Life as a MilSpouse can mean tackling a move every few years. While aspects of this sound fun — exploring new cities, trying new food, finding epic scenery — there is a lot about moving that’s challenging. Making friends as an adult, for example, is one of those challenging things.
While missing old friends and family members from previous homes will always be hard, making new friends doesn’t have to be a big hurdle and can get easier with the right tactics. Here are some tips for making new friends after a PCS move to hopefully make life as a MilSpouse a bit easier.
1. Be a Good Neighbor
Moving can be physically, mentally, and financially draining, and making friends as an adult is extra difficult on top of that massive undergoing. However, one of the easiest ways to get to know new people is by being a good neighbor in your own community first. One of the best tips for making new friends in a new area is to be friendly first, so start by being nice and courteous where you live, extending invitations, sharing kind words, and being thankful.
2. Join Local Facebook Groups
Making new friends as an adult gets a lot easier when you share a lot of interests with other members of a group. Facebook groups are a great way to join a community of like-thinkers and find people who enjoy similar things as you. Just go to the top of your Facebook home page and select GROUPS, then search for anything local that interests or relates to you. Also, follow SpouseLink’s Ambassador social channels to connect with other military spouses who may be in your area.
3. Attend Local Events and Sites
Whether this is your first PCS move or your fifteenth, getting out to attend local events or see the nearby favorite sites is a great way to meet new people. Try visiting local museums, art galleries, seeing monuments, or visiting zoos.
Check your city or town’s website or social pages for information on nearby events. You may find a farmer’s market you enjoy or even a monthly movie out on the lawn. Start conversations and ask people for recommendations!
4. Join a Gym
While there’s no guarantee that you’ll make new friends when joining a gym, it’s a great way to improve your quality of life while presenting plenty of opportunities to start conversations. You can also try finding a yoga studio or joining workout classes if you want something more social.
5. Sign Up for Local Classes in Your Interests
Workout classes are one thing, but have you looked into any art classes, dance classes, writing classes, or even cooking classes near you? Local classes are a great way for you to learn a new skill while also making friends in the area. Art classes are perhaps one of the best ways of making friends as an adult since so many people express themselves authentically with art.
6. Host a Housewarming Party
Many people wait to host any type of party until they know a lot of people in the area. While this is obviously an option, a great way to make new friends after a PCS move is to host a housewarming party. Invite anyone and everyone. Start with your neighbors, but feel free to expand the invite list if you want to — the nice barista at the coffee shop, the fun couple at the art class, or people you’ve enjoyed interacting within Facebook groups.
7. Try a Book Club
If you love stories or reading, then you shouldn’t hesitate to join a local book club.
You’re sure to meet new people who love reading at least as much as you do, and they’ll be able to give you recommendations on new books you may fall in love with.
8. Volunteer at a Local Charity
One of the most helpful tips for making new friends is to immerse yourself in something you’re passionate about. A great way to do this is to volunteer at a charity that pulls at your heartstrings. Find a local charity or non-profit doing work you respect and give back with your service and time. This rewarding and enlightening experience can help you get to know more people who share your passions and goals.
9. Try a Mobile App
Apps aren’t just for dating these days. You can find plenty of friend-making apps to expand your friend group. Meetup, BumbleBFF, and Nextdoor are just a few great ideas for getting to know your community and meet new friends.
10. Join a MilSpouse Support Group
Life as a military spouse has so many challenges and struggles that not everyone knows about… except other people who have been through the same thing. Try finding a MilSpouse support group near you when you settle in after a PCS move. The community you find here will be unlike any other.
Making friends as an adult after a PCS move doesn’t need to be a headache. Try these tips for making new friends and get ready to have plenty of new friends in your life.