Telling Your Friends You're Moving to France
When you first tell your friends that you and your family are going to live in France, you will see all sorts of different reactions.
Some people will say they think it is a wonderful opportunity.
Others will think they have constant availability of cheap holiday accommodation.
Perhaps some will be jealous and not want to talk to you about the move.
These are all possible, along with countless others.
The most important thing for you not to do is criticise the UK. You will be surprised how many potential expats think it is perfectly acceptable to talk endlessly about the terrible British weather, or the downfall of society because of the celebrity culture, but what they are forgetting is that their friends are still going to be living there.
Do not be surprised if your friends are no longer keen to see you if you have fallen into the trap of talking about all that is wrong with the UK. Yes, you are about to embark on a great adventure, but there are a number of reasons why it is not a good idea to burn your bridges with friends.
You Will Need Their SupportMoving to a new life in France is not an endless round of drinking lovely cheap local wine and strolling to the market. You will get homesick. You will want someone to send you a jar of Marmite, or a magazine you miss. You will want to chat with someone that knows you in a language you understand.
You May Not Stay in France ForeverIn a few years time you may decide to return to the UK for a number of reasons - you need to care for elderly parents, you don't enjoy living in France, for example. If you have cut off your ties in the UK, it will be harder than necessary for you to return.
You do not Want to Offend Your FriendsWhile they are likely to be keen to visit or at least stay in touch, by criticising your friends, you will hurt their feelings and be making a judgement, unconsciously or otherwise, about their own life choices.
Try to keep your friends involved in your exciting new adventure, without loosing site of the fact that they are still staying in the UK and living their own lives. Although they will be happy to hear about your new home and your new town, be careful to remember key dates in their lives, such as birthdays and events and ask about meetings or appointments. Your friendship will soon suffer if you do not make an effort to listen.
If you have a close-knit circle of friends, you may decide to tell them all together, rather than allow gossip to decide for you. That way, you can let them know that you hope they will be able to visit and that you value their continued friendship.
If you feel that a friend is not happy for you, or that they are keen to undermine your move, unless they have a good reason, it could be that your friendship will not survive. Life changing events, such as illness, the birth of a child or a move to a new country, can upset some fragile friendships.