The Best Advice for a West Point Girlfriend
I’ve said 1000 times probably that I won’t write another West Point post but here we are. It seems like I’m in the habit of writing one every year around this time when the new cadets are reporting to R-Day and starting their journey. I had a question pop up in an Instagram Q + A that I did about the best piece of advice I would give a West Point girlfriend. With a community of so many past, present, and former West Point girlfriends, I figured I would be doing anyone who happens to come across this post a disservice if I just included my answer.
If you have experience dating a West Point cadet and would like to include your advice, please leave it in the comment section or you can send me an email or DM me on Instagram! I would love to keep updating this post throughout the years.
The Best Advice for a West Point Girlfriend
My biggest piece of advice for a West Point girlfriend is to cherish the experience. West Point offers such a unique experience that so few people actually get to take part in and we spend a lot of time wishing for things to be over instead of soaking up the moments as they come. Try not to let negativity bring down your experience over the next four or five years because it will make those years seem twice as long. In reality though, four years seems like a really long time but in the grand scheme of things it’s really such a short chunk of time. Being able to go to such a historic location, frequent the Hudson Valley, and visit NYC are experiences that some people never get to have. Not to mention the class events!
My second biggest piece of advice is to focus on communication. Communicating effectively is something you need to have for any successful relationship. There are a lot of unknowns, a lot of expectations, and a lot of things you’ll need to work out with your significant other thought their West Point career and potential future Army career so starting to strengthen those communication skills is key! You’ll also need great communication skills to stay connected with family and friends in the future as you embark on your Army journey so make it a priority now!
You can read more of my West Point girlfriend advice here:
Also check out the West Point tag for more West Point girlfriend related posts!
Sydney ( @sydneylouisebishop) says:
My advice would be to not have any expectations about how life will play out, in the army and outside as well. My husband was a major planner, and had mapped out his whole career. He then wound up not commissioning due to medical injuries, which was super painful for him. We found out literally days before graduation. It was a huge lesson learned that you can’t plan it all because life will throw you curve balls that don’t always make sense. This piece of advice is also applicable to everyday West Point dating life because… West Point! Also happy to chat with anyone who’s s.o. didn’t/won’t commission. We aren’t “army family” anymore to most people so we know how that feels and I am always happy to chat. Losing that community was tough for sure. However, everything happens for a reason, so just keep your heads up WP GFs!
Jill (@jillbernsteinn) says:
Run while they can! Hahaha totally kidding. My biggest piece of advice would have to be no too hold back how you are truly feeling just because you don’t want to add to your boyfriend or girlfriends stress level. Your feelings are really important and if you don’t express them you will just end up expressing everything at once. And that could potentially end in a huge fight, which will definitely stress them and you out a lot more!
Katelin (@katehudson_official) says:
Although it seems like it totally stinks, take it all in. It is easy for us to just wish that time would go faster (guilty as charged). When you find yourself throwing a pity party try to take in the exciting moments of finally seeing each other for a class event, frolicking around the Hudson River Valley and/or NYC together. Take in the time you currently have with family and friends since you will likely move away to embark on an exciting new Army life. Cherish and nurture the friendships made during your cadet’s time at West Point (you could end up being neighbors!). There are lots of things to complain about during West Point, but getting in the habit of seeking the positives in all the negatives will make you a lot happier and prepare you well for the big Army!
Communicate your expectations. Your expectations can be skewed. What is required of them and what they have to give after long hours in a day are key factors in the relationship. If you have certain expectations they physically or emotionally cannot give, you will feel disheartened and crushed. If you face the reality of what it is to date an officer in training your expectations will not be let down. That isn’t to say you should lower your standards, but if you can openly communicate about what your girlfriend/boyfriend can give you, you won’t feel let down when the phone calls aren’t frequent, or the visits are sporadic, etc. The other piece of advice is knowing that the relationship will not be easy. Long distance is difficult for even the strongest relationships. Even if you go on to marry your significant other understand that these challenges you face as a cadet dating couple will help you get through the years in the real Army.
Marissa (@marissa.eleanor) says:
Do NOT compare the amount of letters you get/phone calls you have/ “date nights” each month/ how many visits you get to other girls. As someone who was kind of lacking in all these areas, it really took a toll on me the first year! I constantly felt jealous, neglected and ignored when in reality, our communication perfect for our relationship. I only received 3 letters from my fiancé at BEAST, my phone calls were about 30 seconds a piece. We’d shoot to talk on the phone or have a “date night” once a week but sometimes it’s every other week. As long as you communicate your expectations and talk to each other, that’s all that matters. You might not see him as often as other girls, or know all the inside details of what’s going on in his day-to-day but that does not mean your relationship is less than anyone else’s. Be confident!
Treasure the good days, remember the nights laughing on face time, enjoy the class events, and don’t be afraid to get creative with date nights! Those are the memories that make the hard days easier. There will be days you want to cry and days you question if it’s all worth it. But just remember the other person that’s in it all with you and you can make it work together. Also don’t be afraid to reach out and build a network of other WP girlfriends/wives. I was terrified at first but those are the girls that understand the Army life and what you’re going through. Whether it’s on person you vent to every week, or other girls’ Instagram stories you find yourself going “SAME!”, just reach out. More than likely they’re eager to have someone else to share in the experience with and it’s so nice to have friends that understand when your SO is in the field and can’t talk or it’s just been a rough week with schedules and life.