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  • Writer's pictureLeila Gillette

Making Friends as Adults is Just Like Dating

Yesterday I went to my first get together with other spouses after moving to our new duty station and it got me thinking about how hard it is meeting friends as adults.

I think it’s especially hard for military families & spouses as we have to redo it every few years.

Us with our amazing neighbors that became best friends at our previous duty station

So how the heck do we do it?!

10 years ago I would have NEVER gone to a group outing by myself. While I still struggle with social anxiety I think the difference is I now know the amazing connections that can happen when you put yourself out there. The past 10 years have given me some idea on how to do this & I wanted to share in hopes it helps someone else!

Ways to meet potential new friends:


Can we all agree how amazing it is to have friends that are neighbors?? Your kids can play together easily, you can hop over to each others houses for a quick drink or game and walk right back home when you’re done. Going on walks through the neighborhood, hanging with your kids/pets outside, or going to a nearby park can be a great excuse to bump into a neighbor and start getting to know each other. We’ve also had neighbors in the past bring us cookies when we moved in as a ”welcome to the neighborhood” gesture. This is a great way to put yourself out there & get to know neighbors that could possibly become friends!


Okay so we obviously don’t always get lucky to have great neigbors… so my next tip would be to sign up for friendship apps! Did I not mention how making friends as adults is like dating?? Bumble BFF and Peanut are 2 apps I downloaded when we got to our new duty station and have slowly started to use. It’s a great way to get to know people that have similar interests/vibes as you and you can be more choosy on who you want to connect with.

Find local groups/meetups

At most bases there are usually some kind of moms group or spouses group that you can join. These groups often host get togethers, they can be great for play dates with the kids and getting to know other moms. I have also found groups tailored to specific hobbies/interests. I was a part of a group that played volleyball at one base that was so fun and a great way to meet people with similar interests. You can often find these groups on facebook by asking the bases spouse page or searching keywords & your new duty station or town name. You can also see if the base gym or local rec center has any adult sports/activities/classes to be a part of.


I totally understand how hard it is to put yourself out there, not knowing what it will be like, if everyone will already be best friend, or if you will connect with anyone. But I always remind myself that if I don’t go I will never know if I missed out on meeting someone awesome. And if I go and it totally sucks?? Well I just don’t go back. The key is just trying.

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