These stories were submitted by site visitors. Enjoy!
submitted by Lucky
My boyfriend is a soldier in the United States Army. 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. 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. From the web. Not sure how wise that was.
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. However, in my own time as an Army girlfriend, I’ve come upon a few revelations of my own. What follows is some humble advice on how to cope with being the significant other of soldier.
1. Get serious, and I don’t mean the relationship. Dating a soldier is a commitment, and not one to be taken lightly. If you and your soldier are ready to enter a relationship, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into. Do some research. Read those web pages and top ten lists. Above all, talk to people who’ve lived it and ask them to be honest. Then do some soul-searching. If you’re not ready for to be an Army girlfriend and all that it entails, break it off. You’ll be doing a favor to the both of you. As soon as my guy used the g-word, I hit the keyboard and called my sister-in-law (retired Army wife extraordinaire). Both gave me a wealth of knowledge I otherwise would not have had.
2. Get used to being alone. Soldiers work long hours that they have absolutely no control over. They work weekends with little or no notice. Bases are often several towns or states away. And your honey could be shipped out at any time, for months or years. If you’re one of those girls who always needs a guy on her arm, get used to disappointment. The time he has for you will be dictated by someone else entirely. Learn to love a long distance relationship. It’s not a bad thing. You’ll have time for your friends, family, hobbies and work. Concentrate on these, and appreciate the time he’s allowed to have with you. My boyfriend is stationed an hour away, and we only see each other on weekends. So I spend my weekdays going out with my pals, catching up with my mom, and working on that promotion.
3. Don’t ask for the details. Soldiers have stories. A lot of them are funny and interesting. A lot of them are dull. And a lot of them are neither. Understand that these guys have to deal with things that the average person couldn’t imagine. Many of these are difficult and sometimes disturbing. 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. So my advice? Don’t bring it up. 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. 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. And when he does let me in on the other things, I try to listen and not pry.
4. Be cool with his friends. If your man is ready to introduce you to the guys in his unit and/or regiment, it’s a big step. Men who are stationed together are often closer than brothers. So if you get the big invite to meet them, treat it as though you were meeting his family. Dress to impress. Be polite and respectful. Don’t cling to your man like a backpack, and don’t emasculate him in front of his guys. Don’t drink to much, don’t discuss politics or religion. And most of all, be friendly. Your man’s showing you off to some of the most important people in his life; do him proud. This served me well. Making friends with the guys who serve with my boyfriend made Army gatherings twice the fun. Bonus: Meeting their girlfriends and wives provided me with a whole new support group.
5. Don’t be afraid to take the lead. Yes, we all know that a man who takes charge is appealing. But a military man spends most of his time having other people telling him where to go, when to be there, and how to be dressed. Truth be told, it’s hard for them to turn this off. That coupled with the stress and exhaustion that comes with Army life can make it hard for him to spend lots of time planning things for the two of you to do together. Now, this does NOT mean you should boss him around. 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. If you make the effort once in a while, then he can sit back, relax, and enjoy the evening you planned.
6. Your friends won’t get it. I’m sure you have wonderful friends, and this rule may not apply to all of them. 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. 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. As a soldier’s girlfriend, you’ll have to field a lot of the same questions, and frequently clear up misnomers about the Army. Your girls may not get why you don’t want to go out because you’re waiting on an overseas phone call. Your guys may not get why you can’t hang until three in the morning anymore. Hopefully, you have a few close friends who’ll try to understand your new lifestyle. But be prepared: some of them just. Won’t. Get. It.
7. Don’t cheat on him. This should be a no-brainer. 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. Needless to say, soldiers place a LOT of value on loyalty. 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. 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. They live their lives by the ideals of responsibility and faithfulness. For someone they care about to dump on those ideals is like a kick in the gut with a steel-toed boot. So if you can’t remain true, forget the whole thing and move on with your lives.
