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I Spent A Month Looking For Love On Military Dating Sites
Everyone knows: Being single sucks sometimes. You know what’s worse than being single, though? Trying to find a relationship using dating sites. But if that wasn’t enough, there are also military dating sites. So I decided to try three of them for a month. Needless to say, I didn’t find love … just some lonely men who seem to have, as one guy put it, “been used, abused, and cheated on.”
In 2015, while I was single and living in Washington, D.C., I tried a few popular dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid, and Bumble. But I deleted them after about a week, because I could never bring myself to actually go on dates with anyone who swiped right. So I’m a total novice when it comes to dating online, really dating at all.
Recently though, I started to think about how hard relationships can be for service members and veterans. So naturally, I took to Google to see if there was an online service for military dating. While I found no mobile apps, there were three promising websites: MilitaryCupid.com, MilitarySingles.com, and UniformDating.com.
I registered for all three, and here is what I found.
After a few weeks of messaging locals and attempting to solicit dates in the Greater New York City area, I didn’t have much luck. In retrospect, the popularity of mobile apps most likely draws the use of eligible military bachelors, because unlike these sites, the interface is more friendly and the likelihood of meeting someone is much higher.
It’s also worth noting that on all three sites, there was really no way to create a geographical limit. A couple days into my quest for love, I was getting messages from some people who lived five miles away, and others who lived in Germany and Japan.
Those men who did reach out were often willing to share some fairly intimate personal details. In talking to them, I learned that a majority of the guys using the sites are in their late 30s, have a few kids, and are looking for a wife to settle down with. The exceptions are barely in their 20s and typically looking to interact on a free mobile messenger app called “Kik,” which allows users to chat without giving away their phone numbers, you know … so you can exchange things like pictures.
Overall, my experiences with the sites were varied, with one emerging as a clear winner. I attempted to reach out to the sites as well to see if they could offer insight into success stories or the number of users, but their representatives said they couldn’t disclose any data about their users.
Militarysingles.com wanted me to pay to see messages. Since I find the notion of paying for online dates a little too similar to paying for sex, I gave up on the site. In addition, it wouldn’t let me set my preference to men, so despite being straight, I kept getting notifications about women I might be interested in as well.
UniformDating.com, though free, was too complicated to use. I couldn’t tell the difference between live chats, messages, winks, likes, and whatever else was going on. The interface was so confusing that I couldn’t figure out if the messages were to me, or ones I had sent. After a week on this site with seemingly no coherent mail, I quit it too.
As a result, most of my interactions came from MilitaryCupid.com. The site looks like it was designed on Microsoft Word in 1997, but it’s simple to use, and it’s free. The registration process was thorough: Asking my preferences from eye color all the way to income. It even wanted to verify my photo by using my driver’s license.
Regardless of age though, none of them ever responded to my attempts to meet in person. We would have conversations about hobbies, school, the weather, and weekend plans, but no one wanted to exchange phone numbers, or set up a place to meet. Typically, if I asked for either a number or a real date, I was met with radio silence and never heard from the guy again.
Still, I held out hope, and then I tried my luck in Norfolk, Virginia, while visiting my parents over Labor Day weekend. Being the site of the world’s largest Navy base, I thought sheer numbers might result in an actual encounter.
My plan was foiled, however, when Hurricane Hermine struck the coast and left me stuck at home with my family, where we all got drunk and played a full game of Monopoly. I lost epically, in case you were wondering.
When I returned to New York, I realized that I wasn’t going to get anyone to meet up face-to-face on any of these sites. So instead, I began questioning all the people I was messaging about why they had turned to online dating. All in all, I probably spoke to about 25 different people.
What struck me most was that almost all of the men that really opened up to me had their hearts broken by their girlfriends, fiancees, and wives while they were deployed.
I realized how lonely they must be, and that this attempt to connect with people online was somewhat of a last resort for a lot of them ... minus the guys that were just looking for nude photos, of course.
What’s most disappointing, though, is that the sites proved really terrible places for making intimate connections.
After a month of mostly trivial conversations about the weather, what it’s like to live in New York, and if I would consider getting a Kik account, I can now say 100% that military dating sites suck. You’re better off trying your luck at a local bar, or just quitting the game altogether and signing up for Seamless and Netflix, because what’s better than ordering takeout and binge-watching “Stranger Things”?
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.