Every military relationship has a different story. A military love is different from any other. Appreciating your partner develops a whole other meaning when they serve in the military. Military relationships are a challenge, but the love that develops from them is unlike any other. My military relationship is the best and the worst relationship I've ever been in. Here are seven reasons why military relationships are the best and the worst:
1. Distance makes the heart grow fonder
Being in love and being hundreds of miles apart is a serious struggle. However, over time, the love for your significant other becomes more of a longing. After constantly being with someone, months spent apart feel like years. Every minute spent talking to your partner feels like the miles aren't as long; it's as if the world is pulling you to each other.
There's something about sitting down with a paper and pen and just writing about anything: current events, personal life, even the weather. Old-school love is something so many people wish for, but at some point in every military relationship, the couple actually experiences it. Even though professing your love through writing sounds soooo romantic, it gets really upsetting sometimes. Letters from base to home and vice versa generally take a long time to mail, so some may start to think their partner is ignoring them or that they aren't getting their letters. But letters last longer than any text will. Letters can be preserved, and eventually, you'll get tired of scrolling for a text.
Seeing your partner for the first time in months feels like a weight lifted off of your shoulders. Homecomings are so magical and beautiful. It's almost like falling in love for the first time all over again. Just to remember what it's like to be embraced by your partner or to hear the heartbeat in their chest for the first time in who knows how long. Homecomings mean the time spent apart doesn't matter anymore; all that matters is the present.
4. When it rains, it pours
When your partner is gone, the good days are good, but the bad days are literally the worst. If you are hundreds of miles apart, you can't settle an argument face to face. Your partner has to say "it's okay," and all you can really do is trust that they're telling the truth. Also, on the days when you're missing your partner more than usual, a phone call, text, or facetime probably won't help. These are the kind of days you would just show up at their house, ya know? And when your partner is forever and a day away, that's pretty much impossible. At that point, all you can do is cling onto past memories and dream of the day they come home.
5. Missing important holidays
Being in the military isn't like those jobs you can just take off for the holidays. It hurts that your partner is gone on the holidays you celebrate. No matter how bad you wish they could be there, they just can't, and there is nothing you can do about it other than hope they're safe. Birthdays, anniversaries, and religious holidays won't be the same, but the ones your partner is home for will top them all.
6. TV series
"Babe, I promise I won't watch it without you." It's a lie. Sorry, there's no sugar-coating this one. Maybe not at first, but sooner or later someone is gonna crack and watch the one show you promised not to watch without each other, the show that was your "Netflix-and-chill, binge watch" show. As soon as that new season comes out (yeah, the one you said you'd wait for), you'll probably watch it. If not, wow, I really lack self-control.
7. No, it’s not exactly like the media portrays it
Contrary to popular belief, military relationships are NOT exactly like the movies. It's hardly ever a "Dear John" or a "Love and Honor" kind of thing. It's really hard to forget someone and move on to someone new while your partner is training to protect or currently protecting the country you live in and the freedom you have. I'm not saying infidelity has never happened in any military relationship ever, but it's like in most military love stories, someone gets dumped or cheated on because they aren't home.
All in all, my relationship with my wonderful boyfriend who is currently stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base has been the most challenging relationship I've ever been in, but the love blossoming in this relationship is stronger than any love I thought I have felt before. I wouldn't trade my military relationship with all of its hardships and obstacles for any easy relationship.