What explains the edge military guys have when it comes to online dating? Do women really like a man in uniform that much? Or is something else going on?
When it comes to the research, you might be surprised to find that men in uniform really do have kind of an edge when it comes to finding a mate on the Internet.
Among our own audiences at SpouseX events, meeting online is always in the top three ways military folks find a mate. Which is the happy ending.
We are also always getting letters from women who “met” a military guy online who turns out to be a scammer begging them for money. Which is the unhappy ending.
But for military guys to have an actual advantage before other occupations? No way.
Haven’t those women seen the articles about service members on foodstamps? Don’t they know you PCS move more than once? Don’t they get that for every passionate, romantic, picture-worthy homecoming kiss there are (on average) 180 days in which the only lips that touch your own smell like the inside of a sippy cup??
That is attractive? Seriously?
So I looked up the research. Holding all other things constant, guys who stated that they were in the military (like those who said they were doctors or lawyers or firefighters) did have an advantage online. They received an above average number of first contact e- mails, keywords, and were browsed more often than men in other occupations.
In one study, military men were second in preference only to lawyers. Nice for them.
(In case you are interested, women who list themselves as being in law enforcement or the military are among the least successful in the online dating game—which probably tells you something important about their potential partners.)
What do these online women think they are getting when they click open the military package?
The research doesn’t say, but we can make some educated guesses. When it comes to dating, women have been shown to give the edge to profession and providership over appearance.
The kind of person who joins the military has already passed through a certain number of professional gates. They are at least high school graduates. Drug-free. Fitter than the average population. Employed. Willing to commit to a job for at least four years at a time.
Military guys also marry sooner than their civilian counterparts.
You also might be able to make a case that some women are looking for a knight in shining white armor to rescue them. One psychologist in a Times of India article on men in uniform, suggested that women are attracted to the “chivalry” exuded in the mannerisms of men in uniform. Or that they were interested in the status implied by medals, ribbons and shiny brass buttons.
I’m just not convinced. I wonder if the advantage military men have in online dating is something more prosaic.
Last weekend at a Dining Out, one third of the couples at our table met each other online. These women said that the military guys they dated on line were more likely to call them back. They were upfront if things weren’t working out. They called when they said they were going to call.
“That will get you a long way,” one of the guys told me.
But the more I listened to their stories, the more I heard how these particular guys were really seeking a life partner. That they had a deployment or a move coming up. They were time constrained. Could that also be a factor?
Hard to be sure. If you and your service member met online, did you give them an edge because they were military? Tell us your story
When it comes to finding a life partner, chances are that we will be doing more of that on the Internet, what factors do you think are most important? And what have I missed?