How Dating a Soldier or Veteran is Different...

How Dating a Soldier or Veteran is Different...

Let me start off by saying every person in the military no matter what branch has my full respect and gratitude. It was the moment I told my boyfriend about this poor guy me and my cousin saw while out on the town one night. This guy who had somehow gotten a massive head injury, and there was a pool of blood under his head, and blood draining down the road. I told my boyfriend, and I was like that poor guy probably died or close to it, and it did not even phase him that much. At that moment somehow it dawned on me that this relationship was going to be different in positive and negative ways.

When we met online about 8 months ago we hit it off. I knew he was millitary, but I didn't think anything of it other than I certainly appreciated what he did. Over time I have totally fallen in love with him. But it is also more challenging than average dating. Now, when I say that I mean the little details of war keeps creeping up understandably so. He was critically wounded and was honorably discharged. Let me say this when I was getting to know him he is a perfect fit for me. Someone who calms me down, and just compliments my personality so well. He is everything you could ever want in a man. He is gentle, protective, funny, charming, and just well perfect. I know nobody is perfect, but this man is pretty darn close.

Then we were into our relationship about 3 months and one day after seeing him the day before, he just stopped texting me. At first I thought oh great another guy who said all the right things then just ghosts me. That is what I thought. Then I texted him telling him how I felt about him. And his response just made me realize this was not going to be an ordinary relationship. You see he has several repercussions from being wounded. One of them being a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Although I knew that he suffered with this I just thought he took medicine for it, and that it was under control. Then he spent a few days in the hospital, and went weeks without talking to me.

With ordinary guys we all know that means he just changed his mind about you, and not contacting you ever again is his way of telling you that. This time it was different. There is a major connection with us, and I know we both felt it because we both told each other we felt that way. So then came time for me to figure out what I was already into. I researched this condition a lot, and became very fasinated on all the military things I didn't know about. I wanted to know how to help him. But truthfully there's not a lot you can do. I realized each person with this condition is unique in their own situation. My mans being so severe made it really hard for him.

How Dating a Soldier or Veteran is Different...

The weeks following this episode I would just text him saying I'm here for you, and let me know if you need me, that type of stuff. Upon saying all this I should mention that he also suffers from PTSD as well. I became a very, very uninformed person on this subject to just wanting to know all I could to help him. My friends tried to tell me this was his way of making me leave, or his easy way out. But just like in any relationship I knew him and knew he was truly trying to get better. But I'll admit although I knew he was trying to get better, the thought still crossed my mind at that point is he really in the hospital, or is he lying? It crossed my mind for sure. But then one day when I texted him that I was still here for him and what not I got an immediate response, we went out a few days later, and it was great to know we had overcome that hurdle.

Also when we go eat we have to sit in certain directions from the door, he is always polite. We love love concerts, but if there are fireworks I always have earplugs to quiet it down for him to not activate some of those memories. Now not all military dating experiences are like mine. Some soldiers come back, and although they too were touched by war they deal with it better somehow. Before I met him I of course had respect for our military, and veterans, but never thought of all the effects in such detail before.

With all this being said I will say this man makes me feel safe no matter where we are. I never feel unsafe with him. With any relationship there are struggles, and things you each have to overcome. This is my example of mine, and how his military experiences has effected our relationship.How Dating a Soldier or Veteran is Different...


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Most people don’t see the demons these men face. It’s not the injuries that hurt them the most. It’s the lost of identity and isolation. A person who has never served can never understand even the language of military members. It’s difficult for many civilians to relate. A lot of people don’t realize that they have to be more giving if they are to enter a relationship with a military member. Most can’t. That’s why many of these relationships do not work.

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    • What's difficult about understanding grooming maggots into obedient subordinates or face their own demise? I think the exit program lacks for those who don't go career. And some of those recruits had no identity when they enlisted. The military gave them one. Those recruits shouldn't have enlisted to begin with.

