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What It Means to Miss Someone



People come and go in our lives, sometimes like the sudden whoosh of a revolving door and at other times in a much slower, more painful manner, much like having a boulder rocking back and forth on you before it rolls on to crush another target. That would be a quite excruciating scenario but there are those that actually lie down and welcome that damn boulder with open arms. Some leave mud tracks and stubborn stains on our hearts that last for years despite a good scrubbing, while others depart with a gentle touch and a hopeful wish to return someday resuming the rightful spot they once held. The latter type of exit may seem to be the best possible outcome but in reality it is the hardest.

I have missed many people in my life but I notice I feel it more intensely now. To say, "I miss you", implies a deep sense of caring but is that the true intent of those words or is it said out of habit, like saying Gesundheit after a sneeze? Do I miss their smile, their laugh, or the way they made me feel when I was once in their presence? It could be any one of these things or even all of them combined. Missing is about not being encircled in their arms, not feeling their warmth beside me when it is most desired. Missing is about not having an eager, listening ear that wants to hear my life story even though I am not quite comfortable telling it and it is about the comforting buzz of a text message alert that lets me know that they are still…there.

Missing is truly about me and not them because unless told…they have no idea the mark they have left. I owe them a clear statement of the meaning of the words "I miss you" and to voice my meaning honestly. Missing is about the needs, wants and emotions inside of me that are somehow left unattended in the absence of the person I no longer have access to on a physical basis. The saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is a ridiculous thing because, on its own, the statement screams “delusional” but when it is combined with a need to justify romanticizing an otherwise unfulfilling relationship it walks straight into vomit inducing range. Absence is about being gone or away from the one you really want to be with and that is something I am not even remotely “fond” of. I don’t want them to go and when they do it hurts and not in a fuzzy, romance novel way but in the “insert knife, twist left and right then jerk upward” kind of way.

Being open to another person creates a way for “missing” to creep in, to inhabit your heart like a homeless squatter but I welcome it anyway because to run from “missing” is to run from life. I cannot do that so I miss, I care and I hope for the eventual return of or journey to the one I enjoyed laughing with, sharing with and truly being free with. That is life or at least the life I want and so I will gladly wait because I know it is finally my turn to make “missing” a friend that gives rather than takes.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on May 14, 2014:


Pain, anguish and fear actually are very universal...it's just that everyone labels them differently depending on where they are on the path in their life journey. I am sorry you are going through this most difficult time and will only add this little bit: There is no going back to what you once had, no return to some perceived "true happiness" because obviously it was only true for one person in the equation sadly. Having pulled the Band-Aid off that gaping wound I will now apply some salve: While things will never be the same they CAN get better. That is the glorious hope that resides behind the pain of missing people we love or the dream of relationships we wish we actually had. The things that are most painful in life often turn out to be the best lessons (cruel, ain't it?). If I may, can I ask if your wife has exhibited a pattern of pushing those that love her away in the past? If so read my essay on emotional pushers and all the comments from people in the same position as you.

As always, when children are involved I feel the strongest because they didn't ask to be placed in this spot so keep her feeling as secure as possible and focus on her well-being and your own right now. Your wife has an obligation to herself to seek assistance and baring any miracles...it will take time...arghhhh...the dreaded TIME thing! Hang in there, miss, love and care but also be vigilant about your own needs as well.

Psp78 on April 24, 2014:

True caring is synonymous with love. Not necessarily the romanticized movie love, but love cannot be feigned and hidden by its many synonyms...the gradations and intensity of caring differ with the person you find yourself. I miss the love of my life, the mother of my 5 year old daughter, the reason for my being here. Five months ago she very abruptly left my daughter and I to pursue a relationship with another man and just a couple of days ago texted me saying that there are times that she misses me so much. I had to pause and truly ponder the implications...I have been through hell and back over these last months. I have been willing to forgive and forget. I have only ever asked for one chance to be given for our beautiful family to reunite and experience happiness now that perspective has been acquired. I realize that the type of "missing" that I feel for her, and the pain and anguish I have felt, are not universal. Just as the innumerous gradients of love possible between people, there exists a similar pattern for missing someone, as they are both related. Love and caring are distilled into the pain of missing someone as a result of love's hope that a return to true happiness in the presence of that someone special is possible. I don't know what is more painful: the hope of a return that may never happen, or a reality in which hope for the return cannot be realized.

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on January 02, 2013:


Your situation sounds more like an issue of someone that has difficulty recognizing or accepting change and someone that fears it even because they like to be in control...always. You're being guilt-tripped into continuing the routine phone calls and coerced visits, not because it's something that enriches you but because the other party involved can't let go so you feel bad and continue on with their pattern against your best instincts . This is a classic way manipulative people shove the enablers in their life into doing what they want.

