My boyfriend Connor is in the US Air Force and is currently deployed. Before we met, I literally did not know anything about how the military worked or what military life was like. (Dear John definitely did not prepare me for this!) I never thought I would be in a long distance relationship or that I would ever experience dating someone in the military. But I met “the one” and here we are!
I am NOT AN EXPERT but I’ve definitely learned a lot through this deployment. My biggest concerns going into this deployment were keeping my relationship strong, making time go by quickly, and figuring out WHAT THE HECK to send him. I thought I should write a post for other girlfriends/spouses out there who are new to the military life and might be a little intimidated by the whole thing.
Care Package Ideas
Items To Make Them Feel Pampered — MEN’S SKINCARE
As you probably know, I am skincare obsessed, so naturally the first things on my list are skin and body products. Since Connor spends a lot of time in the sun over there, its really important that he keeps up with a good regimen. Luckily he’s almost as obsessed with skincare as me!
Here are some good products for guys:
- Anthony creates skincare products geared toward men (So they will hopefully stop using Head & Shoulders on their entire body). Here are a few high-performance products that will take their skincare to the next level and keep him looking young:
- MAKE SURE that he has a moisturizer with SPF. Most guys are the worst at wearing sunscreen but this is the most important thing they need to be doing for their skin!
Ways To Keep The Connection
- Go Old School. Print out hard copies of photos and send a few each month. Holding an old photo in your hand (rather than just seeing it on your phone) brings the memories rushing back. It’s so important to hold onto all the good times you have shared together and remind yourself “This is why I do it” … “This is all worth it”
- Print yourself copies too! It is just as important for you to be reminded of the good times as it is for him.
- You can also take recent photos of yourself to print out and surprise him with!
- Before Connor left, I gave him a small photo album with a few pictures in it. Over time I slowly send him more photos to add to it.
- Make videos of your memories. Even if your not that tech savvy, you can use a free editing app to put video clips and photos to music. This can be SUPER CHEESY, but I love cheese. I made him a series of three videos, put them on a flash drive, and snuck it into his bag before he left. You can also just send it to him later.
- These little movies are seriously my favorite. I love to watch them especially after we have had a hard week, or have a fight, to remind myself of how strong our relationship is. It’s hard to “make up” after an argument when you’re long distance so these videos help to heal the heart and move on.
- I never planned on releasing this but here is a little clip of something I made for Connor:
- Hand written letters. Everyone loves a nice good morning text but hand written letters are on a whole other level! I write Connor a note or a card and put it in every package. (Except once when I forgot and I received an angry phone call about it… oops!) But that just goes to show how much he loves getting my letters. The other cool part is that you can save them forever!
- Ps. I guess I learned one thing from watching Dear John but don’t remind Connor because apparently its “very unrealistic” lol
The Rest Of The Goods
Obviously they can’t buy all their favorite food over there so add their favorite candies, snacks, or whatever else you know they like!
- Connor loves adding Mio Flavor to his water. They have some with added caffeine so its a little bit healthier than the energy drinks he loves.
A few other gifts ideas:
- Sunglasses that fit the dress code. I sent Connor some plain black sunglasses that were polarized but not too fancy so he could wear them to work every day.
- Hydroflask for hot drinks. Connor grabs coffee in the mornings but it either spills everywhere or gets cold before he has a chance to finish it. I sent him a Hydroflask coffee mug and he loves it!
- Workout clothes never fail. Connor is basically always wearing either his uniform or workout clothes on his deployment. After a while of being deployed the same few outfits can get boring (at least it would if it was me lol). I’ve sent him a new sweatshirt, Nike sweats, and some tee shirts!
Getting Through It
We have been SO blessed because Connor is in a place with decent wifi so we are able to FaceTime daily. I can’t imagine what it is like for couples that don’t get the luxury of frequent communication. Whatever situation you are in, remember that its about quality time over the quantity. We spend a lot of time talking & dreaming about the future and making plans for when he gets home, it has made the time go by a lot faster!
I was pretty scared when I had to say “see ya later” about 6 months ago. It hasn’t been easy… but putting in the effort to keep our relationship strong has made it a lot more do-able than I thought! I hope this post was comforting to you if you are a newbie dating someone in the military. If you’re already an expert then I hope this post didn’t sound dumb haha!
Stay tuned for more of The Adventures Of C & C when Connor returns… next month!!!