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Vicki: Here's Why Your Relationship Is a Train Wreck

Ms. Vicki

Ms. Vicki,

I've got a weird situation and I need your opinion. I hope I don't get judged.

I met my Marine online this August, and have absolutely fallen in love with him, and vice versa. We've never met, except via Skype, and I'm going to meet him later this month at a military ball. He's in North Carolina and I live in Missouri. He wants to get engaged the first time we meet, which happens to be later this month.

A few weeks ago we were talking about when he'll get out and some future plans. When, all of a sudden, he said that he wants to get married. So, like adults (he's 33, I'm 31), we discussed it. The hitch is, he doesn't want to wait to get engaged when he's out, as he will still be deployed until May/June 2017. His opinion is that we should get engaged now and get married in 2018. I love him, and I do want to marry him, but I am not sure this is a great idea. What are your thoughts?

-- Marine Love

Dear Marine Love,

Here's the deal: everyone is looking for love, that perfect love. Everyone wants a soul mate, the person you can grow old with and sit on the front porch in the twilight of life and wave at cars that go by while reminiscing about the good old days. With that said, you still have a lot of time, so why rush?

I'm really trying to be nice and not say what I know to be the truth which is: this is a train wreck waiting to happen. Who meets someone online and wants to get engaged and married so quickly? Who does that? Something is very wrong here. Let me warn you about two things. First, this could be a scam, so be careful if this guy starts asking for money from you for various reasons. If that happens, you should run -- and fast.

Second, you should still be very careful if he is truly a Marine. I meet women every day who leave their homes, jobs or careers, school, family and friends for the military love of their lives. They believe not only will this military guy take good care of them but they also think that the Marine Corps (or Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard) will take care of them, too. They expect benefits galore, but the benefits just aren't there.

What I'm saying is: take your time. Yes, many relationships and marriages begin online, but you don't know anything about him and people pretend to be many things, including U.S. service members. Don't rush!

Let me know what you decide to do.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki, 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. Her column has appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Ms. Vicki has retired from writing new columns for Although Ms. Vicki is no longer offering new advice on, you can still email military benefits questions to our Questions and Benefits team. Need military spouse career help? Email our Dear Career writers.