How to Survive a Military Relationship

Coping with the Distance and the Hard Times

*This is not my photo, I do not own the rights to this photo.*

It’s hard. A long-distance military relationship is hard. There is no other way to put it. One of the things you have to ask yourself, though, is, Is it all worth it? In my case, heck yeah it was/is! He is my everything. He is my world. There are still times when I wake up and I am like, “Oh my goodness, I cannot take this anymore!” Do I give up? Does that mean I wanna quit the relationship or him? No! 

There are many things that every relationship requires, things like time, communication, love, respect, trust, etc. A long distance relationship is not any different; the only different thing is these attributes in a relationship are almost enhanced. You have to go about them a different way. 

1. Make time.

This one is so, so important. If you had a relationship that was not long distance you would most likely see each a few times a week, if not every day. You don’t get that in a long distance relationship. So you need to set aside time that would be the time you would be going to see him/her if they were to be home. I once had a friend ask me to go out one night, but I told her no because I had plans with my boyfriend. She was then like, “Well how, he isn’t even here? You are gonna blow me off for your phone?” But I didn’t blow her off for my phone. That phone call or FaceTime call was my time with him. That’s all I get. It’s not stupid to stay just to “be on your phone.” I always joke and say, “My phone is my fiancé” and it’s kind of true. That’s all I get the majority of the time. So set aside the same amount of time for him/her as if they were home to actually be with.

2. Trust them.

This is a major thing for people. No one trusts anyone anymore. They let past relationships or relationships they have witnessed get in the way of their own happiness with someone. If you cannot trust the person, then you should not be with them. That is not a relationship. I’m in a long distance relationship, it is so easy to not trust them and to not be trusted. You are not around your significant other enough to ever really know what they are doing. It is hard to get past that thought, but if they have never given you a reason not to trust or believe them then do trust and believe them. 

3. Communication is key.

Honestly, I feel like long distance relationships have an advantage with this one. While “normal” couples get to see each other all of the time, they are not forced to talk. While long distance relationships, that’s all you ever get. You don’t have anything else to do basically. You have a fight, there is no making up with a night out or a “night in” or any of that. You are forced to talk it out or things will never be fixed. You have a problem with your significant other, then tell them. Don’t beat around the bush (but still be nice and respectful). Tell them exactly how you feel. Talk to them about anything and everything. Me and my fiancé always update each other for everything. He always tells me when he gets somewhere and where is going and I do the same for him. We always talk about what is going on throughout our day so we always feel like we are a part of each other’s day. We talk 24/7 if we can and about everything. I felt closer to him after a month of being with him than I ever did in the whole two years with the guy I was last in a relationship with. Talk, talk, talk!

4. Be respectful.

You would think this one would be a common sense kind of thing, but that is not always the case. If your significant other is not comfortable with something, does not like it, anything, don’t do it. Talk about it with them. Share both sides of the story. Justify why you think it is OK and listen to them justify why they don’t like it is or think it’s not OK. This kind of goes hand in hand with the communication thing. Respect the other person's thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc... Listen to them. Try to understand. 

5. Love them unconditionally.

At the end of the day, everyone needs love. Love them for who they are. Love them for every part of them, even the things you hate. They are your person. Surprise them with random thoughtfulness. Never overlook the little things. Love them.

Despite popular opinion, long distance relationships are not impossible. I am proof of that. Figure out what works for you and stick to that. No relationship is the same. Don’t let other people get between you guys and do what you think is best for the two of you. After all, it is your relationship, not anyone else’s. 

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