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Old 11-05-2013, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Deep In The Heart of Texas
122 posts, read 283,731 times
Reputation: 84

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My military BF left yesterday to Korea (he got orders to be stationed there). Heís never been the type to show his feelings the way I do but when we are together, there is a lot of affection there. (I think itís a guy thing). This past week (his last wk here) he was very distant. I did get to see him not as much as I wanted to but he even met my family for the first time (which I think is a big step in a relationship). His older sister pretty much made plans for him the entire time he was here so I couldnt see him that much. He even went to Arizona for a weekend to visit family (he was recently stationed in Georgia and came back for a mth before he had to leave to Korea). I totally get him wanting to spend time with his family since heís never around them. He told me the last time he spent the holidays with them was in 2009. He was always deployed or just stationed far from home. So I get why heís taking advantage of the time he had.

Should I just give him his space? I tend to overthink and worry myself sick. Is this normal for military men? (to be distant) This is the first serious relationship I have had with someone in the military so I am a bit lost. He left yesterday and didnít really say goodbye. He just text me when he was in California getting ready to leave at the airport apologizing that it had been a crazy hectic day and he didnt have a chance to do much since he had issues with his plane tickets. He did text me in the morning saying he was about to get ready and start packing and would call me later.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:57 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,832 posts, read 41,883,302 times
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I've found that being "distant" is normal. I was, as were most everyone I served with.

I don't know what he does but military people are very good at building compartments in their heads: this one is girlfriend, this one is labeled job, this one is labeled family, etc. A lot of reasons for that, most centered around what you do in the service.
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Deep In The Heart of Texas
122 posts, read 283,731 times
Reputation: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
I've found that being "distant" is normal. I was, as were most everyone I served with.

I don't know what he does but military people are very good at building compartments in their heads: this one is girlfriend, this one is labeled job, this one is labeled family, etc. A lot of reasons for that, most centered around what you do in the service.
That makes a lot of sense...
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:58 PM
 
Location: SoCal
5,723 posts, read 4,509,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelle41 View Post
Should I just give him his space? I tend to overthink and worry myself sick. Is this normal for military men? (to be distant)
Based on my (probably too youthful and inexperienced advice), I would probably say Yes and Yes to your questions. I wouldn't worry too much about your beau just yet in regards to this.

Is he interested in things such as military history? Or perhaps tanks and/or weapons? If so, you can talk to him more about these things in order to try forming a closer bond with him.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Deep In The Heart of Texas
122 posts, read 283,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurist110 View Post
Based on my (probably too youthful and inexperienced advice), I would probably say Yes and Yes to your questions. I wouldn't worry too much about your beau just yet in regards to this.

Is he interested in things such as military history? Or perhaps tanks and/or weapons? If so, you can talk to him more about these things in order to try forming a closer bond with him.

He's into "artsy" type stuff. I actually want to get us some passes to the opera for when he returns next yr.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:08 PM
 
Location: SoCal
5,723 posts, read 4,509,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelle41 View Post
He's into "artsy" type stuff. I actually want to get us some passes to the opera for when he returns next yr.
Oh, allright.

Yeah, those opera tickets are a good idea. Perhaps you should consider taking him to an art (perhaps modern art) gallery as well?
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,474 posts, read 41,651,387 times
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A few questions...

...how long have you been together?
...how long has he been in?
...how frequent have his deployments/changes of station been?
...how have his orders affected previous relationships, if at all?

Every soldier/sailor/etc. is different, and different personalities/different experiences lead to differences in how the inevitable separations are handled. When I met my fiance, he had already been in more than ten years, and was accustomed to mobilization and deployment...what he wasn't used to was leaving a girlfriend and later fiancee on orders, because he had been a bachelor, for the most part, during much of his service. So that was something new for him to adjust to, even though changing stations and leaving for trainings, and the like weren't new for him. When we first got engaged, he left immediately to do a shorter term training exercise in Singapore, and he said that those three weeks separated from me were harder than when he'd gone to Korea for a year, because when he was in Korea, he wasn't leaving anybody behind.

My fiance is not by nature a person given to emotional distance...in fact, he's pretty demonstrative...the stoic, "stiff upper lip" military stereotype isn't necessarily JUST a stereotype, but it also doesn't categorically fit everyone, across the board, either. My fiance can be stoic when he needs to be in his work, but when he's not "on," he's a softie, and very emotionally demonstrative. However, many military men (and women) do find it easier to be more distant. I wouldn't say that's everyone, though. I know a great many Navy men (and women) who are very warm family men and women, and don't necessarily go the pulled-back, emotionally distant route. Younger servicemen and women who may not have much experience yet with these types of separations, though, and it makes sense that they may pull back a bit. Sounds like your boyfriend might be figuring out who he needs to be if he's going to perform his service the way he needs to.

People who serve do what they have to do to do their job and balance their lives outside of the military...some people are better at it than others, and it's pretty much always a learning process. Even for somebody with a dozen years of service like my fiance. One thing I will say is that as a military girlfriend/fiancee/spouse, you have to steel yourself to keeping worry in check...there will ALWAYS be something to worry about or stress about when this is your significant other's line of work, and if you're always a wreck about things, it will not go well for you.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Pa
42,628 posts, read 44,069,883 times
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It's normal if you haven't been together long.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Middle America
36,474 posts, read 41,651,387 times
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Oh, also? You said your boyfriend didn't really say goodbye.

My fiance is not big on goodbyes when he is leaving for something that's more than a few weeks long. He doesn't feel he handles the goodbye well, so his choice is to just not do it. When I took him to the airport to leave for processing for Singapore, I figured I'd go in and see him to the gate (security is at the gate at that particular airport, so you can be with your loved one practically until boarding)...it wasn't a military base sendoff, just a regular departure from a civilian airline at that point of his journey, but I still figured I'd wait with him and we'd do a goodbye at the gate. I was very surprised when he said just to pull up curbside and let him off and drive away. But, I did understand why he needed to do it that way.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Newport Beach, California
32,978 posts, read 19,947,148 times
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Before you take this relationship seriously, I think you need a reality check.

You will spend a lot of your relationship apart. / You will spend many holidays, special occasions without him. You pretty much have long distance relationship all the time.
It will take lots and lots of trust between you two. (if you and him are the jealous type, it will never work out) You will spend a lot of time worrying about him when he is deployed (however, you do get used to it after a while) You do need to be able to adjust to change well and quickly. He might have to work long hours a day. Plan on getting a job because unless they are an E7 or up, their pay blows.

The positive part of dating an active duty military man is that
1. They have stable job 2. amazing health care 3. benefits 4. almost every single one of them is in great physical shape. 5. you get to fall in love over and over again after each and every deployment.

If you are really serious about this man, and are TRULY ready to support our brave troops. Consider having a volunteer kind of work when he is gone. For example, VA hospitals. Connect with other soldiers' family members, staying positive.

It takes a special woman to be a warrior's girlfriend or wife. When my sister was dating her warrior, she sent care packages during holidays, she volunteered, she was a vibrant woman back then.

To answer your question.Is it true for military men to be distant? I think it depends. Depends on his character and personality type. I hope you can view him as a man first, a MILITARY man second because NOT all military men are exactly the same.

Wish you well, and hope your loved one is safe..
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