Dating

Capt MJ

10-Year Member
No way to generalize the dating habits of ~4200 people.

Many female mids end up dating other mids, because it's hard to explain you have the duty on the weekend your UMD guy has his big fraternity event. And it's convenient to date someone who understands your crazy life.

Mid-mid dating is often referred to in jest as Dark Siding. Happens more often the more senior you get. There is a magic moment at the start of 2/c (junior) year when civilian clothes are allowed, and people look different. It's an "aha." They appreciate and understand getting through two years at an SA, and fellow mids take on a new luster.

Plebes may only date other plebes, or civilians. For all - can't date within company. Upperclass can date across 3 classes.
 

BDHuff09

5-Year Member
~Current mid~

Everything that Capt MJ said above is accurate (as usual). It's a lot more convenient to date another mid due to the restrictions on liberty and time commitments, especially the more junior you are.

I'd add that purely due to the sex ratio dating can be a little bit more tricky as a male - as one would expect.

If you're not a plebe and you've caught feelings for somebody in your company, either one of you can asked to be moved into a different company (usually close by). Or not ask, but then if the wrong person finds out you'll get in conduct trouble AND be moved to a company on the other side of Bancroft.

For reasons that I can't really explain, a number of Midshipman couples decide to marry right after they graduate (like more than one would expect). I'm not sure it's such a great idea personally, but it happens a lot.
 

brewer90

Member
...For reasons that I can't really explain, a number of Midshipman couples decide to marry right after they graduate (like more than one would expect). I'm not sure it's such a great idea personally, but it happens a lot.
During Commissioning Week, the USNA Chapel is apparently a wedding factory with the all the 1/C getting hitched before the head out into the fleet.

My plebe relayed that the Chapel has one of the highest divorce rates of any church in the country because of this nuptials frenzy. Rumor? Probably. But it's a pretty choice rumor nonetheless.
 

NavyHoops

Super Moderator
5-Year Member
It's probably a little higher than the average. And yes the chapel is packed, been that way for decades. Not as packed as it was 50-60 years ago, but I think on average the age of marriage is increasing. I would say of my class about 1/2-2/3 are divorced. Probably closer to 2/3. I went to 6 commissioning week weddings. Most divorced within 3-8 years who had commissioning week weddings. I think the reasons fall into 3 categories.

Dual military- too much time apart didn't make the heart grow fonder, it made them grow separately. Yes they understood the lifestyle but after 4 years at USNA and finally being free, experiencing the world (for many literally the entire world) and just general growth many young 20-something's go thru they grew apart as they discovered who they really were.

Married high school sweet heart- If long distance their dating has a lot of honeymoon moments. Then spending full time together it's different and doesn't last.

Married high school sweet heart - grow apart. Same reasons for dual military with general life experience and growth most 20 something gave. They just grow separately and find out this wasn't the right fit.

This is generalization of what I have seen over the last few decades. Not saying I am right or wrong, just my thoughts. And yes the military tends to marry young. That carries to officers too. Steady pay check, a house and a health care. From that perspective it's a stable life. Some hurry up and marry for orders together. Any hurry up sitstuoon brings risk obviously. My 3 room mates married within 6 months of graduation, all to another grad (one was USMA grad), 2 are still married. I have a buddy who is still married to the same girl he dated since 8th grade. Plenty that didn't make it, some dual military and others not.
 

ktnatalk

Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.
I know of successful marriages from USNA and from boot camp. I believe it's the willingness after waking up from "honeymoon" that matters, much like any marriage. Bottomline: every case is different, like @AROTC-dad always says: your mileage may differ.
 
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Capt MJ

10-Year Member
No way to generalize the dating habits of ~4200 people.

Many female mids end up dating other mids, because it's hard to explain you have the duty on the weekend your UMD guy has his big fraternity event. And it's convenient to date someone who understands your crazy life.

Mid-mid dating is often referred to in jest as Dark Siding. Happens more often the more senior you get. There is a magic moment at the start of 2/c (junior) year when civilian clothes are allowed, and people look different. It's an "aha." They appreciate and understand getting through two years at an SA, and fellow mids take on a new luster.

