5 Ways for military spouses to make new friends

Oct 7, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. ET

If you’re a military spouse more than likely you’ve had to start over in a new location and do what some of us dread doing… making new friends.

Military mom friends

You may be thinking that sounds easy enough, but for some people this task can be a big challenge.

Unfortunately, there are quite a few stereotypes floating around about military spouses which can cause some to feel they are better off being a loner. Although this option may seem good at the beginning, you will quickly grow tired of having no friends. I was a loner when living on a military base but the minute my husband deployed I realized the importance of knowing someone.

It wasn’t just for my own sanity but for peace of mind. I thought about emergencies and if for some reason I wasn’t able to get my kids, then at least I knew someone who could pick them up for me. I thought I could really make it through an entire deployment alone and I quickly learned the answer was no!

For many the problem isn’t that they don’t want friends but it's about finding them. If you are looking for new friends, these five tips may help.

Explore Facebook groups

This may seem like common sense but what you may not know is there are more than just Facebook military spouse fan pages. Look to the right side of your screen for recommendations of private military wives' groups of which you can request invites. They are great for networking and meeting new friends.

Try Meetup.com

While not a military-spouse themed site, Meetup.com connects people with similar interests. So in addition to just finding military groups you can search by ”scrapbooking” (for example) and people in your area with those interests will pop up.

Volunteer on base

Volunteering is very popular on many military installations and a great way to make friends. Places such as the on-base thrift shop can be a fun way to get to know people and also find out about the latest happenings in your community. You can visit your local community services building on your base to learn about volunteering.

Join playgroups

For those of you with little ones, seek out playgroups. You are bound to meet a mom who is probably dealing with the same challenges as you are. Playgroups are great during deployments as they give you and the kidlets a chance to get out of the house.

Give FRG a chance

I know some of you probably won’t read past the first line. There is a negative stereotype that tends to surround the FRG (Family Readiness Group) as being clique-y or a bunch of catty military wives. I tend to believe that you will never know until you try and that you don’t have to allow yourself to be involved in the drama. I myself have been part of an FRG with no cattiness thrown my way, and while I heard negative things I still walked away with some great friends.

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How to find and keep a career when you are a military spouse