cultivating female friendships

W betsy at hamilton

The scene usually goes something like this:

We’re at the playground. Liv runs up to a girl who looks to be about her age and asks her name. They exchange names, one of them asks if they want to play, and boom. Instant friendship. 

If only it worked that way as adults, right?

I feel really fortunate that as a military wife, I’ve been connected with women going through similar situations wherever we’ve moved. They understand the loneliness and stress – our husbands literally take their lives into their own hands – and it’s nice to be surrounded by people who *get it.* The squadron wives have become like family, and the incredible thing is that our paths always seem to cross again. (I’ve had so many blast-from-the-past meetups and playdates with old friends since we’ve been back in Tucson. It’s been so amazing to pick up where we left off!) Without my military wife friendships, and the life-ers (from high school, teaching fitness classes, and the blog!), I feel like making new friends as an adult would be super hard and awkward.

Some of the things I’ve learned:

– You have to put yourself out there. I met Jess at the barre studio in San Diego. We talked for a bit after class and it totally could have ended there, but instead, we exchanged phone numbers and made a plan to get together with the kiddos. Her family feels like our family now, and that never would have happened if we decided to forego actually making a plan.

W jess

The same thing happened with my friend Betsy! We met at the kids’ yoga studio and emailed a couple of times. She invited us to her huge Halloween party. The awkward introvert in me wanted to skip it but I’m so glad I didn’t! They’re now some of our very closest friends and I’m so thankful that San Diego introduced us to them. 

– On the same note, you actually have to make plans. Since I work mostly from home (I’m still teaching fitness classes here and there), it would be so easy for me to hide out in my sweatpants. I’ve been booking one “free block” each week to meet up with friends or do something fun. (This week, I’m meeting friends for breakfast then getting a massage. I’m super pumped.) As an adult (no built-in school or extracurricular activities) with kids and a busy schedule, I feel like we’d never see friends unless someone takes the steps to send out a group text and make a plan.

Cheese board 5

(I feel like new friends are always made over giant cheese boards.)

– Do something regularly. This one is HUGE. Knowing when you’ll see everyone each week or month, at a fairly regular time, makes it much easier to schedule when you’re juggling kiddo activities in the mix. Next week, we’re having cooking club here at our house (YAY), and I know when it will occur each month so I can plan accordingly. Themed events are so much fun and it’s a great way to get friends together or meet new people. Wine club, book club, cooking club, tasting parties…

Cookie party 2

I’d love to hear about how you met your female friends! What are some of the things you do to maintain your friendships as you get older/busier?



Post Navigation:


  1. Randi on August 21, 2018 at 9:41 am

    I used to host wine cheese nights for a bunch of female neighbors and made some good friends through that.

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:21 am

      wine and cheese always means friendship 🙂

  2. Nicole Kump on August 21, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Being in the military offers a built in network of folks that I can count on everywhere I go. I’m thankful for that. I have my best friends from college as well, but with this crazy lifestyle, it’s nice to have friends who understand what I am going through. I love meeting AF ladies and AF wives like you, who don’t think I’m crazy for living like a nomad!

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:20 am

      hahah we all understand each other 🙂

  3. Janice O'Kane on August 21, 2018 at 11:16 am

    I feel regularly scheduled contact is the key. I have 2 girlfriends I met through work in 1996, we meet once a month for a meal (with girl trips thrown in). Another incredibly good friend of 36 years (!) and I meet monthly for breakfast and a movie. A very good friend of just a few years meets me on the reg for tea and chat. It’s amazing how much these women bring to my life.

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:20 am

      yes, it’s so important to make time for friends <3

  4. Christine on August 21, 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I really appreciate this post – it came at the perfect time for me! I’m really good about keeping in touch with my “forever” friends (from high school/early 20s life), but most of them live 1-2 hours away now so we don’t see each other on a weekly basis. My toddler is finally old enough that I feel like I can come up for air and start trying to make local mom friends, but I’m struggling with where/how. This post really helped give me some good ideas! Thank you!

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:20 am

      they have a lot of mommy meetup groups, too – i’d see if there’s one close to you!

  5. Sarah on August 21, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Thanks for this post! I’ve just moved to Munich and work from home so I know I’ll really have to actively look for new girlfriends instead of just letting it happen through work or so.

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:19 am

      <3 that sounds like an exciting move!!

  6. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on August 21, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I love this post! It’s not super easy to make friends as an adult. When Dave and I first moved to San Francisco, we met another couple at a restaurant and they became good friends. I’ve found you do have to put yourself out there. I also find that making walking dates with casual friends (who also have babies) helps me to see them more regularly and become better friends too. Overall, friend time is important, and I like that you addressed this!

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:19 am

      i totally agree! friend time is so important. otherwise it’s too easy to get stuck in your routine and going through the same motions all the time

  7. Annie on August 21, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Book club and fellow mommy friends are my main source of female friends. The key is to not just say ‘we should get together sometime’ but pull out your phone calendar and pick a date and time. Get it on the calendar!

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:18 am

      so so true. i found that when you say “let me know when you’re free!” it never actually happens

  8. Anne on August 21, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Our book club was started 9 years ago when one friend had twins and recognized the need for a night out. We’ve since met faithfully and shared life’s ups and downs including 2 weddings, one divorce, one loss of a spouse, and the births of 14 babies. It just took one girl saying let’s start this!! Some months we’re more like a ‘supper club’ if we haven’t read the book, but we always meet once a month. These girls have become closer to me than some of my ‘best’ friends because we see each other so faithfully. But like you said, make a plan, make some food, and invite someone in!!

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:18 am

      that is SO amazing. love that you could all be there for each other for such huge moments. <3

  9. Stephanie S. on August 21, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    This is a great post and really applicable to me right now – a lot of my friends from growing up and school are pretty spread out now, so it’s not easy to get together with them now. I try to make an effort to stay in touch with them even if we can’t get together often, but I need to make that more of a priority. And my husband and I moved to a new house earlier this year and are expecting our first baby in December, and I’ve been worrying about making new friends – both couple friends and mom friends. Thanks for the tips; I’m going to try to put myself out there more, even though it’s not my natural inclination! I know it’s worth it, though, and I really want to make friends with other moms once the baby is here.

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:12 am

      i’m the same way. it’s hard for me to put myself out there, but it’s always worth it! <3 congrats to you on your pregnancy, too!

  10. Sana on August 21, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    This is all great advice! I have a full time job so I have made some friends at work and networking events. However I agree that scheduling regular events is so important. For a few years my closest friends and I did weekly bocce at a local bar.

    • Fitnessista on August 22, 2018 at 1:11 am

      that sounds perfect! yes, scheduling actual times makes all the difference in the world

  11. Shannon Rhoads on August 22, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    All of this is great advice! Are you teaching any classes on labor day weekend? Me and my mom are taking a short weekend trip to Tucson (yayyy cheap resorts). Would love any new fav recommendations!

  12. Sarah on August 24, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    I am so bad at making new friends. This is so helpful because I know I need to put myself out there more, especially for my daughter’s sake. But I have some non-mom friends that meet the last Thursday each month for “dinner club” and we take turns choosing a restaurant to meet at. Scheduling things in advance definitely helps!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.