friend is moving away

It is tough to cope when a friend is moving away, but it is still possible to maintain a strong relationship after they’re gone. Image: gossip girls 1 via sxc.hu

Let’s face it, we all dread seeing a moving truck outside of our best friend’s home, or a brother or sister packing to leave for college. It’s hard to let go when any close loved one at a turning point in their life is moving streets away, states away, or even to a different country! From childhood friends to my sister leaving nearly every summer for internship programs, I have struggled with saying good-bye (or, “I’ll see you soon,” because “good-bye” can mean “good-bye forever” and forever is just too long to not see my sister). This post will help you cope when a friend is moving away.

I’ve had this experience, and see it quite often. Moving can be very hard for the friends and family that have to help with the packing or the organizing to determine what should stay, what should go, and what is just trash. But, we have to realize this is a stepping stone for the person who is moving. As much as we want to hide in the back of the truck or pack ourselves in the box saying “take me with you,” we have to learn to accept and let them go temporarily.

When the day departure arrives, the best solution to cope with all the sadness is to share with the loved one how much we care, love and support their decision. Give a helping hand, help pack boxes for them, and even help load the truck. Underneath it all, the one doing the moving could be feeling a little bit nervous, at an all-time high of excitement, or even experiencing a little sadness. No matter how much we want our friends and family to stay, it is always best to show our support.

The good news is, there are several things you can do after they move to keep your relationship strong and brighten up the sadness.

  • Stay in contact via phone calls, text messages, and social media.
  • Make regular appointments to Skype, FaceTime or Google video chat.
  • Plan regular visits in advance and stick to the dates, even when life gets busy.
  • Focus on similarities that you still share, instead of the different paths your lives are taking.
  • Do things together over the phone that you would do together, like watch a favorite TV show or movie or grab coffee together. That way, it will still feel like you’re hanging out together.
  • Play games with each other through a mobile phone app to stay connected and have fun from a distance. Words with Friends or Draw Something are good examples, but there are plenty more to choose from.

Following these tips and maintaining a positive outlook will help you cope when a friend is moving away.

Have you ever dealt with a family member or close friend moving away? What ways did you keep in contact with them? Share your comments and tips in the comments section. 

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54 Responses to How to Cope When a Friend is Moving Away

  1. Lass says:

    My best friend is moving to Texas in summer and I don’t know what to do. I feel like when she’s gone everyone else will ditch me, she was the only one who stuck up for me, and invited me in.

    • Rachael says:

      My best friend is moving to Texas in the summer too and I know exactly how you feel. Small world huh?

    • Jenny says:

      Apparently everyones bestfriend has been moving to Texas lately and tonight was just the very last time I got to see him and I’m bawling my eyes out right now. It didn’t sink in until I left.

      • Amber says:

        a few years ago one of my friends moved across the country and now one of my other friends is moving. Shes been my neighbor and best friend since we were two so it’s really hard

        • Alison A says:

          Hi Amber, I’m sorry to hear another friend is moving. I know this is definitely painful but for sure it is a window of opportunity and many possibilities for your friend. To help you cope through this time, I’m sending you lots of you good vibes and wishing nothing but the best for both of you.

    • Emma Wright says:

      My best friend move to Boston last summer and I live in Singapore. My life feels really empty without her and I am just clueless on what to do now. I think it was the time difference between Boston and Singapore
      that made me want her to stay in Singapore and it is crap having to wait until the morning and evening to FaceTime her because I just want to FaceTime her each and e dry day and all day. She was a sister to me and we did everything together. We had a reunion the other and I did what I thought I wouldn’t do: burst out crying after she left me to have lunch and spend time with her friends. I sometimes have to wait 2-3 months to FaceTime her because she doesn’t answer the calls as I think she is busy and I know she isn’t busy. Please help me here because I really need her to move back to Singapore as I thought she would never leave. I was best friends with her for 4 years 2 terms and bit before she left and we are still the best of friends but life doesn’t feel the same without her. We have been best friends for nearly 6 years now. I might be visiting her at Christmas but tickets to Boston from Singapore are really expensive.

  2. Keshaboy says:

    My Best friend bray is moving November 21st and i have a vivid image of me crying my eyes out i’m 13 and we’ve only been friend for about 8 months so i am ust going sit listen to Ke$ha’katy perry lady gaga P!nk nicki minaj and britney spears i;’ll just die

  3. Kaylee parke says:

    One of my friends is moving to Tennessee and I will die:(

  4. Julie says:

    I met a new friend two months ago but it feels like we’ve known each other much longer. We hit it off immediately and hang out at least a couple of times a week, and talk every day. We’re both moving within a year or two most likely – in completely opposite directions. We’ve finished university and both starting to want to move closer to our hometowns… Which are thousands of miles apart… And I already can’t stand the thought of losing the best friend I’ve had in my adult life. We’d still talk and travel together when we can, but it’s not the same as just dropping by to hang out and watch bad movies and eat pizza together. I will miss it so much.

