Does absence really make the heart grow fonder?
We all want to feel valued, desired, and loved. And we definitely want someone to crave our presence.
In love, we equate the depth of someone’s feelings by how they treat us when we are with them. But how they feel about us when we’re not there is just as telling.
Perhaps you don’t feel like your guy is missing you as much as he should. Or maybe you want him to realize the extent of his feelings for you.
In this guide, we’ll talk about why missing someone is an important factor in love and the 12 simple steps to make a guy miss you more.
Why it’s a good thing if a guy misses you
Let’s be honest. There’s probably no clearer sign that someone likes you—if he misses you, it means he’s craving your presence.
Missing someone is a byproduct of love. And there’s a scientific reason behind it. You see, the “biology of love” is often compared by scientists to drug addiction.
Studies show that when we’re in love, our body produces “happy hormones” like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are the reason why we have that butterflies-in-our-stomach feeling when we’re around someone we’re attracted to. It’s also why we can’t get enough of being with them.
So naturally, when they’re not around, there’s a chemical withdrawal. Suddenly, your body doesn’t produce happy hormones anymore. This is why it hurts when we miss someone. And it’s exactly why a guy missing you is a good thing.
But remember, a relationship should be equal. If you’re the only one desperately trying to connect all the time, it might be a sign a guy doesn’t want to be with you.
As psychology researcher and author Jeremy Sherman puts it:
“Relationships become unstable when one misses the other more than the other way around, and that by both definitions of missing: when one longs for the other more, and when one disconnects, misunderstand, misses the point, and fails to connect more.”
If it’s pretty clear he doesn’t miss you, it means he doesn’t want to be with you. And you shouldn’t waste your time trying to convince him otherwise. You can’t force a chemical reaction.
However, if you think a guy just needs just a little push—perhaps because you’re being too available, or perhaps he doesn’t know what he’s missing—you can test the waters and see if he realizes he has deeper feelings for you.
After all, there’s nothing wrong with trying.
How to make a guy miss you: 12 simple ways that don’t involve mind games
This won’t be your typical guide telling you to “wait a little an hour to text him back.” I won’t advise you to play games just to make a guy miss you.
Because it’s counterintuitive. If you want a healthy and genuine romantic relationship, starting it with petty mind games is not the right course of action.
That’s exactly why people end up in situationships and backburner relationships. It’s why people get breadcrumbed or ghosted.
So if you’re looking for a guide that includes manipulation or toxic psychological tactics, this article is not for you. However, I will help you navigate your way through your relationship/potential relationship in a way that will put you in a better advantage to succeed and make a guy miss you.
So buckle up. Here are 12 simple but effective ways to make a guy miss you… without having to resort to games.
1. Make yourself a priority.
If there’s one thing I learned about dating and relationships in general, it’s this:
You should always make yourself your number one priority.
Not because you want to make someone like you. Not because you want them to miss you. But because you want to be a complete, healthy individual who doesn’t need validation from someone else.
The sooner you do this, the easier you’ll be able to navigate relationships in your life. When you have a healthy and loving relationship with yourself, you manifest that kind of stability in your external relationships.
You’ll see a great and immediate change in your life. You become less dependent, less clingy, and needy of other people’s attention. You become more self-assured, confident, and you’ll know your worth.
In short: you’ll stop being desperate for someone to miss you.
And the best thing? This self-security will make you more attractive. You don’t even have to worry if a guy misses you or not. You’ll just naturally attract the kind of romantic relationship you’ve always wanted.
2. Don’t be too available.
It’s obvious, really. How will someone miss you if you don’t give them the chance to do so? But I’m not going to advise you to suddenly stop communication. Don’t play too hard to get either.
You don’t have to play games to “win” at love.
That being said, you can be mindful of the signals you give out. If you feel like you’re becoming too available or too eager, hold back a little. See how he reacts.
Psychologically, our minds always want what we can’t have. Erika Ettin, the founder of dating website A Little Nudge explains why we behave like this:
“The less someone responds or reciprocates to one’s advances, the more perceived value the pursuer thinks this person has. So we try harder since this person must really be ‘worth it’ if he or she is in such high demand — in other words, this person is a scarce resource.”
