My boyfriend is a soldier in the United States Army. Understand that these guys have to deal with things that the average person couldn’t imagine.Though I’m no stranger to military men (my grandfather, father and brother were all enlisted), this is the first time I have dated a soldier. I’ve seen a lot of websites that list ten things an Army girlfriend should remember and do, and some of them made great points. And your honey could be shipped out at any time, for months or years. Many of these are difficult and sometimes disturbing. If he wants to talk about his life in the Army, be it the crazy times with the guys in his unit, the tedium of the everyday, or even the tougher times, let him be the one to broach the subject.Curious as to what I was in for, and wanting some solid guidance, I went looking for advice on how to be a good Army girlfriend. However, in my own time as an Army girlfriend, I’ve come upon a few revelations of my own. Dating a soldier is a commitment, and not one to be taken lightly. Above all, talk to people who’ve lived it and ask them to be honest. If you’re not ready for to be an Army girlfriend and all that it entails, break it off. As soon as my guy used the g-word, I hit the keyboard and called my sister-in-law (retired Army wife extraordinaire). Soldiers work long hours that they have absolutely no control over. If you’re one of those girls who always needs a guy on her arm, get used to disappointment. You’ll have time for your friends, family, hobbies and work. And odds are, one of the reasons his time with you means so much to him is because it’s one of the few times he can get away from that life. My boyfriend and I have plenty to talk about, from video games to the funny cashier at the grocery store, and I never bring up the Army to any extent greater than asking him how his day went. If your man is ready to introduce you to the guys in his unit and/or regiment, it’s a big step.What follows is some humble advice on how to cope with being the significant other of soldier. If you and your soldier are ready to enter a relationship, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. Both gave me a wealth of knowledge I otherwise would not have had. The time he has for you will be dictated by someone else entirely. Concentrate on these, and appreciate the time he’s allowed to have with you. And when he does let me in on the other things, I try to listen and not pry. Men who are stationed together are often closer than brothers. Don’t cling to your man like a backpack, and don’t emasculate him in front of his guys.
But he’ll probably appreciate it if you do a share of the date-planning.Choose the restaurant, make the reservations, pre-order the tickets. I’m sure you have wonderful friends, and this rule may not apply to all of them. In fact, if being unfaithful is a possibility at all for you, I’ll have to recommend you head back on up to number one and give this relationship some serious consideration in the first place.If you make the effort once in a while, then he can sit back, relax, and enjoy the evening you planned. However, in my experience, finding people who understand the trials and tribulations of being in a relationship with a soldier is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Needless to say, soldiers place a LOT of value on loyalty.Among my friends, I’ve had girlfriends who want to hook them up with soldiers in my guy’s regiment, guyfriends who ask me if he’s going to kill them if they flirt with me, and even coworkers who, shall we say, were less than supportive of the military in general. So if your guy has committed himself to an serious relationship with you, he’s most likely going to stick to that commitment, and he expects you to do the same.As a soldier’s girlfriend, you’ll have to field a lot of the same questions, and frequently clear up misnomers about the Army. Far too many of my soldier friends have had “Jodi” get their girl (you may want to look that up), and it’s especially hurtful to them.Your girls may not get why you don’t want to go out because you’re waiting on an overseas phone call. They live their lives by the ideals of responsibility and faithfulness. You may not think it now, but while you’re dating an Army man, weird things can get to you. I want to eventually marry my soldier and he is my world.