Dating is challenging for many reasons, and it can be especially complicated if you’re in the military. Folks in the armed forces don’t have much control over where they live and work, with deployments that can come up with little notice. In addition, military members tend to have a very different lifestyle compared to their civilian counterparts and often deal with unique stresses and job requirements.

Military dating apps and sites can help armed forces personnel connect with potential partners for love, sex, casual dating, or just friendship. These dating platforms help singles in the military find understanding partners, anywhere around the world. 

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★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Match is the world’s longest running dating site
  • The Discover section has search filters by interests, looks, lifestyle, and more
  • Match is available in 50 countries and 15 languages

Match is a popular dating site for a lot of singles, and while it’s not a dedicated military dating site, plenty of service members turn to the platform to find love. Part of the reason is that Match is popular around the world, with 15 million monthly users across 50 countries. This makes it a lot easier to find a connection wherever you happen to be. Another reason is that Match makes it easy to browse for a potential partner with a similar lifestyle and expectations. Its search filters also include interests, lifestyle, and religion. 

Best of all, you can use the core features of Match without ever paying any fees. Registration, browsing, and other tools on the site and its dedicated dating app are available to all members. You can even send and receive messages from your Top Picks for free. If you want more flexibility to message anyone on the platform, however, you’ll need to become a paid member.

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★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • Over 2 million people have found love here
  • Users can filter their match recommendations by age or city
  • Compatibility Quiz identifies common interests, lifestyles, and goals

There are plenty of jokes about members of the armed forces being eager to get married, so it’s easy to see why eharmony is a popular choice for service members looking for long-term love. The platform focuses on compatibility and matches each user based on lifestyle preferences and the results of an in-depth personality test. For servicemen and women looking for true love, eharmony’s approach makes a lot of sense, because the platform is all about ensuring that expectations line up. 

Although communication options for basic members are limited, you can still take Icebreaker quizzes, send other users a like, and you may qualify for a free communication period with your most compatible matches. Otherwise, consider paying for the premium membership for unlimited messaging and other communications tools.

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★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • Over 2 million monthly users
  • Premium members receive 20 wildcard matches a day
  • Search features include age, height, education, ethnicity, and lifestyle habits

Elite Singles may not focus on service members, but the dating site is still a valuable tool for single military personnel looking for love — especially if you’ve taken advantage of your education benefits. The platform caters to high-value singles, which is why more than 80% of its members hold at least a Bachelor’s degree. As a service member, you can find the right person based not just on personality compatibility, but also career goals. Ambitious singles are the rule rather than the exception on this platform. 

Elite Singles suggests several matches each day based on your criteria and the results of your personality test. If you want to take your dating life into your own hands, you can also browse the “Have You Met” section to look at potential partners the algorithm identifies as close, but not perfect, matches. Basic membership is free, and you can access many tools and features on the platform without paying any fees. But you’ll need a premium subscription to send and receive messages on Elite Singles.

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★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • Discreetly arranges one-night stands and extramarital affairs
  • More than 80 million profiles worldwide
  • Travel-friendly features for seeking matches in other cities

In addition to jokes about the rush to get married, many military service members joke about infidelity in the ranks, which can have disastrous career implications but is still fairly common. Ashley Madison caters to discreet daters, encouraging users with the tagline, “Life is short; have an affair.” Not everyone on the platform is married, however. A lot of single daters like Ashley Madison because it helps them keep their love lives private, which can be especially important for military singles.

Privacy tools like photo blurring, anonymization, and browser history clearing make it easier to stay under the radar while you look for a relationship — whether you’re married or single. Ashley Madison even provides a panic button, which instantly navigates away from the dating site in case someone walks into the room with you. Keep in mind that Ashley Madison can be a costly option, especially for a military man (women use the site for free). Instead of a monthly membership fee, you’ll have to buy credits to gain access to the full features of the site and app.

5. Military Cupid

Military Cupid doesn’t have a very large user base, but the niche dating site caters to service members and the civilians who love them. Around 1 million members worldwide use the platform, which launched as part of the Cupid Media network in 2006. Although the platform isn’t as popular as more mainstream dating services, many civilians and military singles find that the quality of matches can make a big difference. After all, everyone on the site knows what they’re looking for, and what to expect.

