How To Make Your Long-Distance Military Relationship Work
by Jackson Weiser
Unlike other long-distance relationships, dating an individual in the military can bring up a host of unique challenges. Deployments, temporary duty assignments (TDY), different time zones, and limited communication can all make military relationships challenging. However, it is possible for your relationship to survive and even thrive under these circumstances. By following the tips in this article, you can make the most out of your long-distance military relationship.
Communication is Key
Long-distance military relationships require extra effort in order to stay connected and maintain a strong relationship. That’s why communication is absolutely key!
Regular communication is essential for building trust and intimacy in your relationship. This is especially true when you can’t physically be together. It is important to actively listen during your conversations, and be honest about how you feel and what’s on your mind, even if it isn’t pleasant. This also means being patient and understanding when communication isn’t always easy, whether due to time differences, technical difficulties, or other factors.
So, try to make communication a top priority in your long-distance military relationship. Use a variety of communication methods, such as texting, calling, or video calls to keep things interesting and mix it up. Maintaining consistent communication may take extra effort, but it’s worth it to maintain a strong, healthy relationship despite the miles between you. If you or your partner has trouble expressing their thoughts and feelings, here is a link to another one of our articles that can help you with that.
Embrace Your Independence
We are aware that having a long-distance military relationship can be challenging, but it can also be a chance for personal development. When your companion is gone, you have more time to concentrate on yourself, explore your own interests and hobbies, and solidify your own identity. Embracing your freedom and making the most of your alone time are as essential as staying in touch and making time for your relationship. Here are some examples of what you can do:
Get involved in your community
Even if your partner isn’t away, it is always a good idea to get involved in your community. Whether it be volunteering, taking classes, or playing sports, there are many ways to feel connected with the people around you and gain fulfillment without the presence of your partner.
Hone a skill
Making steady progress on a skill is one of the best ways to feel accomplished and independent. As you see yourself getting better and better, you will feel more confident in other parts of your life as well. You could even surprise your partner with your new talent when they return.
Go on a solo adventure
Traveling by yourself is another great way to embrace your time alone. You don’t need to go far, either. Simply going across town can be a refreshing experience. If you’ve never traveled alone before, you might be pleasantly surprised by the fact that you can do it completely at your own pace.
Embracing your independence also takes some of the pressure off your partner, who may feel guilty or stressed about being away from you.
Of course, it’s important to find the right balance between independence and couple time. You don’t want to become so focused on your own interests that you neglect your relationship altogether. But by becoming a more independent person, you develop a healthier, more balanced relationship with your partner overseas.
Plan for the Future
One of the biggest challenges of a long-distance military relationship is the uncertainty about the future. With deployments, training, and relocations, it can be hard to know what’s coming next and how to plan for it. But having a plan, both short-term and long-term, can help you and your partner feel more secure and confident about your future together.
This might include things like scheduling regular visits, setting aside time for video chats and phone calls, and planning special events or surprises for each other. These can help keep the relationship feeling fresh and exciting, even when you aren’t physically together.
This might include things like discussing where you want to live when your partner is done with their deployment or TDY, talking about career goals and aspirations, and considering how you might build a life together once the deployment or TDY is over. Having a shared vision for the future can give you both something to work towards, and can help you weather the ups and downs that might occur along the way.
So, sit down with your partner and have an honest conversation about your goals and aspirations, both individually and as a couple. Brainstorm ways to make those goals a reality, and make a plan for how you’ll work towards them together. Even if the plan changes along the way, having a shared vision for the future can help keep your relationship strong and thriving despite the distance.
Keep the Romance Alive
Being in a long-distance military relationship doesn’t mean that the romance has to fizzle out. With a little effort and creativity, you can keep the spark alive and make your partner feel loved and appreciated, even when you’re miles apart. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Nothing says “I love you” like a surprise visit from your partner. If you’re able to plan a visit, try to keep it a secret until the last minute for an extra element of surprise. Even if you can only visit for a short time, the gesture can go a long way in making your partner feel special.
Thanks to technology, there are plenty of ways to have a “date” with your partner even when you’re not in the same room. Plan a virtual dinner date, movie night, or game night using video chat or screen sharing. You can even send each other food or snacks to enjoy together during the date.
In a world of instant messaging and texting, there’s something especially romantic about a handwritten love letter. Take the time to write down your feelings and send a physical letter or care package to your partner. It’s a tangible reminder of your love that they can hold onto and cherish.
Remember, the key to keeping the romance alive in a long-distance military relationship is to stay intentional and make the effort to show your partner that you really care and are thinking about them. By planning surprise visits, virtual dates, and sending love letters, you can keep the spark alive and show your partner that distance doesn’t diminish your love.
Acknowledge the Unique Challenges and Rewards
These might include frequent moves, deployments, and the stress and anxiety that come with military life. It can be difficult to maintain a sense of stability and routine when your partner’s job requires them to be away from home and potentially in danger for extended periods of time.
There are also unique rewards to being in a military relationship. For example, you and your partner are both part of a larger community that values service, sacrifice, and patriotism. This means that they understand your feelings and worries, so they are well equipped to offer support and empathy.
Another positive of the military relationship is that you may have the opportunity to travel and experience different parts of the country or the world. You also get to be a part of your partner’s journey as they grow and develop in their military career.
Acknowledging the challenges and rewards of military life can help you and your partner maintain perspective and find ways to support each other through the ups and downs. It’s important to be open and honest about your feelings and experiences, and to actively work together to navigate the unique challenges of military life. Celebrate the unique aspects of your partnership while also finding ways to support each other through the tough times.
By following these tips and finding creative ways to support each other, you can overcome the unique challenges of a long-distance military relationship and build a strong and lasting partnership.
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