    • Ke$haboy26 says:

      i know how u feel my best friend Bray moved November 20th and when i started school we hit it off the second we layed eyes on each other and he was in a group home so we didn’t hang out except in school and i am a big fan of Ke$ha the day he left was a day when her show was on TV and it didn’t cheer me up any. Bray and i were like brother. i didn’t even say good bye to him beacuse i was starting to cry so if u wanna talk anymore my email address is patrickdempsey763@yahoo.com

    • Alyssa says:

      My best friend is moving in a couple of days. She’s only moving to fort mill South Carolina and I live in rock hill but it still feels like forever away. I’ve only known her for about 5 months but we have grown very very close. I’m gonna miss her so much. I wish she didn’t have to go.

  5. Renee says:

    My two best friends both told me they are moving. The biggest worry for me is my kids. Their kids are my kids best friends. I can’t believe they are both moving. I am a grown woman who has had many people move away through the years but it never gets easy. My heart is breaking. I don’t know how I will tell my kids.

    • Alison A says:

      Renee, that certainly is a tough experience to go through. Sending you much strength for both you and your children.

  6. Alex says:

    In our century it’s not so difficult to keep in touch: Email, call, Skype, visit on holidays, send letters by post. Remember though, maybe in a few years you guys won’t be as close as you are now. Sometimes friendships fade, and it’s normal. Alex

    • Alison A says:

      Alex, this is true. One thing that I have recently done was made a quick phone call to with a friend of mine whom I’ve known for years. What a major difference it was to actually hear her voice and the excitement it was to receive a phone call rather than a text message. We may not be as close as we were growing up but it’s always nice to know that we can reconnect and look forward to future memories. 🙂

  7. Aletta says:

    My twin sister moved to a different country this morning for college and I cried my eyes out! It’s a terrible feeling! We did everything together and she’s my best friend!! I like your advice and will keep in touch with her as much as I can.

    • Alison A says:

      Aletta, being countries away would absolutely be tough but with great strength and communication, you’ll be on your way to being connected plus coping while your sister is away. Thank you for your feedback and I’m sending you warm wishes for strength to get you through her college stay.

  8. Ann says:

    I have a friend who is moving to Canada and the worst part is that I’m in love with him, but he’s never loved me as more than a friend. So, in a way, I’ve already been missing him despite the fact that I see him quite often. And he knows that I love him, so contact will be difficult because I don’t want to seem clingy.

  9. Lilhawk says:

    Having a problem with my friend we lived next to each other for 4yrs I’d see her go to wk in the morning and evenings from wk sometimes I”d cook take her a plate and she would do the same we both smoked when either one of use were out side the other would come out an talk i go to her place and she would come to mine she has a lil dog it would bark at my door to let me know she was there..My friend an i would do things on wkends some times. watch movies..I knew she was moving into a better apt across town better area help her move. after she was all moved out i relize that i wasnt going to see my friend like I use to, and it hit me i was so sad and I told my friend that for awhile i didnt clean my apt or do my dishs and that was like me. I told her I miss them. and again she ask me what was wrong with me and I told her I was sad that i just couldnt just walk over an see them.She told me that i was trying to make her feel bad for moving and i didnt want her to be happy and to better herself and i just rain on her parade and she wasnt going to carry on my depression and to take care.I was just trying to tell her how much I miss the both of them, I guess she didnt think of me as a friend. or cared her friend was missing them, any feed back would be nice… Do you think i was in the wrong??? I dont…

  10. Nick says:

    A friend I’ve had for 5 years is moving back to France (live in New York) and I am really upset I felt horrible; so horrible that I couldn’t look at him for 3 days. I was practically in tears when he told me 🙁 I am hurting a lot in the inside (seriously i feel like its tearing me up on the inside). I was wondering if you had any advice on how to spend the rest of the time we have left together and what to do in preparation for the day he leaves. And what to do so I can still contact him after he leaves.

    • Hannah Han says:

      Hey nick, I have a similar issue. I have a friend who’s moving back to Korea after living in Michigan for about four years. And keeping in touch will be difficult and I probably won’t see her because of how difficult it is to fly over there. She is moving really soon and it’s really hard. Hope you feel better knowing that you aren’t alone.

  11. Kaykay says:

    My best friend is moving to Florida today. We have been best friends for 5 years and did everything together. Lately we haven’t been so close and I wanted to make it up with her, but now I can’t- she is moving more than 1,000 miles away! What do I do?!?!

