13 Proven NON Guilt Tips When Moving Away From Family (2024)

If you’ve moved away from family or other loved ones to blaze your own path inside it can feel like the most selfish thing in the world. After all, you’re missing birthdays, special moments and quality time with friends and family.

Moving Away From Family
Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

If you struggle with this, or maybe you’re considering never leaving because the guilt would be too much, here are 13 proven non-guilt tips when moving away from family.

Let’s dive in!

Proven NON Guilt Tips When Moving Away From Family

1. Striving For Personal Growth Benefits Everyone

Wanting to be a reliable form of support for your loved ones is a great goal. Knowing you could offer even more though is what’s driving you.

By finding out who you are, following your dreams and making the most of your life, you inspire the people you love to do the same. You know you’re not only someone your friends and family can rely on, but someone they respect and admire.

2. Choosing More Joy

“Why can’t you just be happy with what you have, you are so blessed.” Maybe you’ve told yourself this or heard it from someone close to you.

However, seeking more joy is not something to feel guilty about. Finding joy where you are in the same town is wonderful; however, seeking out other places that light up your soul is nothing to be ashamed of.

3. Missing Them Is A Good Thing

Goodbye is only for the ones who weren’t really in your life anyway. You wouldn’t cry over missing your niece’s birthday if you didn’t love her with all your heart.

You wouldn’t wish you were there for your best friend when she picks out her wedding gown, if she wasn’t important in your life. You may find yourself calling your mom way more because you now realize how much you really love and value her.

4. Accept Doubt

Regardless how right it feels to move away, there will be times when you doubt your decision for a new life or even regret it.

It’s normal and it will pass after a few months as long as you’re in alignment with the right path for your life.

5. Remember Your Reasons

When you feel a wave of guilt coming on, begin to list your reasons for moving away. They may include:

  • Better schools
  • A house with a backyard
  • Lower cost of living
  • New Adventure
  • Being exposed to new cultures and people
  • A central location for easier travel
  • Distance from difficult family relationships making it easier to work on your personal growth

6. Have Courage 

If you find yourself feeling guilty because of something someone is saying to you, have the courage to look inside yourself to inquire as to what is really causing that feeling.

Your loved ones may have a hard time letting go of having you nearby. Reassure your entire family of your love. However, it’s their issue and your issue is why their words are affecting you. It takes courage to look inside and ask hard questions of yourself.

Related: Insights – When To Leave A Blended Family

7. Consider The “What If” 

Consider what may happen if you go back. You’ll likely always wonder “what if”. You’ll never know:

  • What adventures you may have had
  • What you may have learned
  • How you may have grown
  • Who you may have met, etc.

8. Resentment

Regret may creep in as you begin to resent the very people you love who you decided to stay for. Distance doesn’t always determine the quality of a relationship. 

Live for yourself for true joy and for better relationships.

9. Recognize The Difference

Sadness about leaving your family is normal for you and them. They may be reluctant to embrace your new location because they love having you around and will miss that.

However, if your family is unwilling to acknowledge your needs and independence by saying things that are untrue and playing victim, it’s moved into emotional abuse.

10. Poor Navigational System 

Letting yourself be driven by guilty feelings is a poor navigational system leading you down the path of complacency and mediocrity. Catch yourself and change your state of being by feeling compassion for yourself and your loved ones.

11. Compile A Pros And Cons List

Whatever your reason for moving away, make sure you’re making the move because it’s the right one to make for you and your own family.

A pros and cons list helps give you clarity and if your kids are older, you could do the exercise with them.

Together, you can figure out how to manage the cons (invite the grandparents and cousins to visit often) and look forward to enjoying the pros (teenage son can finally live out his dream to be a surfer boy).

12. Expectations

Expect to be on your own when you move away from family members. Until you’ve built up new connections of friends and a reliable support structure, it’s up to you to manage a lot of situations on your own.

Watch out for those sneaky emotions creeping in. When the going gets tough and you’re trying to sort out a situation without your family nearby, you may end up on a guilt trip, angry or remorseful.

