Maintaining a relationship while serving NS

3 myths about having a relationship while serving NS

Going through NS myself, I’ve heard many stories about how a guy falls out of love due to his commitment to national service. There are cases where it turns out to be good, where the guy strives for his best and focuses on sharing his love with his brothers around. There is also the flip side where the poor fella emo (becomes emotional) for a few days and starts doing silly stuff. The top few worries that an attached enlistee will have is definitely his relationship.

“Are things going to end up like what many say it will be?”

“Will our relationship be able to withstand the tests?”

“We can only meet 1 -2 days per week now, can we make it?”

The challenge is real but not everything that has been heard holds true. Here are 3 common thinking that I believe to be true only to a certain extent based on my own experience.

Untrue Fact #1: The Vicious Love Cycle of Singapore

Introducing the 4 stage cycle…

Stage 1: Happy Couple, Happy Life. Couple meet up every day, sleep, eat, play, repeat and live the happiest moment of their lives.

Stage 2: One fine day, guy heads off to serve the nation, shaves botak (bald headed) and gets confined in camp. Girl moves on with live and enters University.

Stage 3: Guy can’t be there for girl when she needs him and girl doesn’t understand national service, therefore doesn’t understand what the guy is going through. Girl meets the most mature, rich, independent, fun, humorous “Guy2” in university. Best of all, HE UNDERSTANDS HER! Girl feels that she needs someone like “Guy2”. Emo guy serving the nation falls out of love. =(

Stage 4: After 2 years…. Guy gets out of army and goes to university. Now he gets to prey on girlfriend of other emo guy in Army.

If you ask me if there is such a thing going on, I would say YES! Is it causing true loving couples to break up? NO! Guys out there, if your girl ditches you for another guy in the toughest time of your life (at the young age of 16-21), it may just be a blessing in disguise! Because what she is looking for is merely companionship at different stages of her life and not true love. This means you are easily replaceable. If she is willing to let you go for various reasons when you are away in the army, there is no way you can be sure that you two can stay together in future.

I am not saying anyone is at fault here; it is just that you two are probably not for one another.


This is the most common argument I have seen around forums: “I am inside, she is outside. It all depends on her if she wants to leave me or not. There is NOTHING that I can do.”

While it is true that a lot of understanding is to be required from the lady, it is also equally important to understand how tough it is for our lady due to our absence. Establish communication and let each one know what is going on with the other’s life.

Although what we can do is very limited, showing your partner that you are doing your best to stay connected is very important. Action in this case, definitely speaks louder than words; dropping text at random free times during the day, making quick calls whenever possible and giving her reminders that you are still there for her.

For most cases, it is precisely because nothing is done, things are fading away. If a normal relationship requires constant effort to be maintained, it definitely requires even more effort to maintain a relationship when you are in the army. This leads me to my next point, effort and priority.

Untrue Fact #3: There is no time for a relationship in army

7 days a week, 1 ½ day left taking away 5-day work and booking in on Sunday evening. “Considering occasional duty that I have to do, commitment towards friends and family, there is literally no time left for a relationship. EVEN if there is time left, I will be way too tired…”

Sounds true? Definitely true. Is there then no time for a relationship?

When we say “no time” to something, what we are really saying is that something is not our priority. When we are too tired to do something, we are either REALLY, REALLY, REALLYYYYYY shagged out or we are not so motivated to get something done; probably because it is not that important.

There will definitely be trade-offs along the way if we want to hold on to this relationship, after all there is only 24 hours in a day. The choice is yours!

What’s more, time deprivation situation usually occurs only when the soldiers are on course. On a general day to day basis when enlistees get posted to their units, they tend to receive more nights out and free time during the day. This means more free play for individuals to manage their time.

I am not trying to be a love guru here, just sharing my 2 cents worth of thought and experience; I have done it and have seen others do it. Just don’t let all these untrue ideas become an excuse for a lousily managed relationship. No one said that maintaining a relationship in NS is going to be easy but it definitely can be done with effort from both sides. I found this quote online from an unknown source “National service is like wind to the fire of relationship, it extinguishes the weak but enkindles the great.”

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