As the significant other, you will not get more details than necessary on anything unless you poke and prod. Related: The unconventional relationship is the norm in the military. However, in the civilian world, or in a relationship, it may be a little hard to deal with. Especially if he is coming from a higher rank, it may be increasingly difficult for him to “fall in line” with civilian life. Not every soldier comes home with post-traumatic stress.
It is a lot of work to break down those barriers and gain enough trust for him open up and be vulnerable. You need to understand this and realize how difficult it is. However, for those who do, there is nothing wrong with that.
Maybe you just met this person in the military and are curious about the “what-ifs” that come with the relationship.
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Expect sleepless nights, and bouts of being on the receiving end of awkward silences. You need to try your hardest to understand, get him to eventually talk about it (preferably to a professional) and pretty much avoid all triggers — like war movies. You will be inundated with more random facts about places like the Middle East or the South than you care to cram into your brain. I won a round of trivia just because I knew the currency in Bahrain. I am a sucker for someone who is passionate about his work. They are modern day heroes; if that’s not something to be proud of, I’m not quite sure what is! Basically, dating a Generation Y military man is no different than dating anyone else. His may be unimaginable to you, but that does not make him any better or worse.
Fun facts are everywhere, and it doesn’t hurt for you to sound more worldly too! Dating a service member is not all fun and games; it takes a lot of work and patience, but if you are interested in the person and not just the uniform, then he is definitely worth the pursuit.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at Cellar Door, the personal blog of Gabrielle Puglia. You need to understand that the military is a brotherhood.
There have been a few articles about the pros and cons of dating the Generation Y military man, and while some of them are better reads than others, I felt the need to weigh in. Military men may never have closer relationships than those they made in the military.