What To Do When You Miss Someone And Can’t Have Them Back

By: Jessica Saxena

Updated July 31, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Sonya Bruner

Nothing feels quite as bleak as the end of a relationship you weren't ready to let go of. Some of the most common reactions are anger, disbelief, and feelings of desperation, followed by loneliness and feelings of guilt and failure. And losing such a significant intimate relationship will undoubtedly lead to feelings of grief. You may wonder what to do when you miss someone. It is challenging to move past someone that you don't really want to let go of, but it is possible. This article will cover what to do when you miss someone and can't seem to get them back.

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You are not alone. Many if not most most people at some point have their hearts broken and find themselves missing someone they can't get back. It is painful, and it is difficult. But it is something you can learn to cope with so that you can move forward. You may find it too difficult and need to enlist the help of a professional. That is entirely okay. Working with a counselor can help give you direction and work through your emotions so that you can begin the healing process necessary for you to move forward.

It's Okay to Be Angry

You've invested your time and emotions. You thought you had built a relationship on trust, but you've just had your "safety net" jerked out from underneath you, as some people might tell you. Losing such a significant relationship can be disillusioning and disheartening. Those feelings may eventually lead to anger. When you are grieving a loss, strong feelings of anger are not uncommon.

Anger is a natural reaction, but don't let it take over your social life or cause you to say things you'll later regret. Take out your anger in a darts game, smash some junk, or yell at the top of your lungs (in an unpopulated, remote location). Channel it so it isn't always pumping adrenaline into your blood. Some people find strenuous exercise or completely rearranging the house a good outlet. You're not wrong if you feel angry. You're only wrong if you take that anger out on others.

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Most often, anger is a secondary emotion. Other emotions are behind the anger you feel. After losing a cherished relationship, you may feel betrayed, abandoned, rejected, and other strong emotions. Although those other emotions may be difficult to face, it is important that you don't get stuck in your anger. If you find yourself having trouble moving past your anger, talking to a licensed therapist may help.

Believe It's Going to Get Better

Disbelief can be numbing. It's more of a detachment from reality than it is an actual feeling. You can't imagine things between you and your loved one got so bad, that there's no hope of retrieval. You can't remember seeing any signs that your relationship was about to hit a brick wall. You haven't planned for life without that other person in it, and have no idea as to how you could possibly begin to live it.

Believe it. If that special someone hasn't returned your calls, declined your visits, and avoided gatherings where you might both appear, the relationship is over. You are no longer a part of that person's life. It was a clear and conscious choice. That can be a hard reality to accept, but acknowledging this will help you move on to the other happy and healthy relationships that are waiting to be found. You deserve someone in your life who wants to be in it. Just because you did not have that in your previous relationship does not mean you can't find it in a future one.

As soon as you accept this, you can start feeling better. The tie has been broken, but it hasn't broken you. Settle back into some of the old habitats you used to hang out in before the relationship. Revitalize old friendships. While you're at it, explore a few new places and widen your circle of friends. At first, it may seem like more effort than it's worth, but mixing a little of the old and familiar with the new and exciting will make the time pass more quickly and help you land on your feet.

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When you are in the heat of a breakup, it can seem hard to see past this moment and to have hope for your future. It can be helpful to reflect on the other challenges you've been able to overcome and the strength you displayed in those circumstances. If you've already experienced a breakup or grieved another significant loss, then you already know from experience that losses become easier to cope with over time. The challenge and emotions you are experiencing now will eventually pass, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. Avoid focusing too much on negative thoughts and remind yourself that you will get through this because of your resiliency.

Things You Can Do to Begin Moving On

It can be uncomfortable, but the process of moving on begins with the very first step. Here are some things you can do to help prepare yourself to move on.

Take Time to Grieve

Give yourself time to grieve your loss. Everyone grieves differently, but it is something you need to do so that you can fully let go and begin the process of moving forward from the past relationship.

Be Kind to Yourself

When a relationship ends that you aren't ready to let go of, it can be easy to blame yourself and look for faults. Treating yourself with compassion can help shorten the grieving process in the long run, as painful as it may be right now.

Lean in to Distractions

Giving in to distractions can help take your mind off the sadness and longing that comes with missing someone. Arm yourself with plenty of distractions, like a fitness class, some pampering, or a therapy session to keep you from dwelling on the past and to help keep you in the present.

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Support to Move Forward

If you find yourself missing and longing for a partner you can't have back, consider enlisting the help of a licensed professional that has experience with such situations. A counselor can help you work through your emotions and identify underlying factors that are contributing to you still missing the other person. They can help you understand the things you liked about them, as well as the things you disliked, preparing you for future relationships.