Plebes may only date other plebes, or civilians. For all - can't date within company. Upperclass can date across 3 classes.
Update to this....

After I posted this, I had a great opportunity to show the thread Friday afternoon to two 2018 2/c women who had arrived to spend the weekend, a 2014 woman who had just driven over from Naval Reactors after her nuke engineer exam to spend the night before flying back to her sub on Sat, and a 2004 grad and her 2001 fiancé spending the night before attending the Nats-Red Sox game at USNA on Sat. Another great dinner table comparing notes, changes, and how some stuff doesn't seem to change. I often text or run my thoughts on responses by current mids or very recent grads. All agreed the dating situation among mids is generally as described by comments on this thread, noting the term "dark siding" is declining in usage due to increased numbers of women over the years.

All agreed everyone's dating experience is different. You could date as little or as much as you wanted, depending on wide you flung your net, or could happily just enjoy social times with friends, classmates, company mates, teammates, etc. Some observe MidRegs and some ignore, choosing to risk consequences.

I have had a ringside seat since my time as a BattO in the Hall, and through generations of male and female mids here at the house sharing love life news and problems during late-night talks. No one knows exactly what dating is like as a mid at this moment in time, except those who are there right now, and each one of them experiences it as an individual. Staff, faculty, coaches, alumni, sponsors, BGOs, parents can all observe, form impressions, draw on their own experience and get a sense of how it works from those with whom they come in contact - but it's not the same as being there, as a mid.
 

albNAPS18

Member
Update to this....

After I posted this, I had a great opportunity to show the thread Friday afternoon to two 2018 2/c women who had arrived to spend the weekend, a 2014 woman who had just driven over from Naval Reactors after her nuke engineer exam to spend the night before flying back to her sub on Sat, and a 2004 grad and her 2001 fiancé spending the night before attending the Nats-Red Sox game at USNA on Sat. Another great dinner table comparing notes, changes, and how some stuff doesn't seem to change. I often text or run my thoughts on responses by current mids or very recent grads. All agreed the dating situation among mids is generally as described by comments on this thread, noting the term "dark siding" is declining in usage due to increased numbers of women over the years.

All agreed everyone's dating experience is different. You could date as little or as much as you wanted, depending on wide you flung your net, or could happily just enjoy social times with friends, classmates, company mates, teammates, etc. Some observe MidRegs and some ignore, choosing to risk consequences.

I have had a ringside seat since my time as a BattO in the Hall, and through generations of male and female mids here at the house sharing love life news and problems during late-night talks. No one knows exactly what dating is like as a mid at this moment in time, except those who are there right now, and each one of them experiences it as an individual. Staff, faculty, coaches, alumni, sponsors, BGOs, parents can all observe, form impressions, draw on their own experience and get a sense of how it works from those with whom they come in contact - but it's not the same as being there, as a mid.
Thank you! That helps a lot ! I'm headed to NAPS in July and it's 200 boys and 40-50 girls... just was seeing what to expect around me..
 

Old Navy BGO

5-Year Member
Quote from my plebe son about 2/3 through plebe summer-" It took me about 3 weeks to realize that some of those sweaty stinky people running and doing push ups with me were girls!" LOL
Quite understandable during Plebe Summer, everybody is scared and there is not time to think about relationships with the opposite sex. One of the objectives of Plebe Summer is to create class cohesion and comradery based upon pursuit of a common objective, not pairing off into couples.

It's obvious that the whole dating scene has changed since my time , when women were relatively new at USNA. It sounds like the Administration is doing a good job in recognizing and creating a policy.

Finally, on the Chapel weddings. There are several factors leading to the reported high divorce rate, including the fact that many young couples rush to the alter when they realize graduation has arrived and they have to make a decision about where their relationship is going. However, another thing to keep in mind that the life of a Naval Officer can be difficult, and it takes a very special and understanding spouse to stick through deployments, PCS moves, etc. I have many classmates who got married quickly , and while some didn't last, there are others celebrating 30+ years of marriage.
 
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