Dating a veteran can be either very difficult or quite simple, depending upon the couple's compatibility and how affected the veteran has been by his or her military experience. Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder face additional challenges in relationships. If the couple is well-suited to each other, understanding and communication can overcome most of the possible difficulty of dating a veteran.
Dating a Military Veteran
Talk about his service and his status as a veteran. This isn't a first-date conversation, but you should discuss your date's time in the military before the relationship becomes serious. Be aware that not all veterans will want to open up about their experiences right away.
Ask if there is anything you can do to be more considerate of your date's needs in light of her past service. Don't pressure her, but do give her an opportunity to share her feelings with you and enlist you as an ally in dealing with the challenges of life as a veteran.
Understand the importance of his relationships with his military friends. Many veterans stay friends with the people they served with for the rest of their lives. If he drops everything to help a military buddy in need, don't take it personally; understand that these are friends who were once expected to be willing to die for one another.
Treat your date as you would treat any other person you care about, regardless of any physical or mental impairments sustained due to her service. If your date has a disability, assume that she understands her own needs better than you do. Allow her to tell you how she'd like to be treated, rather than offering unwanted help that may seem patronizing.
Honor his commitment to his country by getting involved in veterans' organizations and volunteer work together. Many veterans remain very patriotic and feel that community service and political activism are important duties for all citizens.