After reading Jamie Perry’s article “5 Warnings For Dating a Generation Y Military Man,” outlining some of the less than desirable experiences one might have while in a relationship with a military man, I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, I understand where Jamie is coming from, for I too experienced some of the same things in my previous relationships with soldiers and my previous job. As one of the few females who worked at US Central Command when I did, I know what it’s like to be objectified, disrespected, even harassed by military men on a daily basis. So I understand. I get it. 100%.
But on the other hand, the two relationships I had with soldiers were the most intense, most amazing, most mature relationships I have had. As cliché as it may sound, it was in these relationships, I really learned what was love was. And for that reason, I want to highlight the top 5 (well, 6) reasons to date a generation Y military man so you, too, may experience that kind of love and won’t think twice about dating a man in uniform.
1. He has formed intense bonds with his fellow soldiers, which will translate to your relationship.
The immeasurable bond of loyalty among peers forged in wartime combat will never fade. His life depends on it. They were probably shot at together. They rationed their supplies together. They experienced loss together. The fact that he has such a strong bond with his comrades demonstrates that he is fully capable of a deep emotional relationship with you, too. Of course, he loves his buddies, but he loves them differently than he loves you. He looks forward to coming home to you. He wants to cook for you. He wants to impress you. Not with his strength or target practice results, but with the very essence of who he is as a person. And that is a rare and beautiful thing. Cherish that.
2. They need somebody to let them be vulnerable.
Their job is to be strong. For their fellow soldiers. For their country. For their mission. For their own survival. And strong they are. Mentally, emotionally, physically. But you can only be strong for so long, and they need to turn to you in moments of vulnerability. They might cry or be irrationally upset about something insignificant (or significant), they might wake up after a nightmare and need you to calm them down, or they might just need somebody to talk to. And in those instances of momentary weakness, you will be their strength.
3. He will fight for you.
Literally and figuratively. He probably already has and probably will. He is trained in hand-to-hand combat, he can survive in unknown terrains for extended periods of time, he has probably jumped out of an airplane, and he has been involved in live fire. He knows what it’s like to fight, it’s his job. So as fiercely as he fights for his country, he will fight for you and your relationship.
4. He is punctual and organized.
The military lifestyle involves highly regimented routine from the time he wakes up until the moment he goes to bed. A soldier is a skilled planner, a master of organization (from folding clothes to making his bed), and a rigid timekeeper. You can always depend on him to have a plan. Now it might not be so romantic to have a minute-by-minute schedule of your dinner date, but at least he is punctual and saves you from planning anything. And if things go wrong, he was taught how to think on the spot. #bonuspoints
5. He is independent and mature.
He can fend for himself. He knows what its like to go 6-9 months without family, friends, or his significant other. (But that does mean he’s usually good at emailing, Facebooking, texting, and writing letters to keep in contact and express himself.) He knows what it means to fully rely on himself and his own abilities, so he knows that he doesn’t need you. He wants you. And once you realize he is with you because he wants to be instead of out of pure necessity or obligation, you will realize how exactly much he actually loves you.
6. (Superficial) Bonus:
They get paid to be in top physical form. Who can actually complain about those muscular arms that wrap tightly around you, especially when it’s the first hug before or after a deployment, training course, or other temporary assignment. It’s that hug that reminds you of all five reasons listed above. It’s that hug that keeps you going until the next hug, whenever that may be. It’s that hug that makes you melt deeper into his love.
Just like every relationship, it’s not all fun and games. It’s not all lovey-dovey. You will experience trials and tribulations, arguably more than other couples since you may never understand exactly what he has experienced. It will be hard sometimes, but love him. Respect him. Respect his service. Respect his experiences. And remember that under those camouflage ACUs is a man just like every other. And he loves you.