Especially if it means your kid is stuck at school because you can’t get there to pick them up.

13. More Value For Extended Family

When you see our family every week, as much as you love them, you may take them for granted. However, by coming together a few times a year, these moments become treasured.

You value each other more, you look forward to spending time together and it becomes quality time.

You may end up having deeper conversations with your mother that you’ve never had before. Or, your children bond closer with their grandparents because they know they’re not going to see them as often anymore.

Related: Best 61 Unsupportive Family Quotes

Is Moving Away From Family Selfish?

The short answer is no. It’s never selfish when someone wants to do something to better themselves in some way.

Moving far away with greater physical distance from family when you’re of adult age is a way of striving for your independence. It gives you a sense of responsibility for yourself.

Additionally, it opens you to a whole new world of possibilities. Getting your own place gives you privacy, which can be something you get little of living with your family. When you live alone, it gives you the freedom and the responsibility to go and come as you please. 

If you let guilt about leaving parents rule your actions, you’ll never leave. This is why you must know that whatever you choose to do to benefit yourself is not self-centered – it’s self-love.

How Do You Deal With Moving Away From Your Family?

Now that you know what to expect from moving a long distance from family, you could take the following action steps to help deal with the guilt (and everything else!):

  • Refer to your list of pros and cons often.
  • Sit down with your family, old friends, extended family and talk it out. Have an honest heart to heart conversation so you can both understand each other.
  • Explore ways of staying connected that works well for you and your family. With digital technology being so easily accessible to everyone nowadays, regular online chat or calls can easily take place. 
  • Organize trips to visit each other at regular intervals so you all have something to look forward to.
  • A nice idea for helping kids deal with missing their grandparents is to ask the grandparents to record messages for them.This way, your kids will hear their voice whenever they choose.
  • Set up a support system as soon as possible. It could be for babysitting or just getting to know your neighbors and asking for their contact numbers. 

When you know you can rely on someone to help you out, you’ll less likely to experience feelings of guilt or frustration.

  • Offer your kids the space they need to discuss their fears and allow space for when they feel sad and miss their extended family or their elementary school friends.
  • It’s also important that your children don’t feel guilty for moving away. Children can very quickly take on feelings of guilt so it’s essential to help them talk through their feelings. Sometimes, all that’s required is listening.
  • Get to know your neighbors, get involved in local activities and join clubs in the area. If you’re a young mom with young kids, find a mom support group or a play group. Connect with your older kids’ new friends’ parents.

Do You Regret Moving Away From Family?

Whether moving for a new job or to retire, moving in with a significant other, or moving back in with your parents, there are many factors at play for making the big move.

This is why it seems perfectly natural that no matter how hard we prepare for our move, we might regret something about it afterward. 

If you’re planning to make a big move, but struggling to figure out how all the pieces will fit together, here are some key questions to ask yourself to avoid any regrets.

  1. How Do You Want Your Life To Look?

Look at the big picture. How extended family and friends factor into that picture, the differences from how your life looks like now, etc.

  1. How Important Is Seeing Friends And Family To You?

Figure out the frequency and quality of those times together which are ideal for you.

  1. When Major Family Events Happen Without You, How Will You Feel? 

Think of weddings, funerals, anniversaries, birthdays, hospitalizations, etc. all happen whether you’re there or not. How will you feel?

  1. What’s Your Financial Situation Like?

Plane tickets, gas, lodging, boarding your cats while you’re away… they all add up. Figure out how much it will cost to travel to see the people you want to see. Does this align with your expected budget?

  1. Frequency Of Seeing Family And Friends?

Think about the frequency and timing of your visits and what conflicts could interfere.

  1. Are You Prepared For The Emotional Energy Required To Build A Support System?
  • It’s doable yet hard work making friends! Especially friends that you trust enough to call in a pinch. 

Related: Toxic Family Members Quotes

Is It Good To Live Away From Your Family?

Here are some reasons moving away from home to your dream city is possibly the best thing that can happen to you. 

  1. Maturity

Living on your own means you’re the only decision-maker around. From deciding how  to save money, how much groceries to buy, and other small and big decisions.

