Dating while in the service

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by BeatNavy, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    While I realize this is a long way away, finding a potential spouse seems much more difficult to me while in the military, especially as a SA grad who has not had time in college to date. It is just something that worries me a bit, because a lot of people meet their spouses in college and if those four years are not there, combined with the complications of a junior officer's responsibilities (deployments, moves, etc) meeting a potential spouse or even finding a way to date seems like it could be a lot more difficult in the military. Also I worry a lot of people don't want to handle the struggles military spouses face. None of my family is military, didn't know if anyone here had some insight.
     
  2. SAMom

    SAMom Member

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    I am a military wife and mother. You will have no problem meeting people while in the military. You will have a social life just as anyone else. You will need to be a little careful as there are people out there that will want to marry you to collect benefits.

    My son is at a SA and he is dating a girl he met though his sponsors. So it just goes to show you can meet someone no matter where you are.



    Beat Army!
     
  3. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    A lot of cadets/mids are in relationships. It just depends on your priorities.
     
  4. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    You have plenty of time at SAs to date.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am a military wife and mother too, and I whole heartily agree, you will be able to date just like anyone else. The most popular marriage types in the military that I know of are:
    1. College sweethearts, including SA grads, this is probably the rarest
    2. Other officers met at an assignment, most popular
    3. Siblings of another officer, off the top of my head I can name 8 couples in the Strike Eagle that married the sister of another guy...funny to watch the awkwardness between the guys, when they realize, because the couples typically try to keep it quiet at 1st...it's like hey, she's my little sister! Funnier yet, is they seem to be the only one that didn't realize it was happening when everyone was talking about it the whole time.

    The one that you very rarely see is the marrying the "townie". In our 21 yr career I only remember seeing that once, but then again, that 1 was the sister of another pilot who got stationed there, so I guess that does not count.
     
  6. sprog

    sprog Member

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    Assuming you are still single afer graduation (as I was), I honestly think it depends on where you end up for a duty station. I'm former USAF, and now I live in Annapolis and work in DC as a civilian. There are plenty of active duty folks here, and it is a major metropolitan area with numerous opportunities to get out and socialize. Thus, if you were stationed here, it'd be no problem meeting people outside of your work environment.

    This is contrary to what I faced as a new junior officer in the USAF, when I got orders to Minot AFB, ND. That place was a barren wasteland, and it did not do wonders for dating. Specifically, even the USAF is like 80 percent guys (and most were young officers at Minot since the missile operations career field is heavily dependent on them). Thus, meeting other JOs of the opposite sex at the unit was a little tough. Regarding the "townies" (which, incidently, the opposite term is "baser")...well, there wasn't much there, let's just say. Just remember that if you stay in the service, if one assignment is lousy, hopefully another one will be better in terms of stuff to do and people to see. I was insanely jealous of classmates of mine from VMI who were stationed in Hawaii, Florida, of metro areas like DC while I froze in the cultural desert of North Dakota....ha!

    So, in short, I think you'll be fine regarding a social life eventually, although you might have to put up with a few years in a less than prime location. just remember that a bad assignment will end at some point.
     
  7. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Trust me- you can find the right person regardless of your circumstances. I've been married a long time at this point and while undoubtedly she got the worst of the deal - I found my soul mate in an unlikely place. I wound up marrying one of the handful of American "girls" (I know it's a polically incorrect term here but still in this context- gimme a break) in Tongduchon Korea in the early 1980s. If you want to find the right person- there is no magic formula and no guaranteed "fishing spots"- and short of the space station- everywhere you go you will have plenty of opportunities to find the right person who understands and supports you for better or for worse. The military is no different than anywhere else in that regard.
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I always will say this when it comes to love...if it is meant to be, it will be. Fate has a way of getting in the way.

    I went to the same JRHS and HS as Bullet (he was 1 yr older). His sister and my sister were friends that hung out together. His best friends were my friends in HS. I knew everyone he knew, just not him...heck I was friends with his ex-girlfriend when he was dating her. We never met until the day after I graduated.

    26 yrs later and we are still together. Fate put us together, I was not even suppose to be there the night I met him.

    As far as relationships go, it will happen when you least expect it. Before me Bullet swore he would not get married until he was 35'ish, the AF was his future. He proposed when he was 23 after dating me for 4 yrs, married at 24, and our last child (#3) was born shortly after he turned 31. The point is you just don't know what will happen, so go with the flow.
     
