Six Tips to Surviving the First Underway

*For the safety of my sailor and his boat, there are no dates, locations or names posted. The article has been written and posted after his underway was long done and over.  OPSEC for the win.

I have been very fortunate in the fact that, for the first two years of this adventure, I have been able to speak to my sailor on the daily minus bootcamp of course. I actually forgot what it was like to not speak to him for more than 24 hours. After he graduated from all of his schooling, he came home for a month of leave, left for his first duty station and shortly after came the first underway. For those of you that don’t know, underways are like mini deployments that only last maybe a month or two at most.

This was like bootcamp all over again. And it sucked. He said his goodbyes over text to me and that was it. So began the first underway.

Continue reading Six Tips to Surviving the First Underway

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How to Get Back On Your Feet After They Leave

 

You’ve just spent this amazing few weeks with your SO filled with lots of love, companionship, laughter, fun-filled plans and parties. Then no sooner do they get back that you find yourself back at the airport waving goodbye with tear-soaked eyes and a snot-filled tissue in your non-waving hand. Then there is the drive home from the airport that you don’t really remember too much because of all the thinking you have done during that time. Then before you know it, you are standing in the front door of your house and you have no clue what to do.

Sound familiar?

Continue reading How to Get Back On Your Feet After They Leave

Five Tips on How to Handle the Distance

There is no denying that distance is hard and I would be silly if I told you that I have found a way to deal with it completely. I haven’t. But I have found ways to bring comfort during those times when I feel like my heart is literally tearing in my chest, those nights that I toss and turn and can’t fall asleep.

1.Grow yourself a support system

I think of my support system as a circle. The reasoning for that is because none of them come before the other and they are all there for different kinds of support.  I have my parents, friends, Taylor, his family, military girlfriend Facebook groups, I have pen pals I write to and of course I have His First Mate and the community that comes with that. My family and friends are there for physical support like hugs and an actual listening ear, etc. Taylor and his family are on there for the obvious reason that he knows better than anyone else what I am going through. I have my military Facebook groups in case I have questions or just need to see that I am not alone in this. And of course, I have His First Mate as my outlet to express myself and help others.

circle of support

Make a circle for yourself. Maybe yours looks different and that’s okay. Keep that circle someplace safe where you can look at it whenever you need to. Some good places are your wallet, a drawer at work or hung up in your room.

2. Become a Hoarder

Normally, I wouldn’t recommend this but desperate times call for desperate measures. Be a hoarder of everything that is your significant other. I can’t even tell you how many hoodies, t-shirts and blankets that I have of Taylor’s (some he may or may not know that I even have but that can be our secret). These things are pieces of Taylor and some still have his smell which is a huge comfort to me in times where I feel like I’m falling apart. And not to mention, men’s clothes are significantly more comfortable than anything in the women’s department.

Below is a list of things you can ask to borrow from your significant other:

-Bottles of cologne/perfume

-Blankets, pillows, stuffed animals

-Any clothing items

-Mix tapes they have or create for you

-Keychains they have

-Jewelry

3. Have Christmas in July

Not having Taylor here for holidays absolutely kills me. With Taylor’s first deployment coming up, I have made a list of every holiday that we will miss together. When he comes home in the next couple of weeks, we plan on celebrating every single one: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, both of our birthdays and a close friend’s birthday and Thanksgiving. It will literally be Christmas in July.

I think what gets me most is looking on Facebook during holidays and seeing all these other happy couples spending time together. Take lots of pictures during these “holidays”  that you’ve created together so you can post them to Facebook or look at them whenever the actual holiday rolls around.  My other piece of advice is to just stay off of social media as much as possible during holidays.

4. Save letters and text messages

Be a hoarder of their items and be a hoarder of their words. It helps a lot to hear their own voice and words come through a page to comfort you.

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When Taylor deploys, I am asking him to write me some “Open When” (read what these are here!) for me to read when I get upset or I miss him, etc. so I have that handy.

5. Make a Deployment Bucket List

Stay busy! One thing that I like about military/long-distance relationships is that I get a lot of time to work on myself and my dreams. So, make a list for you! This keeps you busy and always gives you something to look forward to.

What are things you have a ways wanted to do? You can add in things that you like doing but haven’t done in a while. When you are feeling down or feel like you have nothing to keep you busy, turn to this list.

 

An Open Letter to the Military Girlfriend I Was Two Years Ago

Dear you,

I know exactly how you feel. You’re standing on your front lawn in your bare feet, the March sun beaming on your head. He’s walking away and all your left with is the Navy shirt that he got when he enlisted and your hand on your lips because he just kissed you for the first time…and last time for the next nine weeks of bootcamp. This moment that you are experiencing right now will be your first memory of being a military girlfriend. And that feeling you are having is going to become a normality in your life. The goodbyes are going to become a regular occurrence.

Continue reading An Open Letter to the Military Girlfriend I Was Two Years Ago

Meet A MILSO Monday: Raquelle and Garet

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Written by Raquelle:

“So, Garet and I met our first year of college together in English. As soon as he walked in I knew that it would be a hard class to focus in and I was SO right! One day in class he told me to come sit next to him and the rest is history. I knew that he wanted to join the military but I didn’t want to  accept it because I’ve had horrible experiences with family members in the military.

Continue reading Meet A MILSO Monday: Raquelle and Garet

Don’t Use The Military As An Excuse For Your SO To Treat You Like Shit

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Seriously. For the love of all that is good and true…Just don’t. I’ve made so many friends and met so many women who trust me enough to tell me about their relationship problems and ask for my advice (which is an absolute blessing by the way). And when some of them tell me about all the ridiculous stuff their SO’s put them through they always use something about the military to justify these actions.

“Oh, but he’s probably really busy. That’s why he hasn’t texted back in three days.”

“Well, the military trains them to be heartless and not show emotion.”

“I caught him cheating once but I know he was really stressed out that week from all his tests and he got really drunk to let off some steam so it’s fine, right?”

What the hell? No! Absolutely, positively not. No.

Continue reading Don’t Use The Military As An Excuse For Your SO To Treat You Like Shit

How To Find Support From Your SO Thousands Of Miles Away

I’m not exactly sure when I started to feel like everything in my life was falling apart.  No matter where things began or how they got like this doesn’t really matter, however.

I have always believed that you can’t control what happens in life but you can control how you react to it and especially who you lean on. During these past few months, I have really learned to lean on and create a wide support system. One of my main supports, obviously, being Taylor.

Now this is a little tricky though because most of the love someone feels is from another physically being there. A different place to run to. Someone to go out to dinner or just hangout with to escape whatever problem you are facing. Taylor being 900 miles away makes that somewhat difficult… but there are ways I have found.

Continue reading How To Find Support From Your SO Thousands Of Miles Away