The "only child" thing is ridiculous because it makes this gal sound like she is 10 so to continue using this excuse as an adult also makes it sound like she has no friends or other family members she can rely on for human contact but you. Notice I said "excuse" because that is all it is and this woman is utilizing the one tool she knows works on you, "boo-hoo, woe is me, how can you desert me?" She knows it works and you could possibly be the one person in her life that she can completely control so you act as her constant, the one thing that calms her when things seem to be going wrong in her life. Just a guess there and if this relationship lifts her up at the expense of bringing you down then a brutally honest conversation needs to take place very soon because I doubt things will change until then because she likes this pattern, it works for her despite the annoyance it causes you.

Her response of "I miss you" has nothing to do with actually wanting to be closer to you again in adult time, she just wants to force you to never change how things once were and this isn't healthy because demanding to live in the past raises other flags. I agree, counseling is in order for your family member but it would be because she has other issues to address, issues that have nothing to do with how much she proclaims she misses you.

olivbranch on December 02, 2012:

Great thoughts and I agree... But at the same time, I miss you, drives me crazy when it's said too much. I have a family member that says it after we finish almost every call and then she also wants to know when we can get together. For me it is suffocating and I do want to run. It makes me feel like our the time we spent on the phone was of no value. The only way to make her not miss me is to see her in person, then when we do get together, she repeats she misses me at the end of our visit. At one time, years ago, we were closer, but life happened and we grew apart. We got married had kids and we went in different directions. I've come to realized we've both changed over the years, we aren't who we used to be. I am willing to accept that and that we aren't the same people we once were, I am totally ok with it. My family member is not, I am made to feel like I've deserted her and she tells me I don't know what it feels like to be an only child (we come from a blended family). So yes, I run, there's a history of family challenges, I chosen to heal, to move forward. So at times, miss you can be used by others to make one feel bad, to manipulate, just a thought, not meant to be negative. If you are missing someone so bad that it hurts and you can't get over then, counseling might be needed to get to the root of what is really going on...

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on July 14, 2012:


That was beautiful. In my mind it makes no difference where and to whom you say these words just as long as they are said out loud. From your comment it sounds like you thought long and hard about this friendship and decided to do what was best for both you and Dawn. Caring sometimes means letting go and even when difficulties arise we are still able to pick out the good qualities in the relationship and those are the things we miss the most.

Antonio4444 on July 13, 2012:

Dawn, I miss your voice so much. I miss the times we'd talk on the phone for an hour or two, just to talk, talk about our lives, your daughter, our families, our jobs, talking about life in general. I miss my friend. I am so sad and sorry after seven years apart our friendship had to end again after two years. I had hoped we would avoid all of the craziness and drama this time around. I wish you the best and hope all is well with you and your family.

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on July 09, 2012:

A little reminder: Send spam as a comment and it gets reported. Attempt to dominate the comments or purposely be a douche bag and your comment gets deleted. Keep it respectful or feel free to take your dark cloud attitude elsewhere. Pretty simple right?

mayette l on June 20, 2012:

sometimes we, feel miss someone! when the time of we are alone.i believe that miss someone will be cause of loneliness especially the sadness.hahaha

jimmyboy on June 06, 2012:

Sometimes I feel that this is true but what if sometimes by the time you realize ur missing someone that special someone is gone. And what if she doesn't wanna hear it. Sometimes even having the opportunity to even say u miss someone is hard. And by the time she knows it its too late. Sometimes missing someone is the hardest thing in life.

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on May 09, 2012:

Thank you. Sometimes no words are needed and can just cause more harm. The feeling keeps us grounded and aware of our surroundings...it makes us appreciate what we do have.

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on May 09, 2012:

Yes! My daughter misses her uncle dearly and he died 6 years before she was born. We miss what could have been and lament the idea of what should have been. It is normal. Now, obsessing about the "what if" is not appropriate because it keeps us stuck in the land of wishful thinking rather than the here and now.

anon on February 29, 2012:

such a beautiful piece. reminds me of the korean word "han" described as a sadness or grief so deep no words will come out. missing someone is such a painful experience especially if that person was a significant part of your life.

Matete on February 18, 2012:

Is it possible to miss a person that you have never met physically?

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on January 24, 2012:


You are very welcome and I am so sorry for your loss. First, it is always a good thing when a family can reconnect after being separated, for whatever reason, but it is also unfortunate that it takes an illness or death to do so.

The act of missing someone and expressing it differ from person to person and if it is heart felt it should make no difference how old you are, just do it! I take it that you are a bit uncomfortable with the affection your nephew is bestowing upon you and without knowing more details I can only guess that he may be a more expressive individual than you? How close were you previously with your niece, nephew and their mother? Keep in mind that his mother may have talked a lot about you to him or he has fond memories of you himself and in a sense, those stories and memories may make him feel a closer connection to you than what your recollection dictates.

