This article originally appeared on Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life.
Friendships are a must in military life, but so many times we hear things about military spouse friendships that aren’t exactly true. This post is all about that.
Over the years I have heard from military spouses that they are either afraid to make friends with other military spouses, because of how they assume they will be treated, or have even tried to do so and not been successful at it. That they can’t seem to find their people, or that they keep running into others that don’t seem very friendly or welcoming at all.
I strongly believe that you need friends to get through this military lifestyle. But I also know that it isn’t always easy to do. I know that not everyone is friendly and that finding people to connect with can be frustrating.
And maybe part of it is believing things that simply are not true? Maybe part of it is assuming things that are not true about military friendships in general?
While I do think it is possible for someone to find themselves in a place where it seems that there are no friendly people around them, I also know that there are so many of us military spouses out there that are friendly, want to connect and are not the type to insult someone they just met. Trust me.
Maybe you won’t agree with me, maybe your experiences are very different than mine, but here are 5 myths about military friendship that simply are not true that we need to let go of to find friendship in the military community:
The Myth: Spouses are overly concerned about rank.
The Truth: Very few military spouses care what rank your spouse is.
If there is a hesitation, it is usually in good faith, when a spouse worries about being able to include you in everything. For example, if you are the wife of a higher ranking soldier, can you invite your friend, and her entire family to your son’s birthday party at your home? These kinds of situations can be a bit sticky if both of the soldiers are in the same unit.
But in the end, it doesn’t matter who your friends are, or what rank their spouse is. You friend people who you get along with and if someone does want to give you the stink eye because of it? Well, they probably wouldn’t be a good friend anyway.
The Myth: It’s not worth friending someone who is going to pcsing again soon.
The Truth: It is worth it, and can lead to life-long friendships.
While it is so nice to make friends that will live near you for years and years, if you meet the right person, don’t be scared off because they have a PCS date. There are ways to stay connected over the miles if both of you are willing to do so. And you never know when you might end up at the same duty station again in the future.
The Myth: You have to make friends with people your own age.
The Truth: You can form friendships with people who are older and younger than you are.
While it is always nice to have friends around your age, befriending people who are younger or older than you are can be a good thing. You can always learn from someone who is in a different stage of life that you are in.
Don’t get stuck on the actual age of a potential friend. If you are able to connect with them, do so. You will be better for it.
The Myth: If you don’t have kids, you won’t make friends, because everyone in the military community has kids.
The Truth: Not everyone in the military community has kids.
While there are a ton of families with kids in the military community, not everyone has them. Some couples choose to stay childless, others are waiting for a few years to start having children. Some are struggling with infertility, and others have adult children no longer in the home.
There are so many different people in the military community in all different stages of life. Don’t give up on finding friends because you assume everyone is a certain way because that simply isn’t true.
The Myth: You won’t find anyone you can click with.
The Truth: It can take time, but you can find your people.
Finding people you click with won’t always be easy, and sometimes finding new friends can seem near impossible. But, you will be able to find your people if you keep putting yourself out there. Keep trying, be friendly, and use online resources if you need to.
I know being shy can be hard. To walk into a room full of people you don’t know and introduce yourself can be way too scary, but you can find ways to meet others that are comfortable for you.
While everyone’s friendship journey is a little different, try to remember the friends you have met in the past. How did you guys connect? What bonded you?
Make sure you are putting yourself out there, and don’t give up. You can find your people.