Did you PCS this summer? Summer is traditionally when military families move. This means there is a lot of transition going on during this time of year. New location, new house, new school (if you have kids), new job for your spouse and maybe even a new job for you as well. Whew, that is a LOT of new! Throw into the mix a deployment and making new friends, well the whole process can get extremely overwhelming.
We have been at our current location just over a year and the process of making those new connections and new friends has been a tough one. So, if you are struggling to make new friends at your new location, I completely understand!
Here are some tips that have helped me in the process and I hope they help you too. I'd love to hear your ideas, look for the discussion link at the end of this post.
- Now that you have moved, don't wait until the boxes are all unpacked and your house is "perfect" before you start to meet your neighbors and other command spouses. Go out of your comfort zone and if they knock on the door, invite them in anyway. Don't be afraid to knock on their door as well!
- If you have a base gym nearby and a work schedule that accommodates, stop in and start a workout regimen. You'll meet other spouses here I promise! Take a class and be open to meeting new people. Ask questions and be a good listener.
- The youth sports soccer field, basketball court or t-ball field can be great places to also meet spouses. I know having your kids in youth sports is a huge time commitment, however by taking the leap you'll not only be giving your kids the opportunity to learn a team sport and make friends, you'll have an instant pool of spouses to connect with and share experiences. Chances are one of them might even be attached to your command.
- Get involved. This means try out your command Family Readiness Group, attend a few command functions. Volunteer your time and you'll be surprised at the opportunities that will come your way.
- Other ideas: Join a Toastmasters Club (a place where you can improve your public speaking) or consider taking a class either at your local Family Readiness Center or nearby college, connect into a local church
- If there is a favorite singer or group you've always wanted to see coming into your area, or theater performance, buy two tickets and invite someone along (even if you don't know them very well, it will be a chance to get to know them even better).
All of these are just options to getting connected and opportunities to make new friends. When our spouses are deployed, it is so easy to isolate ourselves.
I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, even if that means you introduce yourself to a fellow milspouse at the commissary or NEX (I've done this too)!
How do you make new friends when your spouse is deployed? Is it different when he/she is home? Connect and share your advice.
Make New Friends, but Keep the Old!