As the few thousand who are dating people going to military academy, we know our relationships are different from any other possible relationships we could be in.
It's not because our SOs are more different than other people on the planet. No, this is different for a whole host of reasons. But today, I want to really focus on the pros and cons of dating a guy at a military academy.
I'm the sort of person who likes to hear the bad news first, so let's start this off with the cons list:
1. Long-Distance Love
First off, dating a guy who goes to a military academy means you're stuck in a long-distance relationship. You're lucky if you see him more then four or five times a year. Most of the time, his family is also there. Don't even get me started about the sexual frustration that comes along with this relationship.
2. The PDA Rule
OK, this one really gets to me. When I went to West Point a few weeks ago for a formal event, the only physical contact I could have with my cadet was having our arms linked.
After not seeing him for three months, all I wanted to do was throw myself at him and give him a really big, slobbery kiss. But forget about the kissing; I couldn't even hold his hand or hug him.
3. Hate From Other Military Girlfriends
I'm really sad that this is part of the con list. I feel like all military girlfriends should stick together. However, girlfriends who have boyfriends currently in service or deployed think the academy girlfriends aren't real military girlfriends.
It's true that for four years, I won't have to worry about deployments or having my boyfriend stationed to another country. I'm still an army girlfriend, but I face a different set of problems. At the end of the day, however, we all have one thing in common: Our SOs are out there defending our country.
Wait, what's the difference between SAMI and MAMI again? Um?
5. Yik Yak
I will bet you a million dollars that this post will end up on the West Point Yik Yak, where it will be ridiculed to no end. Some of you may recall a YouTube video called "Signs You're Dating A West Point Cadet."
It had 40,000 views, and West Point went nuts over it. Cadets posted so many hate comments about how the girl who made it was a "crazy and clingy girlfriend," even though the video was clearly satire. A friend of mine posted a blog post about being a West Point girlfriend, and it has already shown up on Yik Yak with the caption, "I feel bad for these cadets."
6. His Schedule
These boys are busy. Their days start at around 6 am and end at midnight. My boyfriend will have over 20 credit hours next year on top of clubs, sports and military duties. My cadet gets about two weeks of summer break.
7. My Wallet
Money? What money? It's been spent on care packages, dresses for balls, plane tickets, hotel rooms, etc.
8. The Breakups
As a West Point girlfriend, I am very close to other West Point girlfriends. It sucks when they break up with their cadets. I don't get to see them at events, have late-night group chat talks with them or share my experiences with them.
Now that my rant of the sh*t that comes along with dating a boy at an academy is over, I want to tell you why it's literally the best thing ever:
1. The Friends
Like I said in the break-up section, I have made some of the best friends of my life through this crazy relationship. I love watching the girls I've bonded with get engaged, graduate from high school or college and spend those few holiday breaks with their cadets.
2. The Formal Events
A great day goes like this: You see a fancy parade, meet up with a bunch of your "Internet" friends, watch some crazy people jump out of a plane and land in a field right next to you, go to a fancy dinner, steal the wine glasses and then dance the night away.
3. The Uniforms
Why do uniforms always make men look 1,000 times hotter? I don't know, but I'm not about to start complaining.
4. The Iconic Pictures
You know that picture where the soldier is kissing the nurse in the white dress? Well, imagine that picture times 100. So many times on Facebook and Instagram, I see my friends with their cadets, mimicking those poses. I honestly feel like I should make a book out of all the beautiful pictures of girls with their SOs.
5. The Pride
This isn't a big secret, but any time someone asks me if I have a boyfriend, I whip out my best smile and say, "I do. Oh, and he's in the army."
People probably don't give a sh*t about my boyfriend's job, but I will tell anyone and everyone how proud I am of my cadet. I mean, he gave up a regular college experience, safety and waking up next to yours truly so that he could protect us every single day.
6. The Honeymoon Phase
Every time a couple that's been separated by the academy gets back together, it's like the stars have aligned. Sparks are flying. That first kiss after a long time apart is bliss.
7. The Late-Night FaceTime Calls
Most people who have SOs are known to go to them after really long, hard days. Maybe they go out to dinner, or maybe they just ask to be held until they feel better. This is not the case for academy girlfriends.
We get those incredibly special FaceTime calls instead. Just being able to hear his voice and see his face can cheer me up.
8. Time To Grow
This one is actually my favorite. Since my boyfriend has been at West Point, I've had time to explore what makes me happy in life. I have the opportunity to practice my writing and build strong relationships. I'm able to focus on school and my job.
All this time apart has made me realize I'm a full person on my own, and that's allowed me to add more to my relationship. As you can see from this long list, dating an academy boyfriend isn't always easy. However, I wouldn't change a thing about this beautiful, crazy relationship.