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Joining the army whilst in a relationship


Hi guys.

quick story I’m 19 and I’ve always been fascinated by the army right from when I was a little kid and 2 years ago I applied and pulled out last minute as I didn’t think it was for me however now I’ve matured and realised what I want to do in life I’m certain the army is for me, I’m currently waiting to do my army interview brief next week however The fact that I’m in a relationship and have a house together is playing in the back of my mind, I know this might come across daft to some people because I’m young however For my age I’m very mature and I know I’ll be with her for the rest of my life, but leaving her in a house alone doesn’t sit right with me, she’s fully supported me on applying however just looking for some reassurance and to put my mind at ease if anyone has tips or advice from similar situations?
Are you married?
No not married just partner

Well if you are sure you are going to be together forever, then get married. Will make your life in the Army a lot easier.

You can get a house on the pads estate and then rent out the house you have now.

Do the full 22 years and by the time you get out you'll have a house waiting for you that probably won't be far away from being paid for :thumleft:


Book Reviewer
Conventional wisdom has it that your relationship won't survive your joining up and, sadly, that's generally the way to bet.
Conventional wisdom has it that your relationship won't survive your joining up and, sadly, that's generally the way to bet.

I'd generally agree with that.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with @FORMER_FYRDMAN

The Army is not for everyone but in your case this applies to both of you. If it works for you but not for not for her you will have problems.

Your case may be the exception but it’s pretty slim odds.

Consider - you will be separated for (probably) multiple long periods. Long distance relationships are tough - I know from experience.
Your soldier buddies, around the same age as you, will be single. Will you really be in a position to join them in whatever crazy schemes they think up? Not so good for a “team player” reputation.
The Army cannot always allow you to drop whatever you’re doing and head home to resolve a domestic issue - even if you’re just down the street from home. If you’re on duty in Outer Mongolia (or somewhere), she’s on her own.
If she stays at home while you head off into the world, her view of the world will remain the same while yours will probably expand. (At least, your respective points of view will develop differently). You’re likely to end up thinking differently about things - few relationships survive that.

If you want to make this work, make sure you are both committed to the same long term goal, you are both ready to adapt as the situation changes, you both acknowledge that you must maintain good communication and understanding between you and that you’re both primed for a very long, sometimes hard, journey.

Good luck!
If I was in your situation I would join the Army Reserve. See if you like the army. When fully trained go away if possible with the regular battalion your AR battalion is linked to. Regular battalions used to take AR soldiers for the six week exercises in Kenya if there are places available. They will also use AR soldiers to reinforce a regular unit if they are short of manpower.

Having a house at a young age is a good thing, you don't want to lose that. Also in the AR if you have familly committments, like weddings, wifes birthday etc, you just tell your AR unit "Sorry I can't make it this weekend". It doesn't work like that in the regulars.

If, after all this you think you would like all the f*ckwittery that you would be subjected to as an ordinary Tom, by all means join or transfer to the regulars, but 'Look before you leap'is a good motto.
In general, I'm of the opinion that you should never give up your dreams for anyone else. You'll probably regret it later if you do.

Is it a house you've bought, or rented? Do you have any kids together?


Book Reviewer
In my opinion you have to do what you like and if she is the right person she will support you and will always be with you.

And then you get married...

Actually that's a bit of a cheap shot. My OH burst into tears while we were watching the bit in 'We were soldiers' when the telegrams arrive. She explained to me what it was like to rush to the window whenever she heard a car that she didn't recognise while I was in Iraq in '03.

I had no idea then and I'm still not sure that I fully do now.

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