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Air Force Girlfriend Wants to Know If Long-Distance Relationships Work

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I am going to get straight to the point: I've been talking to a guy who is in the Air Force, but he is currently deployed.

We have been friends for more than four years. This past October, we started considering the idea of a long-distance relationship. We are both from Washington, but he is stationed in Maryland. I am a student at the University of Texas and will graduate in May 2017. I have never been in a relationship before, especially not a long-distance one. He, on the other hand, has had experience in both areas.

We both love each other, but is that enough to make this relationship work? Who knows where the military is going to take him? Who knows where my career is going to take me? If I got a job opportunity in Maryland, I would definitely take it, but who knows if that will happen?

It also is frustrating because his last girlfriend was also in the Air Force and they both understood the endless acronyms and military life in general. I sometimes feel like I can't relate to him on that level, but he also doesn't understand college life. We both are doing something completely different from each other, but we still make time for each other.

My main question is, do these relationships work? By that, I mean relationships involving someone in the military and someone who is not? I feel like it would be hard to find common ground because, whether people like it or not, our careers do take up a good portion of our lives.

I just want to know if we are being stupid or naïve to the odds that are against us. I know it is ultimately up to us, but I just need some insight. Please let me know your thoughts! Thank you so much.

-- Wants to Know

Dear Wants to Know,

Every relationship has challenges, right? But everyday people everywhere decide to embark on a journey together to see where it will take them. You and this guy have a lot more in common than you think.

Think about it: The military is full of acronyms. Your boyfriend will continue to use them and, in time, you will learn them, too. On the other hand, when your boyfriend is home from work and talking to you, he will probably want to leave work and the acronyms at work, unless he is sharing something with you. I think it's very important for couples to grow individually and as a couple.

Don't feel that you have to be the acronym girlfriend or that you have to compete with the girls he has dated who are in the military -- you don't. Just be yourself. I wouldn't say you are being naïve, not yet. Now, if you dropped out of school, dropped everything and moved to Maryland, that would be naïve. I would definitely advise you not to do that.

Bottom line, you are still getting to know each other. That's great! Love matters just as much as good common sense. Take some time and see where this relationship goes. Take care and keep in touch.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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