Also, grief takes on many stages and his expressiveness with you may just be a way to hang onto a connection with his mother through you. Death makes people recalculate their former reactions, goals and even future life plans so reaching out to remaining family isn't that out of the ordinary. Plus, he may be taking to heart the wisdom of telling people how he feels about them now rather than wishing he had after they are gone. We live in a world where people are told to move on past grief or remain "strong" and stoic in the face of adversity but that only creates regrets later in life. Maybe he just doesn't want to regret anything and feels it will also help you to know you are cared about? If it truly concerns or worries you then just ask him...you are both adults after all and it may help you both to do so.

Lily on January 20, 2012:

Thank you for this page. Several months ago, I made the journey to visit my sister who had been seriously ill. The family were reunited, and got to spend some precious time together, and connected with my grown up niece and nephew after so many years. On my return last month, sadly my sister passed away, and once again was reunited with my niece and nephew, and wanted to give some moral support. However, my adult nephew told me that he missed me so much, and has told me he cares so much about me? I really am confused, as I don't want to think too much into this. Tell me is this just family missing another family member?

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on October 02, 2011:

@Rogan and Hannah,

Realizing a depth of feeling, after the fact, is always a hard lesson to learn. But, it is a necessary lesson...one that makes us very aware of our true purpose in life. That purpose is to love, to connect and to uplift one another. Sounds all warm and fuzzy but the lesson learned after the realization and resulting pain makes you think twice before you let a moment to express love and gratitude slip by again doesn't it?

Hannah on October 02, 2011:

I have bee at job corps now for 6 months and after 3 weeks i found the one guy who was different from all the others i have ever dated or tried to date. i have relised that in the 10 day since he left to go home and wait for me to finish job corps and me to come with him that he ment more to me than anyone has ever in my life. i know that dating someone for only 5 months may not be long enough to know if you really like someone or not but for me it has been long enough. i hate not being able to be with my world and when i see pics of him i get sad and i feel like i am going to cry and sometimes i do but not always. i wish that missing someone would not hurt so much. hurting to me show how much someone means to you and how much you cared for them.

Rogan on September 16, 2011:

Words are overused all th time. Iv spent years growing up with th woman tha I love. Were adults now. Th realisation of being completley different is immense. Soul crushing. All those memories.all those feelings. I cud neva miss my best friend more. It is raw. A fresh injury tha won't heal. My sweetest friend I would neva deny bt hav to. I miss you couldn't be more precise right now. Don't ever hurt someone so close to you, you will neva forgive urself

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on June 06, 2011:

@unknown and A,

You are both welcome. Missing people is a tool, albeit a painful one at times, that lets us know we are human. It is also a guidepost that can lead us to a better understanding and appreciation for both the people that have slipped away, either physically or emotionally, and the ones we have the ability to reconnect with in the future. A bridge is never burned if you don't light the match ; )

A on June 02, 2011:

Thank-you for this. It is really speaking to what I am going through. I have been trying to find something that resonates with me on this topic. It is hard to talk to about sometimes, and I dont want to continusouly talk about it with others. Now I have something to read, thanks! For me, I realize that I made clear mistakes that pushed my friend away. The thought of that hurts terribly. We talk a little here and there but it is not the same, and there hasn't been a good time to have a conversation about it, and I'm not sure they want to or care anymore. Anyway, regardless, I miss, and I see the value in that. Thanks again.

unknown on June 01, 2011:

WOW. I am going thru something like this. I am missing some special people and is like..Oh my goodnes " I miss you" so much. After reading and trying to find the meaning of I MissYou, I actually found your writing the way I feel, It really touched me and I love it, because no I can say these special people feel the same way I do..They say I miss you, all the time ..! thank you so much.

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on April 22, 2011:


You are so welcome. It does cause an ache in our hearts when we suddenly realize how much we care about other people. My thinking is that the pain created by missing someone, no matter the relation, comes more from our own sense of regret about not having told them exactly how we feel when they were in our presence. We can ease this pain by truly living in the moment each day we have with them and by being totally and completely open with our hearts. I honestly believe that this is what is wrong with this world; people are too afraid to be open because this type of vulnerability is seen as being weak.

Sara on April 19, 2011:

Thank you so very much for this. You describe the feelings perfectly, and allow for this to be about missing not only a romantic partner but possibly a close friend or a family member. It is a painful thing.

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on April 18, 2011:


I attempted a translation but alas, could not accomplish this so I will just say thank you for commenting.

cheenu on April 05, 2011:

mujhe aapki bahut yaad aa rahi hai choti mamma .mere jaldi jaldi aaya karo warna mera man nahi lagta.please ek baar phirse aa jaao please.