Sometimes your decisions will work, sometimes they won’t, but it feels good to know you are in charge. 

  1. Learn To Adapt

You soon realize there’s no point in throwing tantrums. If there’s no milk, you learn to have black tea; if your favorite shirt is in the wash, you wear something else.

You learn to adapt to situations, and to compromise. This is part of personal growth. It’s the new you, embrace it, enjoy it. 

  1. Dealing With Different Personalities

You learn how to deal with all kinds of people around you, which makes you kinder, smarter, more understanding and compassionate. You learn to live with those who might not necessarily have the same opinions or lifestyle as you.

  1. Self Respect

The day a tiny voice in your head goes, “Let’s not ask dad for money any more. Let’s send him some instead,” you can look yourself in the mirror and give a big pat on your back. Your transformation is complete. 

  1. Space To Contemplate Life

More privacy means more time to ruminate over your whole life and your personal goals and dreams. Being on your own, you can sit quietly thinking about things important to you. 

  1.  More Appreciative Of Family

You realize the effort it takes to run things once being on your own for a while. You’ll start appreciating the sacrifices and hard work your parents put in to bring you up. 

  1. Enrich Your Life With A Pet

You could finally choose to get the pet you always wanted, teaching you even more about responsibility for another being. 

Moving Away From Family For The First Time

If you’re preparing to move out of your childhood home, and feel nervous about moving away from family, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

All the emotions you’re feeling are normal. Here are steps you can take to limit your homesickness after moving, and enjoy all the potential this new season brings.

  • Accept that missing home is normal. Everyone feels it and is in the same boat, so have compassion for yourself and release the guilt by calling home whenever you need a boost.
  • If you’re feeling homesick, don’t shut yourself away – reach out and talk to your new friends or flatmates. Share your feelings and remember you’re all in the same boat.
  • Try new things. By getting involved with university societies, clubs and sports teams, it will help you settle in and make new friends with similar interests.
  • Get out there and make your new city or town “familiar”! Spend time exploring your new environment to help you overcome homesickness. It’s also a great way to bond with new friends.
  • Pack your favorite things to give your room a personal touch. You may be moving out into the big wide world, but your favorite cuddly toy, throw or photos still have an important place in your new pad and can make a huge difference! 
  • Look after your body – not eating well can have an adverse effect on your mental health, as well as your physical health, therefore exacerbating any negative emotions you might be feeling.
  • Remind yourself of the reasons you decided to move away. Think of your dreams and goals for the future and that this is part of that.
  • Know when to seek support. If you’ve tried the above tips and your feelings haven’t improved, don’t suffer in silence – talk it through with someone. Whether it’s a friend, family member, your GP or university tutor, sharing your feelings will help.

Moving Away From Family Guilt

Own Family
Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

In order to deal with your guilt in a productive way, start by taking a step back and asking yourself:

“Why am I feeling guilty and where is this guilt stemming from?”

  1. Internally Driven Guilt

This comes from that little voice in your head that can make you question every big decision. Although the guilt may be triggered by the decision you’re making, it rarely stems from the actual decision.

Remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with wanting something different, something more or something new.

If that is what you want, then that is what you deserve!

  1. Externally Driven Guilt

Unfortunately, the source of your guilt can come from the people you love most. You may experience family members saying things that make you feel as though you’re abandoning them or being selfish. 

Remind yourself that placing this guilt on you is a form of their own self-preservation and thinking about their own needs and preferences.

Let them know you understand and respect their feelings, however you’ll remove yourself from the conversation if they insist on bringing it back up.

Moving Away From Family For A Job

You may have some reservations about moving away from your family to a new town for a job, especially if you and your family are having a staggered arrival. This is normal.

Living in a city far from your loved ones can be a new concept for many people. Here are some tips to help.

