Being the girlfriend of a guy in the military means you will face challenges other couples don't. It's difficult to make important life decisions when you don't know when your guy will be deployed or how long the deployment will last. The stress that comes with being in the military is intense, especially if he is in a war zone, which can put an additional strain on your relationship. The keys to being a good girlfriend are to always be supportive, patient and as understanding as possible.
Let him lead when it comes to communication. He might need time to process something before he shares it with you, or he might not be able to share it at all due to it being classified information. Don't take it personally. Instead, be understanding and patient.
Send him stuff. Your guy will love knowing that you are thinking about him, and he will love getting goodies even more. Find out what he needs and wants, and be sure to follow shipment regulations. Include a handwritten love note so that he knows you are missing him.
Get out and about. Establish a life for yourself apart from your guy so that when he is gone you don't find yourself feeling lonely. Take up a hobby, join a group for military girlfriends and wives, or get a job. This will help your guy because he won't worry so much about leaving you alone if you have a support system in place and activities to keep you busy.
Accept and look forward to change. Although the military won't support the cost of you moving with your boyfriend, know that sudden changes of address are a possibility in the future if you do get married someday. Prepare for that possibility by cultivating a positive attitude about travel and change. Let your guy know that if you do get married someday and you have to move, you will take it as an opportunity to see some of the world. In this way, you will show your guy that you are willing to follow him -- hopefully, he will respond by becoming someone worthy of following.
Be flexible. You might have to change a date or even plan a birthday party around military events. Being a good girlfriend means being willing and able to change plans at a moment's notice.
Embrace the military lifestyle. The military has its own culture, including language. Learn the acronyms so you can understand your boyfriend, and have a positive attitude about attending military functions. Your willingness to embrace and learn the ins and outs of life in the military will go a long way toward supporting your guy and showing him that you are a good girlfriend.
- Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images