You are new to your duty station, you don’t know anyone and your spouse is going to deploy sometime in the next few months. Where do you go to make friends? What can you do to find them? How can you be a part of this military community everyone likes to talk about?
Finding new friends can be difficult when you first move to a new place. You can live somewhere for a while and still not fit in. You could be shy and find meeting new people difficult. So what do you do?
Here are 10 ideas to help you make friends as a military spouse:
- Your FRG-The FRG is either going to be really good or really bad but you don’t know until you try. So go once, see what things are like. Maybe the FRG needs you to help make it a better place. There can be something great about connecting with the spouses of those your own spouse is going to be working with. Other times, there just might be too much drama. That happens, especially during deployments. But make yourself try the FRG out. You never know what you might experience or who you might meet when you go.
- Your Neighborhood- Your neighbors can become your friends. Reach out if you can and join your neighborhood Facebook page. See if you can meet some other people who are in your stage of life. This might be easier if you have kids who are old enough to go out and play with the other kids in your area. You can meet people through them as well. Smile at people if they walk by and be friendly and a good neighbor. Knowing people who live by you is a good idea. They can watch out for your home when you are away and you can be there for them.
- Bible Study– If you are religious, seek out a bible study. Most military installations have a PWOC or other similar groups. These places are a time for bible study and to get to know other military spouses. Overseas, my PWOC group with a lifesaver. You can also find bible studies off post within your local community. That is also a good way to meet other non-military friends in your community.
- MOPS– MOPS Stands for Mother’s Of Preschoolers. It is a great program and they do have some military MOPS programs. These are free and are located at the base chapel. You might also find MOPS in your community off-post. Those will have a fee for the year. The great thing about MOPS is that it was made for moms of smaller children so that they have a place to go to meet other moms and get a little bit of a break from their kids. This might be the only non-kid time a SAHM might get during the week. MOPS is a great way to meet new people, other moms that have children the same age as yours.
- Sports team– Sports is a great way to get to know others. Either signing your children up for a team or playing a sport yourself. Look and see what is going on in your area. Even swim lessons is a great way to make a new friend. You all have to sit and watch your kids and in a lot of cases you can’t help but talk to someone new while you are there watching your kids swim or play a sport. Finding an adult team is a great idea if you are into sports because you can do something you love and make new friends while you are doing so.
- Playgroups- If you have kids, you have to join a playgroup. They are such a good way to make friends and even if you don’t, a way for your kids to make friends and be social. They can be a good way to get out there and break up the day. Some playgroups are put on by an organization, others are hosted by a mom and she invites people to her home. Figure out what is in your area. If you only know a couple of people, invite them over to play and have them invite some friends.
- Book Club– I love books. I read so much. So when I heard about a local book club, I joined it. We got to talk about books. It was wonderful. Do you love books too? Join a book club. You will be able to meet people to talk about books with. Which is one of the best things.
- Restaurant Club– When we were in Germany there was a club that met once a month at a new restaurant. This was a great way to learn more about our area and food options but I was also able to connect with other spouses and get to know them. I am sure they do have these types of groups other places as well.
- Volunteering- If you are still not sure how to make friends, try volunteering. There are a lot of chances for that on post as well as off. You can do a one day or one week type of event or volunteer long-term. Doing so will allow you to give back to the community, keep busy and make some friends. The more you do it, the more people you will meet. The best part is, there are so many different ways you can volunteer in a military community.
- Bunco- If you ever get invited to a Bunco group, go. This game is so much fun and because of the way you play it you have to talk to new people. You are moving from table to table and it is a great way to feel connecting to other people in your community.