Facing a situation wherein your friend is moving away can be tough. This is most especially true if that friend is someone you’ve known for so long and home just isn’t the same without them. This is an unfortunate situation that can happen to anyone and the only logical thing to do moving forward is to simply… move on.
This is a lot harder than it sounds, of course, but it must be done. Having said that, here are 14 ways you should keep in mind as you cope with a friend moving away.
Understand and respect the reason for your friend moving away
If your friend decided to move away, then it’s for good reason. You should accept that and honor their decision. Knowing and believing that what they’re doing is what’s best for them will help you get through this ordeal much easier moving forward.
In most cases, a person moves to another city or country for professional or familial reasons and this can be tough for them too. No matter how close you are, there will always be things your friend needs to put first and you shouldn’t take that personally. If one of those things is the reason for them moving away, then respect their decision, be happy for them, and move forward.
Make your final memories count
If you want to properly cope with the idea of your friend moving away, make your final moments count. At least, your final moments for now. It’s not time to close that door just yet, but we’ll discuss that later on. For now, it is important that you spend as much time as possible with your friend before they actually move away.
Do the things you’ve always done with them. Go out and have as much fun as possible with them. Treat their moving away like it is something to celebrate and act like it. They’ll be so happy with you being happy for them. You can even help them move by being there and helping them unpack, sorting things in boxes, and things of the like.
Finally, end things on a high note when it’s time for them to leave. See each other one last time so you can say goodbye to one another properly.
Mementos are wonderful little items that will remind you of another person. Don’t think of this item as something that will make you sad because of how much you miss your friend. Think of it as something that will make you happy because it will make you remember how much you both care for one another.
A memento can be anything, but it has to be relevant to the both of you. It could be something they gave you that deeply touched you, or something you both kept to cherish a certain memory.
It will also be a lot better if the two of you do this. Just as you’re keeping something to remember them by, you can also give them something that will make them remember you.
Promise to keep in touch
Before you say goodbye to one another, make sure you promise to each other that you’re still going to keep in touch. In truth, for as long as your bond with that friend is strong enough, distance is never going to destroy your friend. Things will be different, sure. You won’t be able to see each other as much anymore, you won’t get to do the things you used to do together whenever you want, but the friendship will still be there.
A promise is all that’s necessary for now. That will give you the chance to be optimistic about the future and it will make saying goodbye to your friend, for now, sweet rather than sad. It will also reassure them that you’re not going to forget your friendship.
Allow yourself to miss your friend who moved away
When your friend finally does move away, allow yourself to miss them. There’s no need to pretend as if nothing happened. If you occasionally feel sad because you miss them, that’s okay. There’s no need to brush that feeling away. Acknowledge it and allow yourself to be swallowed by it.
Allowing yourself to miss your friend who has just moved away will ensure that you will actually eventually move on, sooner rather than later. Avoiding this feeling will just delay the inevitable for you. Simply acknowledge the emotion for now so you can be at peace later on. Besides, missing them is a sign that you still care for your friend and the memories you once shared.
Go out more often
Even though you’re constantly under feelings of sadness and you miss your friend so much, that’s no reason to just stay down and isolate yourself. Instead, start going out more often. Preoccupy yourself by getting out of bed, getting out of the house, and out into the open.
Go out with your other friends. Be more active at work. Dine at your favorite restaurant. Don’t confine yourself at home. Being surrounded by other people will do wonders for you mentally.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you should disregard the fact that you miss your friend. This is just a way for you to get used to the fact that you’re going to be going out more without your friend moving forward. And speaking of doing things without your friend…
Get used to doing things you used to do with them
You’re eventually going to get used to the fact that you’re going to be doing things you used to do with your friend alone. Or better yet, with someone else, this time. Your friend moving away isn’t a reason to stop doing the things you both used to enjoy doing together. Keep doing those things alone or with someone else.
This also applies to places you used to frequent with them. Don’t stop going to those places just because your friend isn’t going to be with there with you anymore. Think of those places as landmark mementos that will shower you with wonderful memories as soon as you step in them rather than places that will make you sad.
Start getting used to doing those things and going to those places when you’re ready. The best time to do it is now, but if you’re just not ready yet because it’s too painful for now, then give yourself time. Just remember to never brush this off.
