Raise your hand if you love always being the new kid. It’s not my favorite thing in the world, but tis the life of a military spouse. Whether you are an extrovert, introvert, ambivert or just a plain vert, building meaningful relationships can be challenging. No need to stress though, because we are all in the same boat. We could all use a crash course in something I like to call “friendship dating”. Think about it, when we look for friends we look for people with shared interests that we can see ourselves emotionally investing in. And just like dating… there will be bumps in the road, mistakes and just plain failures. But, you will also find a few gems that you will absolutely treasure for a lifetime.
Let’s talk about a few things before we go on our friend hunting trip! We need to remember that our military community is smaller than we think. And while it is important to choose your friends wisely, you need to be the one choosing. Base your judgments off of your interactions with people, not from what you hear. Rumors can travel faster than an F-22 and getting entangled in them is a good way to find yourself on the highway to the danger zone. Also, many bases are joint installations, which means that they are filled with wonderful people from different branches. We are all on the same team. So, spread the word! We can all get along, so let’s just be friends, okay? And lastly, check your baggage at the gate. We have all been hurt or had a negative experience when it comes to friendships, but it is important to not let those feelings prevent you from forming new relationships.
Now that we’re ready, where do we find these potential friends? Lucky for us we have many options. Even though initially it can be hard, we need to get involved! Volunteering is a great way to meet people. Get hooked up with your base’s family readiness center and they can help you get started finding opportunities. Many of us meet friends at our workplace, your readiness center can give you access to job postings too. So it’s a win-win if you are in the market for both a job and friends. Base events are also a good place to get started. Get your hands on an event calendar and make it a point to attend at least one event a month! You won’t be disappointed. You’ll be surprised how many fast friends you will make and the beautiful relationships that will grow from just putting yourself out there. Being the new kid might not always be so fun, but it has its rewards. When I think of all of the wonderful friends I have made along my journey my heart smiles. Yours will too.
Spouses are an invaluable part of the military and together we are one.
#MSAN #StrongSpousesStrongerFamilies #NewMilSpouse #NewKidOnTheBlock