Your boyfriend's military service may be one of the most attractive things about him. He is a real life hero, and you know that he is often in harm’s way. Knowing what to talk about with him can be the key to increasing intimacy in your relationship and holding on to him for the long term.
Conversations Worth Cherishing
In the article “Intimate Conversation -- The Three Skills” on the Gottman Institute website, intimate conversation is one of the keys to emotional connection. Whether your army boyfriend is residing near you or deployed, have conversations with him that delve deep into what is going on in your life. Luckily, there are ways to do this that require little more than practice and a willingness to be open.
Put Feelings into Words
Talk about your feelings, both positive and negative, in ways so he will understand your emotions and what is important to you. If you are worried about deployment, be specific about it, suggests the staff at Military OneSource in "Communicating as a Couple." It can be as simple as, “I am scared that you will be deployed.” Use this skill for positive feelings, too. Talk about his commitment to duty and courage. Tell him that you love his courage and the love he has for his country. Be sincere, and he will respond positively.
Ask Direct Questions
Ask targeted questions about his feelings, spiritual beliefs and changing perspective about life when he brings them up with you. If he talks about the risks he takes, ask him how they affect his feelings about your relationship. Discuss whether his feelings have any spiritual or emotional meaning for him. For example, the risks he takes may be related to a higher purpose he has for his life that he was unclear about before the army. You may have a similar perspective. Even if you do not, the conversation will enhance your understanding of each other.
Empathy is Key
Talk to him about wanting to be with him while being empathetic and authentic. If he opens up to you about the difficulties finding familiar food in a new country, you might want to say that you wish that you were able to send him his favorite pasta dish. If he had a negative interaction with his superior, ask him to describe the incident in detail. Conversations like these will lead to a deeper conversation about his commitments to the army and your feelings for each other. You will become closer as you explore those feelings.
Talk about the little things frequently as well, suggests Rebecca Marquis in "Ten Ways to Keep Intimacy Alive in Your Long-Distance Relationship” on YourTango. Tell him about the test you may are cramming for, the latest drama at school and the funny interaction you had with your father last night. They can be one-liners in an email even. Although they seem trivial, they build closeness. Even when you have to wait a long time before his response, he will be able to catch up with your life quickly.
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