Focus on the friends you have
One friend moving away is not the end of your social life for you. Don’t forget that you still have your other friends in your life who also care for you. Just because you miss one of them, doesn’t mean you should disregard the rest.
That said, don’t stop hanging out with your friends or start changing around them. Keep doing the things you used to do with them. Let them know that you still value them by showing up, engaging with them, and respecting their time.
Don’t overdo talking about them to your friends
Another thing you shouldn’t do is talk about how much you miss your friend after they moved away too much with your friends. It’s okay to miss your friend and it’s okay to talk about it every once in a while. However, if you do it too much and if you wallow too often around your friends, you’re going to start dampening the fun you usually have with them.
Your friends are even going to start feeling as if you’re only hanging out with them because you miss your friend. They’re going to feel like “rebounds”, as it were. Once again, it’s okay to feel those emotions and it’s okay to talk about them. Just do them in moderation. Never make your friends feel like you’re just hanging out with them to alleviate your negative emotions.
Build new friendships
If you want to keep being socially adept, you need to be keeping being open to the idea of building new friendships. A friend moving away shouldn’t stop that. With that in mind, open yourself to new friendships. You don’t need to actively seek them unless you really want to.
You can just open yourself up and allow this to happen whenever an opportunity comes up. If you meet someone and the potential for friendship arises, welcome it instead of discarding it because you miss your friend and you don’t want to “replace” them.
That’s not what’s happening here. You’re simply going about as you always have socially and acknowledging decent people, accepting the idea they could be your friend too.
Work on yourself
You also shouldn’t forget to work on yourself throughout all of this. If you have personal goals and interests, focus on them.
Don’t forget about your professional goals. Work on your goals and ambitions so you can finally attain them. Your professional life shouldn’t be affected by your friend moving away. Think of it like this: Imaging how proud your friend would be if the next time you see each other, you’ll have finally achieved the things you’ve always wanted to. Think about how proud YOU would be of yourself.
Don’t forget your personal interests. If you have hobbies and skills, keep doing them. Hone them. Hobbies are more than just activities you do to pass the time, they can also be very therapeutic for you. Besides, it never hurts to improve upon one area of yourself.
Finally, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Watch out for your health physically and mentally. Work out every once in a while. Keep your sanity in check. Do self-care. Take care of yourself and your happiness will follow along naturally.
Don’t forget them
Just because your friend moved away, that doesn’t mean you should ultimately forget them. Always keep them in your mind and in your heart. You may think this will just make you more miserable because you’ll miss them too much, but this will help you accept the fact that they’re not there with you anymore much faster.
Always remember that their absence is simply physical. You can keep the conversation going and will always have the chance to see them again eventually. This is not a case of a door closing, but rather, it’s just a change of pace that you have no control over. What you can control is the fact that you can keep the essence of the friendship alive by not forgetting them.
Keep in touch with them
One of the most important things you can and should do to cope with your friend moving away is to actually remain to keep in touch with them. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, you need to promise to keep in touch with one another. You need to follow through with that and do it.
Technology these days is incredible and convenient. Make use of it by chatting, texting, or calling with them every once in a while. A close and secure friendship isn’t going to be hindered by distance.
You don’t need to text, chat, or call them every single day. You both have your own lives to take care of, after all. Instead, just update one another on the things that have been happening in your lives. Talk as if you’re together physically. Speak to each other the way you always have. This is one way to keep the friendship alive.
Just because they moved away, doesn’t mean the friendship should end. Long-distance friendships are more common than you think and they’re absolutely easy to maintain if both are willing.
Plan to see each other again
Finally, you both should acknowledge the fact that you’re going to be seeing each other once again in the future. It doesn’t need to happen right away. It can be years down the road. But acknowledge and remember that it can and should happen.
That said, plan it! Make it something you both can look forward to. She can return to where you are for a vacation, or you can go and visit them. They can show you around. Whatever the case, plan this and look forward to it. It will be an exciting thing and it will absolutely help you cope with your friend moving away.
A friend moving away is a hard fact to accept, mainly because it’s something a lot of people don’t consider when beginning a friendship. When it does happen, though, just take note of everything you’ve read here and remember that, for one thing, coping with this can be done in time, and second, that friendship doesn’t really need to end just because of the distance.
Give it time and effort. Things will get better for you, eventually. Just remember to never disregard the fact that you miss them. Don’t disregard your other friends. Take care of your social life. And most importantly, take care of yourself.