Friend is moving and I feel lost

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    So, here goes. It’s been a pretty rough year – I recently lost my mom, who would normally be the person I would turn to for advice. Instead, I am going to look here. I know everyone says they have a “complicated” relationship. I don’t. I have a complicated friendship. Nothing more. However, I absolutely DO love this guy – but more because he is my favorite companion – we can spend hours together and it feels like minutes. I often laugh so hard I can’t breathe. We have a lot in common – and often people assume that we ARE a couple. But he never wanted a relationship, and I accepted that because I would rather have this fantastic friend in my life who has been there for me over the last few years, instead of some relationship that may or may not work out. Unfortunately, he just accepted a job opportunity across the country and will be traveling constantly with a week off here and there. I know that there are things like Skype and such, and I am so proud of him for taking this leap, but I feel like a hurt little kid who just lost their first friend to a big move. So – how does everyone else deal with this? Why do I already feel lost? How do I make sure I am not forgotten as soon as the plane goes into the sky?


    Dear ladybug75:

    “Why do I already feel lost?” you asked. I believe the answer is that you became emotionally attached to him. Him being gone- across country is like a part of you is lost. Emotional attachment is not something that happens only in a romantic relationship: a child becomes quickly attached to its care taker/s, to siblings, to classmates… and so, we get attached.

    “How does everyone else deal with this?” you asked. I think most people transfer their attachment from one person to something else, for comfort. Some – to alcohol and food. Better, of course, to transfer the attachment to other people, selectively. Here is one such place. When you feel uncomfortable, post here, on your thread. Whenever I read a post by you, I will reply. You can post about how much you miss your friend or any trivial daily thing.

    “How do I make sure I am not forgotten as soon as the plane goes into the sky?” If he became attached to you too, he will not forget you. Will he transfer his attachment to you- to someone else? Not likely. He knows how much you enjoyed his company, that he made you laugh so hard you could hardly breathe. Other people are not likely to enjoy his company that much, laugh as hard as you have. So he will keep missing you, I tend to think..




    I’m sorry your friend is moving away, especially given the fact it’s on the heels of losing your mom.

    You don’t know what the future will bring. The distance may make him miss you/value you more and strengthen your bond, or it may be the first step in you two eventually drifting apart. Someone told me once that friends are in your life for “a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” Who knows, maybe this man needs to leave your life to make room for a romantic partner, who will be both a friend and a lover.

    When I’ve had friends move away, I take time to grieve…even if they’ve stayed in my life, the distance does change things. Then I put in the work to stay in touch. For some, it’s phone calls/letters, others it’s texts…depends on the person. Overtime it becomes clear if the other person is going to reciprocate the effort, and then I sit down and consider (if they aren’t investing in the friendship), “am I OK with this?” Sometimes the answer is yes…I have friends I only hear from once a year and it’s cool – we can still talk like no time has passed. Sometimes my head/heart say no, and I accept it, thank the universe for the time we had, and let them go. Sometimes we reconnect later down the line, sometimes not.

    Then I take the free time to find new friendships/relationships or get reacquainted with myself. Usually the latter. It’s a lonely time, but so worth it. Those are the times I’ve reinvented myself.

    Best of luck to you! Be kind to yourself, and just take it day by day with your friend.

    Peter Reece

    Hi Ladybug

    I feel for you. It sounds like you’re grieving as Miniature Bodhisattva says. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly natural to feel that way. Losing a friendship (although I guess it’s about the distance rather than the friendship) is a significant life challenge.

    Do grieve, but put a cap on it for your own sake. Give yourself a certain length of time and then vow to move on with your life.

    Tip: ask yourself what is it you want out of this friendship in the future and what options you’ve got so that you can live the life you want. The answers may surprise you.

    Best of luck


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