31 Ways to Tell Someone You Miss Them (without Being Clingy)

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When you love someone, you want to express how you feel and that you miss them when they aren’t around. But if you aren’t careful, that longing can quickly turn into clinginess, where you suffocate your loved ones and you become someone they don’t want to be around anymore. 

I formed a few close connections in my life (or so I thought), and somehow, the friendships and relationships never lasted. It took a lot of self-reflection to realize I was too needy when a person became my friend or someone I liked asked me out on a date.

I never gave the relationship (and person) the space to breathe

I know better now, and I also know there’s bad (aka unhealthy) clinginess and good (aka healthy) clinginess, and it depends on what works for you and your friendship, family-ship, or relationship.

But if you want to err on the side of caution, here’s how to tell someone you miss them without being clingy and scaring them off. 

Table of Contents

What Does It Mean to Be Clingy? 

To be clingy means you hold onto something or someone as tightly as you can. You become overly attached and may depend on them a lot for a sense of security and emotional support. 

In any relationship, whether it’s a friendship or romantic partnership, you remain unsure of how your friend or significant other feels about you (possibly even doubting that they really love you) despite tons of assurances of their love and commitment to you.

A clingy person latches onto someone and requires constant updates, reassurance, check-ins, and responsiveness to their emotional needs.    

If you tend to be clingy, you may have unmet needs, and these can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual.

A person who’s clingy is scared and experiences anxiety because they don’t think their needs will be met (and they aren’t able to do so themselves). As such, they hold on tightly to their loved one in an attempt to meet their needs.

There are various causes of clinginess. You are more likely to be needy and clingy when you: 

  • Feel insecure 
  • Have low self-esteem
  • Are afraid of being rejected 
  • Are scared of being abandoned 
  • Don’t have strong personal boundaries 
  • Depend on relationships or your loved one to meet your emotional needs  
  • Have experienced childhood trauma, like your parents or grownups being unavailable or neglectful

Why Is Being Clingy Bad? 

Clinginess often features as one of the top red flags, warning signs, or undesirable characteristics when it comes to relationships and friendships. If you are clingy, it’s a sure sign that you’re sending a prospective relationship to Not-Gonna-Happen-Ville

A study revealed that clingy behavior is one of the biggest turn-offs. The findings also state that a lack of personal space and time in a relationship causes a lot of strain. 

As such, being clingy gets a bad rap because the clingy friend or partner is seen as being jealous, obsessive, suffocating, and overly dependent.

While the person who is clingy may not even know they are exhibiting needy behavior and ultimately only want to love and be loved, the other person feels like they are suffocating, overwhelmed, and trapped. 

For the non-clingy person, it is also a lot to deal with when their love, affection, and commitment are constantly being questioned.

They feel like their friend or partner doesn’t trust them with incessant check-ins, calls, text messages, and social media stalks.

They have to spend all their time with the clingy one, and clinginess turns unhealthy when it takes time away that you can spend on other areas of your life, like friends, family, work, and hobbies.       

However, I would like to add that clinginess isn’t always a bad thing. Sure, clinginess does stem from unmet needs and not feeling appreciated and secure in the relationship and thus causes neediness.

But why aren’t your desires (if they aren’t too extreme) being reciprocated by your loved one? 

It’s easy to blame yourself for being clingy, when maybe the other person simply isn’t right for you. There are healthy levels of clinginess, and you should aim to be close with your loved one.

When you embrace healthy clinginess, you give yourself and your friend or lover the chance to put your cards on the table, be your authentic self, and form attachments.   

When your needs for support, reassurance, and closeness are met, you will experience less unhealthy clinginess.

While it’s important to address the root of the problem and heal your wounded inner child if you are extremely clingy, remember that the right person for you will be clingy and affectionate right back because they also want to spend time and share their crazy love with you.

What Is Clingy Behavior? 

Clingy behavior isn’t black and white. What’s considered clingy depends on your relationship, the stage that relationship is in, and your culture. 

