So, you want to know how to be a good military girlfriend. The simple fact that you care enough to search for advice for military girlfriends tells me you’re already doing a good job.
And while you’re not a wife yet, you can still learn from those of us in the trenches of military life about what it takes to keep your relationship strong and support your man while he’s gone. So, keep reading for my best advice for military girlfriends, including how to access support for military girlfriends to remind yourself you’re not alone on this journey.
What’s It Like Being a Military Girlfriend?
As a military girlfriend, you don’t have some of the built-in benefits military spouses experience. For example, if you don’t live in the state where your boyfriend is stationed, you likely won’t be kept in the loop as much during trainings and deployments. And if you need to get on base without him, it’s a whole big ordeal to get a pass.
It can be stressful knowing your boyfriend is deployed to an active war zone, and it gets lonely being in a relationship with someone you can’t see or talk to daily. There are days being a military girlfriend is challenging, stressful, and downright not very much fun.
However, there are also times when being a military girlfriend is exciting. Perhaps you’re waiting for your boyfriend’s next orders and plan to move to where he’s stationed. Traveling and learning about new people and places is exhilarating for some. You’ll have days you’re overwhelmed with pride that your boyfriend selflessly serves his country. And few things are more special than reconnecting after a long time apart.
10 Golden Nuggets of Advice for Military Girlfriends
Although some days are harder than others, you still want to know how to be a good military girlfriend during the ups and downs. And that’s awesome! Whether you’re struggling with loneliness or trust or just want to know you’re not alone, here are 10 pieces of advice for military girlfriends to implement today.
1. Surround Yourself with Family and Friends
If you’re in a long-distance relationship or your boyfriend is deployed, surrounding yourself with family and friends is essential. While it can be challenging not to see or talk to your boyfriend every day, remind yourself that it won’t always be that way. In the meantime, soak in all the time you have with the people closest to you–there may come a time when you live far away from them too.
2. Keep Your Routine but Be Flexible
Being a service member is not a 9-5 job. So, it’s important to be flexible when it comes to your boyfriend’s schedule and lifestyle. He may miss a video call or have to cancel plans last minute. While his life is ever-changing, it is helpful to keep yours more structured. This is especially true if your boyfriend is deployed. Having a routine can help you stay focused on what’s in front of you and avoid getting too much into your head.
3. Be Proactive About Your Future Without Demanding Theirs
A military relationship is unlike any other. You may find yourself thinking about marriage sooner than you otherwise would due to the distance and logistical aspects of not being married in the military. However, it’s important to be proactive about your future without adding pressure to the relationship. Don’t let the relationship keep you from pursuing your goals or the career you want.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is essential. You need to learn how to be happy and content by yourself. This will not only help you establish independence–which is vital for any military relationship–but it will relieve pressure for your boyfriend. He’s likely worried about you when he’s away. But if he knows you are OK being alone, you’ll both have a more enjoyable experience.
5. Share Your Needs
While it’s essential to build independence for your sake and the sake of the relationship, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share your needs. Communication is crucial for any healthy relationship to thrive. The more you and your boyfriend talk about each other’s needs, expectations, and hopes, the better off the relationship will be.
6. Become Best Friends with Your Mind
Of all the advice for military girlfriends, this is one of my favorite golden nuggets. Your brain is your superpower. If you want to know how to be a good military girlfriend, I encourage you to learn how your brain works and how your thoughts impact your feelings and experiences. And what you can do to make sure your thoughts are helping you as a military girlfriend, not hurting you.
This is a topic I am incredibly passionate about and explore weekly on the Simply Resilient Podcast. You can download my Podcast Roadmap today for 10 episodes that’ll transform your experience as a military girlfriend.
7. Be Mindful of Your Boyfriend’s Experience
While it can be easy to become hyper-focused on your experience as a military girlfriend, don’t forget to consider your partner’s experience as a military boyfriend. Joining the military turns life as you knew it upside down. Depending on how long he’s been in the service, he might still be getting used to his new lifestyle while trying to grow a healthy relationship. The best way to stay mindful of his experience is to ask questions and learn about his unit and job. He’ll appreciate you taking an interest in what he does, and the more you know, the more your anxiety and fears of the unknown will subside.
8. Let Yourself Feel the Bad
On the bad days, don’t stuff your emotions. Let yourself feel all the feelings. Life as a military girlfriend is hard sometimes.
9. Remind Yourself to Focus on the Good
When you’re feeling worried, stressed, sad, lonely, or overwhelmed, remind yourself of the good things about being a military girlfriend. Thinking helpful, more positive thoughts will bring helpful, more positive feelings and results.
10. Find Support for Military Girlfriends from the Pros
As a military wife for 15+ years (and counting), I’ve been through it all–the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. But I didn’t–and still don’t–do it alone. I’ve learned how to ask for help. I surround myself with other military spouses who get it. And I’m constantly learning how to be a better military wife and mom. You don’t have to go through this alone. And, in fact, I recommend you don’t. Life is so much better when you find support for military girlfriends.
Work with a Life Coach for Military Girlfriends
If you want 1:1 support and advice for military girlfriends, I would love to chat with you about my resilience and mindset coaching program. In resilience coaching, I teach you how to thrive during frequent separations from your partner by showing you how to access the resilient superpowers inside of you.
You can learn more about what happens in a coaching session by listening as I coach one of my military girlfriend clients. Then schedule a mini coaching call with me today to experience it for yourself!
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