5 Dating Tips for Military Personnel

Guest Post by Lauren Oliver

Not only is being in service with the military very demanding and life-changing, it can be tough to find and maintain a secure relationship. It takes a very strong will and desire to work on and commit to a healthy relationship, and a military relationship more so. Not everyone can be compatible in the dating scene, but there is even more hesitation when trying to date while in the military.

There are some great resources, books, websites, community groups, etc. that serve to give advice and help to military personnel who are looking for love or a mutual companionship within dating.

I am including some basic tips to ensure survival within the dating scene. Here are 5 dating tips for military personnel:

1.       Consider the demands of your job. Being active military means constant readiness to deploy, among other things. You should definitely be aware of the demands and responsibilities placed upon you in your job. You should also consider the possibility that these demands will not be accepted by just anyone. A person with understanding and compassion, and not to mention acceptance, will be there for you no matter how many miles end up between you. Make sure to be up front about what your job may end up taking away from the time you can commit to a relationship. The person who will be the right match must understand this.

2.       Don’t be afraid to approach someone. If there is someone you are interested in, you gotta say hello! You will never know who, what, or how a person is and how they can complement and fit into your life if you don’t take that first step. If you go out on a date, and that person doesn’t seem compatible after all, at least you tried, right?

3.       Browse military dating sites. The Internet dating scene is growing rapidly. A lot of people (civilians) are workaholics as it is, and this is a great way to meet new people. Military personnel—especially active duty—are busy most of the time. Any free time or down time can be used to create a profile on dating sites created specifically for military personnel. This way you can poke through others’ profiles and make plans with someone you talk with to meet up and see what you see.

4.       Working with your time constraints. Most military personnel can hardly find the time to exercise for an hour, let alone go on a date. What if you meet someone? See if that person has similar interests as you as far as what you desire to do with your down time—as little as that may be. If you both like to work out, then make it a work out date. If you both are book worms, meet up at a library (if it is possible). The opportunities to combine personal interests with a date can create a secure foundation for compatibility as well as enjoying some of the time off that you receive.

5.       Relationships take work—a lot of work! Military relationships are some of the most committed relationships in that it takes two equally strong people to build, maintain, and commit a relationship that has to be able to stand up to the test of deployment, time away from family and friends, and days to weeks to months of not hearing from your significant other. You need to be prepared for the work it will take to maintain a healthy relationship on and off base.

Dating is never easy. There’s the whole nervousness and anticipation, sweaty palms, and oh! the thought that you might be wasting your time! In the military it can be even more ominous. But with the right moves and advice—if you need it—you can meet that special someone and create a happy and healthy military relationship. I hope that these simple 5 dating tips for military personnel prove helpful; do not hesitate to find resources or advice if you are thinking about dating and you are in the military. Please feel free to add to/comment on the tips provided. If you have any questions, you can also ask and we will attempt to provide an answer.

About the Author: Lauren is a stay at home mom currently working from home as a freelance writer. She is certified in Education with a background in education, writing, and tutoring to help students develop their educational skills. She comes from a military family and writes articles about education, military life, and personal development.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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18 thoughts on “5 Dating Tips for Military Personnel”

  1. Candace Ginestar

    My problem in college was that guys were intimidated by me even more than usual because if they weren’t in the military, they were threatened by my service. They never came outright and said it, but I could tell it changed things. It made me try to hide that fact at first, but then I realized that it was a dumb idea and I didn’t need to hide it from anyone. If they couldn’t handle it, that’s not my problem!

  2. I think the key to success is to communicate effectively and let the other person know what comes with dating someone in the military. You need to talk about deployments, time gone, and work requirements up front, so they know what to expect.

    1. Candace Ginestar

      I agree these topics need to be addressed. I have found with most people, that even though you talk about them, sometimes it’s still hard for them until they have to go through it and come out on the other side. Communication at least helps break the ice.

