Dear Ms. Vicki,
My boyfriend and I have been dating for a little over a year now. Right before he deployed, I moved into his apartment, and he jokes about proposing when he returns home.
But whenever he's gone, I have a hard time believing that he misses me or truly cares about how I'm doing. I know that I'm a great girlfriend and he loves to be with me when he's here; however, he's terrible at showing any sort of affection when he's not in person.
I know that people say it's really difficult to communicate while deployed, but he's always talking about how bored he is and how much free time he has to do nothing. Yet he'll take forever to respond to my messages (and I know he has access to do so). If I don't respond to him right away, he makes a big deal out of it.
When he does respond to me, I feel like he's just going through formalities, never saying anything meaningful. He's told me before that he's not worried at all that we'll break up during this deployment and I feel like, because I meet all his emotional needs, he doesn't feel the need to put in any effort into meeting mine and takes all my affection for granted.
As much as I would really like to selflessly love him, I also know that if at least my basic emotional needs aren't met, it won't last.
Hi, Samantha --
In your boyfriend's defense, deployments definitely take you away from your comfort zone. This can surely affect your relationships with others.
For example, some of his friends or family may say, "He's not being his usual or normal self." Of course he isn't. If you or I were on a deployment, we would experience personality changes too. I mean, things like camping in my backyard change my personality -- seriously.
Now in your defense, it sounds like there are some red flags going up and some alarm bells ringing about this relationship. I think you feel like this relationship is going nowhere, and you are wondering if you should wait for a man who will return only to go your separate ways. That it will end up being time you wasted.
You have every right to expect that you should keep a level of intimacy with your boyfriend across the miles. However, the longer he is away, the more you feel like he's a stranger, right? I think you should take note of his cavalier attitude about the relationship. He jokes around about the possibility of marrying you, but he never says anything meaningful. Then he told you that he is OK if you break up with him.
Let me be honest: He's not invested in this relationship. You would do well to move on. I really hope you take my advice.
Many young women and even older women think they are doing well by marrying their military guy who wears a uniform and goes on multiple deployments. They soon start to hate their lives, they hate the military and they hate their boyfriend or girlfriend, or their military spouse after they marry them. They regret the day they met this person.
Don't believe the hype: Military marriages are very different. It takes two special, committed people to make the marriage work. It's not a joke.
Save yourself the trouble and move on now. He sounds very immature and not ready to make a commitment. Hope this helps.
-- Ms. Vicki