The “antisocial” army wife.

Before I got married to my wonderful soldier, and before I moved to our first ever home, I was told again and again: “you’ll make so many friends” “the wives are always socializing”. Well. I’ve met some lovely people but I struggled to make friends. Half of the problem is me. I’m anti-social at times. In fact I’m starting to think making friends is witchcraft because I can just not master it. What’s the secret??
It’s not all my fault: I work 40 hours a week and get consumed in my own interest. I’m also not the most socially confident individual. I’m not, nor do I think I will ever be, the type of person to walk straight over to a stranger introduce myself and launch into small talk. A busy person I don’t make it to coffee mornings, meet and greets or family days. So I don’t really meet people. We also don’t have children. Having children makes it easy to meet parents and make connections outside school gates and taking children to play dates.
Now I don’t make it to the wives and family events, not because I don’t want to, but because I work a lot. I’m my own worst enemy as I’m not the biggest fan off attending things on my own. I do attend the Balls and Mess Dos! Mostly because my best friend does; my wonderful husband. I don’t have to worry when he is there. When he is there I don’t feel nervous or concerned. My social anxiety disappears.
I’m not friendless. For about 6months I had 2 friends in the area. I’m lucky since then I have made a few more friends that I can spend time with. The dog has helped and I already knew some people from when my husband was posted here before and I met people through work. These people have been brilliant and I wouldn’t change them. But I find my myself desperate for company now and again. Not always! Just every now and again.
In all honesty I’ve never been the most social person but I have always managed to make some friends. And when no one I knew was free I have always been good at keeping myself occupied; wondering into town and keeping myself entertained. But when you have moved to a more isolated area (where public transport is a myth) keeping yourself entertained isn’t easy! You need friends, much as I adore my new home and the beautiful view, friends are a must or you go crazy. The dog is a wonderful substitute, my big baby keeps me company in the house and on long walks, but I can exactly take him shopping or for a cocktail.
Suddenly I have become conscious of not nagging people to spend time with me and simultaneously trying to occupy myself while my mans at work or away. Trying to do my best to not force him into squeezing into the “female friends” role: coming shopping, going to watch films he hates, doing typical girl things. The phrase “we will come visit you after you move” is a well-meaning lie. There are a few friends that visit us. My “other” best friend, the wonderful Becky, visits whenever she can. She deals with rescheduling with easy and facetimes me when she can. She is a star.
I live on camp so I’m lucky that the friends I have made are in close proximity and that my husband is definitely my soul mate; and I couldn’t ask for any one better he puts up with my neediness. So he doesn’t mind being dragged around and being forced to entertain me. There are some wives who walk into camp and can make friends within an instant! I would love to know their trick. I’m definitely not one of them and it might make my life just a little bit more difficult. I’ve already started saying “our next posting I’ll make more of an effort to make friends, I will”. I’m not sure I really know how! I suppose I don’t fit the socialite army wife stereo type. Sometimes is does feel lonely out here. Isolated. But at least I’ve got my boys, the awesome husband and the dog, to keep me on my toes.

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