When I joined the United States Army I told myself that I would never date a man in the military. Here I am almost two years into a relationship, and madly in love with a man in the Navy.
Dating in the military always seemed difficult to me. You have to work longer hours than a normal civilian. You travel/deploy and go months without seeing or talking to your loved ones. I wanted no parts in that, but when you find “the one” what you thought you didn’t want might be exactly what you need.
We met in paradise… Hawaii to be exact! With both of us being from Ohio and having mutual friends I knew of my other half Donovan, but I never met him in person. To be honest I had the biggest crush on him. Before I even met him I knew I wanted him to be mine. He was stationed in Hawaii a year before I arrived. Because we had mutual friends we had each others phone numbers and would exchange text and phone calls here and there, but the reality of us establishing a relationship seemed unrealistic because of the distance. (I was in Germany at that time). When I found out I had orders to move to Hawaii he was one of the very first people I told. I had only been on the island for a month before we made it official. We both knew what we wanted, so there was no need to play hard to get.
At the beginning, our toughest thing to over come was me trusting him and him getting used to not only trying to learn my wants and needs, but also trying to figure out how a ten year old boy thinks. This was new for all three of us. He had never dated a woman with a child before and I never had a real serious relationship where a man was constantly around my son. My sons only father figure was my own father. I had been a single mother for so long. It has pretty much always been just my son and I. My past relationships definitely damaged me. Donovan has never given me a reason to think I couldn’t trust him. He has been the perfect gentleman since day one. He opens doors for me, buys me flowers just because, never lets me walk on the outside of the street… all of these things might sound like things a man is suppose to do for his lady, but no man before him had ever done those things for me. I had so many walls built. It seemed too good to be true. I found myself trying to find reasons to not trust him and started creating problems in my mind. I’m sure if I would have kept that up I would have pushed him away.
He’s coming up on a four to five month deployment. During that time our communication will be limited to emails and possibly FaceTime calls here and there. Right after that he will be moving to Chicago for three years. I still have two more years left in Hawaii. As much as I have tried to prepare for this, there really is no way to. We’ve been apart before when he’s had to go out to sea, but never for a deployment. With everything going on in the world today (threats from Korea, natural disasters, mass shootings), the last thing any one wants is for a loved one to leave. Another thing that scares me about this separation, is that we’ll be apart for so long the bond between my son and him will be broken. I’m afraid that I’ll get back to my “miss independent” mindset that I had before we started dating. I’m afraid that I’ll convince myself into thinking I no longer need him. I wake up and go to sleep next to this man every day and night. I’ve never been this vulnerable…. this obsessed with a man the way I am with him. Before him I hated the word “babe” and these days that’s all you hear me say. He has become my best friend, my human diary, my better half. I just don’t want distance to change that.
So, if anyone asked me if being in a relationship with someone in the military is easy, the answer is no. This love is work. It is needy. It requires a lot of trust and communication. It requires never giving up and holding each other down. In the end though, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. 🖤