  9. sprog

    sprog Member

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    I don't know about plenty of opportunities everywhere you go; but, I'll agree with my fellow Keydet that there are at least some opportunities everywhere, and there is no magic formula. That said, I've been infinitely happier in the Annapolis/Metro DC area than in Minot...that's just me though. And, lest I sound too fatalistic in my earlier post, I can relate that I know a few folks who met their "one and onlys" while serving in Minot, including my former roommate who is still active duty. Thus, there is hope no matter where you are...it all boils down to the innate qualities of attraction that cannot be boiled down to geographic area. Still, in light of my earlier post, it can't hurt to be in a place with a more favorable ratio!!! I mean, you play the odds in Vegas, right?:yllol: kidding!!
     
  10. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    I could fill several posting boxes' worth of "sea stories," both what I experienced, observed in others, and now watch with the midshipmen we sponsor. But I will resist ...

    Where else are you going to meet like-minded people in uniform, college-educated, security cleared, physically fit, with probably not too many bad/illegal habits? So, there will be your peer group, and their friends in uniform, and their civilian sisters/brothers, random meets while doing things you like and ...

    Four quick vignettes:
    (1) USNA sponsor son, '06, met his future wife at the plebe book issue at the end of plebe summer! There she was, a daughter of one of the staff officers wrapping up her summer job, and love bloomed right there. She was going to be a freshman at a local college, and though dating logistics are always difficult for plebes, it all worked out.
    (2) Two company mates at USNA, just good friends while at USNA, ran into each other at the NEX in San Diego 4 years after graduation. Cupid strikes.
    (3) Sponsor son went to do an internship at the Pentagon during summer training, met a White House intern at a briefing. They stayed in touch. Just got married last year after he finished flight training.
    (4) A self-confessed computer nerd sponsor son, never comfortable with F2F socializing with new folks right at first, used match.com - though teased by friends - to great advantage, and was never without a dating relationship throughout his four years. His biggest coup was having a steady civilian girlfriend, met through match.com, who had a car, a great plus during his car-less youngster year.

    There are always opportunities at the SAs, whether with fellow mids, their friends or siblings, and in Annapolis/DC/Baltimore, there is an active college-age club scene, given the number of colleges and universities in the area.

    And let's not forget, there are always Mid Hounds! I will let a USNA current mid or grad explain that one.
     
  11. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    Isn't it difficult to be married to another officer because of the possibility of being posted at different locations?
     
  12. SAMom

    SAMom Member

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    Well, my cousin is a LT. and his wife is an LT. and they are stationed together. I think they try to accommodate, but dont have too.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The rule of thumb for military standards is they will post you in the same theater. Now if you are in the UK, that typically works, but stateside could mean 2 different states. Jeannie Flynn the 1st female fighter pilot is married to another pilot. She is in NC and he is in SC. She flies the Strike, he a 16.

    For the most part it does work because typically one spouse is not a flyer, but in a field that they can take the job offered at the base, thus the conflict becomes much less. Also, typically, as each other's career progresses and children come in the world one of them will hit the "eject" button, removing the separation issue. Ironically, in the past few yrs, I have seen the guys hit the button more frequently. The decision is not easy, it is personal and they make it based on the chance of promotability. Sometimes, one spouse is offered a great opportunity for advancement and that would include a PCS, causing a self-imposed separation. Instead of doing that they decide that one spouse will resign their commission.

    I can give you tons of personal anecdotes of spouses that were military and left. I can also say that I have never heard a regret from any of them.

    Hardif it is flyer married to flyer. Easier if one spouse is a flyer and the other is non-flyer. Easiest if neither of you fly.

    Completely doable, IMHO the real reason one leaves is not because of assignment difficulty, but when they have children. It is the fear that they could both be deployed at the same time. The what-if becomes an issue that they must address.

    The Strike Eagle community lost 2 of their own a few months back. One was married to an officer who also was deployed, but in Kuwait. The Strikes also lost two back in 2003, one was married to an Ex-AF officer. It works if you love each other. The one true beauty of being married to another officer, is you both get "it" when it comes to the "politics" within the services, those that marry "outsiders" takes years to get "it"!
     
