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Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared at Cellar Door, the personal blog of Gabrielle Puglia. You need to understand that the military is a brotherhood.There have been a few articles about the pros and cons of dating the Generation Y military man, and while some of them are better reads than others, I felt the need to weigh in. Military men may never have closer relationships than those they made in the military.Some of the women who write are working in Kuwait and dating a Kuwaiti. And during this time you’re expected to call him (though he’s not going to answer) and send endless text messages. Don’t ask me how, but Arab men are masters at turning things around. it’s ‘disrespectful’ and you’ll be accused of behaving like a man. If he’s not comfortable with your answers he’ll simply drive you himself. Some are living in their home country but having an online relationship with an Arab man living in his. If you don’t then he’s going to accuse you of talking to other men during this time. Regardless of what he does and how bad it really is, you’re eventually going to find yourself doing the apologizing. Expect sleepless nights, and bouts of being on the receiving end of awkward silences. You need to try your hardest to understand, get him to eventually talk about it (preferably to a professional) and pretty much avoid all triggers — like war movies. You will be inundated with more random facts about places like the Middle East or the South than you care to cram into your brain. I won a round of trivia just because I knew the currency in Bahrain. I am a sucker for someone who is passionate about his work. They are modern day heroes; if that’s not something to be proud of, I’m not quite sure what is! Basically, dating a Generation Y military man is no different than dating anyone else. His may be unimaginable to you, but that does not make him any better or worse.Fun facts are everywhere, and it doesn’t hurt for you to sound more worldly too! Dating a service member is not all fun and games; it takes a lot of work and patience, but if you are interested in the person and not just the uniform, then he is definitely worth the pursuit.
It is a lot of work to break down those barriers and gain enough trust for him open up and be vulnerable. You need to understand this and realize how difficult it is. However, for those who do, there is nothing wrong with that.
Perpetual overthinker, good-doer, book nerd, wine connoisseur and amateur world traveler.
I get a number of emails from American women asking advice about their Arab men. Some of the men are Arab but born and raised in America. And don’t ask to look through the one you DO know about… You’ll need to tell him where you’re going, with whom, and approximately how long you expect to be gone. 1-9 above still apply and perhaps seem even more frequent. You’re more than likely going to meet male cousins and maybe a brother or two.
Just be a decent human being and you will get decency back.
Gabrielle Puglia is a free spirit with a wild heart.
Just keep in mind that the chances of him wanting to open up and talk about it — let alone seek help — are slim to none, at least at first.