One of the hardest parts of deployment is feeling connected to loved ones, whether you’re the service member overseas or the one holding down the home front. The poor phone or Internet service, the time difference and the mismatched schedules can make communicating difficult and unfulfilling. Without regular and meaningful conversation, it’s easy to feel disconnected from your loved one. But there are ways to say “I love you”, to feel connected, even when it may seem impossible.
Each time my husband deploys, I find myself re-focusing on all the little things I love about him. Suddenly, I’m no longer annoyed that he can’t seem to find the dishwasher or hamper, but rather all gooey at the way he kisses me goodbye in the morning before heads off to work.
You may find that you’ve actually fallen MORE in love with your significant while they were gone. That’s the bright side of deployment that never seems to get enough credit: your relationship can be stronger at the end! So if you’re feeling all lovey dovey, how should you go about sharing it?
Of course, care packages are a natural fit for staying connected during deployment. Service members receive a regular taste of home and loved ones keep their service member in mind during day-to-day life. You think about your service member while grocery shopping because you need to pick up his favorite soap or snack bar. You think about your loved one when planning how to spend your weekend because you know you have to get her care package finished and in the mail. In short, you feel connected because you’re thinking about them.
But care packages don’t have to be the only way you say “I love you” during deployment! There are so many ways that both individuals can remind the other that they’re loved and cared for.
How to Say “I Love You” during Deployment
Keeping their Love Language front and center
Don’t forget that people like to be loved (and like to love) in different ways. Your loved one’s love language is important to know and you may want to adjust the way you express love during deployment accordingly. If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend both people read The 5 Love Languages: Military Edition prior to deployment to better understand how to love their partner appropriately during separation. This can also work for non-romantic relationships! Once you’ve done that, be sure to check out my care package ideas based on love languages.
I’ve talked before about how fun sending an electronic care package could be and one of the main reasons is because you can send fun videos! Think of these videos as the one-sided version of a Skype date: you can share about life at home, fun things that have happened or even compile a bunch of mini videos together.
This is a great way to express yourself if writing isn’t your best talent, but you want to send something a bit more thought out than a impromptu phone call.
The best part about this way to say “I love you”? A deployed service member can return the love and send videos back home! Imagine what a great surprise it would be to show a video from dad to a little one or get a random video message of love in your inbox.
Taking care of things
It kind of goes without saying that when your loved one is deployed, you’re forced to take care of a lot of things at home. Daily chores and tasks rest squarely on your shoulders and while adding one more thing to your overly full plate may seem impossible, it may be just the way to tell your service member that you love them. Getting their oil changed and car washed before they come home is a nice touch and one less thing they’ll need to figure out in those first few days.
Military service members can still help out with things at home, even when they’re far away. Making a car appointment, paying a bill and renewing subscription services can all be done online and can be a tiny relief for another person.
Don’t forget that if your loved one’s love language is “acts of service”, this is perfect!
Back in the days before FaceTime and instant messaging, military couples wrote letters when separated. By hand. In cursive. And then they mailed them.
I know. I’m shocked too. But at the same time, I’m a little sad that method of communication has gone by the wayside. Those couples made it through wars with postcards and letters filled with love. Stacks of them bundled in twine are hidden in drawers and memory boxes to be passed down to future generations.
So that’s why I will always advocate bringing back the lost of art of love letters.
You could certainly send these as emails, but consider hand-writing them and sending them via the mail. There’s something so much better about a tangible letter, especially if your loved one’s love language is physical touch. Adding a spritz of your perfume will help your loved one feel closer to you.
Service members: you can write love letters too! And you so should. Being left at home can be very isolating and a letter that says you’re loved and cared for and appreciated makes a world of difference.
Love Letter Starters
Not quite sure how to write a love letter? Remember that you can always write more than one draft so you’re happy with the finished product, but your loved one will more impressed with the sentiment you’re sharing than whether or not you remember to use a semicolon properly.
Also, feel free to try a few of these love letter starters to get your creative juices flowing:
- “I love you because…”
- “I love your…”
- “You make me feel loved when…”
- “It’s amazing the way that you…”
- “My favorite part of our relationship is…”
- “My favorite part of your body is…”
- “I fell in love with you because…”
- “I continue to fall in love with you because…”
- “I appreciate your…”
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.
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