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Will my (23F) relationship survive RMAS and royal engineers?

HPpenguin

Swinger
I’m starting sandhurst September ‘21 (hopefully) but wondering how relationships tend to work? My boyfriend is supportive and we’ve been together 8 years and done long distance through uni but have just moved in together this year. We were planning on buying a house (he has a job in London, in defence sector) next year but I‘m not sure how much ill be away or traveling over the next few years and wanted general advice or other people’s experiences on if and how relationships last through training and the following years. I’m planning on joining Royal Engineers if that makes a difference to time away?
 
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Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I was in a relationship before RMAS that quickly went long distance once I was sent to my unit. That wasn't an issue, and nor were the multiple tours I've done since. The army lifestyle makes things harder but if you're with the right person then it shouldn't be a show-stopper.

It's worth being aware that postings in London are extremely rare, and generally very competitive. You should expect to weekly commute for most of your career.
 

964ST

Clanker
Think about yourself, you are about to embark on a career, if your partner cannot understand that or does not have trust and ability to deal with The situation then?
 
A long time ago it was said that, at the beginning of a course at RMAS, 80% were in relationships and 20% smoked. By the end the percentage was reversed. I'm sure its different today.
It will depend on you and your partner. You are entering a career which expects you to go where they tell you, and will also offer you lots of exciting opportunities. Your other half needs to accept that.
Good luck.
 
Good way to find out though is it not before tying ( in theory) The Dreaded Knot and kids come along.
If you 2 survive when it's easier to kick it into the long grass, it'll cement a long term relationship ( like mine of Never Served Civvy Scumbag of 44 years marriage...as of 3 days ago)
If not, the pair of you actually dodged an expensive bullet where only lawyers are happy.
Best to find out now than later on when it could come to toxic family splitting & division of wealth & goods.
Harsh...but Life. Look on it as a self-inflicted test of you both.
Absence can make the heart grow fonder, equally it can and does instil otherwise uncharacteristic behaviours...in both genders.
 
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You’ll be exhausted throughout RMAS.

Even on weekends you’ll be catching up on assignments, polishing boots and ironing. If you think you already know how to polish boots and iron clothes, believe me you don’t.

All this time your other half will not understand why he doesn’t have your immediate and undivided attention all week. If you’d lived together much longer you might have settled into a lower gear, more comfortable routine but there’s a significant risk that he won’t be too happy when all you want to do when you get back in a Friday is eat a takeaway and sleep. You might even fall asleep in your food.

I went through RMAS before the last ice age but at one part in my time there (on a course that no longer exists) we were not allowed to drive after a cadet had died in a car crash after (they think) he fell asleep at the wheel.

You’ll have increasingly less in common, as he won’t be able to relate to your growing collection of stories. He’ll be doing same old same old.

By the time you make it to the commissioning ball he will feel uncomfortable in his dinner jacket next to all your colleagues in their brand new mess uniforms.



Your RE officer training takes about a year or so. I was immediately sent to spend 3 months with a unit, followed by 8 months (then at Chatham, but now a mixture between Minley and Chatham). It’s not so intense as RMAS but it’s still only weekends together. Then I spent a month learning to drive armoured vehicles in Dorset. I was commuting back to see my then girlfriend in the Medway Towns every weekend.

Then it’s your first posting. As a brand new subaltern there are NO RE postings anywhere near London, unless you get one of the training regiment postings at Minley. AVOID AT THIS ALL COSTS is my advice*. So again it will be weekends only and that’s if you don’t pick up a construction tour to somewhere like the Falklands. As I did.

I lost one long term relationship whilst at RMAS** and another whilst I was in the FI**. No biggie in retrospect as we weren’t married and we didn’t have a house together. I lost another relationship (do you see a pattern forming here?) after six months in Bosnia. Again thankfully not married but we did have a house together then which was more complicated.

Your mileage may vary. BTW I found EOD to be the best job I did and I still work in that now as an ancient civvy. However you should be aware that it also means ‘Every One Divorced’.

To be fair, some people make it. But I think even they would agree it adds considerable additional strain.

And, given that this is ARRSE, it would be remiss of me not to point out there’s not an insignificant chance you’ll get home early one Friday and find him b***s deep in your best mate.

* it’s a shit job IMHO. Others may disagree.

** both did however generate some excellent ‘sex with the ex’ though when they heard I was warned off for Gulf War 1. :)
 
All this time your other half will not understand why he doesn’t have your immediate and undivided attention all week.

