National Service (NS) is something that most able-bodied Singaporean male has to go through. It’s a time when boys are challenged and molded into men. It’s also a time when relationships are tested. I’ve heard of girls leaving their boyfriends because the poor boy doesn’t have enough time for dates or that they don’t have enough money to spend on their girlfriends. I don’t understand that but then, my experiences with having a relationship while the boy is in NS, is slightly different.

During the first year of my then-boyfriend’s NS stint, I was doing my degree in Australia. We had weekly phone calls and text messages. Since he was an army clerk, he got to go home everyday, so we had a few IM chats as well.

The second year of his NS stint, I was back and I’d started working. We had dates on the weekend and some times on the week days. It was nice, except for the part where he complains about the NS stuff. I didn’t understand why he was so pissed off at doing NS but since I wasn’t the one in his shoes, I just kept my mouth shut.

Because the then-boyfriend hate NS, I thought that all men had the same thought. Until I met Dude. Dude enjoyed his NS. He had fun and didn’t regret any part of it. It was refreshing to hear someone who said that it was his duty to serve the country, instead of how much he hated NS and wished that the government would abolish it.

Dude also introduced to me the ‘reservist widow’ experience. I’ve never had to go through that before as the then-boyfriend’s Pass E ensured that he didn’t have to do reservist at all. The two weeks that Dude was away for reservist felt like the longest 2 weeks in my life. I can understand why some of the ladies lament their men’s absence during their reservist. As much as I hate it that he’s away for reservist, it’s only for a week or two. Besides, it’s his duty. I’m just glad that it’s once a year.

That’s just my experiences with NS and reservist. What are yours?

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