      The "giving" part you speak of is they're looking for an officer to give them orders in a relationship, not a partner.

      I'd say for some the hardest part of being a veteran is learning how to be a well adjusted civilian.

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    • But, there's more to this. I also heard tales from friends and family about some of the failed relationships these foot soldiers get into. Anywhere from infidelity, alcohol/drug abuse, and outright violent criminal activity. Friend from New York who was a Mulatto woman who pushed a her White veteran husband over the edge and he dragged her across the floor by her hair and threw her around. Another tale was a friend had her veteran boyfriend threatening to kill her family if she left him.

    • And there's a recurring pattern, the one's struggling are blue collar type workers.

Most Helpful Girl

  • Good for you it worked out.

    I’ve had two brothers in the army and one transferred to the navy. It’s a different sort of relationship and wildly different. Their friends died while at war, they were both in line of fire at one point.

    I may not sleep with them but that intimate relationship is still there. I’m happy you made this take but at the same time you ignored his family who in deserve equal recognition of his injuries. They supported his training and deployment and they’ve had to come to terms with him being fully abled is a memory in a way you can’t.

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    • Very true. My grandaddy served as well. Thank you for bringing that up the family is what I think personally helps them most. People they know will always be there for them. (or should be at least). Thank you!

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What Guys Said 14

  • First I want to say thank you, for not given up on him, I am a disable veteran also. It's not each for both halves. We as military feel that we could not show our weakness, however we are humans that are train to become machines (in a way). Continue to support him, go with him to his VA appointments and let him know that you want to understand about what is going on with him, so you can help him. No matter what please don't say help make him better, that would mean that we are broken somehow. Let him know that he is important to you. (If he is) and that you want to understand and want to help him, You said yourself that you know that dating a veteran is different from dating any other guy in the world. The way we think is completely different, we were taught to react not to think. Take to him one on one. If you need anymore help, I am here. Like I said, I am also a disable veteran, but I am studying psychology with the dream and hopes to help other veterans like your man and myself. Stay positive

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    • Let me ask you though. Is it “normal” to go long periods without talking to anyone. Like he said he has to get stuff together mentally. And hasn’t contacted me for a week now. Like is that normal? I don’t get the feeling he’s left me because he said he’s sorry for worrying me. And someone who is on the verge of leaving the other person wouldn’t apologize right? I’m giving him space and still texting him letting him know I’m here for him. But is “normal” to do this like take yourself out of things for a while? I’m sorryyy. It’s just starting to worry me 😣

    • You are doing the right thing, For military people, we have a hard time letting people in our world that was never done what we done, However with you showing and proven to him that you do care, and that you are there. He need to see that you are on his side, that you are on his team and that you want to be there with and for him.

  • Very inspiring.

    I know from my grandparents when they talked about their fathers..
    It fucks a person up a lot, even seeing one person get killed is bad enough, and then you see dozens, and if you're unlucky, you see thousands of people die.

    And that shit is hard to live with, but a veteran with a strong and good woman to support him will have a much bigger chance at coming to terms with his war time experience

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  • Our veterans today have a problem (s). The IQ gap between officers and recruits has been closing. It's not so much recruits are getting smarter (they are as a result of the Flynn effect). It's the IQs of officers aren't keeping pace. The average IQ of a WW2 officer is higher than average IQs of officers today. Why? The talent is going elsewhere to school for better job prospects. And the military isn't doing a good job incentivising to attract talent from the private sector. So, is it any wonder they are scraping the bottom of the barrel for recruits? That's right homosexuals, minorities, transgenders, women, high school drop outs, I said scraping bottom of the barrel. Lower IQ officers means more casualties, physical and psychological.

    While soldiers today deserve gratitude for their service, this has been a long neglected area. And some veterans who don't go career transition to civilian life with no real marketable skills transferable from their military training. They find themselves unemployed and can become abusive in domestic relationships. These boys have no business being trained to kill if we can't prepare them to cope/ward off PTSD.

