Dating a military veteran is different than dating anyone else. If you’re dating a veteran, then you already know this. The relationship that veterans have with civilians is a complicated one. Tips for dating a veteran would be helpful so we did some research to bring you some great tips.
It should come as no surprise that sometimes soldiers have a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. The world they came from is a much different place than where they are today. There is a period required for adjusting, but there are scars from the battlefield that will never heal.
A person who is dating a combat veteran must accept this as part of their new life. This is only if they have been in war or seen battle. There is no way that a person can entirely get over the feeling of life and death threat that being in war brings upon them.
The same can be said about those who lost loved ones on the battlefield, and they have to wonder why they survived and not their fellow soldiers.
Here are a few tips for dating veterans that will go a long way in your journey towards happiness.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a real thing
The first tip for dating a veteran falls with PTSD. You’ve heard a lot of talk about post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD in the news in regard to veterans. Not all veterans have PTSD, but many of them do.
You can’t be surprised that a person would leave a combat zone and experience anxiety. A soldier in combat is in constant fear of losing their lives. Not only are they fearful of dying, but the soldiers have to kill people. It’s not unheard of for a solider to have to make a split-second decision to kill someone or not.
As you can imagine, it would take quite a bit of time to get over being in a situation where you’re under constant threat and where you’re making superfast decisions on whether or not someone lives.
Someone with PTSD may need both therapy and medication. It could be your job to nudge them to get help when things get bad. The person you’re dating might not always experience the same level of trauma regularly.
It’s possible that something will trigger the PTSD and they have a breakdown. People who appear very strong on the outside can crumble in an instant when there’s something like PTSD operating in the background.
A soldier who is struggling after being in a war isn’t weak, or they aren’t crazy in the head. The veteran has come back with a medical condition, and it should be seen as such. If you know someone is sick, you recommend they go to the doctor. The same is true if you spot a veteran who is showing clear signs of PTSD.
Sometimes veterans shut down
It’s painful to see someone full of hope and promise shut down before your very eyes. You know, deep down inside, they are becoming a shell of themselves. The world around them is beginning to collapse, and you feel helpless.
You aren’t powerless, and there is hope for the veteran and your relationship. The bad part is you’re going to have to get used to these meltdowns when things seem like they’re going off the rails. Take a step back and realize that what they’ve recently been through. You might react similarly if you were faced with the same situations as what the person you’re dating was.
As a partner in dating, you can’t possibly expect any person to go through all of that and not come out of it without at least a few emotional scars.
You’ll learn how to spot a military veteran who’s going through PTSD who is shutting down. The person you are starting to like or love isn’t going to be able to see right away what’s happening to them. They might not be able to see it until it’s far too late.
Your job will be to tell them that they need to get some help lovingly. Sometimes all you need to do is give them some space, and time will heal the wounds. Though, don’t be surprised if you need to sit down and talk to them.
Always come from a perspective of love and understanding when it comes to dealing with them shutting down. Don’t go into it with the attitude that they are in some way, hurting you. That will make you sound selfish, and it will push them away. Instead, allow them to see that they’re full of promise, and the shutdown is hindering that promise from blossoming into its full potential.
Be prepared for an odd sense of humor
Spending time with a group of people who can be killed at any moment brings out a strange sense of humor. Somehow people need to get through the worst days on the battlefield. What seems funny to someone who might be on the brink of death may not be so funny to someone not facing the same type of situation.
You may end up coming across some gruesome or flat our bizarre humor. Being under constant threat changes what you think of as being funny.
There are situations that they faced that most people can’t comprehend. What do you do if your date’s sense of humor seems a bit far out there? Laugh at the joke and move on. There’s not much you can do beyond that point. It’s hard for some to adjust and realize that what is funny on the battlefield isn’t so amusing when you’re not under threat.
No one has more stories than a combat veteran
Everyone who has been in combat has a million stories to share. Why do soldiers love to tell stories so much? Some of the storytelling is a form of therapy.
You’ve probably heard of cognitive therapy, and it’s where you sit and talk to a therapist. Sometimes when a veteran talks about what they saw, it helps them get over it. You can’t imagine the pain involved in knowing that your actions may have killed. The feelings of anger, despair, or anything else need to be set free. Not all stories are bad, and some of them will reflect the good times the solider had.
