Why You Shouldn’t Date a Veteran

But If You Do, Here Are 7 Principles for Building a Relationship with Someone with PTSD

Matt Gangloff
5 min readNov 17, 2022
Photo by Tibor Pápai on Unsplash

Any time a friend tells me they’re dating a Veteran, I give them very simple advice: Don’t.

Why? Sky-high domestic violence rates. Alcoholism is rampant. Emotionally unavailable. Trouble forming healthy attachments…

I could go on.

The ugly truth is that many Veterans aren’t ready for relationships.

Why? Short answer: PTSD.

How to Tell If Someone with PTSD Is Ready for a Relationship

There’s a broader question here: should you date someone with unprocessed trauma? That’s a tricky question…

  • First, everyone has trauma, whether that’s from childhood, past relationships, or war.
  • Second, the impact of that trauma and how it manifests itself differs from person to person.
  • Third, it’s not like you’re either healed or not healed, you’re somewhere along a spectrum.

So, the blanket statement, “Don’t date someone with trauma,” is clearly insufficient.

But the fact remains, some people with PTSD aren’t ready to date. You have to find where…



Matt Gangloff

I teach the how-to’s of Post-Traumatic Growth: How to heal and grow, find a new mission, become your best self and build a meaningful life. www.mattgangloff.com