When I started dating my military member, I remember having a huge culture shock at military life versus the civilian life I'd been used to up until then. He couldn't take time off to see me when I visited, he worked such long days that he couldn't call every night, none of it seemed right at first. But that's just how it is. Military relationships work very differently from civilian relationships in many practical ways. Below are some pieces of dating advice I'd heard, and why they just don't work when you're dating someone in the military.
1. "If he wanted to, he would."
This classic phrase is total lie when it comes to dating someone in the military. He might want to, but not be able to use his phone where he is, or has a random 14-hour day that he can't end early, and he didn't know it was going to be like that this morning. That goes along with canceling plans, which he may to do due to his work.
2. Wait x amount of time to reply.
Chances are, he's texting you during his only free time. So if he didn't answer you for two hours, so you won't respond for three, you might have just missed your only chance to contact him all day.
3. Play the field.
I'm not saying you can't talk to multiple people before the relationship is defined, but, chances are, he wants to define the relationship and progress with you. If that's not what you're about, then you might not want to be dating someone in a group that's known for proposals within the first month.
4. Avoid talking about big issues for a while.
Going along with the last one, issues like kids, where you want to live, and marriage should not be pushed away. After all, if he's looking for marriage, you might not have much time to get all the important answers.
5. It's not serious until you meet each other's parents.
Chances are, you met him while he's living hundreds or thousands of miles from his parents. Sometimes, especially during this pandemic or deployments, the logistics of meeting his parents simply aren't there, and it could stay like that for a while.
6. Know that long-distance isn't forever.
Depending on his specific job, long distance can last a really long time, and it will keep reappearing. Maybe he doesn't get deployed, but has a bunch of shorter trips over the year, so, you still only end up seeing him for 6/12 months.
7. Expect him to tell you all about his day.
While he can probably say a few things, you can't get the nitty gritty details that you may be used to hearing from a partner.
8. The right guy will fit into the life you want.
Unless your dream life is moving between military bases once a year, this is pretty unlikely. But, that doesn't mean he's the wrong guy. Instead, it means that you have to fit your life to his instead of everything easily working out like you'd assumed would happen when you met the perfect guy.