Expat Problems: When your loved ones don’t want you to go

Expat problems: When your loved ones don't want you to go

Life is full of surprises and there you are: You find yourself with the opportunity to move to another country and become an expat. In the beginning you might have doubted but in the end you decided you liked the idea of a new adventure and you decided to dive in.

But now it comes…

Your family and friends are not happy.

They might be telling you not to go, warning you about how difficult the move might be or they might even become very angry at you.

In this article I’ll explain you how to cope when your loved ones don’t want you to leave.

Expat Problems: How to Deal with friends and family who stay

When you move, it can be difficult for your loved ones to accept this.

When you’re loved ones don’t agree.

So yes, you’ve decided to leave. Maybe you’ve already found a house in your new home town. Maybe you’re already preparing for the big move.

But you’ve noticed that your friends and/or family are not that happy with the idea. They might have made some negative comments like “shame I won’t get to see you anymore” or “why won’t you just stay here, it’s more convenient for all of us”. They might constantly tell you not to do it or to come back. They might have even stopped talking to you.

You find yourself in a difficult situation. Moving is already a big decision and knowing that the home front doesn’t agree makes this so much more difficult.

So what can you do in this situation?


This the most important thing to do. Ask them why they don’t want you to leave. Is there something they worry about? Maybe they don’t know if the country is safe. Or maybe they are unsure about if they will still see you? It could just be that they are afraid about where you will be living, or if it will be easy for them to visit you.

Take the time to talk about it and explain everything. Answer any questions they might have. Tell them where you will be living. Show them some pictures of your new home town. Most of the time when people don’t want you to do something it’s because they’re insecure.

But what if they’re really angry?

It is not uncommon for family and friends to become angry when their loved one decides to leave. Try to think that they’re not actually angry with you. They are just afraid of losing you and having to miss you. It can help to promise them that you will keep in contact with them on a regular basis. Luckily, with Skype and email this is easier than ever.

Expat problems: When your loved ones don't want you to go

Also, tell them they’re welcome to stay with you and that you will visit them frequently. Furthermore, give them time. They need to be able to see that you keep up with your promises. Most people in the end will accept the fact that you’re living somewhere else. They just need prove that you won’t disappear out of their lives.

They make me doubt

And what if they make me doubt? Of course, they might not be the only ones who have their doubts about you moving. You might have your worries too. What if things go wrong? What if I don’t like my new neighborhood? What if I don’t find any new friends?

These are all relevant questions and it’s important to consider them when you move. However, don’t let other people change your mind.

Think about why you wanted to go in the first place. Talk to some people who support you. There might even be some people around you who want to move themselves!

Also, think that in your new country you won’t be alone. There are probably many other expats. You could try to contact them and ask them about their experience. This way, you will be more prepared when you arrive and you can prevent certain mistakes they might have made.

Expat Problems: When your loved ones don't want you to go

Don’t miss your chance

But most of all don’t get discouraged! The expat life can bring you an awesome experience that you might never have again. Try to take your family and friends on board with your ideas as much as possible and let them know you won’t forget about them. In the end, it’s a decision that everyone needs to adapt to. But it can be one of the most exciting decisions in your life!

If you would like to know more about how to cope with your loved ones not wanting you to go, and you would like to work on this, you can call me for a free 15-minute phone consultation on +34 626 653 339, or send an e-mail through the contact form.


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