    I myself hear about 3 bad relationship stories for every good one when it comes to veterans. Perhaps it's anecdotal.

    The Left (Democrats) loves a soldier who dies for honor. They have no interest in the well being of the ones who survive to become veterans. They only care about keeping them isolated and alone on welfare. Their actions speak louder than their words.

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  • Ex British Army para , thanks for sharing this , a heartfelt read... well written. Now a single dad , still working FT , I have to battle my demons , and just like the infamous P Company ( British Para ) selection I went through back in 1990 , it hurts at times... but you just have to keep going , my son & daughter depend on me , I am off work today , had to take a day leave to look after my poorly son.

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  • I have door issues too, but at least that still has some practical application. Fireworks I had to get used to. At even a marginal distance there's absolutely nothing that distinguishes them from gun fire. Just like anything else you have to re-acclimate. No TBIs though.

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  • That was lovely. My father is a disabled vet who also has a TBI and PTSD.

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  • All I can say is AIRBONE Soldier On. You are a credit to all of us.

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  • if they weren't involved in some traumatic war experience, nothing is different.

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  • That is Quite interesting to read.
    Wars do have a potential to kill the warriors. The veterans could say afterwards, that they are lucky to still live but then again I'm not sure if anyone wants to keep living their life either traumatized, disabled or haunted. I'm no fan of such tortures but it could always be worse i guess. I have heard of similar stories.
    I have heard of fathers living with the guilt killing others while serving the army. This is not a joke. This is quite haunting.

    This is why i don't want to go to the military. It's basically throwing my life and health away for some of that green paper (which the governments always will have) and/or recognition. Because these grave-dangers are involved for something, that i can get easier in other ways with much less risks involved.
    But reading this I'm not sure if it makes me (someone, who avoids the military) less desirable to the opposite sex.

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  • Most women avoid military or veteran men.

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  • I can relate to the door issues.

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  • Women love soldiers. It's obvious.

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  • hmmmmm true

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  • Great take thanks for sharing.

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What Girls Said 5

  • that was amazing. I'm glad that you never gave up on him. a veteran's life isn't so easy, and giving up on a veteran makes things worse. I've always had big respect for the men and women who have fought for us. my grandpa fought in the Vietnam war, he got wounded pretty badly on his back. he has some PTSD, but is the sweetest man alive. he's still quite a tough and protective guy too lol

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  • Friend married a military family war hero POW
    that was never "right" enough to blend into her rich protected lifestyle as an only child
    2 girls later they divorced, still feuding

    All I'm saying is this was never a good fit, no matter how attractive the other was at first blush... not enough research given prior to "falling in love" (temporary insanity definition)

    Hope that viewpoint helps with your quest

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  • Good article. I'm a healthcare provider at a VA hospital so I spend much of my days not only treating them, but getting to know a fair amount of them, as well. I've never dated a veteran or someone in Active Duty, but I've heard many of their stories, and from their girlfriends/wives as well, who come with them to treatment sessions. I periodically stay in touch with some of my old patients and veteran/active duty military coworkers, and yes, even being friends with them feels different than my regular, civilian friends, especially if they were deployed and have seen combat. I have a lot of respect for them and what they go through.

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  • PTSD is difficult to deal with whether you are a veteran or not. I have my issues and I'm a Navy veteran. Hopefully you both have a clearer path to a long-term relationship. Tc

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  • I enjoyed reading that and I'm glad you both found someone you can each trust regardless of the naysayers and physical/mental obstacles. My friend works with people who have brain injuries too who are bought home from war/training. Nothing but respect as it's certainly not easy.

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    • What's the issue with doors though?

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    • It's being in a position of overwatch, you can see the whole room and everything that's moving and the disposition of the crowd around you. There's more but that should be enough.

    • @Charleslvajr ahh I see, well that makes sense, I also do that generally anyway in relation to that bit.

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