    • Ke$haboy26 says:

      Tell her you love her and you’ll miss her. i lost my best friend. i know how you feel. make monthly meets in the middle of where you live you drive half way so does shoe. and facebook twitter and video chant and of course calling

  12. hanna says:

    im moving to Georgia in 2 weeks and my best friend is in California for 3 weeks so I dont get to say goodbye she was my sister for 4 years i was practically adopted I did everything with them every morning for school I would walk in there house and make a cup of coffee and wait for her to come down stairs so we could walk to school. Anytime someone went somewhere the other was there. I have social anxiaty and shes my only friend and Im not that good at making friends what do I do?

    • Alison A says:

      Hi Hanna! I can see how this can be a bit of a tough situation based on each of you being apart prior to your official moving day. The best way possible to get through this experience is continued communication. Whether it’s via phone call, social media or snail mail, this can certainly help keep your friendship strong even though you’re miles apart. Like all things, change is scary and moving to a new place is even more terrifying, however, it can also be exciting. Saying “hello” to a neighbor or even the local grocery clerk, can strike up a conversation and who knows, you’ll find things in common & a new friend. 🙂

  13. Clo says:

    I have a best friend who is moving this Thursday and she told me Monday tht she was moving.
    She and I are really close and I don’t know what I’m going to do when she’s gone every night I cry myself to sleep thinking Friday I’m gonna wake up and she’s gonna be gone for good she’s not gonna be waiting inside her apt. Door for me to just barge right in, she’s not gonna be my neon our anymore “we live in an apt. And we just live across the hall from each other” just knowing tht I have to wake up every day and not have her there to support me when I need it makes me cry even harder

    • Alison A says:

      Hi Clo, thanks for sharing with us. So sorry to hear of the sudden news. Certainly, when a close friend or family member moves, it can be rough. The first few days may even be the most difficult but it doesn’t mean you cannot overcome the hardship. With vast communication between one another, you can always keep in touch.

  14. kaitlyn says:

    i am moving to fort Wayne and my friends will be lonely i am scared to say any thing

    • Alison A says:

      Hi Kaitlyn, as tough and as scary as it may seem, telling your friends will allow them to cope with your move smoother. Once they are aware, it will make the process a bit easier, allow time for you all to spend as much time together before the BIG day and maybe they’ll even help with your move. Stay strong!

  15. Lily says:

    My friend is moving today. god. im gonna miss him so much. i wish i didnt like him, makes it even harder.

    • Paige E says:

      Lily, that’s definitely tough. I hope the two of you are able to keep in touch and that some of our tips have helped!

  16. My best friend moved to ireland and I live in Australia and its so hard like I miss her so much. Also when I was seven I moved to Australia and left all my family behind in africa including my childhood best friend. I miss them both so much and its really really difficult!

    • Also she has like no wifi and the time difference is huge so we hardly ever chat. I miss her so much already and its only been 10 weeks. We were so close and now i feel like i barely know her.

      • Alison A says:

        Emily, I know the feeling. As busy as our lives seem to get once our friends/family move away, the best way we can keep in touch with them could be a quick text or phone call. Although, it would be a bit tough with the time difference but who wouldn’t like waking up to a ‘good morning’ text or a quick ‘how are you’ message. May it only become easier for you and thanks for sharing. -AA

  17. gogogog says:

    I am 13 but my two close friends are year 11 and leaving in a week. I may never get to see them again. They r going to be busy with collage. I have been bullied most of my life and never really had any friends and i just dont know how i will cope without them they have helped me so much. 🙁

    • Paige E says:

      That can definitely be tough. As you see in this post, there are various ways to keep in touch and stay connected. What ways, did you read, could you and your friends stay in touch?

  18. J says:

    I have a best friend who is moving to Florida from here in Nevada. I have known her for over a year and I’m really sad… I was reading this and thought of how cool it’d be to keep in touch with her. I’m only 12, and it can be hard to let go of a good friend at this age. I have only two best friends. I truly believe best friends are just that – the best friends that you have. It’s sad to see one of my two besties leave… I can’t deal with it. I literally cried last night in bed because she’s leaving. We’ve just had so many memories together and I can’t bear to see her leave… This really helped and it’s easier for me to say “See ya later.” Thank you.

  19. dvh says:

    I find it really hard because most of my friends on my swim team are moving away or going to college all at the same time. I have been swimming with them for the last few years and they have been a huge part of my life. Now that they are all going to be gone, I don’t know what I’m going to do for the next year before I go off to college without having them with me everyday.

  20. Avenley says:

    I’m extremely sad and depressed that my friend is moving to Louisiana. I’ve been with her for 6 years and I hate to see her go. My school ends in 2 days and on those 2 days I will not be able to see her. She’s moving Saturday, and now I’m stuck in life because she was always by my side. Help please?