  14. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    My small example; where it did NOT work.

    Married another pilot. She was based in State "X" and I in state "Y". We were "...less than 600nm apart" which as considered "joint" per the AF at the time. (1989).

    We saw each other 4 times the first year.

    We finally were assigned together and were together for 3 months, then Desert Shield started..."...see ya!" So 8 months later we were back together. Then the base we were assigned to was "BRAC'd." For those not knowledgeable, this means it was put on the base closure list.

    Her unit closed almost immediately and she received orders for Kadena AFB, Okinawa, Japan. I received orders to Air Command and Staff College with a Pentagon follow-on "promised" or a "USAFE" assignment "promised."

    3 year tours, half a world apart. After speaking with a LOT of AF officials, up to and including flag rank, we decided we would not do that.

    And so she left flying and the AF and has become a very successful engineer/marketer.

    And me?

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83

    And I still train AF pilots.
     
  15. gunner1zeus

    gunner1zeus Member

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    Navy submariners(bubbleheads)
    The navy does not approve of your dating each other,sorry:shake::yllol:
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Well that may be changing very soon!
     
  17. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    The success stories here are reassuring but I never stop worrying. Being a minority doesn't help and although I have nothing against inter-racial marriages, but its not something that me (or my parents) would really prefer. I dont want to sound like a bigot - Im definitely open to any and all options but we all have our preferences.

    It seems like a lot of where and when you meet potential spouses determines if you do marry someone or not. I find it difficult to think that long-distance relationships work out well when compared to close-distance relationships unless the two people are really committed to each other.

    How does it work? In your 5 years of commission and additional years in the Army (longer if you plan to stay in the military), how often do you get relocated? This is assuming that it is during peacetime. Do you have ANY say in choosing where you want to be posted (ie being able to speak another language)? Or is it entirely up to Uncle Sam and his needs?

    Im not sure about the rest of you, but finding a spouse is a priority in my life evne though Im only a senior in high school...I think meeting a good partner is one of the keys to success since they provide you with moral and emotional support.
     
  18. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    Chock- I'm gonna speak as a Dad and a Married man more than as a retired soldier. Everything I say is just my opinion but most of your questions are just asking for opinions anyway. Here goes:
    You're gonna move in the Army- alot. I moved 14 times in my career- which was the exciting part. You see the world and the country and you don't get stale in your job. Is that the norm- I don't know- there were folks who homesteaded- (My brother spent the last 8 years of his career in Seoul and retired there) and I think prior to the War that the Army was tying to stabilize and reduce the number of PCS moves that folks make. Is there a cost to moving? Yes- my son moved for the last time at the start of his Junior year in HS. But on the whole- great experience and a lot of fun. Do you get to pick? Well you get to request- and if you are lucky and the Army needs you there because of your specialty - then you get where you want. The only two assignments I hated where places that I picked. All the rest the Army picked and they were great- either because of geography or the unit I was with.
    (Here comes Dad)You can't live your life looking for certainties. You will find what you need where ever you are. Long Distance relationships for long periods aren't optimal for certain- but who says that is anymore likely in the Army than anywhere else? This isn't 1956 anymore- the double career couple is pretty much either the norm or getting there quickly and that means that you will be faced with challenges as to whose career comes first, where you live etc... I see this in the corporate world all the time now in the engineers and managers who I have working for me. Life is complicated wherever you wind up.
    (Half Dad/Half Soldier speaking) I will tell you that the Army is the most ethnically diverse environment in the world. That is good- it rips you out of the cocoon that most of us live in. You will have the whole world to choose from and you will run into all of them including a large % of whatever race you are. My brother married a Korean girl & my sister a full blooded Hawaiian. Neither of them now have whiteblond Norwegian/Swedish children -but they have wonderful spouses and really beautiful children (well they were children- now most of them are your age or older).
    Finally- (Dad again): Don't sweat the future. If the thought of not being in total control of your time and life then you won't like the Army. But at 18 most folks have little concept of what lies ahead regardless of what field they choose- so don't overthink the details. It will work out
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2009
  19. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    VERY well said Bruno!!! :thumb:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  20. jscam87

    jscam87 Member

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    After Bruno's entry, I'd be happy if we could lock this post and leave it as close to perfect as it can be...
     

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