Why some troops consider their military service a dating app red flag

by Tommy Grant

Dating in the year of our lord 2023 is a virtual hellscape. With everything from frequent “ghosting” to claims that a Cheesecake Factory date is an unforgivable red flag (how dare you sleep on the Red Velvet), simply being alone seems, at times, infinitely easier.

One rather unexpected red flag, meanwhile, presented itself in a post on the Army Reddit: serving in the military.

A soldier under the username boscar197473 shared that disclosing his service has cost him the affection of two women.

“I’ve found that bringing up I enlisted in the military has usually made the girls lose interest,” he wrote. “Two girls in particular ghosted me after finding out.”

He also added that he got some interesting advice from another member of his unit.

“My platoon sergeant told me that one of his old team leaders would convince girls he was a race car driver instead of exposing his real life,” he added.

Because lies are the foundation of any good relationship. Everyone knows that.

The post elicited amusing insights as well as stories from troops with similar experiences. A useful tip to avoid overt military affiliation without lying was to describe your MOS in laymen’s terms, according to one comment. A 19D (Cavalry Scout), for example, can instead be described as a glorified camp counselor, while a 91F (Small Arms/Towed Artillery Repairer) can simply be classified as a mechanic.

The overwhelming sentiment from commenters was that dating close to your base is a non-starter. For most, the experience has been that singles adjacent to an installation are either chasing military members or have already dated military and decided it’s not for them. Another user noted that dating near an installation is a “double-edged sword.”

”If you tell [them that] you’re in the army [and] they’re suddenly incessantly attracted to you? Run. If they’re turned off by it? Run,” the Redditor joked. “Find a girl who’s neither a) in love with your job, or b) hates your job. I’ve noticed most women that are interested in you because you’re in the military will realistically end up leaving you for somebody else in the military.”

Most of the advice was to seek relationships away from military communities.

“Go find the nearest college town, integrate with the community there,” wrote Reddit user sentientshadeofgreen. “Hell, maybe take a class or two, go to some football games, drink at the college bars, go expand your horizons. … There are reasonably cool non-military places within a 2-hour radius of even the s**tiest posts.”

That advice, of course, only extends to people in their 20s.

“If you’re in your mid 30s, f*** dude, I don’t know, try FarmersOnly.com or hop on that 90-Day Fiance train, I guess,” he added.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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