Rather than having to go into a therapist's office and risk someone seeing you, you can use BetterHelp from the comfort and privacy of your own home (or wherever is convenient for you). Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"Julia is a very open-minded, understanding and warm-hearted person. She listened with kindness and without judgement. Her advice helped me tremendously through a bad break up and ensuing personal problems. Her advice and understanding has been very helpful in guiding me to a healthier mind frame."

"I've tried other counselors that I liked but didn't seem right for me but Margaret has been amazing! I love her honesty, compassion, and realness! It was really easy to open up to her and she's helped me get through a very tough breakup that nobody else could seem to get me through. I would recommend her to anyone! She makes it so comfortable to talk to her as if you've known her for forever!"


As difficult as it may seem right now, one day you will move on from this hurt. Things will get better and you will heal in time. Just because you lost the love you wanted in a past relationship does not mean that love is lost to you completely. You deserve someone who wants to be in your life and this is certainly something you can have. If you are ready for assistance in moving through the healing process, take the first step.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

  1. What does it mean when you miss someone?

One of the frequently asked questions is what it means to miss someone. The loss of a relationship, especially an intimate one, can trigger feelings such as anger, loneliness, guilt, and failure. You feel this deep longing when they are no longer there. 

However, you need to understand that it is entirely normal to try adjusting to the situation. In most cases, you spend less time with friends. You believe that spending time alone helps you process grief. 

The disappointment that stares you in the face having put in so much effort over an extended period, makes you feel worse. Social activities become less engaging for you. You spend time wondering what went wrong and how to move on. Sometimes, the reality might be a tough pill to swallow, and the anger might be overwhelming. Yet, regardless of how painful or hurtful the breakup might be, there are ways to feel better.

  1. What do you do when you miss someone so much it hurts?

Another frequently asked question is what to do when you're missing someone, and it hurts so much. You have to understand that you're making a choice to move on from a relationship. Although it can be pretty tricky, it isn't impossible. 

One of the most common feelings you'd feel is anger. That's a normal reaction that threatens your social life. However, it's advisable to channel your rage into endeavors that do not impact other people negatively.

For instance, there are a few ways to feel good when you're missing someone. You could channel the anger by breaking inanimate objects.  

Try screaming to release the pent up frustration. Also engage in social activities such as going for a skincare routine at the mall or burying yourself in home chores. Most times, you're not ready to let go of that person, and your situation may worsen. In this case, you might want to see a licensed counselor for help if the ways above do little to help you feel better. 

  1. What do you say when you miss someone?

People feel that almost everyone knows what it means to lose someone they cannot have back. However, no one has the right words to say when they are forced to grief an unprecedented loss. After all, you are still in awe and shock from trying to make sense of a situation you never saw coming. Even zodiac sign characteristics become irrelevant to your situation.

There aren't words suitable enough to express feelings of hurt, anger, and dejection. However, accepting the harsh reality of your situation is the first step to healing, and it may take some time to come to terms with it fully. You should understand that you no longer hold a special place in their lives, but believe that you would find someone deserving of you.

  1. What to do when you miss someone and can't talk to them?

Men and women often share unique similarities in their reactions when they are unable to communicate with their partners. Sadly, relationships full of love and life, laced with regular phone calls and active social media engagement is suddenly replaced with radio silence. 

This is commonplace in a long-distance relationship. To push past this state, recognize the need to grief for some time but do not go overboard. You mustn't shoulder the blame. So, treat yourself with kindness and remember that you are also special. 

Another way you can take your mind off the feeling of despair and agony that comes from missing someone is by staying busy. Give people a chance to interact with you as you engage with the outside world. You could sign up for yoga classes, skincare at a spa, or even book therapy sessions with a certified professional. Therapy gives you a safe place to express your deepest emotions and come out on top.

  1. How do you tell if a man misses you?

Quite a number of women have faced the uphill task of discerning whether a man misses them or not. The silent treatment that comes after a break up can be loud, but certain clues could help you determine if you still hold a special place in his heart. 

For starters, communication is a vital component of every human relationship. So, if he calls you regularly, schedule visits, and makes an effort to be around places you might likely visit, then there is a good chance that he longs to see you. Also, a loved one's body language might tell you if they are eager to be around or away.

  1. Is missing someone a sign of love?

At the beginning of every relationship, it is natural that you miss someone when they are not around. It is usually exciting and fun due to the chemistry that builds in the first few days to weeks, but it doesn't necessarily mean you are in love with them. 

