Maybe there’s a guy in your life who isn’t taking the hint, maybe one who’s gotten complacent. Or maybe you feel as if you’ve made yourself a little too available—but for one reason or another, you’re in a position where he’s ignoring you, or you might even feel like he’s slipping away. It’s normal to wonder how to make him miss you instead.
“For some, when the other person slips away, the feeling of not being in control acts like a magnet which increases desire,” said Tracy Ross, a licensed clinical social worker at Redesigning Relationships. “When someone pulls away, their good qualities may become more prominent in your mind and the annoying or incompatible ones recede—selective memory.”
This may be due to low self-esteem or not being ready for the reality of a steady relationship. Thankfully, there are ways to try and make him miss you—if he is ready and willing to commit to the relationship, that is.
How to make him miss you
According to Ross, after the thrill of a new relationship subsides, some people have a hard time with attachment—actually getting close and intimate. When the relationship gets past the initial stage it may feel threatening. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and call it quits.
If you’re ready to commit, but worried you’ve made yourself too available or that he’s becoming more complacent in the relationship, here are a few ways to try to make him miss you. Remember, you probably can’t (and likely shouldn’t try to) make someone do something they truly don’t want to do. But if you believe the relationship is salvageable, these tips may help.
Meet their needs
According to licensed psychologist Dr. Wyatt Fisher, one of the best ways to make someone miss you is to find out their top needs, then excel at meeting them. Then, it’s likely they’ll miss you because they’ll miss having their needs met.
“If you discover one of the top ways your partner experiences love is through affirmation, excel at providing it. Then, when they are away from you, they’ll miss not receiving your adoration, which will make them miss you,” Dr. Fisher said.
Consider going on group dates
If you’ve mainly been spending time together as a couple, consider mixing it up and spending time with mutual friends. He may see how charismatic you are around other friends, giving him another dynamic to think about when you’re apart.
Don’t drop everything else for him
You do care about him, you do want him in your life and of course you’d do a lot of things for him. But dating expert Liam Barnett suggests avoiding dropping every single thing just to get his attention.
“You have a life of your own, you have hobbies, responsibilities, a job perhaps‚—do what you have to do,” he said.
Make yourself a priority
Focusing on yourself and your well-being is extremely attractive—but it’ll also allow you to zero in on something other than him. The distance, combined with your newfound confidence and well-being, is almost sure to make him miss you.
In the end, whether it makes him miss you more or not, you’ll likely find that his feelings just aren’t that important to you anymore.
Don’t be available to him all the time
“When you don’t drop everything else for him, you won’t be available to him as much, which is a good thing,” said Barnett. “Giving too much attention and being available all the time gives off a sense that you don’t have a life and that you’re clinging to him. It is a turnoff, for both men and women.”
Don’t talk to him every day
It might be hard to check yourself if you want to send him a quick goodnight text or check in after a long day, but you don’t need to talk to him every single day. Give a day or two between phone calls and he’ll be more likely to anticipate your next conversation.
Don’t allow him to take you for granted
“We tend to take things for granted when they’re available to us all the time, and we get a sense of ‘it’s always going to be here, hence I don’t need to worry much about it,’” explained Barnett.
Even if you enjoy doing favors and being a part of his support system, don’t allow him to come to expect you to help him out every single time he’s in need. And when you do sacrifice some of your time and energy to support him, don’t let it go unnoticed.
Send him photos
Wholesome, SFW photos, not the other kind. Sending him photos of things in your day-to-day—like a dog you met in the street or the homemade pasta you’ve just learned to cook—will show him you’re thinking of him. In turn, he may start to wish that he was a bigger part of the interesting life you lead.
Understand that your joy doesn’t have to depend on him
According to Barnett, understanding that your joy doesn’t have to depend on him will set you free of the need for him to miss you. Oddly enough, when it becomes clear that you no longer depend on his attention, it may cause him to realize how much he misses yours.
“You will be focused on other things, and this will make him wonder, and become curious about why you’ve lost interest,” Barnett said.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket before you’re exclusive
According to licensed marriage and family therapist Christie Kederian, you shouldn’t stop dating everyone else after a few dates with one person.
“The energy of staying open and not waiting on the phone for one person to call or text you back can be felt and that will leave a potential date knowing that you’re not waiting around for him,” she said.
Dealing with a bit of mundanity in your relationship? Consider surprising him with something he loves. It could be as simple as sending his favorite lunch to his office or surprising him with a romantic evening at home. Whatever you choose, the point is to remind him that his life is that much richer with you in it.
Connect with your passions and do what you love
Kederian suggests spending time doing things that bring you joy—even if you have the opportunity to see your date or boyfriend—if he’s being inconsistent with his communication or chemistry. This will show that you value your time more than trying to see him.
