How to Deal With Missing Someone

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When you are missing someone, there's no denying the raw emotion that you feel. You can't get it out of your head; it lingers, like an annoying fly buzzing around in the summertime. Missing someone is quite common, but what you do when you feel that way can vary.

Learn why you might be missing people who are no longer in your life, and what to do when you miss someone (to deal with all of the emotions). We also discuss how to deal with missing someone even if they don't miss you back.

Effects of Missing Someone

As humans, we naturally connect to people and build bonds and relationships over time. If these bonds or relationships are broken or lost, you might feel like there is a void or emptiness in your life. Missing someone can also affect you physically.

Feelings of loss can increase stress, which reduces immune system function and leaves your body more susceptible to viruses and bugs. They can also lead to high blood pressure, heartburn, changes in appetite, and trouble sleeping, potentially even making current health conditions worse.

When You Miss Someone, Can They Feel It?

While we could find no scientific evidence of this, some people believe that the answer is yes and that if you have dreams about the other person often or can feel their presence, these are signs that they're missing you.

What Causes Us to Miss Someone?

"When you miss someone, it means you really care about the person and you value them," says Katie Lasson, Clinical Sexologist & Relationship Advisor. "You need this person in your life because it makes you feel better and you are happier. That's why you miss somebody."

We can miss people for a multitude of reasons, but once that emotion arises, it can be hard to shake it.

When there are fresh wounds of hurt, anything can trigger you. Emotions run wild when you miss someone and anything can spark up old memories. The mind is powerful with the amount of information, memories, and emotions it can hold.

April Maccario, Relationship Expert & Founder of Ask April, states that places, food, songs, scents, and even random things can make us miss someone. Inevitably, these things lead us to reminisce. However, Maccario believes it is crucial to learn what you can do when you feel those emotions.

When You Realize You Are Missing Someone

Really owning how you feel is key. When you miss someone, don't run from that feeling. You may miss someone who has passed away, someone who is incarcerated, someone who was once a close friend, or simply someone who has moved away. Whatever the case may have been or currently is, something changed.

One thing about life is that it keeps going. So, cherishing memories is perfectly fine, but allowing those memories to hold you back from moving forward is not helpful.

Lasson believes it's also okay to think of a person you miss—to recall the nice times, some funny moments, and everything else. The most important thing is not to overthink or spend too much time dwelling on the memories because the goal is to feel better and not hurt or sad.

Missing Someone Who Doesn't Miss You Back

Knowing that someone doesn't miss you as much as you miss them is not a great feeling, but what can you do? Cry? Get depressed? Lose sleep? It's possible that all of those will occur and it's perfectly okay to feel what you feel.

Once you allow yourself to feel a range of emotions, you can then begin to move forward.

"Obviously, it [not being missed in return] is a sad feeling," says Sonya Schwartz, a relationship expert and founder of Her Norm, "but life must carry on. We can't make things happen on our own. Simply put, trust the process."

The best thing to do in circumstances like this is to keep moving forward, no matter how much it hurts. Eventually, the pain will fade and you will find someone who can appreciate you for all that you are. Never lose hope. You are worthy of genuine happiness and love.

What to Do When You Miss Someone

Coping with missing someone can be brutal to the heart, especially if you really loved (or still love) that person. But just like heartache, the feeling of missing someone won't last forever.

Coping Tips When You're Missing Someone

Maccario offers some things you can do to cope with the feeling of missing someone:

  • Accept and understand what you are feeling and try to express yourself
  • Engage in activities that can help you divert your attention and mood
  • Interact with other people and make new connections

Moving forward is always the best policy when you aren't able to rekindle relationships or get rid of the feeling of missing someone.

Doing things out of your comfort zone will also be beneficial as you are opening yourself up to new possibilities, new experiences, and the chance to meet new people.

Turn Inward

Facing yourself in the rawest form can be scary, but life-changing. There is healing in dealing with hard issues, and missing someone can be quite painful.

When you miss someone, it can affect your day, your mood, and your overall outlook on life. So, ask yourself why you miss that person. Ask yourself how missing them affects you. Be honest in your thoughts and decide if you're ready to begin moving on.

Write a Letter

Letters always bring clarity to cloudy situations and are great outlets to express yourself freely. Writing a letter (which you don't have to send) can allow you to say everything you would want to say if you had the opportunity to speak in person.

A major benefit of writing a letter is that you don't have to hold back anything, and you'll feel relieved afterward.


There's no greater noise than when your mind is cluttered with endless thoughts of someone you miss. You find it hard to get anything done because you're consumed with endless thoughts of that person and the memories and experiences you've shared.

Try meditation to make peace with those thoughts. If you really tune into yourself, you'll figure out why you miss that person and get to the bottom of why you aren't in communication at the moment. Meditation offers an opportunity to see things clearly.

Tell the Person That You Miss Them

Sometimes you just have to talk to the person you've been missing. If you're feeling brave and are capable, talking to the person who's causing such drastic emotions might be the route for you.

Go to the person, respectfully, and have an honest and heartfelt conversation. You can be direct about the fact that you miss them. Who knows? It's possible that they've been missing you too and just didn't know how to communicate that with you or were too fearful to do so.

Telling someone you miss them might unlock an opportunity to make amends and revitalize your relationship.

Redirect Your Energy

You may not see it in the beginning, but some relationships have to end because they've run their course. You could miss them terribly but it's possible that the relationship was toxic. Or, maybe one of you had to move and now you can no longer meet up as frequently as you once did or at all.

After you feel your emotions, instead of wallowing in them, redirect your energy and be thankful for what you do have. Remind yourself of the people you have in your life and focus on the positive things you have going on.

A Word From Verywell

Grief is a part of life. Don't allow people to control your life and affect it in such a huge capacity that it consumes you. You may feel at your lowest, but you are stronger than you think. Allow yourself time to feel down and out, that's expected and normal—but don't get stuck there. If you're finding it difficult to cope with missing someone, reach out to a mental health professional.

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Harvard Health Publishing. Grieving? Don't overlook potential side effects.

  3. Tang YY, Hölzel BK, Posner MI. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditationNat Rev Neurosci. 2015;16(4):213-225. doi:10.1038/nrn3916

By Candis McDow
Candis has been a mental health advocate since 2014. She has written several articles about mental illness, and her memoir Half the Battle (available on Amazon and encompasses her journey of living with bipolar disorder.