Service. Respect. Patriotism. Confidence. According to a data study conducted by The Harris Poll, a military officer is the highest respected and most prestigious profession in the U.S. And while not directly mentioned in the study, that certainly extends to enlisted personnel as well. With that information, who wouldn’t be excited about dating a military man or woman!
If you’re considering dating someone in the armed forces, we’ve got some important information for you today. We want to highlight some of the great things about dating someone in this profession, but we also want to look at some of the less-obvious things that aren’t that great. When you look at the pros and cons of dating a military man or woman, you can best prepare yourself to have a successful relationship with no surprises!
And just for transparency, I’m writing these from a place of personal experience. I served in the US Army for five years as an officer and got to experience the ups and downs of dating and marriage (and I asked my wife for her input to really round this out).
5 Pros of Dating a Military Man or Woman
Thanks to the popular military phrase “hunt the good stuff”, we’re going to do just that and start with all the positives that come with dating someone in the military.
1. Military Men and Women Understand Respect
The military is all about respecting yourself, others, your country, and your community. This means that one of the biggest pros of dating a military man or woman is that they’re going to be respectful. They’ll have respect for you, your family, your kids, your pets, your possessions, and your relationship. There aren’t any other organizations in the world that teach respect as effectively as the U.S. military does.
2. Soldiers are Required to Stay In Shape
Do you want your man or woman to stay in shape? Well, if you do, you’re going to like the fact that the military requires its soldiers to stay within certain height and weight requirements. Additionally, every branch of service has physical fitness testing requirements that require them to work out and stay healthy. You won’t have to worry about your soldier “letting themselves go” because they’re literally not allowed to.
3. Job Security and Great Benefits
One of the biggest perks about being in the military is that you have incredible job security. You’re not going to walk into work and randomly find out that your position has been eliminated. People sign contracts with the military and unless they do something really terrible to get kicked out, the job is theirs to keep.
This can be great if you’re considering starting a family or looking for financial security with your relationship.
Additionally, being in the military comes with great benefits like:
- Medical benefits (Tricare)
- Educational benefits
- Family support programs
And if you end up marrying the soldier, you get access to many of those benefits too!
4. Their Job is Exciting
The military does some really cool stuff. Regardless of being Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Space Force, or Coast Guard, military men and women do some really exciting things. What this means is that you’ll always have interesting things to talk about and you’ll get to live vicariously through that excitement!
5. They Have Transferrable Skills
One thing I didn’t realize when I was in the military was how much some of my training would translate into my everyday life. For example, doing layouts (where you ensure you have all your gear) have made vacations, packing, and packing diaper bags a breeze. Or when it comes to security at our house or out on the road, being able to identify potential risk factors and solve them quickly is super helpful.
If you’re spending time with someone in the military, you get to reap the rewards of these skills all day, every day.
4 Cons of Dating a Military Man or Woman
Now onto the negatives of dating someone in the military. While these things are never fun to talk about, being real about things can make you more prepared to decide if this is the life you want.
1. Long Hours and They Can’t Call in Sick
Many times the military asks a lot of their soldiers. This can mean really long days that can turn into overnights or literally whatever the military needs. Unlike a traditional job, the military is able to require soldiers to work as many days and as long as they need. It’s demanding, but it’s what the soldier signed up for.
And unlike a traditional job, you can’t just call in sick when you don’t feel like going to work. This means you can expect some uncertainty of when your soldier comes home every day and what a “normal” week looks like.
2. Deployments Do Happen
While it’s ideal that a man or woman in the military never has to deploy, it’s not always the case. The military does regularly deploy its soldiers to all corners of the world. And when this happens, you most likely can’t go with them. This means you might be away from your soldier for up to a year at a time.
Yes, you more than likely will be able to talk to them at some points via Skype or the phone, but that’s not guaranteed. It’s just the nature of the beast sometimes and certainly one of the major cons of dating a military man or woman.
3. Their Job Can be Emotionally Taxing
Being in the military can be stressful. Even if they’re not off on a deployment or in combat, the day to day can be stressful. What this means is that your soldier may come home emotionally drained after a tough day or field training exercise (FTX). This can be a great opportunity for you to be supportive! But if you’re someone who needs a lot of emotional TLC yourself, you may have some days where there are additional challenges.
4. Timeliness and Details Matter
This is actually something that could be a pro or a con for dating a military man or woman. The military drills in the importance of being on time (which is 15 minutes early) and paying attention to the correctness of small details.
On one hand, this makes for a highly productive person who is always on time and gets the job done well. On the other hand, they may become annoyed when you or someone else doesn’t live up to the same standard. Some soldiers are able to compartmentalize this well, but some have it so ingrained that it could bleed into their personal lives and your relationship.