriend right away.

If yours is in the army, chances are he won’t be able to give you a hug or a hand fixing that kitchen. He may not even be able to take your call or answer your text.

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3. Your Army Guy Will Have Experiences You Can’t Relate To

Man in Brown and Beige Camouflage Button Up Shirt

True — no matter who you date, that person will have experiences you can’t relate to. You probably wouldn’t understand the ins and outs of an accountant’s job or the bond a partner who works as a sports coach shares with his students, either.

It’s different when the guy you’re dating is in the army.

Your army guy has probably traveled the world in the military and encountered a variety of different cultures. He may have seen action. He’s always on the move, ready to go wherever the military sends him.

He doesn’t have a job so much as a calling and a duty. The military, and his country, will always come first, and he’ll drop everything to help a brother or sister in trouble at the drop of a hat.

The military is a different world — a beautiful one, but one you won’t be used to. Be ready for that.

4. He Has a Strong Sense of Discipline and Duty

He never stops being a soldier, even when he’s with you.

When you date a military guy, that call to protect and serve will include you, too — your army man will do whatever it takes to protect you.

Your military man has strong habits and a clear sense of discipline. He’ll be efficient and organized, and that will translate to his life off-base, too. You may run into trouble if you’re a creative, disorganized, and chaos-loving person, because your military guy will instinctively want to ensure things are neat and tidy.

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5. Your Army Guy Will Have Secrets

Secrets come with the territory. If you’re dating an army guy, he can’t always tell you where he is, what he’s doing, or where he’ll be next month. He’s not hiding anything from you — he’s just doing his duty and upholding operational security.

Jealousy has no place in your life if you’re dating a military man. Additionally, if you’re looking for a man you can share everything with, you won’t find it by dating someone in the army.

6. You’ll Be Worried and Scared — Often

Life with a military man means you’ll never know what tomorrow brings — and we mean that in a terrifying rather than spontaneous way.

You may be impressed by a soldier’s bravery and commitment when you first start dating him. You may think he’s adventurous and cool and admire his strength. That novelty wears off fast. As you settle into life with a military man, you’ll often be worried about him. There might be times when you don’t know if he’s still alive.

7. He’ll Need You to Be Strong

Can you handle the constant worry?

You’re dating an army guy — and you probably wonder if you have the strength to embark on a long-term relationship with him.

What about him? Your soldier wants and needs a partner who can be strong for him. He doesn’t have the bandwidth to comfort you constantly, and he can’t handle constant panic. He needs you to be his rock and his light. Can you do that? Can you savor your time with your military man and stay strong and upbeat the rest of the time?

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What Traits Do You Need to Be Happy as a Military Spouse?

Army man family

You may be dating casually. You might have signed up for a dating app, and you may meet lots of guys because you’re looking for fun and friendship.

Once you start dating a military guy exclusively and begin to imagine your future together, it’s vital to consider if you have what it takes to be happy as a military spouse. That’s especially true if the army guy you’re dating is committed to a career in the military and plans to stay with the army until he retires.

Not all women can be happy as military wives — it takes someone special to live this unique life. Do you have the right personality to be in this relationship for the long haul? Be honest with yourself!

1. You’re Flexible, and You’ll Do Whatever it Takes to Be with Your Man

If you and the army guy you are dating ever get married, expect to move around. A lot.

Have you always dreamed of the perfect suburban life, where you get to stay in the same home for decades and form close bonds with your neighbors? Do you yearn to be close to your family? Are you a creature of habit, and does the thought of leaving your hometown make you sick? Military life will be a massive challenge for you.

Military spouses embrace adventure. They are always ready to pack up and start over. They are committed to the unique lifestyle that life in the military brings.

Life as a military wife will be easier for you if you’re naturally adaptable and resilient.

2. You’re a People-Person Who Forms New Connections Effortlessly

Moving around a lot means you’ll have to start over many times. Of course, it’s possible to maintain strong friendships long-distance, but the ability to form new friendships and bonds quickly is a huge asset as a military spouse.

Extroverted social butterflies with a strong sense of boundaries can cope with the challenges military life throws them. Do you make friends wherever you go? Do you naturally accept that some bonds are temporary — and know that doesn’t diminish their value? Those are great qualities in a military spouse. They’ll help keep you sane.

Other military spouses will likely be the people you rely on most. They understand what you’re going through and will do anything they can to help you. Once you move on and get to a different base (quite possibly in a different country), however, you’ll need to be able to start from scratch.

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3. You’re a Strong and Independent Woman

You might have been single for a good while. You’re happy when your military guy is home, but you can handle everything daily life throws at you alone. In fact, you’re happy doing that because although you’re always worried about your soldier, you are a strong and independent woman who can take care of business.

If you plan to have children, the thought of handling the daily grind on your own much of the time doesn’t scare you.
Does that not describe you? Life as a military wife may be challenging for you.

4. Your Job Is Highly Portable

Women who have jobs in healthcare, IT, financial, or HR fields may not have any problems taking their jobs with them wherever their husbands are stationed. Other top jobs for military wives include careers in government and public administration, as teachers, or in defense contracting.

Do you have a job that ties you to a specific location? That may spell trouble for the future.

Remote work is becoming increasingly common, so your job might not stand in the way of a great life with the man you love — but think about your own ambitions as you fall in love with an army guy, too.

5. You’re Not Scared of Challenges

A military spouse has to be ready for anything.

The man you love may, at any time, be deployed to a faraway country. You may hope that he’ll only participate in peace-keeping missions and that his life will never be in danger, but you know the reality is different.

Army veterans may develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Even if they don’t, they may come back from deployments significantly different than when they left.

Even if you are able to enjoy an idyllic home life throughout your spouse’s career in the military, you can expect frequent moves and lots of personal turbulence.

Are you ready?

You better be, because your army guy is counting on you!

Dating an Army Guy: Some Final Words of Advice

Are you dating an army guy? You probably fell for him because he’s kind, funny, handsome, and you click with him.

As your love blossoms, however, you’ll quickly grow to realize that you and your army guy aren’t the only people in the relationship. The army and your military man’s brothers and sisters in arms always have a seat at the table, too.

Falling in love with an army guy means you may start thinking about your future. Life as a military spouse is a life unlike any other.

You’ll move around a lot. You’ll get to see the world and meet lots of new people. You’ll have experiences you’ve never dreamed of.

On the other hand, military spouses also have to spend a significant portion of their lives not beside the love of their life, but surrounded by a support network of other military spouses. If you have kids, your army guy might not be able to make it there for the birth. He might be deployed during your birthdays and anniversaries. You may have to attend funerals without your husband by your side.

You don’t necessarily need to think 20 years ahead if you’ve just started dating, but it’s good to keep the future in mind.
Don’t just do it for yourself — consider the challenges military life throws your way for your army guy’s sake, too. He’s looking for a partner who will understand and support him no matter what, and he deserves a woman who walks into this life with her eyes wide open.

Is that you?

Then, you’ll make it through all the hardships and challenges and enjoy a bond that can only thrive with mutual love and respect. You already know your army guy is loyal, and if you can be his rock, you can look forward to a great life together.

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John Santana

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