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What It’s Like to Date Someone in the Military Long Distance

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWF chapter.

I grew up in a military family, one of my grandpas was in the Navy and the other served in Army. My father was in the Air Force, and both of my brothers are also in the military. Being in a long distance relationship with someone in the military seems normal to me. I’m used to not seeing loved ones for extended periods of time and not knowing everything that they do at work because they sometimes aren’t allowed to tell anyone. But there’s a lot more to long distance with someone in the military than meets the eye.

1. Different schedules

I know this can go for other jobs but sometimes you’re on completely different schedules. For example, right now my boyfriend works from 11 p.m. to around 7 p.m. and he sleeps for most of the day while I sleep from around 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. This means we only talk for a few hours every day unless one of us decides we don’t want to sleep.

2. Lots of video calls

As I mentioned earlier, you can’t see each other for extended periods of time. My SO is stationed seven and a half hours away, so luckily I can drive to go see him on long weekends and breaks. However, he cannot come to see me unless he takes leave because I am a certain distance away. Since we can’t see each other often, we video chat a lot because it’s the closest thing to face-to-face communication we can get. One positive thing about not being able to see each other often is that when we do, it’s so much more special than if we saw each other every day.

3. Last names

In the military, everyone is known by their last names. When I met my boyfriend’s friends that I had heard of from his work stories, I thought that they were different people because they introduced themselves by their first names, and now, even though I know their first names, I still call them by their last names because that’s how I remember them from my boyfriend’s stories.

4. Nowhere to stay

While some people in the military live in an apartment, others live in barracks, or as the Air Forces calls them, dorms. No visitors are allowed in the dorms between midnight and 6 a.m. So when I go visit my boyfriend, I have to get a hotel.

5. They can’t call out

Their job is very important and they don’t have the option of calling out if they don’t feel like working that day. Over spring break, I went and stayed a few days with my boyfriend, but since I went during the week he had to work at night. He couldn’t call out or find someone to cover his shift because that isn’t how it works, he had to go in every night while I was sleeping. On the bright side, he got me breakfast on the way back!

Junior, Majoring in Communications and specializing in Telecommunications. set14@students.uwf.edu
Abigail is a Journalism and Political Science major minoring in Spanish. She has a penchant for puns and can't go a morning without listening to NPR's Up First podcast. You can usually find her dedicating time to class work, Her Campus, College to Congress, SGA or hammocking. Her dream job is working as a television broadcast journalist on a major news network. Down time includes TED talk binges, reading and writing. You can follow Abigail on instagram and Twitter @abi_meggs