When someone has been significant in your life, suddenly not speaking to them can feel like torture.
Maybe you’ve recently gone through a breakup or decided to take a break from your relationship.
If you’re tired of waiting for signs from the Universe that someone is thinking of you, here are 10 ways to tell if someone misses you without contact.
How to know if someone misses you without contact
1) They’re silently stalking your social media
Social media is a total temptress (no wonder it can mess with our mental health).
Even the most strong-willed amongst us find it challenging not to have a little stalk of former flames and potential new love interests.
In fact, in a survey, 84% of Americans and 82% of Europeans admitted to searching online for more information about someone they’re interested in.
Because we’re connected by so many different networks these days, the allure is often too great to have a peek at what someone is up to. Before you know it, you’re scrolling away.
If you’re not in contact right now, they are unlikely to be liking or reacting to your social media posts as that’s a bit obvious, but they could still be watching your stories.
Luckily, most platforms with a story function let you see who’s viewed your stories.
If they are, it tells you they still care what you are doing, and suggests they miss you.
If they are trying to be really covert but cannot resist keeping an eye on you, then they may be extra sneaky with their snooping.
Are there any strange accounts that have popped up recently and started watching your social media stories? Perhaps a pictureless profile who isn’t following anyone and doesn’t have any followers either.
I once had one of these ghost accounts start watching my Instagram stories every day after I broke up with someone.
Despite this account never following me, they were there every single day making the effort to seek out my stories.
It was too much of a coincidence and I knew it was my ex who was missing me.
It’s also worth asking your friends too. Not long ago I noticed my friend’s ex boyfriend, who had never followed me on social media, suddenly started watching my stories.
Interestingly, he hadn’t been watching hers — probably because he didn’t want her to see that he had. But he was clearly monitoring mine in the hope of getting a glimpse of her, knowing that we hang out a lot.
2) They post not so cryptic messages about you on their social media
Social media can give you plenty of clues as to what is going on in someone else’s head.
We’ve all read those far from subtle posts that aren’t anywhere near as cryptic as the person posting it thinks it is.
You know, those “You can’t trust anyone these days, but Karma always comes back around” or “It’s true that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.
Even if you don’t know the details, it tells you loud and clear that something has happened.
If this person is posting messages, memes, or quotes that are clearly about you, or what has happened between you two, then you know it’s been on their mind.
They could be looking for your attention by posting far more than they usually do, or indirectly aiming messages at you.
Whether it’s a sad song, quote, or maybe even an in-joke — you just get the feeling that it’s for your benefit.
3) They reach out to your friends
If this person can’t be in touch with you, they may be trying to gather intel on you from other sources — whether it’s your friends, family, or mutual acquaintances.
Perhaps they’ve been causally asking after you, but it felt more like an interrogation than a polite inquiry.
The point of reaching out to your friends is to find out what you’re up to, if you’re seeing anyone, and how you are doing, because they can’t ask you directly.
It might now always be so subtle either. My best friend’s ex boyfriend texted me wanting to talk to me about their relationship because he felt so desperate after the breakup.
If they are encroaching upon your inner circle, then they are trying to get closer to you.
4) They give themselves a makeover
The post-break-up makeover is almost a cliche.
Fresh start, fresh haircut. New you, new wardrobe.
Making changes to our appearance is one of the ways we try to get our confidence back and feel good about ourselves again.
But the very fact that we need to do that suggests we are heartbroken. It’s often a way of distracting ourselves from the pain we feel.
As Shaza Khaled, 23 told Identity magazine:
“Honestly, I feel that it’s mostly a coping mechanism. For me, the reason for the breakup wasn’t even dramatic. But I remember that all I wanted to do was feel something else other than the heartache, so I cut my hair super short and dyed it dark blue,”
The psychology behind it is that it also gives a sense of having control over something — even if it’s just your appearance.
How to know if she misses you without contact? That killer outfit she is posing in on social media may well be for your benefit.
If they get a new hairstyle, suddenly grow a beard, start going to the gym, or update their wardrobe, you can assume they are feeling your absence.
Their makeover may not be a physical one either. They could suddenly introduce certain life changes in an attempt to stay distracted.
For example, despite being normally quite lazy they might suddenly decide to sign up for a marathon. Or after years of putting it off, they could finally decide to go for that promotion.
