“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.” — Irish Proverb
One of the best things you can do in your military life is to find friends to walk through this journey with. Friends who understand deployments and what going through a PCS every few years is really like, and friends who you can make memories with during the years you are a military spouse.
Military friendships are so meaningful and are very much needed. But, sometimes, making friends isn’t so easy. Sometimes you can feel like you are being friendly and can’t seem to click with anyone.
So what should you do? What can you do when you can’t make friends at your duty station?
Are you putting yourself out there on a regular basis?
If you are struggling to make friends at your new duty station, how often are you putting yourself out there? Did you only go to one FRG meeting and decide you can’t make friends there? Are you looking for fun things to do at your duty station? Put yourself out there as often as you can.
Sign up for that book club, join that yoga class, or start going to MOPS. The more places you go, the more people you will meet, and the higher the chances that you will start making friends.
If you have kids, you will have so many chances to make new friends. If you signed your child up for soccer, see if there are any other moms to talk with. Take your kids to a lot of places on a regular basis.
Is there a playgroup near where you live? If so, go. And not just once. Keep going. Even if you don’t meet anyone right away, your kids can have fun, meet new people and that can help with friendships for you.
Even if you don’t make friends right away with this method, as long as your kid is having a good time, keep going back. If you go to the same place many times in a row, people will start to recognize you, and that can lead to meeting people.
Remember, sometimes it does take time
Remember that when you move to a new place, finding friends can take some time and even longer to find best friends. Try not to lose hope if you are new to your duty station. Sometimes we get lucky and meet new people we click with right away but that doesn’t always happen, and it is important to remember this.
For some military spouses, three to six months is about how long it can take to make some good friends when they move somewhere new. While this can be overwhelming and frustrating, it is also typical for the military lifestyle.
Do what you love
Dating advice often says to involve yourself in activities you enjoy and then you will be able to surround yourself with potential dates who you have something in common with. The same is true with finding friends. If you love to read, join a book club. You will meet other people who also love to read, and you will know you already have something in common.
If you don’t see a group you want to join, why not start your own? In today’s social media world, it is a lot easier to start a new group and put it out there to have people come and join you.
Facebook groups can be a great way to connect with others in your area. There are probably groups for spouses based on your duty station as well as many subgroups based on different interests. You can also find people in your specific area or in a more general military spouse group. Remember to be safe when meeting someone you met online. Social media is a great way to connect with others you might otherwise not have come in contact with.
Remember that you are not the only one looking for a good friend. Most of the other people at your duty station are too. Try to put yourself out there to meet others. Find fun things for you and your kids to do where you can meet people. Find some Facebook groups and make plans to fill up your calendar with fun events and meetings where you can get out to meet people.
And most importantly, don’t give up. There truly are many ways for you to make friends at your new duty station.