Why do we sometimes miss certain people

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do we miss people all of a sudden

Why do we sometimes miss certain people all of a sudden?
Why would you suddenly remember a person you liked three years ago then miss them?
Why would you sometimes feel like calling a certain friend you didn't call in a while?

We humans are motivated by needs. When we feel thirsty we get motivated to drink and when we get hungry we get motivated to eat. Now let's suppose that you felt thirsty and then drank a bottle of water won't you need some time before you get thirsty again?

Of course this will happen because the need was temporarily satisfied. Just like there are physical needs that need to be satisfied every now and then there are also psychological needs.

Those psychological needs change throughout the days and even throughout a single day. Now the reasons psychological needs keep changing are numerous but here are few simple examples to give you an idea about those reasons:

  • Your perception: Your perception can change your needs. If all of a sudden you believed that you are lonely then you might feel like calling a friend.
  • Your emotions: The brain uses emotions to direct people towards their needs. If all of you a sudden you felt bored then probably your brain is trying to motivate you to move on to a different activity than the one you are currently doing. See How your emotions affect your perception
  • Life experiences: The different life experiences you go through can result in the sudden change of your psychological needs

Why you remembered that person now

The main reason you missed a certain person on a certain moment is that during that moment you had an intense need for one of the things that this person is able to provide you with.

Let's suppose that one of your friends is very cheerful and humorous. If you didn't see that friend since a long time then you suddenly felt bad then there is a big chance that you will miss him. See Interpersonal Attraction

Those emotions are nothing more than your brain's desire to bring you closer to someone who can satisfy one of your needs , which is being happy in this case.

The same goes exactly for romantic relationships. Let's suppose you were with a person who always made you feel good about yourself. Now if for any reason you felt like your self esteem is low then you might feel like missing that person.

Just like most emotions those steps usually take place in the subconscious mind and so you won't be able to tell why you miss that person. In other words you are very less likely to say something like "my self esteem is low now, i really miss the one who can make me feel better about myself" but instead you will just miss that person without understanding what's going on. See What are the subconscious goals and how they affect your life

Any change in your needs can let you miss a certain person

Let's suppose that you have been through a situation that changed your emotions and needs. In such a case you are very likely to miss certain people after going through that situation.

In my previous article how messed up relationships affect mate choice i explained how going through a certain bad experience because of someone can result in letting you getting attached to people who aren't like that person.

As i said in the beginning of the article the change in needs doesn't have to be caused by a new situation but it can even be triggered by your thoughts, senses or perception.

This means that thinking about something in a certain way can let you all of a sudden feel like missing someone. And no you aren't missing that person because he was the one or your soul mate. In my book How to get over anyone in few days i said that you will miss a person as long as you don't get your important needs satisfied in a different way.

In other words if you managed to find a way to satisfy your important needs without having to contact that person you are missing then you won't miss that person anymore.

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