Do you tell someone that you carry before going on a date with them? At what point in a relationship do you tell the person that you carry?
This definitely depends on the situation and the relationship. If you are meeting someone from the internet for the first time, it is probably best not to let that stranger know that you will have a gun on you. If you are working towards a long-term relationship with someone, they will eventually find out that you carry, so a serious conversation about the subject is probably needed at some point. The timing of that conversation is determined by you and the progress of your relationship. Every situation is different so this conversation will be unique to each individual relationship.
I will never forget my second date with my now fiancé. He put his arm around me and ended up feeling my gun. He seemed surprised and said "you actually carry? I thought you would just keep it in your purse or something." At that point, we both knew the other carried, but we never had an in-depth conversation about carrying. Soon after that night, we started talking more and more about guns and concealed carry. I made fun of him for using a cheap holster from Amazon, and he made fun of me for carrying a gun that only had a capacity of 6+1.
Not every "dating while carrying" story ends up the way mine did. Carrying can sometimes be a source of disagreement within some relationships.
Approaching the Topic of Concealed Carry with Your Significant Other
Often times, a guy will carry and his wife or girlfriend will either not approve, or approve but have no interest in carrying herself. If only one person in the relationship carries it is better than nobody carrying, but it creates a dependency on the person who does. Most couples are not together 24/7, so how does someone practice self-defense if they rely on someone else that they may not always be around? How will they defend themselves if they are alone?
We constantly hear the question "how can I get my wife/girlfriend to carry?" and the simple answer is that you can't. Carrying a gun is a big responsibility and convincing someone to take on a large responsibility that they may not want is a recipe for disaster. She has to want it on her own. She has to decide for herself. There is a lot of work that goes into carrying - research, training, mindset, and the inevitable large sum of money spent on guns, ammo, and a quality holster. If you are not 100% committed to the effort required to carry, you should not be carrying a gun.
The best way to get your significant other involved in the concealed carry lifestyle is to start with a simple conversation where you try to understand each other's point of view. Understand why he or she does not want to carry or is uncomfortable with carrying. Understand how they truly feel about carrying a gun. Tell them why you carry and why you believe it is important. You can't expect them to immediately want to carry, but you can help to open their mind to the possibility of carrying. Most of the time the desire for your partner to carry comes from a place of love and wanting to make sure they are safe. Remember that you cannot and should not force them into this big decision.
Concealed Carry Can be Different for Women
You must understand that if your significant other is a woman, carrying is often a different experience for her. Women are more likely than men to take into account considerations such as clothing style and body shape when planning out their concealed carry method. Here are a few tips to better support her in her decision to become self-reliant with her safety:
She Needs to Take the Lead
She needs to try out and find what works for her in terms of carry guns and holsters. By trying out different carry guns herself, she can find exactly what she likes and feels comfortable with on her own, without being pushed into an option that isn't the best fit. She also needs to decide on a holster that will work with her style and how she plans on concealing. The choice between an inside the waistband and an outside the waistband holster can definitely depend on personal preference and clothing style. Our Kompis holster is also a popular option among women due to its low profile and Ulticlip option, which allows it to work without a belt and give the user more freedom on what can be worn while carrying. If you pick a gun for her or push her towards a certain setup that she would not have picked on her own, it could be a major deterrent from her actually carrying it.
Formal training is a great tool to help anyone feel more comfortable handling firearms. Depending on the person, being the only woman in a class can be a little bit uncomfortable, making it more difficult to get the most out of the class. There are options out there for women-only classes. This is not the perfect option for everyone, but it can definitely be helpful for feeling as comfortable as possible when learning this new skill. Traditional classes are extremely valuable as well if that is something that is preferred in this scenario. It is all about finding a learning environment that offers the best fit for the student and there is definitely something out there for everyone.
Carrying can be extremely uncomfortable at first for anyone, regardless of gender. It can take a while for it to feel natural so it is important that this process isn't rushed. Not only is there a learning curve associated with physically carrying a gun, but there is also adjustment needed in regard to mentally preparing to carry a loaded gun everyday. A helpful form of preparation is practicing carrying and drawing from your holster at home. This can also assist with understanding how the holster and gun will work with certain outfits or clothing styles.
For more information on starting your journey in the concealed carry world, check out our article about the various steps to be taken.