“…love is a skill, not just an enthusiasm.” ― Alain de Botton, The Course of Love
Sustaining desire in a long-term relationship is one of the hardest things to do. Only a few special relationships can pull it off.
As the relationship therapist Esther Perel explained in her famous TED talk, to make your partner miss you or desire you long-term, you have to find ways to make them want what they already have.
But most people can’t do this. Why?
Well, when consumed by our desire for someone, we’re rarely thinking straight. We want to spend all our time with them. Left to our hormones and our emotions alone, we might even suffocate them.
This is why making someone miss you is an art. It requires specific deliberate efforts. Here’s how to do it right according to psychologists and relationship experts.
The first and most vital step
We only miss people who are valuable to us in some way.
It could be that they’re funny, warm, make us feel heard, fun to be with, etc. The bottom line is that to make someone miss you, you have to make them feel something in your presence. This is how you make them crave you in your absence.
According to Dr. Antonio Borello, a psychologist, and a dating coach, it’s only when we’re emotionally connected to someone that we miss them when they are absent.
Hence, the most important step to making someone miss you is first building an emotional connection with them. Take them out and have exciting experiences with them. Do new things together. Take them to comedy clubs.
When you’re with your partner, make them feel accepted. Encourage them. Tell them you believe in them. Make them feel motivated. Bring out the best in them. Let them know they can trust you.
The reason why this works so well is because of a phenomenon psychologists call the dopamine-reward loop. It explains that when we have a fun experience with someone, like going on a rollercoaster, we tend to associate the great feeling with the person we had the experience with.
The worst thing you’ll likely do
One surefire way to make sure someone doesn’t miss you is to be clingy.
As Esther Perel emphasized in her book, Mating in Captivity, “Desire needs space.”
It’s counterintuitive, but like fire needs air to grow stronger, desire also needs space to grow stronger.
We all want to be a part of an exciting experience. We don’t want someone who will cling to us because they don’t have anything to do with their lives. As romantic as it might be at first, we don’t want a partner who will be on their phone 24/7 texting and triple texting us.
We all want to be sure we’re choosing the right person, not someone who’s just desperate to put all their burdens and childhood trauma on us. We want someone who is living a meaningful life.
As much as we want to be with the person we love, we also want space to fantasize about our time with them.
Even though our beloved is already ours, we want to desire them all over again. And we need space to get lost, replaying those fun moments in our minds and eagerly looking forward to them coming back to us.
“Where there is nothing left to hide, there is nothing left to seek.” ― Esther Perel, Mating in Captivity
One of the reasons celebrities captivate us so much is partly because of the mystery they’re so good at creating.
We can’t separate the persona they create in their videos from their real self.
Sometimes they dress like the baddie/gangster, other times they’re the damsel in distress you wish you could rescue. We never really know what to expect from them. They might show up in the next award show looking like a roman goddess.
And this mystery only adds to their allure. It always gets us anxiously looking forward to what they’ll do next.
Mystery has remarkable power in the human psyche. And the major reason why it’s so powerful is that mysterious people make us think of them.
When you can’t figure someone out, they stay longer in your thoughts. This is why the mysterious guy – or girl – is often so charming. We’re drawn to them because we can’t figure them out.
If you’re just getting to know someone, a good way to use this strategy is not to let out too much about yourself too soon. Let them earn a place closer to your heart with time. Too much too soon rarely does any good in seduction.
Highlight fun moments
Some people might say this one is manipulative, but hear me out.
If you’re not into social media, great. You can ignore this point. But it’s one of the most effective strategies in getting someone to notice and miss you.
I know because the strategy works on me all the time.
Whenever we see someone we like to be with having fun with other people, it makes us want to be with them more. We all can relate to this. The opposite happens with someone who is sad and miserable. All we want to do is stay away from them.
We all want to be a part of a great experience. When your partner sees that you’re very capable of having a great life without them, it’s as if your value instantly increases in their eyes.
When you go out with friends, post highlights of the moments. Share pictures of yourself having a great time with your family. Of course, this shouldn’t be for the sole purpose of making your partner miss you.
Interesting: 10 Obvious Signs a Woman Wants You to Notice Her
How to be someone worth missing
In theory, these steps sound rational and easy. But they’re difficult in practice.
When we love someone, we want to suffocate them with our attention. If they don’t reply to our text in time, we are more likely to panic and triple-text instead of giving them some time to get back to us.
If we feel like our partner is pulling away, we’re more likely to lash out complaining about the fact that they don’t miss us instead of calmly analyzing what’s happening or talking to our partners about it.
Most things you need to do to sustain desire or make someone miss you will feel intuitive. This is why most relationships don’t last. We like to depend on our hormones and our feelings alone to make a relationship work.
But in reality, a relationship should be worked on like any other important aspect of our lives. Hormones can get you going at the beginning. But what happens when that initial excitement wears off?
As Jordan Peterson wrote in Rule 10 of Beyond Order, “Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship.”
There are key things you can do to make your partner want you more. And if your relationship is worth it to you, you’ll find out those things and have fun implementing them.