Dating Someone While in the Military
Dear Pastor Lance – I am a young man ready to go into military training across the United States and I’ve been dating a girl for a short while. We are in love, but I’m leaving for a long time. We want to continue to develop our relationship and she says she will wait for me and I believe her. What is your advice?
Wow, this is a tough one, my friend. I see two major issues here to look at and pray through:
* The military relationship issue – I have a major concern about any relationships connected to the military. They don’t last. Why? Distance, time, demands and options (not to mention loneliness and isolation). Relationships are built for connection, physical proximity. They don’t do well long-distance. Military demands long periods of distance and time apart. The loneliness and isolation will weigh heavily on you and you will crave her all the more. At first she will miss you more too, but gradually normal life will take over and she will need to live without you (instead of constant worry, or missing you and being sad) day to day. This will distance the connection and make it less real (all communication will be through phone, text, computer, Skype, etc. – which is not real communication it’s shorter and more controlled atmospheres). The attraction may be there, but the relationship stalls in development. The divorce rate is HIGH in the military because it’s so hard. So take that into consideration.
* The timing issue – Whether or not she’s the greatest woman in the world, you have to ask: Is it the right timing for you two to get serious with you leaving? I can’t say that I think it is. It’s too much pressure. She may be the right girl, but it may not be the right time. You are going to need to let the Lord sort that one out.
My recommendation is that starting a serious relationship right before you leave isn’t fair to either of you and it’s not healthy. I think that you should agree to part ways and let the Lord solve the issue if you settle down and come back together at some point. You need to settle down a bit before you start a life together. That’s my two cents.
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