    • Paige E says:

      Hi Avenley, that’s really a tough situation! I can only imagine how you must feel. Do you think you can implement some of our suggestions to stay in touch with your friend?

  21. Brenna says:

    My best friend is moving to Hawaii which is super cool but her time zone is 6 hours behind mine and I’m used to seeing her everyday and going to swim practice with her everyday and texting from good morning to good night. She’s moving really soon and I don’t want her to at all. I can’t imagine life without her

    • Alison A says:

      Hello Brenna, I’m excited for the new city & change your best friend is moving to, however, I do understand your sadness. The best thing to do is celebrate and be there for her as much as you can before she leaves. Maybe even begin to make plans to visit each other and this will be something you two can look forward to. Best wishes to you both! 🙂

  22. Alison A says:

    Hi Emma, for sure the time zone difference will get the best of us but I feel like that it can only make your bond a lot stronger. May the two of you get to be able to reconnect ASAP.

  23. A Depressed Indvidual says:

    Hello, I just read this article and It’s kinda cool. It has some great tips that I’m sure going to use and It’s sure going to help me a lot.I also noticed all of these stories. My best friend is moving to Dubai. And it’s pretty far from here. We are close relatives. We’re actually really close cousins. We go to school together. We know each other since Kindergarten. Now we’re both in highschool. And I’m really really terrified right now. I’m a kind of person, who didn’t show her emotions earlier. When she told me she was traveling, I didn’t wanted to think about it a lot so It won’t get really depressing,I just shook it off by saying that it’s okay but now that she is really close to moving away It’s getting worse. I have to hold up from crying every time I have a phone call with her. She promised she’ll keep in touch with me, through skype, phone, everything. But it’s just that feeling of being lonely. I’ve known her for 11 years, that’s nearly my whole entire life, and for me to not complete it along the way, that is really tough. But the relief is that the timezone won’t be so hard. But of course she is going to meet new people and get along with her life and I have to be VERY accepting and I am. I’m just taking my moment of grief. I know I’m going to get jealous if I ever scrolled down my Instagram feed and saw my replacement or whatsoever. But I’m hoping I won’t be replaced and I know I won’t, we’ve known each other for so long and she won’t just let go, because that’s just her. I’m just really hoping that she’ll spend an amazing time with the rest of her life. It’s only just the beginning. It just felt good to share this.

    • Alison A says:

      Thanks for sharing! As tough as it is to hold back tears and show signs of emotion of how we really feel about the upcoming move, it’s OK to let it out. Sometimes its the best remedy and she’ll know for sure how much it has really taken a toll. I’m happy you have a positive outlook and wish you two the best!

  24. Anannya says:

    I’m Anannya my best friend is moving to Canada . Feeling really lonely and sad . I hope we can be in touch . It has timezone difference . I know she is happy to be going to a whole knew world . How can I make up to her and mine strong bond remains like this .

  25. Anannya says:

    I’m only 12 it is even more difficult to leave a bf whom you know since pre- school. I’m so sorry for postin another comment . I hope you’ll reply to me. If you can somehow tell me you email or facebook account I can talk more comfortably . I hope you tell your fb account as its easy to contact .

  26. Anannya says:

    I’m so sorry i think i’m so confused cause of tension will i will get to contact . She’s leaving on 15 september . I’m feeling left behind kinda of . What can i do that we can keep in touch . Plz reply as soon as you can eagerly wainting for your help . Thanks

    • Alison A says:

      Hello Anannya, I’m sorry to hear that your friend is moving. As tough as it is at the moment, we have to be extra strong for the friend that is moving. Knowing that they will have to adapt to a new location, home and environment. May everything work out and best wishes to the both of you during this time.

  27. Sarah says:

    I just had to move from Michigan to Germany and leaving by friend behind was easily the hardest thing I have ever done. We have been inseperable for 11 years. Now I have to go to a new school in a new country and try to figure things out without her there to help me through it. Just knowing that there is so much distance between us tears me apart and I have no idea how to cope. This is easily the hardest thing I have ever gone through, any advice on how to figure out where to go from here?

    • Alison A says:

      Hi Sarah, my heart goes out to you. For sure, spending 11 years together would be tough to cope with especially in the beginning. I would recommend reaching out through phone calls, social media or even my favorite, through mail. Either way, each is a form of communication with your friend and will keep you close as much as possible even though you’re both miles apart. Another suggestion would be to plan a trip together where you both can meet and catch up in person. Those are always fun. Wishing you nothing but the best and may everything become easier.

  28. Anannya says:

    Thanks . How can i can i contact with u better??

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