If you’ve been in the military community long enough you start noticing that it’s truly a melting pot of personalities. As a service member, I found it much easier to connect to people because everyone had the same goal and we suffered together. As a spouse, I’ve been faced with some cringe worthy situations brought on by overly attached military spouses. Usually well meaning, these individuals have violated my nature and my space. I’ve developed some strategies to handle the overly attached military spouse.
The neighbor who knows absolutely no boundaries. This one can be very tricky. While some neighbors rush to greet new arrivals, others move at their own time. Personally, I’m borderline introverted. I need to get a feel for people before I commit time to them or invite them into my space. I have never gotten to know my neighbors on more than a “hello, how are you?” basis, and that’s just who I am. I’ve gotten lucky with great neighbors in the course of my time around the Army, but some can be a bit much. One approach you can take is to let nosey Sharkeisha next door know that you’re not really interested in hanging out because she’s too loud. Orrrr, you can be a little more diplomatic and just keep blowing her off until she gets the hint. I’ve been known to walk around looking upset (resting b-word face), so I’m already naturally unapproachable. Try that next time Bertha from the block strikes up a conversation you aren’t interested in.
The rando you met on FB who you just can’t shake. Facebook groups can be a godsend for military spouses in terms of meeting new people and making friends. It can also help mask everyone’s crazy because you only see their online persona initially. Once a meeting takes place and the realization hits that there are absolutely no common interests between you and this person, it can be a bummer. Adding to the chaos, some people just don’t see things the same. So now your messenger is blowing up with 20 questions about when your next friend date will be. HELP! The first thing to remember is that you don’t want to burn bridges in the small military community. You might end up having to take one for the team and schedule another get together further down the road..like maybe a year. I mean, most of us have “that friend” who had to grow on us. Maybe this will be yours. If you’re cold blooded and don’t care to spare feelings, you could always let her know that it’s not you, it’s her.
The spouse with whom you don’t click but feel obligated to remain friends with. This can be the spouse whose husband works with yours. Maybe the menfolk (or women) hit it off and now they expect you to be friends. The only issue is that her voice is like nails on a chalkboard as far as you’re concerned. This situation sucks because you find yourself torn between wanting to cultivate your spouse’s friendships outside of work and running for the hills. This is another situation where you can opt to suck it up and learn to love scratching chalkbords. Or you can limit plans to only when husbands are present. There aren’t too many ways out of this tragic set of circumstances, but survival is defintely possible.
I’ve always felt sort of obligated to be surrounded by women in a Sex and the City PG-13 type of setting. We’d tag each other in wine memes and post statuses about how they’re our chosen family or “tribe.” Thanks, Army Wives. Ever since that daggone show I’ve felt like the lonliest army wife ever. Am I supposed to walk around in a thong at a military ball just to make friends? I’m not sure how I’ve managed, but I have definitely met some amazing people that I don’t plan on losing touch with. Thanks, Facebook. I’ve always met some unsavory folks, such as the overly attached military spouse. I guess it just comes with the territory. There’s also nothing wrong with simply letting someone know that you aren’t interested in their company. I’ve never taken that approach, so I’m going to need you to report back.