Screenshot from Military Cupid website
Military Cupid has approximately 1 million members and serves daters around the world.

Military Cupid is free to join, and you can browse profiles across the entire Cupid Media network with your membership. Once it comes time to make contact, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium tier. Military Cupid premium members can send and receive unlimited messages and also have access to other perks, including better visibility in search results.

6. Military Friends Date

As part of the Friends Date Network, Military Friends Date functions as a social space and a matchmaking service. The mobile-friendly dating site takes a broader approach than just suggesting matches and encouraging users to message each other directly. Chat rooms and groups can help service members connect with people who share their experiences and preferences, whether they’re in the Navy, Marines, Air Force, or Coast Guard. 

Screenshot from Military Friends Date website
Military Friends Date is a niche site where service members can connect for free.

Military Friends Date is the most popular niche dating site for members of the military and civilians who want to date service members, in no small part because it’s 100% free. The downside is that the platform keeps things free through advertisements, so you’ll encounter a lot of clutter while you chat and try to find a partner. 

7. Uniform Dating

Many singles love a man or woman in uniform, and Uniform Dating wants to help them connect. Although the site serves a variety of uniformed professions (inviting doctors, firefighters, and nurses alongside service members), anyone in the armed forces will find a warm welcome on the platform. 

Screenshot from Uniform Dating
Service members, doctors, firefighters, and other professionals can use Uniform Dating.

With the tagline “Everyone Needs a Hero,” Uniform Dating is a great place for singles who are dedicated to service to find love with understanding partners. The platform keeps things simple, and even provides pre-written icebreakers to help busy singles get conversations started. The platform even offers advice and counsel for dating people who wear various uniforms, so you and your potential partner can work out any issues that come up.

FAQs: Where Can I Meet a Military Pen Pal?

If you want to forge a friendly connection with a member of the military, there are a few options to choose from. Military personnel often struggle with loneliness, and several organizations seek to help by encouraging civilians to reach out by mail.

Forces Penpals logo

Forces Penpals offers more than addresses to write to. It is a full-service platform to reach out and connect with current and retired military personnel. The site offers free chat rooms, forums, and instant messaging tools to connect with military personnel online. It also offers resources for sending old-fashioned mail and care packages. 

Veterans programs and active duty support groups also promote many other organizations. You can choose the initiative that makes the most sense for your level of commitment and interest, whether you want to send care packages or make sure a lonely soldier overseas gets some mail to fend off the loneliness of deployment.

Is Online Dating Safe for Military Personnel?

Online dating is as safe for military personnel as it is for just about anyone else, but keep a few things in mind. For one, a common tactic that romance scammers use is to scrape random pictures of armed forces personnel to provide a ready-made cover story that discourages questions from their victims. To avoid unwillingly being part of the problem, try to avoid making photos of yourself in uniform readily available for scammers to steal.

Security is another aspect you’ll need to worry about that other online daters don’t have to. Remember your training in regard to sensitive information, and don’t rush the relationship process. 

What Should Civilians Know About Dating Service Members?

Military life is very different from civilian life, and military service is much more than just a job. Members of the military often have little to no control over where they’re assigned to live and work, and they have to be ready to move on very short notice.

Photo of service member holding hands with a date
Civilians who want to date service members should understand the rigors of military duty.

Another thing to understand before you get into a relationship with a military man or woman is that PTSD is, unfortunately, common, even among those who aren’t deployed in war zones. 

Due to the rigors of training and military expectations, your armed forces partner may have very strict ideas about discipline and household management, and you’ll probably need to be more willing to compromise on those points than with a civilian partner. You should also be aware of red flags of intimate partner violence because the combination of PTSD and other factors can contribute to an increased risk.

Join Up With Online Dating to Meet Potential Matches

For a lonely soldier looking for love, or a man or woman who loves the idea of a romantic partner in uniform, military dating sites and apps are valuable tools for connecting. These platforms make it easy to make matches, with the right features and tools to narrow your search. 

Get online and connect with people around the world, no matter where you’re deployed!

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