Making new friends as an adult pretty much sucks.
In high school and college you are pushed into new situations with a bunch of other people that are new too. Then you go to class, clubs, and sporting events and just meet people as you go. Suddenly they are your best friends and you can’t imagine life without them.
But what happens when you move somewhere new and there’s no classes to go to? Moving can be such a lonely thing, especially if your spouse isn’t around much.
Nobody knows this better than a military spouse.
In addition to the difficulty of making friends, there is also that nagging voice in the back of your mind constantly asking if it is even worth it. What if you meet someone and invest in a friendship only for one of your to move away sooner than expected? Is making friends really worth it when you are 99.9% guaranteed to have to say goodbye in the next couple years?
Yes. It really truly is. I promise.
This life comes with a lot of uncertainty, a lot of change, a lot of highs and lows, and just a lot of things that are hard for anyone to comprehend if they haven’t lived it. Having someone to vent to, someone to help you out at a moment’s notice with no hesitation, someone to just be there and understand is absolutely priceless. And it’s worth all the effort. It’s worth saying see you later when PCS time rolls around. Nope, it’s not easy, but it is so very very worth it.
When Charlie was in the National Guard it was incredibly lonely and isolating for me at times. I didn’t know any of the spouses and there was no real support network. He was activated to help when Hurricane Harvey struck Texas and I was home alone, very pregnant, and not sure what was going on. I was only two miles down the road from my in-laws so I had that safety net. But what I wanted more than anything was a friend to come over and eat dinner with me. A friend to watch TV with. Someone who knew what it was like to be the one sitting at home waiting.
When we found out Charlie would be going back to active duty I promised myself that I was going to put myself out there and meet people. It is daunting, to say the least, to be the new kid and try to make friends. But I received such a warm welcome and I have met some truly great people.
For the first time in a long time I’m not lonely.
When I was supposed to run a half marathon and Charlie coincidentally got 24 hour duty that same day, my new friends stepped in with offers to babysit so I could go run.
When I got sick and couldn’t do the race, the offer to watch Oliver was still on the table so I could get some rest.
It is such a relief to have a support network that you know you can fall back on if you need to. It is even better to know that your support network has been there and gets that your plans could very easily change at the last minute. Maybe even a few times. Because they live it to.
So MilSpouse, if you are asking yourself if making friends at your new duty station is even worth it…the answer is yes. Over and over and over the answer is yes. Make good friends and be a good friend. This MilSpouse family is incredible and will make your life so much richer.
(Hey guess what! Next week we are going to talk about how to make friends as a military spouse…so stay tuned for that!)