Hearing the news that your best friend is leaving town can hit you hard especially if this is someone you meet regularly and with whom you have created many memories. You may feel mixed emotions; happy that they are chasing their dream or new opportunities but also sad that they are leaving. Likelihood is that they may feel the same as you do. 

Be open with your best friend and share how you feel, this will encourage communication. They might also want to share how they feel about their move but might be unsure how to start the conversation. You can express that you are happy for them but will also be missing them. Try not to let your sadness of them moving away from dampening their excitement. Remember, for you its one friend who is moving away but for them it’s a whole family and friends they have to depart from. Listen to what they have to say, perhaps what they are looking forward to, any worries or fears they may have and show them that you are there for them no matter what. 

Up until the day of the move try and plan some activities together so that you can share precious moments before they leave. Nonetheless, you also need to be understanding if they do not have as much time as you wish to spend together. Your friend might be busy coordinating the move, tying some lose ends and spending time with the different significant people in their life. Offer your help with anything they may need such as; logistics, sorting out their belongings, packing etc.  

Have a conversation about how you can keep in touch once they move. Nowadays there are many different ways to communicate online and following COVID-19, most of us have become quite comfortable and used to making video calls. It is easy to say we will keep in touch but without some effort this can easily fade away. Your friend may be overwhelmed with the move and not everyone finds it easy to reach out for support. Take some initiative to check in on how they are doing and suggest to have video calls yourself. 

Finally, you may want to organise a farewell party or dinner. This can either be intimate i.e. something that you do on your own with your best friend or you may want to include other common friends and family members. If you want to give your best friend a farewell gift, try to be practical. They are likely to have a lot of things that they need to move with them so something small and personal would probably be best or else send them something directly at their new address.

Your best friend moving away doesn’t have to be the end of your friendship. Keep in touch and try and arrange trips where you can visit each other or perhaps meet in another country and go on vacation together. 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on marilyn@willingness.com.mt or call us on 79291817.