Dear Ms. Vicki,
He got a chance to call home just yesterday for the first time. He sounded good, but not just regular good. He sounded ecstatic, as if he were having the time of his life. I couldn't be more happy for him, but at the same time, I'm torn. I'm disappointed that I'm not there sharing the experience with him and witnessing his excitement.
My boyfriend is a homebody. He doesn't really have very many friends. Up until now, his life hasn't really been much without me. I don't mean that in a negative way, just that when we weren't together, he would just stay home and watch Netflix and play video games with his brother.
We are both young. He's 18, and I'm 20. I am outgoing and energetic, and he prefers to hang around the house and sleep. Before he left, we had a very serious talk about our relationship and whether we would stay together. I remember him telling me that he was nothing without me. Every day that he's gone, those words ring in my head. Now he IS something without me. He will become a great U.S. airman with or without me, and I'm so happy for him.
We have always talked about marriage, and right before he left, we laughed about how we were practically married already. I know this will be the true test of our relationship. I'm worried he will end BMT and not love me as much as he thought he did or he will decide that he can find someone better. But, on the other hand, I think he may come home and still be even more in love with me after going through that.
I'm lost in a mix of emotion. I'm so thrilled he is doing awesome, but I'm so afraid that he will too busy to remember me, to miss me, to write me, to think about how much he loves me.
I'm just tired of everyone telling me it will be OK. I'm tired of no one understanding how it even feels for their significant other to be gone for nine weeks with only letters and 10-minute phone calls once in a blue moon to get you by. I need advice from someone who understands.
Sincerely, Ready for Reality
This is really a very sweet letter about first love between two young adults whose lives start to move in different directions. I can speak to this letter as both the mother of young adults and an Army wife, myself.
As a mother, you want your children to spend time searching out new opportunities, learning about themselves and growing before they have the constraints and responsibilities of having a wife and children.
My mother wanted the same for me, too. When I married my college sweetheart, I will honestly say she was upset; she didn't want me to do it. She wanted me to spend some time living on my own, traveling and continuing my education. In retrospect, I totally understand why she wanted this for me.
This absence between you and your boyfriend is new and different. He's never been away before. Now every time you speak to him, he is excited and sounds like he is on top of the world. Hopefully, he has found something that he is passionate about, something that gives him confidence.
If he decides to make a career in the Air Force and you two stay together, there will be many times that he is away for schools, trainings and deployments. Many of them will be much longer than nine weeks. For this reason, it's important that you learn what you are passionate about, too.
In his absence, you can't sit around moping about him and what he's doing, and feeling antsy because he sounds happy and excited. You need to have something to be excited about, too. So what are you doing? Do you work? Are you in school? Are you volunteering for a local charity?
The military is an awesome way to leave home for a career, an adventure, for personal growth and to meet new people. I have to be honest and say your boyfriend will meet new people, and he will definitely meet new girls. He will meet other people who he has something in common with because he will be working with a team or a group on many occasions.
He may hook up with someone else, maybe on more than one occasion. However, this could happen in your home town right under your nose just as easily as it can happen when he is away. I'm not saying you should start hooking up with other people, but I am saying you can't sit around and wait for him. Expect that he will change a lot, as he should.
This should bring new changes and direction for you, too. Hope this helps.
Please stay in touch, Ms. Vicki