While there seems to be a lot of information about best practices when dating a military man, there’s less content on what you should do when dating a military woman.
Sure, there are more men than women serving our country, but civilian men might also need a bit of help when it comes to navigating relationships with their military wives and girlfriends.
Dating a Military Woman While in Active Duty
Dating an active duty military woman comes with a unique set of challenges. There are definitely some dos and don’ts that you’ll want to be aware of when pursuing a romantic relationship with a female soldier.
First of all, you need to treat her like a lady. Sure, her job consists of tactical training and rough field exercises, but that doesn’t mean she should be treated like one of the guys. Plus, they’re often surrounded by men and are required to “keep up”. Treating her like the woman she is will be a welcome respite after her day on the base.
Next, it’s important to learn about the military. Especially when things are new, it’ll mean a lot to her that you care about what she’s chosen as a career and that you’re interested and respectful. You don’t need to know the entire history of the Navy or every battle won by her command, but a little effort goes a long way in this area.
By learning more about the military, you’ll hopefully get a better understanding of her obligations as an active duty service member. It should be clear that she won’t always be in control of her schedule and plans often change on a dime. Even though she might prefer to be spending time with you, it’s crucial that you don’t make her feel guilty or stressed about having obligations to the military.
Serving in the military is one of the most stressful jobs out there. From important tests that need to be passed to last-minute changes in deployment schedules, it’s easy for military women to become depressed and unmotivated. As her partner, you’ll need to be the support system that comforts her through these difficult times.
Finally, showing her respect, especially toward her position in the military, is something you should definitely be doing. Even if you don’t agree with every military action she has to complete, having respect and appreciation for her sacrifice to our country is imperative.
Dating a Military Woman After They’re Out
If you’re a civilian man who is dating a military woman after she’s left the service, there are a whole other set of dos and don’ts that will help your relationship to run a whole lot smoother.
There are a few “types” that you don’t want to be when dating or marrying a military vet.
The first is the “Fan Boy”. This is the guy who should’ve just joined the military himself but instead fetishizes the uniform and is practically obsessed with all things military. Don’t be the guy who wears pieces of your girlfriend’s uniform (or worse, asks her to wear it in bed) and don’t be the guy with the Air Force boyfriend coffee mug.
Next, there’s the guy who asks a million questions when a woman says she was formerly in the military. Especially on a first date, definitely don’t try to verify her claims by asking to see her ID or asking where, when, and how long she served. If you meet her online and she’s asking for money or something, then there’s cause for concern. But just know that you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you start off with being a non-believer.
Finally, there’s the guy who over-explains why he himself isn’t in the military. Don’t be the one who says things like, “Oh, I almost became a Navy SEAL but I got a scholarship to Ohio State instead.” Remember, it’s not a competition and women don’t want someone who can’t deal with feeling inferior. Just be yourself and she’ll respect you for whichever career path you chose.
If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this. The absolute worst thing you can do for both yourself and your relationship when dating a military woman is to let her position make you feel inferior.
She needs you just as must as you need her and it’s important that you see each other as equals and partners, not as one person being superior to the other. It’s a difficult dynamic to come to terms with but it’s certainly not impossible.
Every relationship is different and it will require its own unique tools in order to come out successfully on the other side. Communication is key to every healthy relationship and dating a military woman can be just as enriching as any other romantic endeavor.
What have you learned since dating a military woman? What do you wish you had known beforehand?