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Friends…How Many Of Us Have Them?

I should be an expert on making friends. Besides, I have lived in four different states in the past five years. But you know what? I am shy, contrary to popular belief. It’s not my natural personality to be outgoing.

It’s hard for me to always be “The New Girl”. By the time I get adjusted to my new surroundings, get a good job, and become “One of the Girls”, it’s time to move to another base. This can be extremely frustrating to say the least.
My husband grew up in a military family, so he is used to making new friends all of the time. As for me, I grew up in the same school district all the way up to high school. As a result, I had a group of friends that I grew up with. Some of us even went to college together. Once I became a military spouse, I had to learn how to make new friends on my own, or live an isolated, lonely existence.
I feel sad when I lose contact with old friends. Sometimes, I wonder what our friendship would be like if I didn’t move around so much. Eventually, I had to learn that some friendships are for a season and very few are for a lifetime. This can be hard to deal with, but life goes on.

Constant moving and uncertainty about your spouse being around for the holidays can make it very easy to feel isolated and alone. Here are some tips to help you meet your next bff (“best friend forever” for those unfamiliar with text lingo).

1. Go to military spouse meetings on the base. You will meet people going through the same thing that you are going through. Common bonds are one of the main things that help people to connect and become friends.

2. Get active in your community. Volunteer your time to an agency that needs help. Join a church and be an active member. Participate in recreational events. These options all present opportunities to make new friends.

3. Join a social networking website. Some of the more popular ones include Facebook and Twitter. This can help you to stay in touch with friends that you have made all over the world.

4. Get a flexible phone plan. Sometimes, you just want to hear a person’s voice. Look for promotions with unlimited long distance for a fixed rate. Find a cell phone plan with unlimited nights and weekends.

5. Make a special effort to befriend someone. You have to show yourself friendly to make friends. Invite someone over for dinner or do something nice for them. This can open doors to a great friendship.

I hope that these tips were helpful to you. Even if you are not a military spouse, you can utilize these steps and become a social butterfly! 🙂
Tomorrow, I am going to blog about ways military spouses can move all around the world and keep their career too. Thanks for stopping by and see you on tomorrow!


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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" January 29, 2010, 5:16 AM

    That would be hard to constantly move around, I'd hate that! I've always had my closest friends at church.

    Inviting people over for dinner would only work for me if they liked pizza since I don't cook. I am having my 5th grade boys S.S. class over for a little party and will serve them pizza–that's just my style.

    Congrats on your SITS day!

  • MOMSWEB September 16, 2009, 7:38 AM

    Some of this is great information for active duty mothers also. Saying goodbye never got any easier for me, but it was a way of life for me. Great post!

  • Beams of Light Ministries March 4, 2009, 6:07 PM

    I have another suggestion as well for your consideration…I just joined Skype about a month ago. It’s great for talking to friends and family over the internet. Yep, you can call their land lines or cell phones too or just IM. I’ve heard about it for years (one of my co-workers was here on a 3-year assignment from Sweden and used it when he was here). Anyway, Skype is great – check it out!

  • Jolyn March 3, 2009, 9:56 PM

    You’re doing such a good job of summarizing these issues and outlining great suggestions! The friendship challenge is never ending, I agree, but forever enriching. After nine (major) moves, and counting, I have been asked many times if I like it, and I always say as difficult as it has been I prefer this to never moving at all. And I, too, grew up in the same town, same school district. It also gets easier to create new friendships once your kids start school, I will add.

  • Keri March 3, 2009, 3:07 PM

    These are great suggestions! I’m not especially outgoing either and have to sort of force myself to get out there and meet people every time we move. It’s not always easy. I suppose when you’re a military spouse you appreciate your long standing friends that much more though!

  • Christian Mommy Writer March 3, 2009, 8:23 AM

    That is a good point Shauna. We should pray and use discernment when choosing friends. It’s not the quantity of friendships, but the quality.

  • Anonymous March 3, 2009, 8:01 AM

    Sounds like we have something in common. We lived in the same house my whole life. As a matter of fact, my parents still live there. On the contrary, my husband grew up in a military family and is use to making new friends. I”m trying. Mostly I pray for discernment when meeting new people. Not everyone has our best interest at heart. Shauna

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