As a military spouse, you’ve been the new kid in town … a few times. You’ve moved somewhere brand new, without knowing a soul, or even how to get to the grocery store (!). And you made your way through the community, eventually finding all your best spots, as well as some friends along the way.
Just because you’ve done it before, though, doesn’t mean it’s any easier now.

When moving to a new town, learn to lean on others quickly to have folks there when you need them by:

Meeting your neighbors. I mean, you already live close, so go introduce yourself. Hopefully, they’re the friendly type, but even if not, you know where to steer clear.

Next, attend FRG events or accept invites to meet others in your unit. It’s likely that they will come to welcome you; don’t be shy about making new friends and getting to know them.

It’s also a good idea to bond with those with whom you have the most in common. Go to kid-friendly events and chat with moms whose kids are the same age. Attend professional networking events and find those who do similar work. Find a church and talk with the members. Whatever your activities of choice, show up ready to mingle. You might not make a trusted confidant, but the key is to be open to the idea, whenever it might arise.

One of the most important ways to lean on others is to accept help when it’s offered. When a friend lets you know they are available to babysit, unpack, give you a ride, etc., take them up on it! They wouldn’t have offered if they didn’t truly want to help, so don’t feel bad about saying, “That would be great!”

It’s also a good idea to ask for small favors as they’re needed. Don’t expect too much of others, but there’s nothing wrong with the occasional borrowing or bartering. You can always offer a trade, payment, or to repay with a favor. In doing so you’ll show good faith that you aren’t simply taking, but you want to create a connection for the future.

Luckily, other military families are in the same boat so you can learn to rely on one another quickly.

Whatever your method, don’t be too scared to make new friends — we’re all in this together!