Growing up and dealing with your siblings moving away

You will probably go through many breakups in life. Whether it’s with your girlfriend, boyfriend or a friend (those really suck). But after many nights of crying on your sister’s and brother’s shoulders, you will finally get back on your feet. The breakup that I’m talking about is something that you will never get over (at least deep down inside). Speaking of crying on your brother’s and sister’s shoulders, it’s exactly this breakup that I’m talking about:

The sibling “breakup”

I’m not referring to the sibling breakup in the sense that we don’t talk to each other anymore and that we stopped stealing each other’s food (that will NEVER happen). No no, I’m talking about that actual moment when you have to physically SPLIT up! You know, when you get old and it’s time you live by yourself.  This recently happened with my brother and sister. At least with my brother, he moved to another country. My sis and I are still roomies! And the three of us were just really upset! I thought I was going to drown in my own tears.

In case you still haven’t been through the sibling “breakup”, prepare yourself and cherish every moment you have with them! Here are the 8 reasons why the sibling “breakup” is the worst breakup you will ever go through in life. That is of course, if you’re siblings are great people like mine. But I’m sure all siblings are great … right!?

They are your first friends and travel buddies

Moving around all my life has been great …. but also tough. You always have to make new friends and build a new life every four years! But with Lorenzo and Giulia, moving around wasn’t that hard in the end, cuz the three of us were like the Three Musketeers, only that we called each other (still today) the Three Little Pigs (it’s my dad’s fault, he read that story countless times to us before going to bed. If you were wondering, my brother is the “smart” one, but we are still fighting over it)!

the one breakup you will never get over

Knowing that you have a brother and a sister to come home to, to play with, to be stupid with or sad when everything is changing around you is the best comfort in the world. When everything is changing, you realise that your family’s love is the constant.

when your siblings leave you

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They taught you that sharing is caring … sometimes the hard way

I don’t know how many times my sister stole my favorite Barbie. Or how many times my brother stole my super cool mountain bike. Siblings steal your toys, people! They also steal your clothes (I’m the first one doing that). More about that here. They even steal your FOOD! My brother still steals my sushi when I’m not looking … (I’m going to get you next time)! They also “steal” your friends. Forget about MY friends, they are OUR friends!

It’s not like everything becomes everyone’s. But you are much more open to sharing things with each other. You help each other in the way you can, and sometimes that’s by allowing your small sister to play Barbie with you and your friends or playing tag with the kids in the neighbourhood, even though your sister is very small and she isn’t a fast runner and always loses. And that goes for my poor brother as well, who let me and Giulia play BB gun with his new rifle… then I fell in a ditch and the BB gun rifle  broke. He looked at me with possessed eyes.

I don’t think I ever ran that fast in my life.

the one breakup you will never get over

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They are the most honest people you will ever meet

the one breakup you will never get overSo you know when you’ve changed outfit 10 times and you’re making everyone late to that party? You put on the 11th outfit and your friends don’t even look at you and say “you look soooo good!!”.


If you need an honest opinion, go to your brother and sister. My sister just takes a look at me and says: “Ah fe, no.” Translation: “No.”

the one breakup you will never get overShe doesn’t even formulate an opinion, she dives into your closet to find you that perfect outfit (and when she feels really bad for your horrible outfit she lends you clothes).

Then there’s my bother. You go into his room thinking you look great and you ask him “Lorenzo, how do I look?”. And he’s on his computer playing a game (yes they still play those at that age) and looks at you for 1 second and says “I don’t like it”. You want to die at that point and punch him. But hey, they are HONEST!! If they weren’t there to honestly judge me, who knows in what weird outfits I would’ve gone out with!

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They know how weird you really are

the one breakup you will never get overI have close friends that know how weird I am. And of course, my boyfriend REALLY knows how weird I am. But my brother and sister grew up with me. So they know the evolution of Federica. They know everything.

They know what you used to say about your first crush. They remember the outfits you went out with. They remember your smile with braces. They know the most embarrassing moments of your life, because they were there to witness them. And they still bring them up and you all laugh together.

Growing up and dealing with your sibling leaving you

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You learn from them

the one breakup you will never get overYes they are annoying so many times. But I would be a complete liar if I said that I didn’t learn anything from them.  Spending time with your siblings makes you look up to them. The fact that there are different personalities that are in constant contact with one another makes you learn things that you would’ve never learned on your own.

the one breakup you will never get overMy brother taught me to always be myself. I don’t know anyone in the world that is as “pure”as my brother. Pure in the sense that he has no mask. He is the way he is with EVERYONE. He never changes. Lorenzo is the most honest and real person you will ever meet. And he is also super calm (but I like to think that’s thanks to me and Giulia, growing up with two girls  must not have been easy)!

Giulia taught me that you can overcome anything, that you are your only obstacle and you need to empower yourself.

the one breakup you will never get overShe is bold. She is fierce. I don’t know anyone that has the power to say and stand up for herself and others the way she does. It’s incredible. The funny thing is she’s the youngest one!

