Within the last few months, my boyfriend has returned home from a 10-week basic training and a seven-week Advanced Individual Training (AIT). In other words, just the beginning of the reality check that comes along with being involved in a military relationship. Along the way, many of my friends and family have tried to console me and I can not thank them enough for the support. However, along the journey there were several comments made to comfort me that came out as irritating, disrespectful, and even quite awkward.
1. “There are no pretty women in the service so you do not have to worry about him cheating on you."
Why would you say such a thing to any person in a committed relationship, let alone a long-distance one? If I thought my significant other had intentions of cheating on me, why would I stay in the relationship?
Please do not say this by any means. Unless you want an evil side eye, then, by all means, say this.
Let us also point out how incredibly disrespectful this is to the women in service. The women that have joined the service are helping fight for your God given rights and putting their lives on the line, yet you have the audacity to say they are unattractive. These women are all equally beautiful in their own ways and to be honest not too many females can go seven to nine weeks without shaving, make up, and jewelry, etc. for basic training. Military women should receive recognition for all that they are working and training for rather than be criticized.
2. “I know how you feel."
The two most popular responses I received was, “Trust me, I know how you feel! My boyfriend works all the time and I’m so busy that we barely see each other” or “My boyfriend and I do long-distance relationship so I understand." While everyone has similar senses of sadness and missing someone, I can reassure you that missing someone that is gone for half a year and then some is a lot harder than missing someone for a week. Everyone’s situation is different but trust me—you do not know how it feels. Please do not try and relate to me in this situation.
3. The usual, “I don’t know how you do it." ATTENTION:
Military girlfriends are not magic or superhumans, we are regular humans that love our significant other enough to make it work. This is the simple explanation for how to cope with a long distance military relationship! There is no other option except pass the time until you see them. I mean what am I going to do? Leave them?If I feel he or she is worth it then I will wait it out. *GASP* Mind-blowing, I know!
4. Proceeded with, “I would never let my boyfriend be in the military."
One too many times this has been said and each time it makes me slightly closer to losing it. When saying this, it is as if something my significant other and I are doing is wrong or ridiculous.Next, since when did a relationship become a dictatorship? If he or she wants to join the military then let them! You should support their goals and aspirations!My boyfriend came home with such pride in himself and became a much more driven individual so of course, I would sacrifice my happiness for him. That is what a relationship is about: sacrifice.
Or if you are married, being there for better and FOR WORSE
. Therefore, worrying about how you will feel is extremely selfish and you should not say such a thing to a military girlfriend.
5. Whine about “how your boyfriend hasn’t texted you back in an hour."
PEOPLE, think about this one, please! Call me cruel, but it is so incredibly hard for me to listen to you vent when I have not gotten a text message in months from my man. While my boyfriend was gone for basic training I received THREE, 10-minute phone calls in two and a half months. If anything, I feel sorry for you two. At the time, I would have happily waited an hour for a reply because mostly because I know I would eventually get one. Do not take your significant other for granted!
6. My favorite: ”You will be OK."
Just give me a one-arm hug why don’t you? That made me feel so much better! Thank you! No, please spare me on this batch of advice.
7. “So, when are you guys going to get married?”
Granted, there are a lot of young military families however this is not true for ALL cases. My boyfriend and I have no plans on getting married or having children anytime soon (Sorry family and future in-laws)
. Just because we are going through a serious situation and are in a serious relationship does not mean we are even remotely close to wanting to be married. Honestly, neither my boyfriend nor I have mastered cooking grilled chicken let alone a marriage.