Making new friends can be extremely difficult, but it feels even harder when you’re a military spouse. We all know that scheduling anything is pretty impossible. Planning to make new friends while your husband is busy with duty or working is tough to match up with another SO’s husbands schedule. As military spouses we tend to drop everything when we know that we will have a moment to spend with our spouses. I know for a fact that when my husband has time to spend with me, I fall off the face of the earth and pretty much go into hiding until he has to go back to work.
In my experiences, here’s a few tips I have picked up on trying to make new friends.
1) Get out of your comfort zone and take a risk!
If you are normally a “keep to yourself” kind of person, it’s going to be hard for you to actually get out there to meet new people. Try signing up for community projects, volunteering, join a club, attend the FRG meetings and see if there’s anything you can get involved in on base.
2) Strike out social media!
Of course, use social media to find people that you think you could be friends with and find some common interests, but MEET UP! It’s extremely hard to fully “connect” with another person on social media. Schedule a lunch date and order yourself a glass of wine (hey, or a water with lemon) and relax. The most important thing that you have in common is that you are both military spouses and can relate to the lifestyle. That common thread will lead you into finding out more about each other and hopefully, you’ll mesh well.
3) Develop a routine.
Do you like to workout? Are you interested in getting healthy? Most military bases have a gym where you can workout. If you develop a routine, you will most likely see regulars there too, strike up a conversation. Who knows, you might just become friends! I would invite people to join me on my 5k runs, craft shows I wanted to go to and would meet up there for the first time. I’ve met some really incredible people that way. Also made a few life-long friends out of it!
4) Don’t be afraid to drop toxic friends.
Most importantly, you don’t have to like everyone. Find friends that you can get along with and have fun being around. I found that it’s tough because I always end up being friends with my husbands friends wives and in all honesty, I don’t like some of them. It’s good to be social at group gatherings, like cookouts your husband is invited to, but you don’t to socialize with them outside of those settings. I’ve been there and have gotten burned a few times by it. Don’t be afraid to drop those “friends” and forge your own path.
I hope these pointers have helped you as they have helped me. I have struggled with making some true military SO friends. Regardless of making any friends or not, getting out has helped me become happier! Having at least one good friend during a deployment can either make it a great one or a bad one.