The deepest scars on the battlefield are always those that hurt someone emotionally. Allow your partner to talk about all the things that they want to. If some of the stories are violent, allow them to speak. It’s better that they get it off their chest than it is to keep it all bottled up inside.
The stories they have are some of the rare souvenirs from the battlefield a soldier takes home. The good, bad, and ugly are all part of the experience. None of the stories should be thought of as something that needs to be kept under wrap.
Military veterans are some of the most loyal people
A military veteran is loyal on so many different levels. A veteran is loyal to their country, their fellow soldiers, and to those they hold dear. A person doesn’t survive fighting in a military conflict if they’re a loner. It takes teamwork to get out of the war alive, and that’s one of the reasons why your partner is so loyal.
That loyalty is what saved their life and the lives of others. The person you date will show the same loyalty to you. A soldier is someone who comes up through the ranks by being loyal to those who they serve with.
That loyalty drives them in some ways to look out for their fellow servicemen as if they were their blood relatives. It’s this fierce loyalty that is a part of the fabric of who they are.
You need to get used to being with someone who feels like they have an unbreakable bond with you. It’s possible that at first, you feel as if the person is smothering you with affection. It comes from a place of wanting to protect and service those who the soldier cares about. They feel a connection with you that demands loyalty from them, and it’s something every partner and spouse must get used to. It takes a little time, but it’s wonderful to bask in the loyalty and love of someone as brave as a solider.
Get used to having a highly structured life
Someone who has been in the military is a person who has accepted a high level of structure in their life. It could be said that someone in the military has the most structured life of anyone out there. Every aspect of a soldier’s life is controlled down to the time that they eat.
A battlefield is a place where those who fall out of step pay a severe consequence, and it’s usually the loss of their life. A strict, rigid routine is probably what you’re in store for when it comes to dating someone who has been in the military.
There’s nothing wrong with having a structure in your life if it’s something that you’re currently lacking. You’ll find that structure is the key to success, and the added rigidity to your day will help you become more successful.
It’s not possible to break a soldier’s structure. There are a few things that a serviceman takes with him for the rest of his life, and the most prominent thing is how their life is structured.
The smallest of details must be planned to prevent a waste of precious time. Time isn’t the only thing that is structured as everything else you encounter with them will also be organized in a way that is meant for efficiency. The way a veteran dresses, how they groom themselves, and even their language is all structured based on their military education.
There is no facet of life that isn’t structured or impacted in some way by the change in their thinking.
Take life one day at a time
If the person you’re dating has recently gotten home after a deployment, there’s going to be a period of adjustment for them. The person you’re dating is going to need their space. Don’t try to be overly sensitive or be too assertive in the early days. Allow the veteran to adjust to the world around them.
It’s going to take them a while to get used to civilian life. Every day that they are not on the battlefield, they are changing. It takes quite a bit of time for someone to get used to the idea they aren’t being shot at. If you’ve never been in a situation where people are continually gunning to take you down, then it’s impossible to know what they’re dealing with.
It’s easy to want to smother a veteran with love in an attempt to take away their pain. You might end up causing more pain than good by going this route. Take a step back and allow your partner to adjust to this new life.
The healing process is a process, and there is no way to shorten it in the least. Smothering them to the point they can’t function isn’t going to take away their pain. You will cause them more harm than good since these are feelings, they must process to get on the other side of it.
Fall in love and enjoy yourself
You may be one of the luckiest people on the planet since you’ve fallen in love with a veteran or if you started dating a veteran. Your life will never be the same after this point.
If you end up marrying the person, then you’ll marry someone who is fiercely loyal to the very end. Consider yourself lucky if you’re dating a military combat veteran but be prepared for the struggles ahead. The road that you face isn’t unique, but it is difficult. There will be plenty of pain, sorrow, and good times in the future.
A person can’t come away from war without carrying an overwhelming burden. Sometimes that burden may cause them to pause and reflect while at other times, they will come crashing down. It’s all a part of life for a veteran, and it’s not out of the ordinary.
Above all else, pursue your life with love and passion. Allow the veteran to be the person they are. Your job is to support them and allow them to add the type of quality to your life that you’ve been missing out on for so long. No one can do that quite like a veteran can.
Fall in love and enjoy the one emotion that is by far the best thing a human can ever experience. Your days will be filled with love when you find the right person. You will know that you’ve made the right decision years down the line when the person you’re dating stays by your side as they did on day one.
You can find the best military online dating sites in this post.