That would depend on the maturity and understanding of the OPs boyfriend, but its a fair generalisation and you are probably correct.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer

Chef

LE
Any physical parting of the ways tends to break most relationships, that may sound pessimistic but the two of you will be spending a lot of time apart doing entirely different things and being focused on different things as well.

You've been together since your early teens so that may be enough. But as has been said you'll have an entirely different set of events to talk about as and when you get together on leaves and the like.

Put it this way, most relationships don't survive one half going to university and that's a lot less demanding timewise than RMAS.

Good luck with both.
 

Truxx

LE
I arrived at Sandhurst in September 1976 complete with a newly formed relationship with a trainee nurse from Carlisle.

We are still together 44 years later.
 

HPpenguin

Swinger
All this time your other half will not understand why he doesn’t have your immediate and undivided attention all week. If you’d lived together much longer you might have settled into a lower gear, more comfortable routine but there’s a significant risk that he won’t be too happy when all you want to do when you get back in a Friday is eat a takeaway and sleep. You might even fall asleep in your food.
luckily we’ve done three years long distance out of the 8, so not having each others undivided attention shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but i think he’ll be used to me being around all the time now, especially during lockdown, that it’ll be a shock again
You’ll have increasingly less in common, as he won’t be able to relate to your growing collection of stories. He’ll be doing same old same old.
He did do UAS at uni and has friends in both army and raf, he wanted to join himself but didn’t because he waited too long to decide and apply. But i assume that’s the same for relationships that start when one persons already been in for a few years.

I guess I just need to make sure he’s prepared for the distance again and has enough other things going on in his life that keep him busy
 

HPpenguin

Swinger
I arrived at Sandhurst in September 1976 complete with a newly formed relationship with a trainee nurse from Carlisle.

We are still together 44 years later.
It’s great hearing about couples like this, I just wonder if the dynamic is different when its the guy not leaving? I hope not
 
luckily we’ve done three years long distance out of the 8, so not having each others undivided attention shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but i think he’ll be used to me being around all the time now, especially during lockdown, that it’ll be a shock again

He did do UAS at uni and has friends in both army and raf, he wanted to join himself but didn’t because he waited too long to decide and apply. But i assume that’s the same for relationships that start when one persons already been in for a few years.

I guess I just need to make sure he’s prepared for the distance again and has enough other things going on in his life that keep him busy

I sincerely wish you good luck. As you’ve heard from @Truxx (one of our more rational members) it can happen. Although we’re now agog to hear what happened to the rest of the busload.

Don’t talk about his RAF connections too much though. Tell people he used to play piano in a gay bar or something...it’s much less embarrassing :)
 
And, given that this is ARRSE, it would be remiss of me not to point out there’s not an insignificant chance you’ll get home early one Friday and find him b***s deep in your best mate.
Alternatively the young lady will find that the Royal Engineers is chock full of handsome, hunky, virile, super fit men some of them with wings and daggers on their shoulders. She will be in a sellers market.

When she goes home to her man he will be embarressed that he is a mere civy as she regales him with her awsome war stories, kicks his arrse and orders him to wash and iron her dirty laundry to be ready for Sunday evening while she goes on the lash with her mates.

After a few weeks of this he will realise that his only option is to join the French Foreign Legion after a bit of research on @Condottiere excellent thread on 2 REP.

This will be his only way to redeem himself in the ladies eyes. Also he could consider joining 2REG, the FFL Engineer Regiment which is part of 27 French Mountain Brigade.

Hope this helps.
 
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Alternatively the young lady will find that the Royal Engineers is chock full of handsome, hunky, virile, super fit men some of them with wings and daggers on their shoulders. She will be in a sellers market.

When she goes home to her man he will be embarressed that he is a mere civy as she regales him with her awsome war stories, kicks his arrse and orders him to wash and iron his dirty laundry to be ready for Sunday evening while she goes on the lash with her mates.

After a few weeks of this he will realise that his only option is to join the French Foreign Legion after a bit of research on @Condottiere excellent thread on 2 REP.

This will be his only way to redeem himself in the ladies eyes. Also he could consider joining 2REG, the FFL Engineer Regiment which is part of 27 French Mountain Brigade.

Hope this helps.

I didn’t think we needed to tell her how outstanding Sappers are, she’s already made an excellent choice :)
 

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