8. Censor your life. This one’s complicated. You may not think it now, but while you’re dating an Army man, weird things can get to you. I used to love the miniseries Band of Brothers, and would occasionally turn it on in the background if I I was working. Then, after falling in love with a medic, this changed, and it really caught me off gaurd. I was watching an episode, and suddenly, it hit me harder than it ever had before. I went to sleep with the screams of “MEDIC!” still in my ears. And I could never watch it again. This will probably be true for you, and even your guy, as well. Certain movies, television shows and video games were suddenly off limits in my house, because they disturbed him or gave me nightmares. Get ready to make concessions in this department, for his comfort and for your own mental well-being.
9. It’s the little things that say the most. This is true of any relationship, but it can mean so much more to a soldier. Be it baking him a batch of cookies to take back to base, writing him a letter (snail-mail) every week or even every day he’s overseas, or simply shrugging it off when he has to cancel a date last minute because he just found out he’s got an early call the next morning, doing little things that may seem insignificant to you will matter so much to him. It’s making sure to text him good night before he bunks in. It’s sending him a funny picture that will brighten his long, hard day. It’s giving him a backrub if he’s been doing hard PT all week. These little slices of normality and tenderness can mean the world. My boyfriend does his laundry at my house, and before he leaves for the week, I like to tuck love notes into the pockets of his feild gear that he can find later. The first week I did it, he came home with a grin on his face, and it brightened my world.
10. Be proud of him, and make sure he knows it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Army life is hard. It’s demanding, it’s scary, it’s painful. It’s also, according to my Army friends, one of the most rewarding careers a person can have, and one of the greatest things one can be a part of. This conflict runs through a soldier’s mind every day. So when it comes to your feelings, make it easy for him. Be proud of what he does. Don’t pretend to be; be. It’s easy to do. A soldier is brave, he’s smart, and he’s a tough son of a gun. So what’s not to be proud of? Feel free to show your pride in the conventional ways: a bumper sticker, a t-shirt, etc. But simply telling him you’re proud of him, and meaning it, will say so much more. For my first birthday we were a couple, my boyfriend gave me a set of his dogtags. I haven’t taken them off since. And when people ask me about them, I puff out my chest and tell them the truth. They belong to the greatest man I know.
So there you have it. If you’ve decided to enter a relationship with a soldier, congratulations. But be warned: it’s not going to be anything like a “normal” relationship. Sharing your man with the Army can be a challenge. Strike that: it will be a challenge. As my soldier recently put it, some the toughest jobs in the Army belong to the women who date, or marry into, it. Soldiers act. We wait. So prepare yourself, you’re about to embark on what can often be a trying adventure.
Is it worth it? Every minute, in every way. Each second I spent apart from my boyfriend makes each moment together twice as sweet. Each time I can make his life easier, his simple gratitude fills my heart. Love the man, and you’ll love the soldier. And truth be told, that’s all you need to know.
submitted by Paige
My name is Paige. I am currently dating a soldier. His name is Eric, we’ve been together for almost 2 years and I’ve known he wanted to become a solder since the day we started dating. When we first got together, I was very skeptical about dating a guy who was going to leave me to start his career. I always imagined dating someone who would go to college and I would see on some weekends and over the holidays. But I fell in love with this great guy who wanted to serve his country. I knew going into this that I wouldn’t see him for long periods of time. But I didn’t realize how hard this would be.
He has only been gone for 4 weeks and its already starting to tear me apart. I haven’t received any letters. And I’ve only spoken to him once, for 2 minutes. I finally got his address from his parents the week before and I’ve written him 5 letters. And still nothing. I know that its not his fault. Maybe the mail screwed it up, or the Army hasn’t sent them out yet. I’m unsure and that’s the hardest part. Not knowing is the hardest part.
I love my soldier. But I feel like the Army doesn’t care about the girlfriends, only the wives and children of the soldiers. It is my understanding that if something were to happen to me (heaven forbid), he wouldn’t even know about it until someone wrote to him. He won’t get to come home or at least call. I’m nothing to him concerning the Military. It hurts.