Make him feel as if he’s important
While reminding him that you have a life and friends outside of your relationship with him, you should still make an effort to show him that he’s an important part of your life. Filling him in on your big life updates or checking in when he has a significant meeting coming up at work may show you’re thinking of him without being overbearing.
Keep it short and sweet
“I always recommend keeping first and second dates short and sweet,” said Kederian. “Three-hour long dates and phone calls cause relationships to lose steam really quickly. Keep the momentum going and plan dates more frequently, but for a shorter amount of time.”
Have fun without him
It doesn’t matter if he’s the most fun person in your circle right now, keeping him interested and missing you when you’re not around is more likely to happen if you’re going out and having fun with other people. It may come as a gentle reminder that you don’t need him to have fun.
Don’t become an open book too quickly
According to Ross, you shouldn’t spill all the beans about your personal life. “Don’t give everything about yourself away at once. Hold some things back, maintain your own life and be independent,” she said.
In the early stages of the relationship, always leave a little in reserve for the next date.
Be hard to forget
Whether you’ve just started dating or you’ve been together for months or years, being hard to forget is key to making him miss you.
Whether it’s wearing a perfume you know he loves or making an effort to be present in person, putting in just a little extra effort is key to being unforgettable.
Be your best self around them
“Don’t be moody or hold grudges between each other,” said Ross. “When you are together, do your best to make it a great time.”
This is true whether you’re in an established relationship or just starting out. Nobody pines to spend time with the person who never lets them live down that one time they forgot to run the dishwasher before bed.
Try new things together
If the two of you have been together for a significant amount of time already, or you feel as though you’ve gotten to know each other quicker than you anticipated, try something new, like a hobby or experience. Doing it as a team can reignite the flame and create a whole new way to have fun together.
In getting to experience new things with you, he may realize that there are whole sides of you that he’s yet to discover.
Don’t have a text-based relationship
“Don’t text all the time or expect it in return,” said Ross. “Instead, maintain your existing friendships and plans—and try to enjoy the moments you spend together in person even more.”
Compounding matters is the fact that most people are bad texters, unaware of how the medium strips their words of meaning and nuance. Texting is best reserved as a way to exchange information and make plans, not share your life story.
Let him have his own life
Although you might wish he spent more time with you, don’t try to control what he does with his free time. Whether it’s drinks with the guys or spending more time with his family than you’d like, it’s his life—and you trying to control it will have the opposite effect. You never want to be in the front of his mind for the wrong reasons.
Try not to rush him
According to Ross, the two of you should always be on the same page in terms of how quickly your relationship is going. If you’re trying to advance the relationship just to appease your own insecurities, you won’t give him time to miss you. You don’t need to ignore or suppress your feelings, but you have to accept that different people move at different speeds.
Take a break from social media
It can be hard to miss someone who is posting their entire life on Instagram stories. If he knows exactly what you’re doing at all times of the day, what will you talk about when you do see each other?
Aside from making him miss you, reducing your social media consumption is a good idea in general. Many of the negative effects are already known, and more get discovered seemingly every day.
Play hard to get
“Maintain some mystery in the relationship,” said Ross. This might mean playing a little hard to get, not sharing intimate details too quickly, or cutting back the amount of time you do spend together.
If he’s used to you always being available at the drop of a hat, maybe have plans the next couple of times he invites you to hang out. Ideally, you actually would have other plans, but if not, a little fib doesn’t hurt in this instance. In the same vein…
Don’t change your plans for him
“Don’t base your schedule and plans around the person,” said Ross. “If he asks you to do something on a day you already have plans, don’t change your plans.” This shows that you value your own life apart from him and won’t jump at the chance to see him.
Be the first to end conversations
It can be tempting to keep a great conversation going for hours on end—but being the first to end the conversation may keep him wanting to hear more from you. Once the conversation has outlived its usefulness, a simple “I gotta go, see you at [date, time]” will suffice.
According to Ross, one of the most vital ways to make him miss you—and to make your relationship last—is to be and stay true to yourself.
“Most of all, be yourself and know yourself—there is nothing more attractive than true confidence,” she said.
Leave things at his place
Leaving things at his place will be a physical reminder of you. It doesn’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) be a whole pile of clothing or products—but leaving a piece of jewelry on the nightstand or a bottle of perfume in the bathroom will come as a small but powerful reminder.
Don’t take initiative all the time
If you’re the one to text first, choose the restaurant, make the phone call … stop. Allowing him to take initiative with making plans or catching up may allow him the time to start thinking about you.
Stop trying so hard
If all else fails, stop trying so hard to make him miss you!
“Missing someone is in our basics as humans—we need connection and bonds. Once we connect and bond (i.e., have that need fulfilled), we crave it even more, when it’s gone,” said Barnett.