However, here are general examples of unhealthy clinginess: 

  • Constantly demanding or asking for reassurances  
  • Stalking your friends and going through their posts, likes, followers, and comments to a forensic level 
  • Asking your romantic partner to share passwords for their PC, phone, email, and more 
  • Expecting constant interaction and communication 
  • Beating around the bush, using strategic manipulation tactics, and sending mixed signals instead of directly asking for what you want or need  
  • Hyper-awareness of your loved one’s moods, often at the cost of your own
  • Being a social chameleon because you have to fit into what other people expect you to be so you can be loved 
  • Little to no regard for physical space and boundaries 
  • Using controlling behavior to get your loved one to stay in the relationship

The Importance of Showing How Much You Care Without Being Clingy 

It’s essential to show your loved ones that you care about them, but it’s best to demonstrate how you feel in a more delicate way – especially when you aren’t sure how clingy (at a healthy level) you can be with them yet.  

A 2020 study found that cancer-patients who had moderate to high perceived social support experienced less severe chemotherapy-related symptoms.

It’s essential that “perceived support” must be in the form of affirmative action so the recipient knows that they have support and their loved ones are thinking of them.

Affirmative actions include sending a message, giving a gift, running an errand, or making a meal. 

When you show someone you care, you: 

  • Make them feel good and give them a sense of purpose
  • Can give them a sense of accomplishment, belonging, identity, and purpose. 
  • Show them they are worthy of love
  • Build stronger relationships and meaningful emotional connections with your loved ones. 
  • Feel more fulfilled because we are all built to love, support, and care for others. 

When you show your care and love without being clingy to an unhealthy extent, you give the relationship more of a chance to thrive since your loved one doesn’t feel suffocated and overwhelmed and like you’re too much.  

31 Ways: How to Tell Someone You Miss Them

Here are the best ways to tell someone you miss them – in a non-clingy way: 

1. “Always. Forever. Infinity.” 

This one might be on the clingy side, but think of it as a code between you and your loved one. My soul friend and I text this to each other with an emoji, and then we know we miss each other

i miss you synonym | i miss you synonyms | indirectly saying i miss you quotes
It’s essential to show your loved ones that you care about them, but it’s best to demonstrate how you feel in a more delicate way.

Is there a code word you and your partner or friend use a lot that means “I love you. I miss you”? 

2. “How you doin’?”

Like the classic Joey line from Friends, you can keep it cool by asking your person how they are. You won’t come across as desperate, but the person will know that you’re thinking of them

3. “You were on my mind today.”

We all love to feel that someone we love is thinking of us. It’s reassuring, and if you can show you are actually listening to what your person talks about, you can combine these words with a photo or meme that connects, building your communication

4. “I wish you were here.”

My soul-friend and I have several codes that we use to communicate and share in a non-clingy way. Saying “I wish you were here” translates as wishing they could share my experience with me.  

5. “Remember when…”

Reminiscing is one way in which you can share your fondness for someone close to you. Help someone remember happy times as a way to remind them they are loved and missed. 

6. “Do you still love XYZ?”

In a relationship, you share with others, and asking if your loved one likes doing things they love is a good way to show you care about what makes them happy. Share interests as a form of love.  

7. “You wouldn’t believe it but I dreamt of you.”

This message is a subtle way to let someone know you miss them. After all, you dream of people you love and miss, right? 

If it was a funny dream, you can share a short detail, like “In my dream, we went to buy ice cream, and then a dog ran over to grab a bite!” 

8. “Your hugs are the best medicine.”

When the right person hugs you, it feels like home. Letting your person know that you miss their hugs tells them that you miss them too and wish to see them again soon. 

9. “The fur-kids miss you.”

Your beloved will love the pets you share, and if you refer to your floof-ball missing them, it shows they are vital to your life and you and your pets miss them. Aim for a smile, not a frown.  

10. “How is your family?”

