As a new Army wife, I didn’t know a whole lot about the military lifestyle. Sure, I knew the basics, but standing at our first duty station in Schweinfurt, Germany, I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. I can remember standing there, watching a group of soldiers going by, and knowing everything had changed for us.
I was lucky though. Within those first months of being an Army wife in Germany, I found friends. I found other spouses who not only knew what military life was like but going through the same thing I was. We were all getting ready for a deployment, the first deployment for many of us, and we knew we could do it together.
I honestly am not sure what I would have done or how I could have gotten through that deployment without my military spouse friends. Although things were not always perfect, and there was drama, of course, there was drama, having people to go through a deployment with helped us all make it through what would turn out to be one of the longest deployments.
Over the years, I have made friends at every step of the way. From my best friend in Germany to my current circle here at Fort Campbell. From military spouse bloggers to some of the amazing people I have met through blogging and social media in all parts of the world.
I know for me, finding friends is the easy part. Finding best friends is not.
Finding best friends takes a lot of work, and yet you can’t force that. You can’t exactly walk up to someone and claim them as your best friend, can you? Best friends just happen sometimes, and even if you like someone else, they might not be the person to fit that role.
So what qualities make up a Military best friend? How do you know they are the one to fit that part of your life?
Here are a few things to think about when you are out there, making new friends:
That you click
As I look back over my closest friendships, they all have one thing in common. We clicked. Sometimes we click right away. We met, and before we knew it, we were making plans like we had known each other forever.
In other cases, clicking took more time. There isn’t one set way to click with someone else, but once you do, you will know that there is a special friendship forming and that is a good thing.
That your kids get along
It’s hard to find a friend with kids sometimes. Your kids might not get along. You might not get along with their kids. They might not mesh well.
I don’t think all of your friend’s kids have to click with your kids but for a Military spouse BFF, it is an excellent thing to have. You will be spending a lot of time together without your spouses around. You can have sleepovers and go on trips together.
As your kids get older, I think there is more room for friendships that do not involve them, but when your kids are young and tend to always be with you, you tend to come as a full package. A good best friend will be loving towards you and your children.
That you can vent to them
If you have ever been through a deployment, you know that some days you just have to vent. If you can’t do that with someone, it is going to be hard for them to be your buddy during the deployment. You need someone who you can vent to, and that isn’t going to come back with a “suck it up and don’t talk to me about that anymore” type of attitude.
While no one likes it when all someone does is complain about their lives, we all need a safe place to go to let off steam. Whether we are annoyed that our husband can’t seem to put his laundry in the laundry basket or are upset that he is once again going to miss something important, finding friends who let us vent during military life is a good thing.
That you can depend on them
I have a very hard time asking for help, even when I need that help. I want to try to get everything done myself if possible. However, sometimes things happen, and I have to call someone to help me.
Having a best friend to call to help you out and not have it become an awkward situation is a good thing. Whether it is because your child needs to go to the ER, your car breaks down, or you need emergency babysitting help. Knowing you won’t be totally alone when that happens can take a lot of the worry out of a situation.
That you can trust them
The military, especially at the branch level, is a small small world. You will find this to be true when you have been a military spouse for a few years. Your neighbor at Fort Bliss knows your old neighbor from Fort Campbell. You were stationed in Germany with your FRG leader’s best friend. You are reunited with your friend from three duty stations ago, in Italy of all places.
Because of this, it is really important to be able to find people that you can trust. Rumors can get started. Maybe your brother is coming to visit, but all people see is a man coming in and out of your house when your husband is deployed. People are not always honest, and some people do like to start drama.
When looking for your military spouse best friend, you have to be able to trust them. You don’t want to share your deepest worries to find out that now half of the FRG knows about them. Use caution and be the type of friend you would want to meet yourself.
If all of us can do this, the military spouse world will be a much better place overall.
Making friends is something all Military spouses have to do. There have been times during my husband’s military career where I didn’t feel like I had a good friend circle. And that just made military life a lot harder.
While finding and making those best friends can be difficult at times, working to find them is a good goal. Yes, you might have to put yourself out there more than you are comfortable with. Yes, you might encounter people that just want to be about the drama. Don’t let that stop you. Finding a military spouse best friend will be worth the search.