Growing up I always swore I'd never date or marry into the Army. Coming from a military family I was honestly turned off too it. While I'm extremely thankful for those who serve I knew how hard it was constantly saying goodbye to those I love for deployments and watching my family move from base to base ever few years. But here I am dating a soldier stationed states away. While I'm extremely proud of my boyfriend I find myself constantly rolling my eyes at girls who gushing over servicemen and asking if he has any cute friends on base. I know most of them mean well but some people are living in a dream world.
"I wish I was dating someone military just to get pictures taken in uniform and make cute homecoming pictures."
"The only reason I'm talking to him is because I want him to take me to the ball with him."
I wish that I was kidding when I say that I've heard these things be said and seriously meant but I'm not.
Please, from someone in one and who grew up around them, stop romanticizing military relationships. They aren't always easy, they aren't always fun. They aren't all cute pictures and fancy dresses at the ball. Honestly, sometimes it sucks. I wouldn't trade my relationship for anything in the world but we'll both admit this sucks sometimes. Sometimes you have to say goodbye to your best friends for months at a time. While your peers are going out to dinner or movies your versions of dates are video chats and phone calls. Sometimes you might not even get a phone call, you might just get a letter every few weeks if you're lucky.
While my friends are saving for plane tickets to the beach for spring break, I'm saving up for a hotel room near base just to spend a few days with my favorite person. When they're going out on a Thursday, I'm laying in bed on Skype because it's one of the nights we're both free. To make a relationship like this work takes work and sacrafice from both sides, it doesn't just happen on its own. It's being there through thick and thin, good and bad, homecomings and deployments.
If you're going to involve yourself with someone in the service, know what you're getting yourself into. If you're just in it for the pictures or the ball you're in it for the wrong reasons. If you're in for the person then be ready to put in the work. While it may be hard, it may just end up being the start of the rest of your life.