But I’m in this for the long haul. I want to eventually marry my soldier and he is my world. I will not see him again until January when his Basic and his AIT is finished. But I will wait. My car is now decked out in Army logos and I’ve written on my car windows that I’m a proud Army Girlfriend. I’m proud of my soldier and I tell him that in every letter. I joined this site because no one I know understands how hard this is. I’m thankful for the support!
submitted by Perrie
Hey to everyone my name is Perrie or Perrie Leigh which ever u prefer, people call me both. I am 22 yrs old and from the great state of Alabama. I am an Army Girlfriend and very proud to be one. We’ve been together for 7 months now, so you could say that I’m still green at being an army girlfriend. The way Bubba and I met (and lol no he’s not some kind of backwoods redneck haha I promise ladies but that’s his nickname he’s had since he was little and its just suck for the past 25 years) is a really great story, I think its kind of like a lifetime movie type of story. Well anyways we met a long long time ago, the very first time that we met I was a freshman in h.s. two good girlfriends of mine and myself went to this guy’s house to pick up one of our other girlfriends to go out that night. When we pulled up we got out of the car to go inside the house to say hey to everyone and as we were going upstairs to the front porch Nicole and Jami (the 2 girls I was with in the beginning) started talking to this guy that was talking to Kalea, the other girl we were picking up. I didn’t know the dude and they were walking inside so I was following them in as I was going inside I stopped to talk to Kalea well say hello because, she looked busy with this guy, I said hey and then she introduce me “Perrie this is Bubba, Bubba this is Perrie.” you know the usually, I said “nice to meet u” being the nice southern belle that I am and having been brought up the more traditional southern way, I had manners unlike him. He was an ass, didn’t say anything, he said what up then turned back around to face Kalea, so I continued to walk in and was like what a asshole and never thought about him until like 2 years later. He says he doesn’t remember this and I actually didn’t remember this until we were at his parents house one time and he showed me his driver’s license from back then and suddenly that memory came flying back to me. Crazy.
Now honestly I couldn’t rightly tell you just exactly how we met for the second time, the time that was a better experience haha. But you have to take note that my junior and senior year was a whirlwind kind of a blur but a GREAT blur if you catch my drift hahaha. He says the first time that he met me it was at a party that he came to and I happened to be there. He says that we met inside the house and after that we stayed outside just me and him talking the entire time and we had a fun time just talking and he today tells me that from that night on he had to have me that he had to make me his, well, he didn’t quite make that happen. I guess I just wasn’t interested at the time or it just wasn’t time for us to happen yet you know. But there was one time I went to see him at a friend’s place he was at and had called me to come over and I was SO nervous I dragged one of my friends with me and when we got there I think I may had said 2 whole words to him the whole time. haha but we did talked on the phone ALOT! that’s one thing bubba and I can do is talk and talk and talk. But when it came to face to face talking I would chicken out get real shy I dunno why though, but then soon after that he moved up to South Carolina with his parents and really one of the last times we talked on the phone he wanted me to come up to one of the beaches up there for spring break with all his friends but I declined. I’m sorry I wasn’t going to somewhere far away with no car of my own not really knowing anybody for some guy that I just really talk to on the phone and plus I wasn’t that interested for real so I didn’t go. Right after that he enlisted into the Army and we lost touch. I would get a phone call sometimes in the beginning and then instead of a phone call I would get a MySpace message ever so often and then a MySpace message like once a year not really saying much just “Hey, how u doing?” that’s about it. He says that I never would write back but I’m sure I did. About 4 1/2 – 5 years pass and through out those years I thought about him sometimes like wondering where he’s at, what’s he doing, if there could have actually been something between us, but I never dwelled on anything I blamed it on being bored on MySpace looking at people’s profile lol.
