Building a community as a military spouse can be exhausting. You move, work hard to find your “people,” get settled, get orders, move, and start the process all over again.
While each assignment can be the chance to start over and meet new people, it’s not always easy. We’re sharing a few tips on making friends and building your community – regardless of where military life takes you.
Before a move, join and follow your local installation and community’s social media pages. This is a great starting point to learn about ongoing events, initiatives, and organizations – and – you don’t even have to wait to physically arrive to start making connections.
Do you have a friend of a friend of a friend stationed at your new duty station? Reach out! It’s so helpful to have someone to ask about housing, schools, or even the weather.
When we launched Twelve Million Plus – the first and only verified community for military spouses – we wanted to make it easier for spouses to connect, regardless of where they live. (If you’re interested in IRL connections, we built “Chat + Connect” spaces where spouses can join, find others near them and connect with other spouses in their state and installation!)
If you’re new to an area, we can’t stress how important it is to say “yes.” As much as your schedule and boundaries allow, say yes. While it might feel uncomfortable, you never know who you’ll meet or what you’ll learn.
Get out of the house and check out what your local area has to offer, whether it’s an exercise class, coffee shop, park, or library. This can even be a great, low-stakes way to meet new people. If your installation or unit has an event, go! Even if it’s just for a little bit. Join a professional organization, gym, spouse group, playgroup, or book club.
On the flip side, don’t be afraid to invite someone new to an event – even if it’s virtual! Having someone else to share an experience with always makes us feel more connected.
Pay it forward
We all remember being the new person. It’s not always easy to find your people, especially when it feels like everyone already knows each other. Once you’re settled, don’t forget to look out for new people. A friendly face and a hello can go such a long way. Be a force for good, and whenever possible. Have you found the best local restaurants, events, or resources? Share them!
Come join us over at 12M+! We created a place for military spouses to make friends, network, access military resources, and get access to exclusive speakers and events – all within the Twelve Million Plus community. Download and join us today!