How to Deal With Missing Someone

Depressed young afro woman texting on phone alone, sitting sad in the kitchen in her home

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When you miss someone there's no denying that raw emotion. You can't get it out of your head, and 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.

This article discusses why you might be missing someone and how to deal with all of the emotions that accompany the feeling of missing another person (and what to do if they don't miss you back!)

Why Do We Miss People?

As humans, we naturally connect to people and build bonds and relationships over time. The act of actually missing someone is defined as failing to encounter, meet, or catch up with them, etc.

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

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

Things That Make You Miss Someone

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.

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

When You Realize You Miss Someone

Really owning how you feel is key. When you miss someone, don't run from that feeling. You may miss someone that has passed away, someone that is incarcerated, someone that was once a close friend, or simply someone that has moved away. But, 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 OK when you're thinking of a person you miss—the nice times, some funny moments, about everything. But the most important thing is that you don't overthink because the goal is to feel better and not hurt or sad.

When They Don'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 OK 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, but life must carry on. We can't make things happen on our own. Simply put, trust the process." says Sonya Schwartz, a relationship expert and founder of Her Norm.

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 that can appreciate you for all that you are. So, never lose hope. You are worthy of genuine happiness and love.

How to Cope With Missing 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.

What to Do When You're Missing Someone

April 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 that'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.

This 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.

2 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.
  1. Leary MR. Emotional responses to interpersonal rejectionDialogues Clin Neurosci. 2015;17(4):435-441. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2015.17.4/mleary

  2. 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.