Well anyways about 41/2-5 years go by and my best friend Rachel and I started hanging out with people that we hung out with back in the day and at this time I’m 21 yrs old and able to actually go out like really go out u know. So the people we started hanging out with and do stuff with were still older than us and they were all really good friends with Bubba they kept in touch with him and what not. I had heard them all talk about him here and there telling stories that they shared with him, but still I never gave it a second thought. His best friend kept telling Bubba about me and what we were doing, what I was doing, how I was doing and this started and December (I found all this a lot later) and then that Feb we were all over at Rachel’s place having game night and one of his friends was talking to Bubba on the phone and then his friend called me over there and said that there was someone on the phone that wanted to talk to me so I was like ok. I said hello and it was him. It was the first time I had talked to him in years! The conversation didn’t last long at all, I was actually dating someone else at the time so still yet I again didn’t think twice about it. But it was good to talk to him and to know he was doing ok. He was all the way over in Kuwait where he had been for 13 months out of the 15 months he had to be there, so calling was a big deal. And I realized that and I had respect for the situation for a soldier calling from where he was deployed. After that night we had talked he started calling. He called me everyday while he was over in Kuwait and like the old times we talked forever on the phone or well as long as he could on the phone when he called me. And ever since then we’ve never gone a day without talking to each other.
He finally came back home in April and he had a four day pass so he took it to come to Alabama to see me for one day lol and it was the best day of my life! He went back to El Paso for the rest of the month and I counted down the days when he was coming back for a 30 day leave in May it finally came and it was wonderful! We went to Florida for 7 days and went up to his parents in South Carolina for a weekend and the rest of the time he stayed with me at my house. We never left each other’s side and from there on I knew that I was and am so deeply in love with this boy and I knew and felt that he felt the same way about me, I’ve never doubted that. Since then we’ve been very fortunate to be able to at least see each other once a month for usually about 3 days at a time. We make the most out of the time we are able to have together, it brings us closer and makes us realize just how much we mean to each other and how much we want us to work and how much we one day want to be able to fall asleep with each other and wake with each other every night and everyday. That’s my one wish and hope that it’ll happen one day. He asked me to marry him on Sept 19 while I as was at work lol I was like what in the world haha he told me that he couldn’t hold it in anymore and it just busted out of him and of course I said yes 🙂 but there is no date just yet I’d like to be together for about year before we get married. I am very very excited though I cant wait! While he was in Kuwait he reenlisted for another 4 years so I know ill be getting very acquainted with the Army and how everything works. To tell the truth I’m actually looking forward to moving to El Paso being with my honey of course but I’m looking forward to meeting new people, making friends with all the Army wives and girlfriends, meeting all his buddies he talks about, and having this whole new life to experience and being able to experience it and start a new life with the love of my life.
Things that I have learned and figured out so far about being an Army Girlfriend:
~Trust him…trust him that when he says he loves you and only you believe that he means it.When he goes out with his buddies don’t think about how all these girls maybe throwing themselves at him or hitting on him, trust him to know that if that happens he will walk away or call you or say that he is taken and not interested because he is thinking the same thing when you go out with your friends
~Be understanding…. understand why he has to do certain things sometimes and cannot make time for you I’ve learned that the Army comes first and I come second. Be understanding when he talks to you and he’s being short and not very talkative like usual keep in mind that he has a lot on his plate and people are expecting and depending on him to complete certain tasks and it can be very very very stressful but
remember he doesn’t mean it and its nothing towards you.
~Make the most of what you have….. make the best out of what you can have with him when he’s not with you come up with ways of how you two can be close without being able to actually be with each other. What we came up with is movie night like it may sound a bit retarded to you but it’s great really. we’ll rent the movie and watch it together and stay on the phone the entire time during it we’ve just kinda recently started this and we really enjoy it because it gives us the feeling of really being together I recommend this idea to anyone with a loved one that is far away.
