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Dating a Deployed Soldier
Singles from the armed forces make one of the most attractive dates. Their smart uniforms, confident bearing and nice manners are enough to make anyone go weak in their knees. However when dating a soldier, you need to keep the prospect of his/her deployment in mind. And when that happens, here are few things you can do to keep your romantic life alive and buzzing.
Write letters – lots of them
There isn’t a deployed soldier who doesn’t look forward to his/her name being called out by the mail-in-charge. Letters especially from loved ones back home can make all the difference between a great day and a lousy one for a soldier. So if you are dating a deployed soldier, write him/her as many letters as you can. Apart from the fact that letters carry a tactile sensation of love – as for instance a lipstick impression or a spritz of your favorite perfume, many times they are only form of communication in hard field areas where there is no internet connectivity.
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Use other forms of communication whenever possible
One of the biggest drawbacks of a relationship with a soldier is their absence for long stretches of time. A reporter or salesman may also be on the move but then they are usually back home after a couple of days or a week at the most. Soldiers on deployment often have to spend months together at field areas or combat zones. As a result they are not only physically absent from the lives of their near and dear ones but also emotionally unavailable in times of crisis or need.
However these days there are several ways of keeping in touch across distances. Cell phones are the most convenient of them and for regions where there is no network, satellite phones can be used. Sometimes however use of phones may not be permitted for security purposes and on such occasions, you can use the internet to reach out to your partner. Send emails, chat or use Skype to communicate with each other. These forms of communication will go a long way in keeping the relationship going during a training period or deployment.
Send stuff to remind them of you
When dating a deployed soldier, it is not possible to have the kind of intimacy and sharing that regular couples do. Thus think of ways you can let your partner have a feel of your love – you could for instance bake a batch of his/her favorite cookies and send them by mail. Or you could spray your perfume on your T-shirt and post it to them as an intimate reminder of your love. If you have some more time on your hands, make a scrapbook of memories of all the time you actually spent with each other and these could include photos, letters, cards and other such things. All these ways will help your partner to feel you and your love as real, tangible facts and not merely a distant memory. And while you may feel right now that you are giving more to this relationship than getting back, consider it as an investment which will reap rich dividends in future.
Soldiers are allowed some leave when on deployment. At such times you have to be ready to catch up on quality time with each other, as and when you can. For instance if you are still winding up things at your workplace, your partner may call you up to know if he can meet you within an hour. It may seem that he is taking you for granted or it may be upsetting to know that you are at his beck-and-call, but this is how it is when dating a deployed soldier. The leave that they get is very precious and you never know when he may be called back. So plan special outings and dates when your beloved is in town and make the most of the time that you have with each other. Also you may not always be able to spend important occasions like anniversaries and birthdays together. To cope with all this, you need to understand that a soldier’s duty and leisure hours are rarely within their control and you simply have to be ready to enjoy whenever he is free or on leave from deployment.
Don’t push too hard
For security reasons, soldiers are often not allowed to disclose all aspects of their duty, even to their family members, and this is especially true of someone who is deployed in combat zones. So you may find your partner not exactly forthcoming on where he will go from here or when he can you call you again. Try to understand their compulsions instead of berating them for their evasiveness or worse interpreting it as an attempt to hide something from you.
One of the most worrying aspects of dating a deployed soldier is his/her physical safety. Deployments are most often to places of active duty or combat zones which are usually some of the most dangerous spots in the world. So if your beloved is deployed out, it is most natural for you to be concerned. But fretting about it and most importantly worrying your partner with phone calls and emails will hardly help him/her to do his/her job better. Indeed if you are interested in a serious relationship with a soldier, you need to cultivate mental and emotional strength and find ways to keep your equanimity.
If there is one thing that will encourage your soldier partner to move towards a more serious relationship with you, it is evidence of a patient personality on your part. Soldiers are more than aware of the many challenges that are posed by their profession in the way of a healthy relationship based on mutual give-and-take. Not only he/she is likely to be absent for most of the times, as the resident partner you will have to take over all the responsibilities of running a home and family, should you both decide to have a committed relationship. Getting leave for a deployed soldier is again not as easy as popping into your boss’ room and asking for a day off. Communicating with the official headquarters, applying for leave and having it approved may take quite a while. So as his/her partner you need to dig into all your reserves of patience and understanding.