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on February 02, 2011:

@canadienne: Absence isn't the only thing that creates a fond feeling for another. That was my point and my feeling on the phrase "absence makes the heart grow fonder." I would rather NOT be away from them but since distance does occur, both physically (with death), emotionally (with divorce/break-up) and geographically when one moves, it is better for ME to not trivialize that feeling with a nonchalant phrase.

I choose to feel fondness and love in the moment and make sure those I feel this way about know it now rather than after the fact and after they are absent.

canadienne on February 02, 2011:

i think absence makes the heart grow fonder in the sense that when you miss someone you can have the chance to realize how much they really mean to you.

that is not something overly mushy and painful, it says that a beautiful emotion can be realized when you notice a lack of fulfillment when someone is not around

that is certainly not physical!

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on January 16, 2011:

@Marie, Thank you. I once came from a place in life where I could not say what I needed to say due to fear of rejection so I wrote everything down. My "should have said" journal was massive! It has been my experience that the honest, heartfelt words of others do resonate louder because they are real rather than contrived nonsense slapped down on paper as a means to please others rather than as a way to express your true intent and meaning.

Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting and thank you for feeling!

Marie on January 14, 2011:

Just wanted to add to my comment, that all the things I described that I wanted reading to feel like, your articles made me feel that. Just wanted to be sure you got my point,as I reread my comment and thought it was a bit unclear. I just wanted to say that reading this kind of made me reconsider my negative view on reading!

Marie on January 14, 2011:

Just wanted to say that reading this and another text you wrote about pushing people away, really made me feel something. I have kind of given up on reading,because I just don't feel anyone writes anything that makes it worth reading.I think reading something should feel like it's worth the time and leave you feeling a little different,in a good way, like a really good and open conversation can do. I can't remember the last time I read something that made me feel that way,that really resonated with my own feelings and thoughts,while also making me see things more clearly or in a new way. Thank you for sharing!

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on December 29, 2010:


Thank you! We live in a world where certain words have lost their true meaning and that is indeed, a sad thing. Words like, "I miss you," have value, meaning and a depth that comes from the heart and to say that to another means more than any greeting card ever could.

Sunnie on December 24, 2010:

I read this after being all nostalgic today. For the past six months, I've been living in the new place we moved to, after leaving everyone behind who I knew since childhood. It's very hard, and I do believe that the term I Miss You is overused a lot. Some times, I wish I could just get It it through these peoples minds, that I don't say I miss you, just because it's out of habit. It's because they've made such a profound difference on my life, and made me who I am today. Thanks for writing such a beautiful piece, it really sums up what I'm going through now.

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on November 18, 2010:

@irene: As a human race we do spend a lot of time running from missing, loving and connecting don't we? It takes mere seconds to say the words yet many people spend years denying, justifying and plain ignoring something that adds depth to their life. The ground will not open up and swallow them and not everyone will mistake "missing" for "loving"...gasp!

It amazes me that so much effort goes into avoiding feeling because when we finally let go of the fear of being human it seems all that "work" was just an effort in futility! It is good to miss people because that is what makes us appreciate them all the more so I am glad your friend realized this before he lost the chance.

irene on November 17, 2010:

I love it! I have a friend that had a hard time telling someone he "missed them". After I MADE him read it, he realized he feels that way about me all the time and it wasn't a crime to say those three words ( I miss you).

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on August 31, 2010:

Jules, thank YOU. Missing people is a very necessary human experience and for my little ditty to remind you of a South Park episode tickles me to no end!

Jules on August 31, 2010:

I really like the way you describe the experience of missing someone. Not in a hopelessly optimistic fashion, but in its rawness. It reminds me a little of Butters' speech (in South park - Episode: Raisins):

"Yeah, and I'm sad! But at the same time I'm really happy that something can make me feel that sad. It's like--it makes me feel alive, y'know? It makes me feel human. The only way I could feel this sad now, is if I felt somethin' really good before, so I have to take the bad with the good. So I guess what I'm feelin' is, like a beautiful sadness. (...)"

Thank you!

Elleasku (author) from In your imagination. on July 20, 2010:

Well, Karma lama, thank you...simple, sweet, to the point and understandable : )

karma lama on July 16, 2010:

you still make my heart skip a beat i miss you my heart i love you

karma lama on July 16, 2010:

main ne bhi kise pyaar kina tha thora nahe had see jada kiya tha liken aaj asha waqt aaya ki wo mujh se ruth gaya main ausha ki bina g bhi nahe sakta aush ki bina mar bhi nahe sak ta main aushe aaj bhi miss karat hu i miss you my dear heart you are my life plz com with me i waited for you i love you siya tama with your karma

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