~ Keep yourself busy….if you keep yourself busy you’re not going to think about it so much. Start a hobby like start working out so when he comes back you’ll have a bangin’ body! lol That’s what I’m doing lol work on a project at the house or for your career do something positive for yourself that will benefit you so your focus is elsewhere and you can gain from it and it will also show him that you are ok be by yourself and he doesn’t have to worry that much about leaving you alone because he will know that you have your own thing and you can handle yourself too.
~ The most important is LOVE!……love conquers everything! Love can endure anything whatever the situation may be. If you truly love one another and want to be with each other there is no doubt that ya’ll will be able to make it through this. Love is patient, love is kind, love not jealous, love is understanding, love forgives, love is him and to him you are love.
It’s very hard to be an army girlfriend I didn’t quite know exactly what I was getting myself into until I was put into situations and then I had to go on how I felt and believed I should react and handle myself. I haven’t really had anyone to really talk to except my mom and I believe she does know somewhat of what I am feeling because my dad is a firefighter so I’m very grateful to have her and to able to talk to her. I’ve only broken down once to bubba before about how hard it has been on me and being so far away from each other and I feel terrible about it because I know it just made everything worse for him, because I remember how his voice changed his tone changed into something I’ve never heard, like a scared worried tone I guess it would be something like that if you had to describe it but really you can’t. I didn’t mean to do it it just happened but I make sure now that I keep my crying and my weaknesses to myself now, putting them to the side and reminding myself that I will be fine and God wouldn’t give me anything that I can not handle and I think this is the greatest test he has put me through because the reward is so worth it. I wish to all you army girlfriends the best and remember this experience just makes the bond and relationship between you and your man stronger. You should feel privileged, that he chose you and that he believes and has faith in you that you are that rare breed of a woman. It takes an certain type of woman to be able to handle this; a very strong independent assured woman and that is what your man thinks of you. I think it’s great that Bubba sees that in me it makes me feel better about myself and makes me want to go farther in my life and in our life together. Thank you for letting me share my story with ya’ll sorry I didn’t figure it would be this long I guess I had a lot more to say than I thought I did.
Good luck to all ya’ll Army Girlfriends thanks again
I’m so glad to find site that not only supports the wives but supports the girlfriends and fiancées too!
submitted by Sam
I started dating my soldier Kyle when I was 17 & he was 19. Joining
the army was something he occasionally thought of. We were together 2
1/2 years when one day he said he was seriously thinking about it. I
instantly started crying. That night we went to dinner to further
discuss it & I cried in the restaurant the whole time! We talked about
waiting a year after he joined to get married. He took a practice test
the next day & was swore in the next month. It happened fast!!
At first I will admit, I was not the most supportive. I cried everyday &
worried what would happen to us. He’s my first real love & the thought
of him being gone seemed more then I could handle some days. He did
delayed entry because he promised me he’d spend my birthday with me.
So I had from January to July to get use to the thought of him being
gone. (he was supposed to leave in April but his recruiter wasn’t the
best!) the morning he left was surreal. He called me one last time
from his cell to wake me up & tell me he loved me. I met his family at
the recruiting station. His bus was scheduled to pick him up at 11. He
brought me a stuffed tiger he’d had forever to keep. I tried to be as
strong as I could, but broke down. I promised I’d go to his BCT
graduation to help break up the time until Christmas exodous.
He left fast! The bus came & they were off! I’d thought for months of what I
would say to him before he left, but the recruiters were yelling at
them to get on. He called me before he got on the plane to tell me he
loved me. 10 days later he called me for the first time to tell me he
arrived at FLW & wanted to know if I’d marry him!! Of course I said
yes! After that I got a call every Sunday for about 15-20 mins. (he
got longer but also called his family) I sent him letters everyday & I
got about 3-4 a week. Basic went by fast! The week before his
graduation I got his name tag from his ACU’s! That meant the world to
me! Me & his sister flew from California to Missouri for 1day! His
graduation ceremony was amazing. I told his sister, “you’ll never
forget the moment you first see him in his uniform!” I was right! He
looked so handsome! We got from 10-8 for family time. I was nervous he
might be different, but nope! It was the same Kyle! Just more
respectful. Saying goodbye after not seeing him for 10 weeks & seeing
him for a day was rough!! Once he got to GA for AIT they were allowed
cell phones so that helps! I get to talk to him everyday & their
pretty much free on weekends. I love getting picture mail with him in
his uniform! It makes me so proud!
