How to cope when a mate moves away…
“I’ve got something to tell you: I’m moving.”
Your stomach drops and you stare at your best friend in dismay. Thoughts of all the fun times you’ve spent together race through your mind. You remember the secrets you’ve shared, the times you both cried with laughter, the countless times you’ve relied on each other… Your best friend is part of you – your other half. You’re a double act, an inseparable pair and you can’t imagine your life without them. Until now.
Coping With The News
When you first hear your friend’s news, it’s normal to feel shocked, sad and even angry or jealous. It’s a lot to take in so give yourself time to process it all. What’s important to remember, right at this moment, is that this move does not mean the end of your friendship.
It’s OK to be sad. This is a big change. Long-distance friendships can work; you just need to figure out ways to stay in touch. Try to be kind to yourself and look after your mental and physical health. For ideas on how to boost your mood, click here.
Be A Good Friend
Try to be supportive to your friend. Remember, they probably feel just as sad and worried as you do but they also have the added burden of feeling nervous, excited and even scared about starting a new life elsewhere. They might be heading off to start at a new school in a town where they don’t know anyone or moving to another country with a totally different climate or language.
Listen to your friend’s concerns and try to help them find solutions. Do your best to help them look for positives to help them feel more confidently prepared for their new life. Once you both accept the situation, you can move on and start to look to the future.
Find out more on how to be a great mate here.
Vow to make the most of your remaining time together. Take lots of photos, visit your favourite places, or do something you’ve both always wanted to do. Make lasting memories you’ll both cherish for years to come.
You may want to plan a farewell party to give your friend a special send-off or you might prefer to do something just the two of you. There’s no right or wrong way to say goodbye. Do what feels right for you.
Before your friend moves away, plan how you will stay in touch. Thanks to social media, you’ll be able to keep up to date with each other’s lives daily. You can also send emails, letters and texts, chat on WhatsApp or spend hours chatting on a video call.
If visiting is an option, you can make plans for them to come and stay with you or vice versa. This will give you both something to look forward to and makes the separation a little more bearable.
It’s important you feel supported, especially after your friend moves away. Confide in another friend, talk to a family member or try writing your feelings in a journal.
It can feel very strange when your friend moves away and it will take time to adjust to the new ‘normal’. Try to keep yourself busy and find different things to do at the times when you’d usually chill with your best mate. You could join an after-school club or spend more time with other friends. It can help to socialise with others – it distracts you and reminds you that you’re not alone.
Making new friends can seem daunting, especially if you’re shy or find it difficult to talk to people you don’t know very well. We’ve got lots of conversation starter tips here, as well as advice on how to make new friends here.