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 every.single.day – 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.
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.
(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…
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?