  3. Military life and the stress that comes with it definitely brings its own set of challenges to personal pursuits, relationships being at the top of the list. All of the points in Chuck's article are worth exploring. Not all of them will work for everybody, but given some effort–as he said, relationships take work–couples will find what does work. It is important to stick with the ones that do. His suggestion to get creative by devising dates around common interests is a great idea. What better way to really get to know someone than by interacting with them in a mutually familiar environment? I would add at this point that there is a good possibility of becoming interested in someone with children, so I would urge anyone in the dating scene to be mindful of their well-being as well. I also applaud Suzanne for adding several important considerations. The bar scene is not the place to find a worthwhile potential partner, and initially meeting in a public place is an excellent safety tip. Be careful when getting to know someone through a dating site, for anyone can be anything they want online. Keep an open mind, but proceed with caution. Acknowledge any red flags that pop up, and listen to your instincts. If it is not a good fit, walk away. As CBMorcom said, if it does not work out, there are plenty of fish in the sea. In my opinion, it is much better to be single than be in a relationship that is unhealthy for both parties involved.

    1. Good point about it’s better to be single than be in an unhealthy relationship. That is so true. Lots of people have a partner or spouse because they don’t want to be alone or because that’s what they’ve been taught. And many of those folks are very unhappy.

      My advice is wait until you find what you are looking for or keep waiting. Don’t settle.

      1. Candace Ginestar

        I agree that it is much better to be single than in an unhealthy relationship. We have so much drama as it is, better to avoid it in our personal lives if possible. I know it’s hard to feel lonely when everyone else seems to have someone – especially if you don’t have a supportive family…but it is better to wait for the right person.

  4. Being in the military has to make it tough on relationships. The key here is communication. I think you should make an effort to be honest with your significant other. This will eliminate a lot of potential fights. Explain why dating military personnel is going to be different than dating someone else. This will help ensure you are both on the same page. If you have a strong enough connection the pros will always outweigh the cons. If not, there’s a lot of fish in the sea!

  5. Dating sites and military dating sites, in particular, can be very helpful. They are so much better than the bar scene. People can be just as dishonest at either, but at least, with a dating site, military personnel and really anyone … have a chance to get to know people before agreeing to meet. Email and live text, video and/or voice chat are great tools that usually go with most dating sites. There is time to see what you have in common and to discuss important topics. One dating tip for army, military or anyone in regards to dating sites … I have is … meet the other person at a place besides a bar, a place of shared, unique interest, but do not get in the car with the other person the first time. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman. Lauren, your writing on this topic is spot on! BTW, I’ve been married to a military person for 8 years. I met him via a dating site. It can work.

  6. Neil O'Donnell

    Finding someone with similar interests will make dating much easier. Given the time constraints military personnel have, your advice about going to the library or working out together seems spot on. Going to movies, plays or an amusement park are other good alternatives. If you are uncomfortable approaching someone, try to arrange to have a group of friends go out and approach her/him in that setting. It might just make it a little easier.

  7. This article was very interesting and fun to read. When I was in the Army, there was no way I could have a relationship going on. I was 18 years old and active and I just didn’t want to deal with the restraints a serious relationship would put on me. Now that I’ve been out for a while and I’ve been with my fiancée for four years, the advice in this blog post really resonates with me. The last one does especially because every relationship takes a lot of work. If anyone tells you differently, then they don’t know what they’re talking about.

    1. I’ve always believed that being in the military is a young, single person’s game. Dating while in the military is very complex. Most boyfriends or girlfriends who are civilians do not understand the deployments, field exercises, and prolonged absences. Being in the military can put a strain on any relationship.

  8. Confidence is always key when approaching somebody for the first time. If you are in a relationship with someone in the military or considering dating someone in the military, remember: communication is key! You also have to establish a level of trust because often times your other half will be called on to serve. Lastly, you have to accept that your loved one is committed to serving others, so you can’t be selfish if he or she has to leave home for a few months! This is where the trust factor plays in as well. Great dating tips- thanks again for the share!

  9. Very interesting topic. It’s funny how some of these practices apply to people outside of the service as well. If you like someone, you’ve gotta approach them! Work up the courage, haha.

    1. That’s so true! I was never good at the approaching thing, luckily my husband did it first! =D
      But time management can be an issue when you have so little of your own, whether in the military or not.

    2. Good points, Kevin.

      I’ve always believed that the person with confidence, and who is willing to take a chance of getting rejected, will get a lot more dates that someone who doesn’t do anything at all. Whether you are a Soldier or not, you should always ask someone out if you like them. What have you got to lose? Good things go to those who take action.


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