Every young Singaporean couple dreads the two years of National Service (NS) men have to serve. It’s one of those things that really puts your relationship to the test.
You’ve probably heard tons of stories of people splitting up during these trying two years. If your boyfriend is currently going through, or is going to start serving NS soon, here are 10 things to mentally prepare yourself for.
They will help you get through these two years stronger than ever:
1. It’s tough on you, but it’s tougher on him.
Not having him around as much as you're used to might seem unbearable, but at least you have your friends, family and the colorful outside world to distract you from his absence.
He, on the other hand, only has his bunk, his buddy and the lush green jungles to find comfort in.
So if you ever start thinking about how tough it is for you to be away from him, think of how much worse it is for him.
2. Even if he doesn’t show it as much, he still loves you the same.
In fact, he probably loves you the most when he’s in the army.
Most days, you’re probably the first thing on his mind when he wakes up for PT, and the last thing on his mind when he turns in after “lights out.”
Even though he doesn’t have much time or energy to show you how much he loves you, just know he does.
3. You’ll communicate a lot less, but it’s not his fault.
He lives on a schedule set by his superiors. How much free time he has is totally out of his control.
Don’t be upset with him if he’s unable to pick up your calls, or if he’s only able to talk to you for 15 minutes.
If he could, he’d definitely trade marching in the blistering sun for hours of talk time with you.
There's just no question about it.
4. Asking about him helps more than you think.
Often when we finally get to talk to our boyfriends on the phone, we ramble on about our day and about how sh*tty it was.
Sometimes, we focus so much on ourselves that we forget to ask about him.
So ask how he is or how his day went. It’ll show him how much you care about him and support him more than you realize.
5. He’ll be a little more
He has no idea what you’re doing outside. He can only trust that what you tell him is true.
Understandably, he’ll get a little paranoid or suspicious if you’re always hanging out with a certain guy or if you’re hitting the clubs.
From time to time, you’ll find yourself having to reassure him about your feelings for him. But with time, he’ll learn to trust you, and the questions will stop.
6. He’ll talk about the army constantly, but that’s because it's all he’s exposed to now.
During these two years, NS is basically his life.
He spends most of his time in camp, and he lives and breathes the army.
Plus, it’s a brand new environment for him.
Naturally, his topics will revolve around army life.
He probably doesn’t notice how much he’s talking about the army. If he does, he probably consciously tries not to bore you with all his army talk.
So the next time he starts talking about the army again, be glad you get to share these experiences with him.
Plus -- honestly -- the army talk can be pretty interesting if you pay attention.
7. He’ll have very little time to divide among all his loved ones, so you need to be ready to share him.
Minus the book out and book in timing that eats into his Fridays and Sundays, he only has one full day to spend with his loved ones.
Be prepared to share him with all the other important people in his life, like his friends and family.
Give up some of your time with him so he can hang out with his boys and maintain his other relationships, or hang out together with him and his loved ones.
That way, he’ll get to spend time with all the people he loves, and you won’t have to go a weekend without seeing him.
8. He’ll be tired on his days off, so be prepared to stay in.
You’ll hear him say he’s tired a lot, and that’s because he is.
Army boys spend their entire week waking up before dawn and training throughout the day. (We thought waking up at 7 am was bad!)
There will be times when he’ll just want to stay home during the weekends. So if you want to spend time together, why not bring some snacks and watch a movie together at his place?
That way, he’ll get to rest while spending time with you.
9. He’ll want and need more sexy time when he’s out.
It’s a guy thing.
He will need to “release some steam” because he can’t do it while he's at camp.
So don’t be taken aback if he wants it more than usual ... or if he wants some time with himself.
10. He’ll need all the support he can get, especially from you.
Many guys really don’t like NS while they’re going through it. So reaffirm your boyfriend about his efforts in the army.
Encourage him or remind him of how close he is to finishing his NS.
NS is an emotional experience for guys, so try being the strong one in the relationship for a change.
It'll give him one less thing to worry about, and it’ll make his life a whole lot easier.
For every couple that doesn’t make it through NS, I’m sure there are many couples who do. We just don’t talk about or hear about them.
I survived it. Many of my girlfriends survived it. All of us can say our relationships have grown stronger because of this trial.
So if your boyfriend is serving NS or is going to start his NS soon, don’t constantly worry about whether you guys will get through it or not.
Focus on being a good, supportive partner instead.
It’ll be slightly tough at the beginning. But trust me, it gets better with time.
Before you know it, he’ll be done with NS.
Did this help you? If it did, share it with your fellow girlfriends.