Veterans who have seen dangerous combat zones often suffer from a psychological condition known as Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. The most common symptoms of PTSD include reliving the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, emotional detachment, sleep abnormalities like insomnia, avoidance of reminders and extreme distress when coming across such reminders of the incident. Thus you need to be understanding when you see your partner exhibiting nervousness, irritability, antsy movements or erratic behavior on a date. Don’t make too much of it but at the same time don’t criticize him/her for being unable to come to terms with the past event. Learn to empathize with your partner and gently try to divert his/her attention on to something else. As far as possible avoid behavioral and verbal cues which trigger off remembrance of traumatic experience in your partner. One of the most common characteristics of a person with PTSD is a state of hyperarousal as a result of which he/she seems jumpy or easily startled, for apparently no reason. Thus while planning your dates it would be a good idea to choose places with soothing and pleasant environments instead of those which have an excess of stimuli or which may remind him/her of the unhappy incident. In the end though, keep in mind that no matter what your date’s psychological condition, there is no excuse to abuse you physically or emotionally in a relationship. Don’t allow your date to hurt you and use a service-related disability as a justification for ill-treatment.

Dating a veteran can be a highly satisfying experience, provided you are aware of the challenges. A respect for men and women in uniform and appreciation for a life with values rather than material indulgences is essential if you wish to get along with your veteran partner.

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