Throwing themselves into other pursuits can be a way of handling the extra time they have on their hands now.
5) You weirdly bump into them — too often!
Sure if you take the same class, work in the same office or live a block away, you might expect to bump into them randomly.
But if they seem to be showing up in places that you wouldn’t normally see them, then it could be a bit more than a coincidence.
If they know that you always have lunch in the same spot, can be found at a certain bar most Fridays for happy hour, or grab your coffee from the same shop every morning — then seeing them isn’t an accident.
If they know your routine or your usual haunts and start to show up, no matter how cool and accidental they try to make the meeting seem, you know otherwise.
Was it really a sign from the Universe about your ex or did they make an effort to be where you are just so they can see you?
6) They’ve seemingly disappeared
Everyone handles pain differently. Whilst some people will throw themselves into other things as a distraction, other people will withdraw from life.
When you’re feeling sad and depressed after a breakup it can be very tempting to hide in bed, sulk on the couch all day and ignore the world outside.
We often just can’t find the energy and enthusiasm to mingle or do things.
This can especially be the case for more natural introverts, who need to go inwards to process what they are feeling.
If you would have expected to see signs of the person in question by now, whether that’s on social media or in real life, and you haven’t — they could be struggling.
If they’re totally missing in action, it could be because they’re trying to cope with missing you.
7) They don’t shut up about you to other people
If your ex still talks about you, they ain’t over it.
Maybe you’ve been told that this person is still talking about you non stop and can’t help but bring you up in conversation.
What we say reflects what’s going on in our thoughts. If they’re talking about you often, it’s because they are thinking about you all the time too.
Incessantly talking about an ex to people is one of those incredibly clear cut signs they are not over the breakup, and want to get back together.
8) They’re acting out
Parting ways from a significant other brings up a whole roller coaster of emotions. It’s no wonder that many of us don’t want to deal with those feelings, or aren’t feeling strong enough to face them.
That’s when people can act out as a way of hiding from the heartbreak. That’s usually what is happening when your ex hooks up with someone else hours after you split.
Rather than it being a sign they’re a player, more often than not, it’s a sign they can’t handle the pain and are looking for a distraction.
Similarly, if someone starts going out and partying every night, drinking excessively, or showing off posting constantly on social media — life probably isn’t as hunky-dory as they’re trying to pretend.
Men are perhaps more likely to act out than women.
According to Psychology Today, research into differences between how the two sexes handle a breakup found that’s because men are more prone to hiding from their feelings.
“Specifically, the men were more likely to adopt “lose yourself” strategies, such as working long hours or engaging in extreme sports—or by numbing the pain through alcohol or drugs.
“Furthermore, men were more likely than women to jump into a rebound relationship, even when the long-term prospects were not good. In contrast, women tended to seek out social and emotional support from friends and family. They also gave themselves time to heal before making themselves open to the possibility of a new relationship.”
How to know if he misses you without contact? If he’s acting out, it’s for a reason — and that reason could be because he is missing you.
9) They haven’t deleted you from their life
The messy part after a breakup is when we usually start the process of separating someone from our lives.
Life as a couple tends to cross over and merge, and after a split, we have to start to cut ties.
If they haven’t begun the process of erasing you yet, it’s probably because they’re not ready to.
What do I mean when I say they haven’t deleted you from their life?
It’s things like whether you are still friends on social media, or they are still following you. If they still have some of your stuff at their place, or vice versa, that neither of you have collected yet.
If you looked on their Facebook, to the outside world you’d still seem like a couple. All of your photos together are still up, and maybe their profile picture is still of you two together.
All of these little clues suggest that they’re holding on and not ready to fully close the door yet.
10) You were important in their life
Ok, this isn’t quite as practical as the other signs that someone is missing you, but what does your gut tell you?
Maybe you believe that if you miss someone they can feel it. But if you miss someone do they miss you too?
The answer is often yes, and not necessarily because of any spiritual connection with your ex. But because if they were significant enough in your life for you to miss them, then the chances are they are also feeling your loss too.
If you have shared a lot of time together, and had strong feelings for one another, those emotions will not disappear overnight.
It takes time to get over someone. Although how long precisely will be different for everyone, scientific research suggests it can take on average 11 weeks before we start to feel better.
For some people though it is much longer.
