Friends

8 Ways to Find Your New Best Friends

You’re new. You know nobody. So how do you make friends?

I recently made my 10th move as a military spouse. You’d think I’d be able to find friends in a snap.

Truth is, I’m an introvert. I have A LOT of trouble walking up to a stranger and initiating conversation.

This last move has been especially tough. We live far from post, and the military families in my neighborhood are spread out and difficult to find.

Each of us fights our own battles as we seek new friendships, so I asked other milspouses to tell me how they find friends.

Here’s expert advice on making friends at your new location:

1. Join a Special Interest Group

What’s your passion? Seek others with similar interests to jump-start your search for friends. A group that shares your goals or hobbies can bring connections that blossom into solid friendships.

It Works For These Spouses. . .

Army spouse Wesley Buchta finds a common bond in a mid-week Bible study group on post in Germany. “That is where we have found a great deal of the lasting friendships here in Schweinfurt,” Buchta tells Military Spouse.

Brian Watson, an Air Force spouse, plays golf. It’s helped connect him with people at multiple duty stations.

Kama Shockey, Marine Corps spouse, seeks a gym with a running club. She says a positive group of women with common fitness goals can be really helpful when her spouse is deployed.

2. Create Your Own Group

Can’t find an existing group that suits your needs?

Create one.

Starting a special interest group gives you full reign over everything from activities to meeting schedules.

It Works For This Spouse. . .

“I started a ‘lunch bunch’ here at our latest duty station. I am planning to do the same thing at our next base,” says Navy spouse Kristin McNab. “We meet each week at the same time and change the location, so we can try different lunch places or visit different local parks and site seeing locations.”

3. Take A Risk

Initiating a conversation with a new neighbor or another mom at the playground may feel WAY out of your comfort zone.

But learning to take the initiative will help you find acquaintances with common interests.

It Works For This Spouse. . .

“Finding friends is always a little scary, but just getting out there and being yourself is the best bet on finding good friends. Take a little risk and welcome new neighbors when they move in,” says Danni Maxwell, Marine Corps spouse.

4. Assume A Leadership Position

Putting yourself in a leadership role separates you from the crowd and opens a new pathway for meeting others with similar interests.

Consider teaching aerobics, leading a scouting troop, or volunteering as a committee chairman for an existing special interest group.

It Works For This Spouse. . .

“Being in a leadership/visible role in town probably helped me to meet a lot of people, and when you are able to meet a lot of people and get to talk with them on a one-to-one basis, you eventually make a connection and maybe even a friend,” says Army spouse Amy Mullee, who works as a fitness instructor.

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