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Dating a Navy SEAL

No one said dating a Navy SEAL would be easy, but these tips can help.

Tips for Dating a Navy SEAL

Don’t expect a call or text every day.

Navy SEALs are busy and they have to take their jobs very seriously. It’s not that you’re wrong for having these expectations to keep in touch with your significant other throughout the day, they’re just not applicable when you’re dating someone in Special Ops.

For Navy SEALs, they’re often in remote areas without cell reception or in a totally different time zone. Plus, the work he or she is doing doesn’t really account for chit chat breaks. In fact, they can be so focused on a mission that days pass without stepping away from their duty.

Some people will go to a great effort to make sure they call you back at home but it shouldn’t be the expectation. If you’re not ok with bouts of silence from your partner now and then, you probably won’t enjoy dating a Navy SEAL.

Don’t have a strong opinion about “boy time”.

If you’re the wife or girlfriend of a Navy SEAL, you’ll have to respect your partner’s “boy time” as someone in Special Ops. Now, this isn’t to say that women should be disrespected or walked all over, but with these high-level military teams, the boys need to bond.

You don’t want their boss to feel like they have more allegiance to you than they do to their team or the Navy SEALs. In their case, it’s life or death and they all need to bond. If that means going out for beers or finding a strip club[1] , that might be something you’ll need to come to terms with when dating a Navy SEAL.

By all means, set boundaries and have rules but don’t get too upset about them hanging out without you.

Don’t pry.

In Special Ops, top-secret missions are actually top secret. There will be things they can’t tell you. There will be painful memories they might not want to talk about. The idea here is, if they tell you, definitely listen. But don’t pry about their job.

Have your own life.

This is important in any relationship but especially if you’re dating a Navy SEAL; it’s important to have your own life. Make friends in every new city you live in, find hobbies you can do without your partner, and truly create your own life outside of the military.

Navy SEALs spend a lot of time away from home, so instead of wondering what they’re up to or being sad about missing them, get out and do something. It’ll mean you’re bringing something interesting to the table and it’ll help your partner feel less guilty about being away if you’re not a mess without them.

Don’t brag about your Navy SEAL boyfriend.

Navy SEALs are in a position where their jobs are not meant to be public. Sure, be proud of them but don’t go around like a groupie boasting that your boyfriend or girlfriend is a SEAL. Especially when talking to strangers, don’t go around bragging about their job.

Don’t spread gossip.

It’s easy to get caught up in gossip. Especially when you’re part of a tight-knit community. When you meet up with other military partners, don’t be the one spreading pointless gossip. Plus, it’ll make your relationship stronger if you keep things, especially your issues, between each other.

Be flexible.

Dating a Navy SEAL means rolling with the punches. Their work schedule is always changing and if you’re going to get upset every time he has to stay late at work or if a deployment homecoming gets delayed, dating a Navy SEAL isn’t for you.

Of course, it is gut-wrenching to look forward to things that constantly get changed or cancelled, but that’s just part of being linked up to a military service member. Do your best to stay flexible and trust that it’s not their fault that you’re always having to change your plans.

Expect to move a lot.

If it’s getting serious and you want to take things to the next level, dating a Navy SEAL most often means moving out of your hometown. Be prepared to move away from family and friends and make a new life in a new city.

If you’re uncomfortable with transition or you have a hard time making friends, perhaps dating a Navy SEAL isn’t the best idea. Moving around just to be near someone who has no choice in where they’re stationed is certainly a difficult thing to do. It can be lonely and painful but it’s definitely possible.

Expect to sleep alone sometimes.

When deployment comes around, you’re definitely sleeping alone most of the time but it’s not forever. Still, you’ll need to know how to sleep alone and be ok with it. You have to be 100% committed to your relationship with your Navy SEAL since sleeping alone can make it that much easier to take home that other person from the bar, just because you’re lonely.

Unfortunately, cuddling a phone or laptop waiting for that late-night call from the middle east might be the closest thing to sleeping next to your Navy SEAL and it’s something you should expect to do sometimes.

Be patriotic.

If you don’t have a deep love for the United States of America, dating a Navy SEAL is going to be pretty difficult. You’re not going to understand why your partner has to put his job before you or even before himself.

The happiest and healthiest people who are dating a Navy SEAL are the ones who are also incredibly patriotic. Not in a self-deprecating way but in a way that allows for the Navy SEALs priorities to be a little different from the norm.

Dating a Navy SEAL means you’re part of something bigger than yourself and bigger than your relationship. You’re making almost as many sacrifices as your Navy SEAL partner and it’s something to be proud of. So wave that red, white, and blue flag high and remember why you’re doing it when things get tough.

Dating a Former Navy SEAL

Dating a former Navy SEAL comes with a whole other can of worms. Whether you started dating them while in active duty or after they served, there are a few things to make sure you do.

Know the signs of PTSD.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder often associated with veterans, especially those who served in Special Ops like the Navy SEALs. It’ll be important to understand the signs of PTSD and be understanding of these issues.

Some common symptoms of PTSD include night terrors, depression, reclusiveness, anger, and panic attacks. Be mindful of loud noises like fireworks and crowded spaces. You never know what might set off a trigger. Do your research and learn ways to help your partner if they are struggling with PTSD.

Be a good listener.

Great for any relationship, this goes hand in hand with not prying into his former life. Navy SEALs go through a lot of painful events and if they don’t bring it up, don’t go prying about it and expecting them to talk it through with you.

With that said, if a former Navy SEAL that you’re dating does bring up a serious topic with you, make sure to listen and understand their worldview. It may be different than most peoples’ perspective and can make a difference in your relationship. So, be a good listener.

Dating a Retired Navy SEAL

Once a Navy SEAL retires and re-enters civilian life, things can be tough. It’s definitely something to be aware of if you’re dating a Navy SEAL.

  • Help them find a job
  • Don’t complain about money
  • Encourage new hobbies and friends
  • Be patient

Dating a US Navy SEAL

In short, dating a U.S. Navy Seal is definitely not the easiest thing to do. For many of your peers, it’s a lifestyle that doesn’t make sense. But, they say that the heart wants what it wants and if you’re right for each other, you can make it work.

Advice for Dating a Navy SEAL

Overall, every relationship is different whether you’re dating a Navy SEAL or not. There isn’t one piece of advice that is going to totally change your experience as a couple. Good advice for dating a Navy SEAL is the same basic advice every couple should take into account:

  • Communicate
  • Be honest
  • Clarify your needs
  • Take care of yourself first
  • Don’t expect too much

From there, you can fit this advice into the specific circumstances of dating a Navy SEAL.

Pros and Cons of Dating a Navy SEAL

After talking about all these tips for dating a Navy SEAL, here are the major takeaways.


  • You’ll have a strong partner
  • You most likely won’t be too worried financially

They will make you feel safe


  • You might go without seeing them for months at a time
  • You might have to deal with tough issues together like PTSD
  • You won’t be the #1 priority

Are you dating a Navy SEAL? What is it really like? Did you find these tips helpful? Let us know.

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