Whether it’s your best friend or a coworker, figuring out what to say to someone moving away can be tough.
You might not know the right words to say, or you might think you know, but want to make sure that what you’re saying is sensitive to what they might be going through.
Sometimes, people have to move for exciting reasons like they’ve gotten a new job and are moving out of their parent’s house or have been accepted into college.
Othertimes, it could be that they have to move to be closer to family with health issues or their visa wasn’t approved or a child has to move because of his parents against his or her wishes.
What to say to someone moving away obviously differs if you know them really well or if they are just an aquaintance, but follow this guide below on what to say to adapt it to all circumstances.
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Wish them Luck with Their Move
If you don’t know the person well, a simple wishing them of luck with their move can go a long ways towards making them feel like you are thinking of them and wishing them well.
This is a great example of something you’d put in a coworker’s card or someone from one of your organizations who is moving away.
It doesn’t have to be long or gushing, just a “best wishes for your move and hope it all goes well” will suffice.
Tell Them How Much They’ll Enjoy the Place They’re Moving to
Whether they’re moving to Florida for some sunshine or Montana for some snow or college or another country, help encourage them and mention how much they’ll enjoy the place they’re moving.
Saying things like, “You’ll love being so close to your family again and I’m so happy for you!” or “Pittsburgh is the best city ever. You’ll love Pitt and will have so much fun in college. Go Panthers!” can help add some positivity to a life-changing experience for someone.
Talk About Going to Visit Them
If you are close to them, mention how you’d like to come visit them, or maybe plan a time to go visit them before they even move.
If they’re moving across country, you could plan a road trip together in a few month’s time to see each other, or if it’s just around the corner, you could talk about how you can’t wait to see their new place once they’re ready for visitors.
Especially if the person is moving away because of their partner’s job or maybe to get kids in a different school or because they need to be closer to family, they might not be ready to cut the ties with their social networks in their current location, and reminding them that you will still be friends and see each other no matter where they live can be comforting.
Remind Them How Short of a Distance They Are Going
If someone doesn’t want to be moving away, you can remind them how short of a distance they are going if they are upset.
Even if they are going halfway around the world, you can always say something like “The flight from here to there is only 10 hours. I could wake up here and be with you by dinner time!” or “The drive is only about 4 hours. Really not that long in the grand scheme of things. You could leave your house first thing in the morning and be here to meet up for a late breakfast!”
Give Some Practical Advice for Their New Location
If you’re familiar with their new city or country, a bit of positive practical advice can always help.
For instance, if a Floridian is moving to a Northern State, a bit of advice about what kind of coats are best won’t go unnoticed.
Or maybe someone is moving to the same hometown you grew up in and you can recommend the best diner in town.
Give them some practical advice to make their transition easier.
Tell Them How Much You’ll Miss Them
People like being missed.
It means that people care about them.
Don’t be afraid to talk about how much you’ll miss them when figuring out what to say to someone moving away.
Sure, it’s sad, but it’s also disingenuine if you pepper them with positivity and act like you couldn’t care less if they move away.
Tell them how much they mean to you and how much you’ll miss them in your daily routine.
Talk about what an impact they’ve made on your life and read them some quotes to let them know you care.
Say something like, “I know you’re going to have an amazing time in Colorado, but I’m going to miss you so much. Having you as my lunch buddy at the office for the past 3 years has gotten me through some really tough times, and I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me.”
It’s human to be sad and miss people who are moving away.
Express it, in reasonable doses, and let them know how much you care about them.
Tell Them You’ll Carry on Looking After Certain People or Traditions They Had
Maybe you have a shared friendship with the old lady you take flowers to on her birthday or you always dressed up for the football games a certain way.
Telling them that you will carry on looking after people they care about or carrying on a legacy of what you used to do together is a nice way to show them they’ve had an impact on you and can rest a little easier.
Tell Them They’re Always Welcome to Visit You
Let them know that they are always welcome to visit you and come back to say hello, as well.
If you’re saying goodbye to a coworker who is moving, tell them to drop back in the next time they’re in town, or if it’s a friend moving away, say something like, “my guest room is always yours if you want it, any time of the year!”
Make them feel like they are welcome to return and that you’re hoping they will come back and visit.
It makes the moving a little less painful when you know that you have a warm welcome waiting for you when you visit.