Home  >  Love Couch  >  Broken Hearts

How Does It Really Feel When You Miss Someone?

Describing when you miss someone, I’d usually revert to wanting to feel that person’s presence and wishing for one more chance to hold them.

when you miss someone

Although the same holds true for me, I can’t help but think there may be more to it than just wanting someone’s physical presence in the same room as you. Right now, I miss someone. And I don’t just want them to be here. I want to never miss them again. Not because I don’t want to think about them, but because I don’t want them to give me a reason to miss them.

I want to be connected to that person in any way, through text, calls, photos, social media posts, so I can feel they are not truly gone. It’s how most people feel whenever they feel like they lost someone or if they had to say goodbye to someone.

Why do we miss people?

Are you just feeling lonely? Or are you missing someone who matters to you? If it’s loneliness that bothers you, Bustle’s got a great piece on the scientific side of understanding loneliness. If you really want to know why we truly miss the ones we love, the ones we don’t love, and the ones we didn’t expect to care about, read further down.

This may be similar to how a puppy waits around for its master, knowing they’ll come back, but yearning for them all the same. Or how a baby, crying in its crib, possesses a primal instinct telling it sooner or later someone will pick it up and soothe it back to its calm and joyful self.

In any case, the feeling of missing someone seems to be one of continuous loss, knowing the longing will go away, but never truly knowing when. But it’s not all bad. Missing someone doesn’t mean you’ll never see or hear from them again. You value them more than you thought you would when you were still with them. [Read: I feel lonely – 30 ways to overcome feelings of loneliness]

When you miss someone

The reason why I miss people is because the fifty-mile radius around me feels a little bit duller when they are not around. I miss them because I am unable to wish them into existence in the blink of an eye. I want that person to be available. I want them to exist in my personal sphere of friends and family.

I miss people because they were with me once, and now they’re not. I can still be with most of the people that I miss, but when I’m not, I feel a little bit lonely. If I am not able to fix this longing feeling, like if a loved one has passed, if a friend is too busy to talk, or if a partner decided to end things, I feel a tad bit hopeless.

It might seem shallow in the face of all the bad things going on in the world, but you can’t fight the emotions running through your mind and body when the people you love aren’t next to you. [Read: 66 really depressing songs to make you cry and heal you]

The two ways you can miss someone

The word missing is considered a contranym. That means it has two opposite meanings. One is to be connected to something or someone who isn’t there, while the other definition denotes an implicit loss. Either way, you’re met with the same consequences, not having what you miss.

When you miss someone in a positive way, it means you are longing for the good things that came out of your experiences. When you miss someone in a negative way, you’re harboring feelings of regret and depression because you want that person back in your life. Whether it’s because of distance or circumstance, you end up feeling the loss and it manifests in ways you might not expect. [Read: 10 rom-com cliches that never work out in real life]

Positive reactions to missing someone

The fact that you miss someone tells you there is a reason why you’re pining for this person. It’s highly doubtful you’d miss the negative aspects of this person, but it also means they touched your life in a positive way. With that being said, there’s always a possibility missing this person will produce positive outcomes in your life.

#1 You want to connect with that person again. It’s the only constant outcome of missing someone. In order to counteract the negative feelings, you try your best to fix it. You do this by finding ways to be close to the person you miss by reliving memories, reaching out, or trying to physically be there for them. Wanting to feel better is always a positive. Reveling in your pain is not. [Read: The right way to force yourself to stop thinking about someone you still like]

#2 You realize the value of that person. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s true in almost every case. In the time you were away from your loved one, you start to process the reasons why you miss them.

It could be because they made you happy, more productive, and better in every sense of the word. Or it could just be because your life was a little bit more colorful when they were around.

#3 You use your emotions to develop new ways to process your longing. Because you are aware of the negative feelings related to missing someone, you have an idea of what must happen in order to relieve the feeling of loss. Rather than just sitting around and waiting for the feeling to disappear, you may consider finding ways to feel better in a positive way. [Read: The 3 stages to get a certain someone out of your mind]

#4 You reminisce about the good memories more than the bad. It’s always nice to think about the good memories you and your loved ones had. As long as it doesn’t revert into a reminder of the bad memories, reliving the great time you had will always end up leaving a positive effect.

#5 You find yourself recreating these positive feelings with new people or the ones who are still there. You’ll find yourself with two choices at this point, either you stay in the same place and continue to miss someone without doing anything about it, or you can decide to live your life and make new and happy memories with the people who are still present. [Read: 13 happy things you need for a perfectly happy life]

If you ask me, the choice is pretty clear.

Negative reactions to missing someone

Unfortunately, there will always be a dark side to missing someone. We can’t help it. Loss is loss. Even if it happened in a positive context, you are still prone to the negative effects of having to say goodbye to someone. It doesn’t matter if this loss is permanent or not. The fact is someone isn’t a part of your day-to-day life anymore. And that’s always sad, isn’t it?

#1 You feel sad whenever you think about that person. There’s always a risk of feeling lonely, sad, or even depressed, when someone leaves your life. The important thing is to always be aware of what you’re feeling and consider getting input from your friends or help from a professional.

Missing a person doesn’t sound so bad, but it can lead to uncontrollable negative emotions in some instances.

#2 You focus more on the sadness of the present instead of the happiness of the past. Some people will end up thinking more about the negative reasons why a person left their lives. If someone moved away, they might focus more on not seeing the person as much as they used to. If someone ended a relationship, they might fixate on the things that went wrong. [Read: 45 saddest lost love quotes for the broken-hearted]

Either way, it’s never a good idea to ruminate on the negative aspects of the past. It may be better to distract yourself from these thoughts or focus more on the positive outcomes of your relationship with this person.

#3 You feel confused and alone, and wonder why that person is not in your life anymore. Much like depression, confusion and loneliness may be expected from missing someone. You may not understand why a person had to leave or you may not be used to not having this person in your life anymore. The best thing to do is to develop a better understanding of the events leading to this person’s departure. That way, you can develop a way to cope and deal with your new situation. [Read: 10 signs you’re lovesick and 10 ways to get out of it]

#4 You do what you can to get the same type of attention from the same person or someone else. Unfortunately, some people can’t deal with the loss of a loved one. In some cases, their need and longing may manifest in other ways like acting out by begging for attention. [Read: 8 positive ways to deal with rejection in any scenario]

At other times, they may look for this attention from someone else. The bad thing about this is that it’s impossible to recreate the same exact relationship with the person who left, especially if they’re not coming back or if you’re looking for the same kind of relationship with someone different.

#5 You tend to focus more on the past and the present, rather than the positive outcomes of the future. There should always be a balance between what you want to achieve in this difficult period. When you focus on the past and what you’ve lost in the present, you won’t be able to see the good in what’s to come. The person you miss may not be around to share your joys anymore, but you can still experience new and wonderful things without them. [Read: 15 very effective rules to forget someone you once cared for]

When you miss someone, it can hurt a lot. But as long as you truly understand why you miss them, and remember that all you need is time, you’ll surely overcome the misery of missing someone you can’t have anymore.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Danielle small image
Danielle Anne
Those who can’t do, teach. I can neither do nor teach as well as others, but I can try. Aside from being a writer, I am also a physical therapist. My dream is...
Follow Danielle on