You probably have a busy life—a career, social circle, goals. Try to focus on that instead of giving him all of your attention.
3. Stop being the one who always “gives.”
We all have a love language—ways that we show and understand love. For some, it’s words of expression. For others, it’s acts of service. But no matter what our love language is, we all show affection by giving something of ourselves—time, effort, material gifts.
The trouble is, when you keep giving and giving, you’re bound to be taken for granted. So if you really want him to miss you, just stop being the only one who does all the effort.
According to relationship expert and psychology professor Dr. Jeremy Nicholson:
“If your goal is to attract and keep a partner, in some instances, it might be better to “take” than “give.” Let them invest a bit, work to earn you, and become more committed in the process. Don’t always be the one to pick up the check or the dinner pan, and you might just find an improvement in how your partner sees you.”
4. Make the time you spend together “count.”
Give him something to miss.
It has long been established that humans pursue pleasure and avoid pain. This human tendency is what fuels our motivation.
This definitely affects the way we date. Why would you continue dating someone who doesn’t give you any pleasurable experiences? Especially if you know you can find someone else who could give you more fun?
I get it, relationships require work. It’s not always going to be rainbows and sunshine. But research shows that novelty and excitement at the beginning of a relationship are essential to help it move to the next level.
If a guy feels like he’s gaining valuable experiences and learning opportunities with you, he’ll likely cherish your time together more. Which means he’ll probably miss you a lot when you’re gone.
So make the time you spend together count. Make it fun, spontaneous, and show him a good time. Not only will it make him miss you more, but it will also help expand your relationship.
5. Give him space.
So far, we’ve talked about your wants and needs. But in dating, you also have to consider the other person.
So ask yourself: are you giving your guy the space he needs?
Just because he’s dating you doesn’t mean he has to spend every waking moment with you. It also doesn’t mean that he should give up his space. If he feels like you’re “crowding” him, he’ll likely think you’re too needy and will distance himself more.
Instead, you can encourage him. Let him know it’s completely okay to have his own life. Tell him you understand that he needs space to nurture his individual needs.
You’ll be surprised how much a guy finds that attractive. Men love partners who are independent. And you can’t establish yourself as a confident and independent partner if you’re constantly caging him in.
He’ll appreciate you all the more. And he’ll definitely miss you when he’s out doing his thing.
6. Stop trying too hard to make him miss you.
Like I mentioned before, love is not a game. The moment you resort to playing psychological mind tricks is the moment you realize that it’s not going to be a healthy relationship.
Furthermore, men are not as oblivious as you think. They’ll likely notice when you’re playing games. They’ll definitely know when you’re trying too hard to make them miss you. And they won’t appreciate it.
In fact, playing too hard to get will probably backfire on you.
A 1970s series of studies led by psychologist Elaine Hatfield explored whether “playing hard to get” actually works in dating. And she found that men find women who are more receptive, to be more attractive compared to those who kept playing hard to get.
While I mentioned earlier that being too available could be the reason why he’s not missing you, it also doesn’t mean you have to be completely unavailable.
Just let the relationship flow as naturally as it should. Don’t try to force anything. The more you do, the less likely it’s going to work. Find the right balance.
7. Don’t rush.
Dating shouldn’t be a race. This goes in all aspects of relationships, especially in the early dynamics of dating. Whether it’s physical, emotional, or opening yourself up.
I know how exciting it is to meet someone you so desperately want to make a connection with. You want to know everything about them. And you want them to know everything about you, too.
But rushing things just removes all the mystery and magic. As zen psychotherapist and neuromarketing strategist Michele Paiva hilariously puts it:
“Although I believe nothing should be rushed, the bigger snag is time. If your partner is not seeking to spend time with you, then trying to rush desire to spend time together is about as toxic as can be.
“It’s like Pepé Le Pew from the cartoons. Just a mess!”
You have to let him be curious. You need to get him a little excited about getting to know you. And that can’t happen if you show him everything at once. Then, he won’t have anything to miss!
