The Science Of Missing Someone

The Science Of Missing Someone

Before you beat yourself up about missing someone so much, remember this: you can't help it.
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"I just don't feel like myself without you," is probably something you've thought when you've missed someone you care about.

This idea randomly popped into my head as I sat alone in my dorm missing my partner. I am not entirely sure if the science behind this is accurate because even the scientists aren't sure about the accuracy. Emotions are difficult to understand, and neurotransmitters are difficult to track.

So with that said, here's my take on things: a layman's definition of why you might actually feel like a different person when you're away from your significant other (or anyone close to your heart).

Biology and psychology teach us that our bodies naturally produce certain chemicals- hormones are produced by glands, and neurotransmitters by the central nervous system. Evolutionarily these chemicals help us to form emotional bonds to be able to maintain group relationships, intimate relationships, and parental relationships. They help keep us alive. Today, there's a lot more added to the mix, and as a result there's a lot more grey area.

The hormones related to "love" are estrogen/testosterone, and oxytocin. The neurotransmitters most closely involved are seratonin and dopamine.

Again, we produce all of these chemicals naturally, but when you are with someone you love, they surge. When they surge, your body speeds up to process them all. When you spend an extended period of time with someone you love, you basically become addicted to an elevated level of all of these chemicals, and your body becomes used to processing them all more quickly.

If your body is used to producing all of those chemicals, and processing them quickly, can you imagine what happens when you leave the person that causes it? In short, withdrawal happens. Your body stops producing an abundance of seratonin, oxytocin, etc., and to make matters worse, the chemicals that your body does produce continue to be processed so quickly it's as if they were never there.

Now you might be wondering, how does this impact one's emotional state? Well, in many ways, but it usually mimics symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is why so many people say, "I don't feel like myself," or, "I miss my other half," because their body has become used to certain stimulation that they are no longer receiving.

If you think about it, that's why the honeymoon phase in a romantic relationship feels like such a high at the beginning. Because that surge is new, and it feels good. They're all happy chemicals after all. But just like any drug, your body gets used to it, and it still feels good, you just might need extra every once in a while (hello date night).

Anyway, when you're ripped from the person that you love, it hurts. It could take months for your body to get back to normal, and every time you see that person in between, the clock is reset.

So before you beat yourself up for missing someone so much, remember this: you can't help it.


Cover Image Credit: Begin With Yes

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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