We’ve all been there. You know, that awkward and lonely place between one station to the next.
There is an empty void following the frenzy of a move. After a PCS, the comfortable and committed friendships you had are now long-distance relationships. While Facetime is great, you need some actual face time with other adults. It’s dating season.
If Facebook had a Classifieds section similar to a newspaper’s single’s ads, mine would read something like this.
Dog-loving, seasoned milspo seeks non-crazy, independent Target buddy. Must love PSL, Chick-Fil-A, and a good book.
My family recently PCS’d and it’s ”dating season” for me.
I groan at the thought of having to shake and sift through connections in search of new friends. “Blind dates” and forced conversation await me. My mouth feels like it has been overrun with cotton balls and I can’t seem to keep my hands from sweating. In my mind, I’m revisiting all the bad blind dates I’ve had over the years.
Is it worth it? How many times will I have to sit across from someone new while silently begging, “Please, don’t be crazy,” to find a “keeper?”
Can we please just skip right to showing up in sweatpants and talking loudly over the chaos of our kids playing (with my couch laundry between us)? Isn’t there an app for that, where we can swipe left and save each other the trouble?
While Tinder for Milspouse friends sounds interesting, I am going to have to do the hard work of building relationships…and so are you.
I’m going to work up the courage ask someone to coffee today. I’ll overcome the anxiety of “making the first move” and invite people in.
Here’s how to navigate the “dating” scene.
1. Bite the bullet.
All of us have to do this. You’ve heard the saying “You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince.” While we aren’t actually “kissing frogs,” we do have to sort through those who just might not be the right fit. Take the risk. Make up your mind to be intentional in asking someone new to meet up.
2. Find your people.
Take the pressure off and join a group, or start one. What are you passionate about? Do you love to read? Find a book club. Are you a foodie? Join a local lunch bunch. Share the love and gather people around the things that bring you joy. This can be a church, a gym, or a play group. The possibilities are endless.
3. Open your front door.
Instead of being an unending “White Walls” project, your home can be a place of connection. Your coffee table can be where a friendship is born. Meet those that live where you live and just open the door. You’ll be surprised at how many in your neighborhood are longing for friendship.
Community makes all the difference during uncertainty, deployments, and reintegration.
Be brave. You belong. All you have to do is open the door.