  • Surround yourself with mementos from family and your home city, like photos and keepsakes that are meaningful to you.
  • Explore the new city’s attractions and activities for a few hours and steer your thoughts towards new routines.
  • Regular routine can help you settle into a new lifestyle.
  • Plan the next trip you’ll take to see your family. Just the anticipation of seeing your loved ones will add an extra sparkle to your upcoming days.
  • Share the city with your family ‘live and in-person’ so they can see the city through your eyes.
  • Consider writing your family a letter instead of the usual text or email.
  • Express your feelings about moving away either to a friend or in a journal.

Moving away From Family With A Baby

Raising a family thousands of miles away from your family can be really really hard. Finding a new babysitter is even harder.

There are:

  • Half days at school
  • Play mates for an only child
  • Sick days
  • Need for date nights
  • Culture shock
  • Vulnerability of being “new”

However, there are the good points of growth and resourcefulness you’ll find you didn’t know you had.

  • Deeper bond with your spouse
  • Working as a team
  • Tight family unit
  • More time together
  • New memories and traditions
  • Seeing and experiencing new things

Related: Signs Your Family Doesn’t Care About You

Moving Away From Family For Better Quality Of Life

You may be questioning or unsure of your decision to move from your family for a better life because you’re facing the unknown, an uncertainty of your future.

The thing that could help you through this decision is to look at the pros and cons and what a better quality of life really means to you.

For some a better quality of life means:

  • Having the closeness of family for love
  • Having family close to you for support with babysitting, etc.
  • Wanting close friends for social support
  • Wanting to continue family traditions and wisdom from elder members for your children

For others a better quality of life means:

  • A slower pace than city life
  • Lower cost of living
  • More time for your own family

Moving Away From Family After Marriage

Extended Family
Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash

It isn’t easy to pack your bags a day before your wedding, knowing you’re never going to stay in your home in the same way ever again. Another place is now your home and sometimes you move in with another family unit. This is the reality for many societies.

Some cultures expect the bride to leave her parents and live with a new family. Some live in a nuclear family and other brides even bring their families to live with them in their new house.

Within these cultures a lot of women are forced by societal norms to do these things which they aren’t always comfortable doing.

Many emotions are rolled up together during this time:

  • Guilt
  • Separation anxiety
  • Discomfort
  • Loss of a voice
  • Loneliness
  • Grief

So while you begin to create your own home and possibly a new family unit of your own, make time for your parents and extended family.

They’ve raised us with all they had and to give them our love when they’re older is a blessing we can share.

All they really want is your time. So recognize your emotions and decide what you require to flip them. Work out ways to balance the time you spend with either of the families. You can make arrangements that will suit everyone.

Related: How Soon Is Too Soon To Move In – Clear Signs

Moving Away From Family For Love

Nothing says love like packing up your life to start over in a new city with the person you love. Existing data reports that 60 percent of the time when a person moves for their partner the relationship works out.

While the odds may be decent, it’s not something to be entered lightly. The many emotions can include:

  • Excitement
  • Getting to know your partner more intimately
  • Meet new people
  • Start fresh
  • challenging 
  • A big change in your relationship

Some may not consider some of the little things that could cause challenges, like:

  • Leaving a job
  • Leaving friends and family 
  • Feeling uncomfortable 
  • Starting over again 

The partner moving might experience certain emotions, like: 

  • Loneliness
  • Regret
  • Frustration
  • Disappointment

Some tips to consider when moving away for love are:

  • Stay connected with contacts for networking and job prospects
  • Meet your neighbors
  • Find groups or activities of interest in your area
  • Make plans to return to family for visits
  • Ensure honest communication with your partner
  • Be understanding and compassionate with each other

There’s nothing wrong with choosing to leave the nest, embark on a new journey, seek a place of your own, or a place that could offer you growth and opportunity.

It doesn’t make you selfish. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your family. On the contrary, the guilty feelings are really trying to tell you to acknowledge the deep love you have for your family.

However, if you let guilt drive you, it can lead you down the road of complacency and mediocrity. 

It all boils down to you being happy with your decision to move away. If you’re happy then everything else falls into place. The guilt can be dealt with more constructively and positively by practicing to turn it around and expressing that deep well of love to those you care about.

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.