This website contains affiliate links and sponsorships in which we receive commissions and payment. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Living life as a military spouse has its rewards and its drawbacks like any other lifestyle, and the one I have to admit I have the most trouble with is meeting new people, and not for the reason you may think. 

Not because I am afraid I won’t make friends or I will have to start a new life with new people.

For the most part I have kept my same friends over the years, and I have added new friends as we moved from one duty station to another.

I’m Expected to…

No, my issue is that I feel like:

  • I am expected to make friends before I even pack one bag.
  • I am expected to know my neighbors before I have boarded my flight.
  • I am expected to seamlessly enter into a community before I have stepped one foot across the threshold of my new temporary home; before I have unpacked one box or put away a single dish I am expected to have made a few friends.

Sometimes it feels like we haven’t received the final hard copy of my spouse’s orders and the pressure has already started. I have already been asked if:

  • I had joined the neighborhood Facebook group.
  • Had I reached out to anyone at the new command?
  • Had I asked any questions in the local Facebook group designed to help incoming spouses?
  • Did I check out all of the activities on the base?

The Expectations

I find myself feeling pressured by the expectations to dive right in and want so badly to make friends. The expectation that I cannot move to a new command without a single friend in the local area.

How can I make it, how will I be okay? How will I navigate the base if there is no one to tell me what to do and how to do it? Never mind the fact that we had already moved so many times I’ve lost count. Never mind the fact that we have lived overseas for the majority of the past decade.

How will I survive or acclimate, people seem to be asking me at every turn?

People move in the civilian world all the time without doing any of those things, and they are just fine; things work out. It’ll be fine, I usually tell myself. And yet, I do feel the pressure to reach out or to meet at least one person before I move. I am an introvert by nature, so maybe you can see my dilemma here?

I Have Decided From Now On That I Will Not Melt Under Pressure

So, I have decided from now on I will not be engaging in any preemptive activities designed to get me entangled with people I didn’t know yet. In the past, I had melted under the pressure to meet people before I arrived, to reach out to people in an attempt to begin a new life without even packing one bag. Now, I will take things one day at a time and go with the flow. Honestly, it is kind of a nerve wrecking time, in my experience.

I have lots of worries like, What will my new neighbors think? What would my husband’s Command think? Am I being an A-hole right now?

My new route does seem unorthodox to me, and I wonder if other spouses feel the same way? Are there other spouses out there who want to move first and meet people later, who want to take things slow and meet friends after arriving? Am I the only one hoping to sneak into town and meet new friends in an organic way?

It’s not that I don’t like people, I love people.

It is not that I don’t care for the military spouse community; for the most part, the women I have met were fun and interesting people.

It is really that part where things seemed forced or manufactured that bothers me a little.

I want to make friends the old fashioned way, in person.

I’ve Been On Both Sides – A Service Member and Now A Military Spouse

During my time in the military community I have been on both sides of the fence. I was a service member and I now I am a spouse of a service member.

Being A Service Member

Being a service member, for me, was pretty simple as far as moving was concerned. Receive your orders, contact your assigned sponsor, who may or may not be good at keeping in touch with you and keeping you informed, and move.

There is no expectation to make friends with your sponsor or to form a relationship with him or her. They tell you what you need to know, or they ignore you for the entire time before you get there. Maybe you become friends in the process, or maybe not; There’s no big expectation there to form a relationship.

Being A Spouse

On the other hand, as a spouse, it seems like a whole other existence.

In some cases, especially in overseas locations, the sponsors’ spouse is expected to reach out to the incoming spouse, help her navigate things such as the school system, housing, what household goods are available or need to be repurchased before the movers come, introduce them to other spouses, answer every question the new spouse may have. To supplement the efforts, there are Facebook groups to join and maybe other social media connections to make.

There is this expectation of advanced work and relationship building that seems to become a requirement. In my case, it is highly unlikely that I will participate in the process. I have to admit that I am not always at par with the process. Sometimes I am severely lacking in the area of outreach and proactive relationship building in advance. I am mostly an introvert, at some times I can be quite extroverted, although those times fall far and few between, if I’m being honest.

There I Said It!

So, there I said it! I don’t want to meet you right now.

I don’t want to have conversations with you about the type of curtains I should buy or the alleged great or terrible people I’m going to meet before I even get a chance to cast one eyeball in their direction, or the best restaurant to eat in, or the various vacation spots to visit.

If this type of thing happens organically because we just happen to meet on social media, well, that’s fine. I just don’t want to feel forced into it.

Let’s Meet on Regular Terms

Future friend, I truly care about what you have to say, and I can’t wait to hang out and have some fun. Just let us meet on regular terms, without all of the requirements and obligations.

With all that being said, I know this message isn’t for everyone, I know there are many spouses who need that support system in place to feel safe and at ease about their next move. I know there is indeed an actual purpose for all of the Facebook groups, and for all of the wonderful people who take time out of their day to reach out to new spouses, offer kind words, good advice, answer endless amounts of questions, and throw a welcome party to make the newcomers feel at home.

I know there are many spouses who need, and greatly appreciate the assistance. There are spouses who have special circumstances, special needs for their families, and who have the desire to meet friends and establish relationships in advance. This is a good thing, which I support fully. It is good for the morale of our military spouse community and our families.

I just want you to know that I am thankful for you and your efforts, and all you give to the members of our community. I’m looking forward to meeting you and having a great time when I get there.

Your Future Friend,


Nyshita Cruz is both a Navy Spouse and Veteran. She’s from Detroit Michigan. She served in the US Navy for 10 years and met her husband while on active duty. They’ve been married for 19 years, and it’s been quite an interesting journey. As they approach retirement, she is looking forward to continuing to serve our military community and expand her service to a global arena.

She is a humanitarian at heart and has served in roles of support for our military families.

After her military service, she went on to receive a bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and utilized some of those skills during her time as a Programs Assistant for the Navy Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Department, which is geared towards improving quality of life for the families of military service members. She also served in the role of Navy Ombudsman for a Naval Ship in Italy, helping families to communicate their needs and concerns to the Ship’s Chain of Command. In this role, she was a liaison between the Chain of Command and the Service Members’ families. As a global citizen, she is thankful to have been able to be of service over the years and now is thankful and excited to join MilSpouse Conversations where she’s sure we will have some great conversations about topics that are relevant and helpful to spouses all over the world and in every branch of service. You can find her at Doodle Maestro creating fun t-shirts.