Military relationships: Are they worth it?

A lot of people have preconceived notions about what a military relationship is like. These usually come from what is portrayed in movies or the typical tearjerker YouTube videos showing military personnel coming home from deployment and surprising their significant others. Military homecomings are beautiful to watch, but as you’ve probably noticed, there are less videos about the goodbyes before the homecomings and few documentaries that show the months, even years, spent apart.

To put it into perspective, according to Statisticbrain.com, there are a little over two million people in the military. That’s about 0.6 percent of the population. This means that not many people are in military relationships. But hey, if you want to prep for a potential military man or woman coming into your life, it’s good to know the pros and cons.

My boyfriend, Airman José Romero, and I have been dating since Sept. 21, 2015. We recently became a military couple on Nov. 20 when he was shipped off for basic training in Texas, leading me to my first con: the distance and communication problems.

It’s more than likely that your partner in the military will be stationed in a different state, maybe even a different country, so if you’re not married then you’ll most likely only see them a few weeks total in a year if you’re willing to pay for flights and hotels. In the case of deployment, you could go months without seeing them. Communication is also difficult due to conflicting schedules or time differences.

Another con is the danger that comes along with it. Everyone in the military has taken an oath to serve and protect their country. This means that if they get deployed to Afghanistan, they can’t just say no. So if you don’t want a partner that is willing to give their life for their country, this type of relationship is not for you.

Of course there are benefits as well. Most of the well known ones, like free health insurance, free housing and a free education, are only for military couples that are married. The pros of being in a military relationship, dating-wise, are simply that it makes the relationship stronger and makes you cherish each other a lot more. The months spent apart and the little time you get to talk makes you realize what you have and appreciate each other more than you ever thought was possible. It also helps build a stable future, which is good if you’re into planning your future years in advance.

So do I think it’s worth it? Let’s just say I wouldn’t trade my relationship for anything. This lifestyle isn’t for everyone. It can be stressful, sad and extremely difficult at times. But if you find someone that you can call your best friend and your home, I think it’s definitely worth a shot.

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