1. Distance is doable. There are a LOT of people who are against long distance relationships. It is very hard. I will never lie about that. I won’t say that the distance is a cakewalk. However, from Basic Training forward, I kept in contact with my man as much as I could. I wrote a letter literally every day and sent seven at a time in one big envelope. I checked the mail literally every day to see if I had anything. When he got done with Basic and MCT (Marine Combat Training) he came home and we spent about a month together. Then it was on to tech school. We called, texted, or Facetimed pretty much daily until he went overseas. Now that he’s 14 hours ahead of me, we try to Facetime as much as possible. Our most common form of communication is text message.
2. Little things mean the most. “I love you” texts. A random phone call. Asking me how my favorite show is progressing. Talking to my family on Facebook. The five minute Facetime before I go to bed and before he goes to work. The conversations that carry on for days. Packages and cards sent both ways. These are the things that are most worthwhile for both of you, especially because it means “I’m thinking of you right now.”
3. You will get jealous. I cannot stress this enough: There is absolutely NO getting around being jealous. You don’t get to hang out with him, but he’s off spending time with his friends. He hangs out with other girls that he works with, and there’s absolutely nothing going on, but you see her comment on his Facebook post and you about tear your hair out. You stalk Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see if he was busy at work or busy having fun when you were trying to talk to him. You’re at home talking to the walls and he’s seeing the world.
4. It is a hugely dangerous job. My boyfriend is luckily a non-combat MOS. He won’t necessarily be in the line of fire unless it’s absolutely dire. That doesn’t mean that he’s not still overseas. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still shoot a gun. He’s actually a Rifle expert (he’s very proud of that). The number one job of anyone in the military when it gets down to it is protecting our country. Or other people’s countries. They’re all trained to handle weapons. If they’re needed, they ARE trained to handle combat situations. It IS honestly scary. There are a lot of things to be scared about, especially looking at the threat that is ISIS.
5. You will get lonely. There will be nights when you can’t sleep because they’re not sleeping next to you. When you pace around waiting to see if you get the phone call you want. When you’re so internally worried about what they’re doing, you’re crying and you can’t even explain why. Where you get too drunk with your friends because it helps you forget for five seconds what’s really going on. That’s okay. It’s okay to feel what you’re feeling. There are no guarantees for us that are not married to our loved ones. Shit, there aren’t guarantees for those who are. Take a shot, take a nap, take a walk. It’s really okay.
6. You love them anyway. Despite the distance and the fear and the stupid jealousy, you can’t help but love them. They are your hero, your whole world. The feeling when you get to kiss them again after they’ve been away for so long outweighs all of it. The first night back together, the first holiday you get to see them come home. The way their eyes light up when you say something funny on Facetime. The way they still laugh at all your stupid jokes. It doesn’t get easier. But the love stays the same.