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You get free psychological sessions from them. Whenever you want.

and learn things that you would've never learned on your own. How many times have you had a melt down? Or you needed to calm down? It may be for the stupidest reason ever too!  Whenever those happen (and they happen often) you might not want to bother your friends with your craziness. But you WILL bother your brother or sister!

the one breakup you will never get over

You just cry and tell them everything that has happened, and they actually listen to you. Even if you’re upset over the same thing for the past 2 years. They listen to you. They watch movies with you.

and learn things that you would've never learned on your own. You eat popcorn together (Lorenzo always gets his own bowl of popcorn, Giulia and I share)! You spend time doing absolutely nothing but having the best time ever.

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They always have your back

Being three siblings means that whenever we had a fight, it would be two against one. The one that was flying solo was really unlucky. We’d do pranks to one another (really funny ones). But apart from having to fight with two people instead of just one, it also means that when it’s time to confront your parents or get your way, it’s three against two. So our point would get across, cuz three kids whining are REALLY annoying. Still today, we partner up!

A "smart city" is a urban area, realized with a new concept, where all the items related to the Sustainable Development are applied in order to increase the quality of the life of the citizens avoiding all the environmental problems experienced in the big urban area around the world. The project allows to manage the pollution, to rationalize the water use, to optimize the energy consumption using all the existing renewable energy solutions.They also have your back in school and in life in general. If you’re having a problem with someone, they will be there to help you. Not to overstep of course, but there for you.

And hey, if someone is giving me a problem, I know they’ll be there for me.

A "smart city" is a urban area, realized with a new concept, where all the items related to the Sustainable Development are applied in order to increase the quality of the life of the citizens avoiding all the environmental problems experienced in the big urban area around the world. The project allows to manage the pollution, to rationalize the water use, to optimize the energy consumption using all the existing renewable energy solutions.

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They are your #1 supporters

When you feel low or you don’t feel satisfied with yourself, or you’re just having one of those bad days, your siblings will be there to remind you who you are. They will cheer you on.  And they WILL make you feel great again.

the one breakup you will never get overThey will bring up funny stories about your childhood just to see you smile. And they’ll check up on you to make sure you’re good. Whatever road in life you want to take, they will always be there supporting you 100%.

And although I know we will always be the Three Little Pigs, not being under the same roof anymore, knowing that I can’t barge into my brother’s room at 5am to annoy him with my life is unfortunately marking the end of an era. But hey, at least I won’t get my sushi stolen all the time, right!?

the one breakup you will never get over

Do you have any coping mechanisms I could try?


I'm the daughter of an Italian family of diplomats, the second of three children, and a global citizen. I've lived in 7 cities around the world, I have a gigantic crush on Italy and my name has been mispronounced more times than I can remember.


  1. I miss you too stupid sister ?

    (But i finally get to sleep without having to hear you whine at 5 am….)

    (And the phone at night is on silent mode muahahaha)

  2. My brother is going back to Africa soon. He left for two years before. I saw him a few times and he came back for a while in December 2019. Now he’s leaving again next month and I can barely handle it. Especially with Covid 19 i feel like I was so sad all the time and depressed about my senior year being destroyed and not being able to go out with family and friends that I wasn’t really mentally present. Now just like that he’s leaving again and we couldn’t do anything amazing together. We even had a sibling trip planned for California that was a big deal and got cancelled. He’s 7 years older than me so he’s ready to live his life but it’s so hard for me because family is my everything and I’m so young and just want to be on the same page as them. I’m incomplete without him here with me and my other brother. I’m currently having a breakdown because I feel like Covid made me too upset to enjoy my time with him and I feel terrible like I should’ve spent more time with him and just sat near him when he offered to do homework in his room. I know I shouldn’t feel bad for wanting my alone time especially after being stuck in the house for 8 months, but I feel like I should’ve spent so much more time around him. He doesn’t agree and thinks we spent plenty of time but I’m just overthinking because I’m distraught that he’s going away again. Listening to you helped because I know now that I’m not alone. I obviously can’t relate to many people on this because while siblings move away a lot. Different countries and continents is a really different feeling to try and cope with.

    • Hi Grace, it’s normal that you were pissed about spending your senior year in these crappy circumstances. I’m really sorry you didn’t get to enjoy it like you were supposed to. But don’t beat yourself up about not spending enough time with your brother, spend these days together and have fun like siblings know how to! I truly understand that it’s tough your brother is leaving, especially since it’s to another continent. But think of when we’ll be able to travel again and you’ll get to visit him! You’ll get to organize a sibling trip again, I’m sure of it. Maybe you should start planning already. There are certainly some tough days ahead of you but the best thing about siblings is that no matter where you are, they’re always by your side. He may not live in your same country anymore, but that doesn’t change a thing. And you’ll find a new balance with your other brother, it takes time to readjust. In any case, enjoy your bro these days that he’s still in the US and let yourself be sad when he’s gone, it’s normal that you’re sad, it means you have a great relationship 🙂

  3. Hi Federica,

    I’m a 23 year old college student who just graduated from her dream college 2 hours away from home. Even though I’m 3 years older than him, I swear my little brother is my twin. I recently got accepted to a graduate school in London, England. As a girl from Georgia in the USA, this is a massive difference of being just 2 hours away and being able to go home and see my family every few weekends. I will miss my entire family, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve had quite a few breakdowns when I think about having to leave my brother. Does it get any easier? He’s my best friend and closest confidant and it’ll be so hard without him by my side. Thank you!

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