But missing an ex is one of the most normal experiences ever. As therapist Carrie Krawiec explains, missing somebody is a reflection of grief.
“A break up is a loss. Just like a death, it’s normal to have waves of memories or emotions. You may expect them to get fewer or less intense over time, but unexpectedly you may get a tidal wave of emotions when reminded of a memory, experience, even a smell, song, or just the temperature of a certain day can trigger us of a loss.”
Even if you cannot witness them missing you, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t privately grieving your loss.
What to do when you miss someone but can’t talk to them?
Perhaps you’ve both agreed to a no-contact period or you simply refuse to be the one who reaches out first.
Either way, you have to find a way of dealing with missing someone, whilst managing to keep away.
Here are some helpful tips to help you do that.
Show yourself some love and care
When we’re grieving the loss of someone in our lives for any reason, it’s a tough time.
You may be sleeping poorly or hardly eating. You may be feeling waves of sadness, anxiety, or even anger.
The extra stress can impact your energy levels and make you feel drained both physically and emotionally.
That’s why it’s going to help to take care of the basics.
- Get to bed early and make time for a restful night, as sleep deprivation can impact your mental health.
- Feed yourself healthy and nourishing foods
- Make an effort to exercise — even if it’s just going out for a walk— as research shows it will release endorphins that help to boost your mood.
It may not seem much but these strong foundations can really lift you up and help to support you when you’re going through a hard time.
Distract yourself as much as possible
Even if you don’t feel like it, now is the time to do the things that you know make you feel better.
That might mean spending more time on a hobby or activity that you like, or hanging out with friends and family.
You may not be in the party mood, but getting out and about can help to take your mind off things. Try to meet a friend for a coffee, or a stroll in the park.
Of course, we can’t be with other people 24-7, and it’s often the times when we are alone that can hit us the hardest as we adjust.
But even when there aren’t friends and family on hand, you can still find some good solo distractions.
- Binge watch your favourite comedy shows and movies
- Take indulgent long baths with a good book
- Cheer yourself up with a bit of retail therapy
- Have a clear-out at home and tidy your space, as decluttering has been shown to be a destresser.
The aim isn’t to deny how you’re feeling or try to avoid perfectly natural emotions that are bound to arise, but the less time sat alone with only your thoughts for company the better.
Allow time to process your emotions but don’t indulge in obsessive thoughts
It can feel like a tricky balance to strike between feeling the feels, and wallowing in self pity when we miss someone.
Experts say it’s important that we don’t shut out the emotions we feel, or they may come back to bite us in the ass later.
Therapist Dee Johnson says we have to let ourselves go through it.
“We should accept that this is a completely normal way of processing any loss, as opposed to pushing it aside or feeling foolish. Some may question why, as it’s not an actual death, they should be grieving, but acceptance is a healthier way to get through this difficult period.”
Talking to someone close to you and sharing how you feel can be a great way to stop thoughts from endlessly swirling around your head.
If you are reluctant to reach out, privately journaling can also be a great way of letting your feelings out.
Writing about your emotions can help you to process them and be completely honest in a way you wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable with when talking to other people.
At some point, our thoughts can start to become unhelpful and even destructive when they border on the obsessive.
It’s not going to do you any good locking yourself away and replaying the same thoughts over and over again.
Try to be mindful and catch if this happens. When it does, purposefully do something to distract yourself, or change the dialogue in your head.
If you’re avoiding contact for a good reason, stay strong
When we’re dealing with loss and heartbreak, we can have a tendency to look back on the past with rose-tinted glasses.
Your ex may have been a cheat, a liar, selfish, jealous, needy, or a whole host of other less than desirable traits.
But as soon as they’re gone from your life all you can suddenly remember are the good times.
The cute way they wore their hair, a sweet gesture they made for you, or a private joke you shared.
Of course no relationship of any kind is ever exclusively bad or good. But this selective memory doesn’t do us any favours when we’re trying to have no contact.
Even if you want to get your ex back getting in touch too soon and breaking a no contact period can work against you and make them miss you less.
On the other hand, if you are going through a breakup that you know was probably deep down for the best, then reaching out is only going to be a short term fix to what you are feeling.
As dating expert Charly Lester explained to Oprah Daily:
“It isn’t going to help your healing process, and the quicker you can adjust to life without your ex in it, the better it’s going to be for you.”