8. Stop taking the initiative all the time.
There’s nothing wrong with a healthy dose of initiation. It actually gives the right signals. You’re telling him you’re interested. And most of the time, men find that sexy.
But if you’re the one always sending the first texts, making the calls, and asking him out, it’s no longer a good thing.
One interesting study explored how humility affected initiation and maintenance in romantic relationships. Researchers found that people liked it when their potential dates were more humble about initiation, rather than being arrogant about it.
So if you want to make him miss you, you need to stop coming on too strong. Let him call you first or ask you out from time to time, too. Anyway, if he doesn’t do it, at least you’ll know he’s not worth your time.
9. Always look your best.
A guy should always love you for your personality. But let’s face it: attraction has a lot to do with how someone sees you.
You probably already know that men are visual creatures. Studies have shown that physical appearance is a dominant factor when we’re making mating decisions. We choose potential mates who we think will give our offspring genetic advantage.
So certainly, it couldn’t hurt if you put a little extra effort into how you look. It’s especially a bonus if you know what he likes. Then you can play to that—do your hair a certain way or wear his favorite shade of lipstick.
I’m not saying you should bend over backward to please a guy. You shouldn’t have to change who you are to please someone else. But he’ll miss you more if he can’t get that beautiful image of you out of his head.
10. Use body language to your advantage.
I’m not only talking about what happens in the bedroom. Sure, sex is a big part of intimacy and relationships. And if you want him to miss you, nothing could be more effective than showing mindblowing physical chemistry.
But don’t discount what body language outside of the bedroom could do, too. A 2016 study suggests that displaying a “dominant, open, non-verbal” body language plays a huge factor in initial attraction.
According to behavioral scientist Vanessa Van Edwards, “open body language is more attractive than any outfit, hairstyle or dance move.”
Van Edwards suggests taking particular attention to two things:
- Your torso – in the 2016 study, researchers found that having an “expansive” body language helps you appear more attractive. Showing your upper body openly portrays confidence. Meanwhile, crossing your arms or hunching your shoulders make you look unsure and insecure.
- Your hands – people are likely to trust you more if they can see your hands. According to behavioral scientist Susan Weinschenk, “If you don’t use your hands at all, that may be perceived as indifference. Your audience may feel that you don’t care about what you are talking about.”
You don’t have to become a body language expert to understand how to act. Just remember to be open, confident, and engaging with your body. Make such a good impression that he’ll miss your touch and presence, too.
11. Do small gestures when you’re not with him.
One effective way to make him miss you is by doing small romantic gestures when you’re not around. It’s easier when a relationship has progressed enough because then you won’t feel too conscious about doing things like making him coffee or surprising him at work.
Clinical psychologist Marni Amsellem suggests:
“These need not be complex. Leave a post-it note somewhere your partner will see it. Send an unexpected text to say hello. Stop by his or her favorite pastry shop on the way home with a just-because treat. Unload the dishwasher, if this isn’t something typically delegated to you in your relationship.
“Bottom line is that you know your sweetie and you know what would mean something for them.”
Remember though, it’s a different ballpark when you’re in the earliest stages of dating. In this case, you need to be more subtle. Think about things like sending him a cute and thoughtful text or sending him a funny meme. Remind him you’re thinking about him, too. But don’t go overboard.
12. Cultivate joy in your life.
You must be thinking: “what does that have to do with making a guy miss me?”
But according to science, happiness is one of the most attractive qualities people are naturally drawn to. That’s why we often hear people say, “I fell in love with their smile.”
Cultivating joy in your life has a ton of positive benefits for YOU. You become less anxious, stressed and become more grateful and positive. It also makes you more attractive.
You become so much more interesting to someone if they can see that you have an exciting, rich, and joyful life. You’ll have that kind of energy people will be drawn to.
So if you really want to make an impact on him, try to live a great life. Have a great day and tell him about him. Go on adventures and tell him what a great time you’re having. Be the kind of person that can bring “light” to his life. He won’t be able to stop thinking about you.