Now this is a hard post to write because when I married I left most of my friends behind me in Canada and the USA. And this is the traditional lot of the married. To get married is usually to leave behind the freedoms of celibacy and settle down. You begin to orbit around home, spouse, children (if they arrive) and job (if you have one). If you have moved away, you get bulletins on what you are missing: at So-and-So's PhD ceremony, she was told five minutes before that she had won the Governor's Medal. (And it kills me that I was not there to see her face.)
Another thing about moving away is that it becomes harder to make friends. At home, you are the gracious, welcoming one. You know the ropes, the local customs, the best cheap restaurants. In your new town, you greatly depend on the kindness of strangers. And for some reason, I keep thinking of a dear friend who went to Cairo and initially went to cafes to meet and chat with musicians and other artists; she quickly discovered that these friendly types assumed all women who did that were prostitutes. In educated circles in Toronto, making friends with men (and other married women) is no big deal; elsewhere it is a torturous business, rife with misunderstanding.
But this is not a blog for married women like me, but for Catholic Singles and other Singles of good will. I don't have the answer to how to make friends when you are married. But I would like to encourage my Single readers to make as many friends and acquaintances as you can while you can. There is no point sitting alone at home thinking that only marriage will cure your loneliness. It will not. Without friends, you will be lonely even when/if you are married.
I often get emails from Single women detailing their disappointment with social events, how they haven't yet been approached for a date. My advice is to stop thinking of social events as husband-hunting expeditions but as opportunities to make friends. There are few comforts in life as important as a good woman friend and men friends can be quite fun, too. I wouldn't class them as emotionally necessary as women friends, but they are handy for walking you up dark streets at night or removing the mouse-infested rice bag for your cupboard. (Caveat: British men, American friends and I have found, are much less chivalrous than Canadian and American men.) They also provide handy guys-eye-views.
The one thing I warn against is making a man your 'bestest buddy', or allowing yourself to become a man's 'bestest buddy.' Becoming so emotionally dependent on a man who is not sexually attracted to you is very bad for a woman's morale. It puts you in the ridiculous social position of seeming like a man's girlfriend (which tends to dissuade other men from approaching you) when nothing is further from his mind.
Meanwhile, don't try overly hard to make men your friends. Some men simply cannot get over Woman-as-Other and take any overture of friendship from a woman as sexual suggestion or (worse) aggression. This is sad, but many men are like that. In such cases, give up. You can't force friendship any more than you can force love.