Dear dudes on military dating apps,

Dating is hard. We all get it. But there are some things you should know before you decide to try your luck in swipe city.

According to your bio, you’re all about God, guns, and country. Cool, cool, cool. Oh, and you’ve felt it important to list your MOS. This, in actuality, means absolutely nothing to just about everyone. Lastly, you top it off with a claim that you enjoy bourbon, and you’d love nothing more than to meet a girl who can pound Jim Beam like water during August in Alabama.

What this really tells me is that your hobbies include being in the military and possessing a profound lack of originality.

And then there are the pictures.

Would it kill you to ask a friend to take a decent photo instead of settling on a grainy selfie in a dimly lit barracks bathroom? You do have friends, right? Of course you do. They managed to capture the harrowing images of you in your field-op battle rattle glory — arms crossed, not smiling, sporting Oakleys in front of a dirty Humvee in an undisclosed base location. OPSEC, bro!

If a girl is lucky, you might have three other pictures in rotation. Traditionally, these include the car selfie, the gym pic, because your fitness needs a witness, and everyone’s favorite “I caught a fish” photo.

Is the combination of the latter two meant to prove you can be a strong, capable provider in the event of a zombie apocalypse? I know I don’t speak for all women, but is there a specific cultural significance to the act of visor-wearing, shirtless fishing? Did we regress, without anyone knowing, into a hunter-gatherer society?

And I hate to bring up stereotypes, but there’s one that really sticks out: The car.

I’m sure that Mustang, Charger, or Camaro you mention loving in your bio was really great when you bought it. After all, you spent every last dime on the down payment and financed it at 30-percent interest. It’s just not the best idea to advertise your terrible financial decisions before we even meet.

Others, meanwhile, have turned to dating apps after a divorce. Some have children, and that’s fine. Women, for the most part, don’t mind a guy who can commit.

Trashing your ex in your dating profile, however? How’s that working out for you?

Nothing says “I’ve moved on” quite like a photo of you and your ex with a Satan’s head emoji resting squarely over her face.

Also, do all of us a favor. Don’t say you’re looking for someone to be a mother to your children. Would you say that to stranger on the street? No? Then don’t put it in your bio.

This might all sound very cynical, and that’s because it is. Dating is a nightmare. Just ... do better.

Good luck,


If you have a military dating horror story you want to share, drop us a line to

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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