Two weeks ago I moved to Stockholm. I never lived there before, and even though I have some friends in Sweden, it is not like a lot of them live directly in Stockholm.
Therefore, moving there meant that I would have to build up a new social circle completely from scratch. This is something that requires time and dedication, especially when you spend most of your time working. You will not meet people as organically as a student, so you have to force yourself to go out, be active and talk to people after work, when you might be tired and much more in the mood for lying on your bed and watching a movie instead.
This got me thinking: why do I keep moving to different places, put work into building a social circle there, only to move on to a new city a year later? Why put in all this effort? Why not stop moving around, stay in one city for longer, and enjoy the social circle that you already have? What is the point of starting from scratch over and over again?
Well, first of all it is a comfort zone thing. Having close friends that you have known for years and that you do everything with is a great thing of course, but it also usually limits the number of new people that you meet. If you are not forced to make new friends, and you already have a lot, why would you go out and make even more? Also, would you be as open to people approaching you if you already have a large social circle? So having a lot of friends, as nice as that is, in a way stops you from making a lot of friends. Which is exactly why moving to a different city and getting out of your comfort zone is the best thing you can do to meet new people.
The second reason why leaving your friends behind and moving to a new place is a good thing, is the fact that your social circle does not just consist of the people that are living close to you. Instead, it is everyone you ever met during your life! The way I see it, we live in such an interconnected world nowadays that we are not limited to building a social circle in our small home town anymore, but we can rather expand our network globally! So by moving frequently you actually open up for the opportunity of meeting and befriending people from all over the world. With that mindset, moving is not something that takes away your social circle and forces you to build a new one. It is merely an activity that expands your social circle from a local to a more global one.
I think there really is no such thing as “giving up” or “losing” friends. You cannot lose friends (at least not the ones that matter). There is only making new ones. And moving frequently is about the best way of doing that.