If your boyfriend is a military man, your relationship is bound to face its share of unique obstacles. During deployment, months can pass in which you don't get to see each other at all. At the same time, many soldiers see, hear and do things during battle that affect their emotions and mental health. Coping with dating a soldier is difficult, but having a strategy can help you nurture your relationship.
1. Stay in Touch
Even if you can't talk to your soldier on the phone every day, it's important to stay in touch with each other whenever and however you can. Send your boyfriend letters and emails updating him on things at home and share funny stories or experiences you've had recently. Ask questions and let him know about anything that might need his attention. Make a DVD or video of yourself talking to your soldier and mail it for him to watch, suggests the Utah National Guard website. Make a tape of yourself singing, reading or telling jokes. Staying connected in a variety of ways keeps your relationship close as you cope with the physical separation.
2. Find a Support Group
If you're a military girlfriend, chances are you have access to a group of other women whose other halves are also deployed. Sometimes, these women form support groups, which offer a beneficial way for you to cope with a separation from your soldier. Support groups offer an ideal way to find friends to commiserate with, people to turn to when things get hard and referrals for information and services you might need, according to the National Military Family Association.
3. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Coping with stress can interfere with your daily life. Stress might cause a lack of energy or heightened anxiety, according to HelpGuide.org. Prolonged stress can also alter healthy sleep patterns and contribute to health problems. Practicing relaxation techniques when contact with your soldier is scarce can help you deal with the varied emotions the lack of contact produces. Meditation, writing in a journal, listening to soothing music or engaging in an enjoyable hobby are ideal ways to unwind and manage your stress while dating a soldier.
4. Take a Break
Constantly worrying about your soldier when you can't talk or visit regularly can take a toll. Combine this with a job, kids and other responsibilities and chances are you're overwhelmed and overextended. HelpGuide.org suggests taking a break. This might mean a mini vacation alone or with friends or it might mean a week-long retreat to a special location. Getting away doesn't mean you aren't concerned, but it gives you the chance to catch your breath and enjoy life despite the stress of limited contact with your boyfriend.
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