ANSBACH, Germany

Ansbach Soldiers and civilians met with a special guest, AmericaAca,!A,s real-life "Hitch," to learn the dynamics of military love rela-tionships and dating June 1-2, at Katter-bach Kaserne and Storck Barracks.

The star of the movie, "Hitch," was played by Will Smith, but the storyAca,!A,s character was based upon the life of Dave Coleman.

Known as "The Dating Doctor" in the United States, Coleman spoke with mili-tary spouses and single Soldiers about nur-turing military relationships, keeping a relationship strong, enduring long periods of separation, and being confident and complete as an individual.

"Military relationships are more difficult than most," said Coleman. "With deploy-ments to war zones becoming a near cer-tainty for servicemembers, the stakes for those who love them, date them and marry them are higher than ever."

Coleman, being an expert on long-distance relationships, discussed several topics, including separation issues, common spouse experiences, what every married person needs, keeping a marriage strong, the five stages of married life, dating after divorce and the physical passions of love.

"Being a primary source of your own en-tertainment, affirmation, and pleasure is one aspect of a common spouse experience after a loved one is deployed," he said.

Becoming a single super-parent and man-aging the sudden change are just a few challenges that spouses will endure, said Coleman.

Spouses must also consider the common conflicts of servicemembers returning home from deployment. Servicemembers may have guilt for coming home safe, they may miss their artificial military family, and experience frustrations returning to the civilian environment, he said.

"The five stages of a happy relationship touched me the most," said Spc. Virginia N. Clark, 412th Aviation Support Battalion. "I will definitely utilize the skills Mr. Coleman discussed to better my relation-ship."

Coleman also spoke to single Soldiers about improving morale, strengthening relationship skills, improving relationships, and helping them meet someone special.

"You will not find the right person until you become the right person," he said.

He spoke about making relationships mat-ter by realizing that happiness is an inside job and the importance of being true to who you are.

"When it comes to meeting new people, you have to be the fat penguin," said Cole-man. "ItAca,!A,s not about appearance, itAca,!A,s about attitude."

For those who are thinking of entering into a military love relationship, Coleman said to first become well-versed in military life and family life, be honest with each other and yourself for what might lie ahead, be sure you are strong enough to feel safe and secure alone, and commit to the other per-son with your whole heart, body and soul.

On keeping a marriage strong, he said communication is essential.

"Every married person needs something to love, something to hope for and something to do," said Coleman.

In conclusion, he invited everyone to take time to visit his website to learn more about dating and relationship issues at:

www.datingdoctor.com and

www.hand2handcontact.org.

Page last updated Fri June 12th, 2009 at 05:41