A few tips from my experience!
Trust!!! Trust that your soldier is way too busy/exhausted to be
cheating. So don’t worry!
Be supportive!! He’s about to do something that few people have the
courage & the selflessness to do!
Stay close with his family! I hung out with his mom & sister a lot.
It’s great to hear embarrassing stories!!
Know that depending on his MOS, he can’t tell you a lot. Here’s what
your conversation might sound like, “how was tour day?” “fine”. “what’d you
Hope those helped some of you! Stay strong!!
submitted by Sarah
As you can tell my soldier just left for OSUT so my story is more about staying sane when he leaves and your only dating him.:) – Tips for dating a soldier: Encouragement, encouragement, encouragement! Deciding to join the army can be a difficult decision (especially if he has a significant other). He wants to hear that you support him. He knows how hard its going to be when your away from each other, so I tried to stay off of that subject until it got to within a week of him leaving.
– Challenges in dating a soldier: Obviously not always being together. People seem to always bring that up and no, its not fun but that’s part of the army! Before he leaves he’s probably going to be really anxious, mine was, but just remind him that it will go by fast once he’s gone.
– Tips for staying connected: ALWAYS keep your phone with you and on the highest volume possible! He will call at random unexpected times. And trust me, its awful when you miss a phone call.
– How to deal with people who say you shouldn’t deal with the separation: I get this one a lot, not in those words necessarily. I get the “I could never deal with that.” or “How can you deal with that if you aren’t even married yet”. Those suck, I’m not going to lie, but its easy to explain to people that you do what you have to do if you love that person!
– How you met your soldier: I met my soldier senior year of high school. We’ve been together a little over 9 months.
– How you show your support when you don’t live together: Personally, I decked my car out in army stuff. I have seat covers, decals, a steering wheel cover. I also got a little tattoo on my foot of dogtags with a heart on it to symbolize that I love my soldier forever.
– Any other relevant topic!: I wasn’t afraid to cry on his shoulder before he left. He’s sad and has emotions too! It’s better to get them out together. Also, if he’s gone, stay as busy as you possibly can. It makes time go so much faster!
submitted by Sharquarius
Hey my name is Sharquarius. I’m 20 years old. My fiancée and I have been
together since I was 16. This June will make 5 years we have been together.
As soon as I turned 18, we got a place together. He was 2 years older and had already finished school. He was always there to help me when I needed him. We were real young and little did we know that all the hill we had to come over would lead us to the love that we share to day.
My fiancée knew when we started talking that I hate the army, and that I didn’t want to deal with the stress that the army puts on a family. But most of all I knew I wanted kids and didn’t want them to deal with the stress of just having one parent around. He’s a great person and I know that he would be a great father and I wouldn’t want them to miss that. When he told me that he was going in the army I felt like he didn’t care about me at all. I asked myself how could he deal with being away from me like that. When I knew I missed him even if he was just next door. It took me along time to forgive him. Even when deep down I know he did it so we could have the family we want with out worrying about money. It was just so hard when I was so used to doing everything with him or just having my best friend there to talk to. I felt like my man was cheating on me with Uncle Sam and I had no way of getting him back.
But no matter how lonely I was or how much I was hurting, I knew that I had to deal with it. Because I knew that he was the only man that could make my heart beat nothing but joy. As long as I knew that I had his heart and love I could let Uncle Sam borrow the rest of him. It not a easy thing to do but if you know that your heart desires to be next to no one’s heart but your solider then its more than worth the wait.