For instance, you could hardly love a person you meet for the first time, but maybe you had a terrific conversation and would like to experience it again.

In other cases, missing someone could be linked to sheer attraction, emotions, lust, or pure infatuation. You probably miss what the person once represented to you, what you once shared with the person and how you can't have that anymore. Emotionally, you could miss people because you haven't seen them in a while. For example, family members during thanksgiving after a long year at school or even house pets that are dear to you.

 7.Can you miss someone so much it hurts?

Science has proven with astounding evidence that emotional hurt has a direct consequence on the health and wellbeing of a person. According to a study conducted by a neuroscientist at Yeshiva University, the report showed that the process of withdrawal from a substance and the withdrawal experienced as a result of a break up are quite similar.

A few chemical processes in the brain usually occur when men and women are in love. The release of hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline is responsible for the 'chemistry' people describe when they are in a relationship. In the event of heartbreak or divorce, these hormones can have the opposite effect on a person. Feelings of longing and despair become more prominent. 

  1. Can you miss someone so much it physically hurts?

We all have had to deal with the process of detachment, loss, and heartbreak we felt we could never recover from. At the initial stages, we think to ourselves, 'nothing could possibly go wrong.' Still, sometimes life has a way of showing up without a prior invitation. The transition of hurt unseen to physical consequences is not uncommon when we miss someone dearly.

The feeling of missing someone can take a toll on your mind and your body. The hurt that your brain projects might cause you to feel incredible sensations in our heart and gut. That period of disbelief that typifies the magnitude of your loss can make you feel delusional. However, the physical manifestations vary from mild to severe for different folks.

  1. How do I stop missing him?

This is perhaps one of the most challenging yet achievable things to do when you are no longer with someone you genuinely cared about. The feelings of longing and grief wouldn't magically disappear. You have to make intentional efforts to move on with your life and accept that they are not coming back. You need to look at the possibilities that the future holds.

Having grieved and embraced sadness for some time, you should make plans to get back into your saddle and ride the waves. You can settle into old habits that once mattered to you before the relationship. Therapy sessions, making new friends, and spending more time engaging in social activities would give you a new lease on life.

  1. How do you make someone miss you badly?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to turn the tables and make someone miss you a lot. It might just be one way to keep the relationship ticking or make yourself more desirable to a crush. Some ways to make this a reality are not farfetched, and they are quite useful in accomplishing your goal.

You could deploy the tactics of staying busy, thereby making yourself unavailable to the person 24/7. Your inaccessibility over a scheduled period builds up the mystery and makes him wonder. Another way is to look gorgeous whenever you see the person. An added advantage will be to dress to exquisite taste if you know what the person likes. 

  1. What can I say instead of I miss you?

Words can become difficult to express the overwhelming feeling that comes with missing someone. If you do decide to convey your emotions outside the norms of the cliché, several beautiful phrases can capture your feelings and make your partner feel great. 

"I can't stop thinking about you.", "Your presence makes me a happy person.", "I count the days and nights until I see you again. These are among the many ways to communicate the way you feel when you miss someone.

  1. Why do I miss someone badly?

A fantastic day with a person you just met can cause you to miss them badly the next. How much more being away from someone for a long time after having spent a great deal of time being a part of their life? The feeling of betrayal, loneliness, and grief could sometimes border on the shores of sheer insanity. 

You never thought in your wildest imagination that you could have a life without them. The years of trust, effort, and investment just vanish within split seconds. The temptation to call your mom for support might come knocking. Nonetheless, it is reasonable to feel the way you do. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

  1. Do I tell him I miss him?

You must be falling for a guy or grieving, losing him from a relationship. Either way, it is best to hold on until you are sure he feels the same way. In most cases, the former has a much higher tendency of being mutual than the latter. If he is in love with you, you shouldn't have any problems.

On the other hand, if you are getting off or still in the process of grief after a breakup, it is needless to tell him you miss him. It becomes highly inconsequential and could probably make you seem desperate. It is hard to accept that you no longer matter to him, but taking this truth helps you move forward.

  1. How do you say I miss you in a cute way?

Romantic love over a long distance or within reach can leave you at a loss for words. It can also open you up to a creative side you never thought existed as a consequence of "love hormones." As you must know, love is more potent than magic, and the exhilarating feeling of belonging to someone is second to none.

So how do you cutely say this? The list is unusually endless. However, we can outline a few. For example, "My heart never knew loneliness until you went away" is a great way to start. "Emptiness is a word that ceases to exist when you are around.", "Your absence damages me and I await the day you come fix me," are perfect ways to pass the simple message to your partner. They would come running to you. 


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