Finding Friends When You’re a Military Spouse

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Moving is hard. Dealing with the constant change of plans is hard. And frankly, being a military spouse is hard. You can be the most confident person on the outside, but as a military spouse, sometimes the wear and tear of life can get to you. And when you’re uprooted from your life, family, and friends, finding a new everything is much easier said than done.

I’m going on seven years of being a military spouse (and a decade of being immersed in the military lifestyle), and instead of becoming more confident with each PCS or deployment, self doubt often funnels its way into my life. I’m not going to lie to you: finding friends when you’re a military spouse is much easier said than done…even if you’re an extrovert and somewhat seasoned spouse.

We’re just over the six-month mark for living in San Diego, and I’m still searching for my people here. But “make new friends,” is currently a top priority for me, so I know I need to take matters into my own hands to make this happen. Friends aren’t going to just show up on my doorstep.

There’s no way to faster burst my confidence bubble than realizing I don’t have that BFF to call after a really hard day. Yes, I have my husband, but a girl needs some girlfriends, you know?

However, even if you can’t put someone down on a local emergency contact list, chances are you have friends around the world. Stick with them. Call them, message them, send them letters, and stay in touch. Just don’t let them get away. They get you and will help remind you that you will, in time, find friends at your new place.

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Suck it Up, Buttercup.

I’ll just get right to the point: some days this lifestyle stinks. It stinks like old diapers and rotten fish, and you don’t know if you’re ever going to smell flowers again. In other words, you have no idea if you’re ever going to find your people. But if there’s one thing military spouses know, it’s how to suck it up and figure out a way to make things happen. We’re resilient. We’re strong (even in our hard, low, dark days), and we know how to make some delicious lemonade out of lemons.

You may be lucky and find your person on your very first outing, or it may take you weeks, months, and possibly well into a year or so before you feel that connection with someone. Just know that in time, you will find friends again. (And yes, I’m totally speaking to myself here, too.)

Get Involved.

Does your husband’s squadron/brigade/battalion have a spouses club? Join it. But even more than that: actually get involved. Go to the meetings, respond to emails, and if they have events, go to them! You can’t meet your new crew if you’re sitting at home wallowing.

If there isn’t a spouses group for the immediate group where your military spouse works, then look into joining the officer or enlisted club at your base. It’s bigger, yes, but they typically have monthly meetups and plenty of events. And just remember: everyone was new and at their first meeting at one point. You’re not going to be the first person who’s looking to meet friends.

Search on Facebook.

You’re on there for hours a day anyway, so make Facebook work for you. Hop on the spouses page for the base, scroll through it, and see if anyone’s mentioned any meetups. See if anyone’s posted something you’re interested in and comment back or send them a message. If it’s crickets in the group, make your own post, and plan your own meet up. Start with doing something on base (lunch at a park or even the food court, going to the gym together, taking Fido to the dog park, etc.), and then branch out from there.

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Meet Some Moms.

True story: When we were at our very first base I started hanging out with mom groups well before I even thought about having kids. I found a group of women my age, and it just so happened that they had kids. Of course, I asked before I started hanging out with them if it was okay (I didn’t want to be that creepy lady), but we grew close, and I loved that they welcomed my childless self into their group. Of course, if you’re already a mom, this is a no brainer, but if you’re not a mom and just itching to meet some friends…seek out some moms in your area and befriend them.

If you are a mom and need some friends, here are some ideas for places to get out of the house and start meeting some other women with kids: MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), Mom’s Club, story time at libraries, playgrounds, baby wearing/cloth-diapering groups, church, school pickup/drop off, etc.

Start Your Own Group.

If you can’t find a spouses group or a group in general to meet your needs, how about starting your own group? Hop on to Meetup.com and create a book club, or if you like to sew/knit/crochet/do crossword puzzles, or just sit around and eat ice cream (while watching TGIT, of course) while your husband is deployed, start a group so you don’t have to do it alone! Love to travel and explore? Create a Ladies who Lunch group, and try out new places…or make it kid friendly with a standing invite to Chick-Fil-A. If you start hanging out with like-minded women, you’re almost sure to make friends.

If you’re in a friendless season, keep your chin up, and keep trucking along. Friends are out there, it just takes some time to find them.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of MSB New Media & Unilever. The opinions and text are all mine.

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of MSB New Media & Unilever. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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