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How to Survive the "Temporary Friend": 3 steps that help you move on

Updated: May 31, 2023

My whole life I’ve struggled with the concept of people leaving. (Or me leaving people.) I don't easily adjust to anything only being a temporary part of my life. When I make friends, I cling to them. I want every person I interact with to be a permanent part of my journey. Moving is difficult for me. I deny that changing locations in my life will mean leaving parts of my life behind. I adhere to the principle that with today’s technology, friendships won’t fade.

Trekking Friends are Special Friends
Sitting down to rest and eat noodles (wai-wai!) after a long day trekking. The group I trekked Nepal with will always be close to my heart and I have to believe that even though I don't see them often, I know they were in my life for a reason. (And I was in theirs.)

Yet despite the potential, connections never remain the same.

I grow bitter.

My need to keep constant contact with everyone extends to the point of damage in my current relationships. Often even damaging those exact past relationships I was trying to protect in the first place.

I become petty.

Growing apart is not acceptable to me.

But the truth is, growing apart can be, and as a matter of fact, IS healthy.

If you are anything like me, traveling and exploring runs in your veins. This means every day you will have the opportunity to meet incredible, new people-People coming from different places with different stories and with different ways to affect your life.

I can promise you that the solution to avoid hurt, is never trying to avoid becoming close in the first place. Do not deprive yourself of feeling in order to avoid hurt. Hurt will come at its own time, trust me. We can not block out the potential to meet, know and learn amazing people, if even for a season. Amazing things can happen in a season.

We need to learn to process these feelings in a healthy way.

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Step One: Stop Trying to Cling

Stop obsessing. If you are already having a difficult time transitioning into a new stage without a person, holding onto the few remains of the relationship will make it even harder. If you find yourself stocking social media, and constantly checking “read” notifications, maybe it’s time to sever that connection temporarily. Un-follow and unplug until you can control the bitterness that fills into your heart when you see notifications from that person.

Step Two: Invest in the Moment

Find new activities and hobbies to fill the space that you once spent together. The goal is not to erase their memories, but to start to develop the habit of continuation in your life. It’s about starting a new phase, not forgetting the previous one. There will constantly be people coming and going into your life. If you find yourself stuck in the past, you're hurting your own potential to grow. Your current friends, romantic interests, etc...they take on what you bring from the past as well. Don't stop something beautiful from growing because you don't want to move your roots from the last person or place. It's scary, yes. But it's the only way to move forward.

Step Three: Be Thankful

There is a big and crucial difference from moving on, and blocking out. Every scenario is different since everyone has played different parts in our development and life story.

Hikers Resting in the Mountain Range of Nepal
Posing in the mountains in the more northern regions of Nepal

However, in most cases, it is okay to remember someone for their benefits to you and your life. Be thankful for the time you did have. Be thankful for their contribution to your growth. Maybe even be thankful that you have gotten to a point where you no longer have them in your life. Remember the good times and stop obsessing over the bad times. Healing will always come over time. Until then, be grateful for the sunshine you currently have. Breathe in the fresh air because you are unique and loved. The next person you meet is going to be insanely grateful to have the entire you that has stepped completely into the present.


If you enjoyed this article, want to learn more or just want to stay in the loop with all things travel, make sure to subscribe to my blog to get all the updates. Comment below with your own relationship advice or other questions you may have! I'm just a girl from Indiana, who loves to write, travel the world and I want to love on as many people as possible in the process. Follow me on instagram or head to my "Home" page and send me a message! I would love to chat.

As always, God Bless and I hope to see you somewhere around the world.

Love, Kait

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