Showing you care about the people your loved one cares about is how you show you miss them. While asking about their family, you are also asking how they are, saying you miss them.” 

11. “I made you that cake you like.”

When you know someone you care about you will try to please them, and making their favorite food is how you let them know you miss them and want them to spend time with you.  

12. “I saw someone who looked like you.”

Seeing someone who looks like that special person is your mind telling you that you miss them. Respond by letting them know you miss them in a casual way. Don’t expect anything; just let them know you “see” them around.

13. “I’ve got your playlist on repeat.”

This is an invitation to relive fond memories about songs you shared. It shows you share interests and think of them, which means you miss them

14. “This made me think of you.”

My soul-friend and I share quotes that make us think of each other. It’s also a way to say you miss them. Memes, funny videos, and anything that relates to an inside joke can also work in this way. 

15. “Someone suggested I do a daily routine.”

If your beloved suggested a special routine, you can tell them you are following it.

missing you synonym | missing you synonyms | synonym for miss you
Reminiscing is one way in which you can share your fondness for someone close to you.

Whether it’s Tuesday pizza night, Sunday afternoon naps, or Friday streaking while listening to the Bee Gees, following the routine shows you miss them. 

16. “Hey, muffin man, whatcha you doing?”

Check in with a pet name for your favorite person, asking what they are doing. You effortlessly show affection and that you long for them in one sentence. 

17. “I miss Fridays at that pizza joint.”

If your loved one has become distant, this is a great way to ask them to reconnect and invite conversation. Telling them you miss the special place you both had tells them you miss them. 

18. “I miss that time we were stuck on the mountain.”

If you want more time with your special person, you can refer to a past memory where you had more time, letting them know you miss that. You are not complaining – instead, you focus on the good times together

19. “Your waffles were the best.”

Sharing that you loved something your special person did is a way to tell them you miss them, and you want them to reconnect. Choose things that they want to be seen as being good at. 

20. “Let’s hang out sometime.”

Letting someone know you miss them can be as simple as an open invitation to hang out. Leave it at the end of a text, and don’t force it.  

21. “That concert ticket is still on my dresser.”

Did your special person get you something? Mentioning that you still have it indicates you also think of them and miss them. It’s a non-verbal connection that you can share.  

22. “What can we do the next time we hang?”

Planning a future together tells them they are valued and missed. While you should focus on the present, planning a shared future is a great way to show you care and love them. 

23. “Your promotion popped up on LinkedIn. I am proud of you!”

Sharing your happiness for their accomplishments is a great way to reach out if you’ve lost touch and miss them. 

24. “I take that shortcut daily, and I am always grateful you showed it to me.”

Share something special that your loved one did for you. Express gratitude, which also means you think of them and miss them.

26. “Thought I’d share the Facebook memory with you. That was a hoot!”

Photos are memory keepers, and sharing a cherished memory via photo lets someone know they still matter to you and that you miss those good times with them.

27. “Let me know when you’re coming through again, as I’d love to book that place you like for dinner.”

This is about future plans, connecting, and also showing you know what they like. Planning means you think of and miss them in your life.

28. “I’m bad at keeping in touch, but I care, and I’m here for you.”

Losing touch can make people afraid of reconnecting. Be bold and let them know how you feel and that you’re there if they need you.   

29. “You made me laugh so hard at that drive through #BestTimes!”

Reminisce, reflect, and compliment that special person in one message. Let them know you appreciate them, that you want to spend time together again, and reconnect.  

30. “I love that you speak my soul language.” 

This is a message to send to your soul-friend or loved one with whom you share a deep connection (because you don’t wanna spend a lifetime speaking caterpillar language when you can speak butterfly).

miss you synonym | miss you synonyms | missed you synonym
Sharing your happiness for their accomplishments is a great way to reach out if you’ve lost touch and miss them. 

It says so much in eight words – they’ll instantly know that you miss and love them deeply. 

31. “I love being the little spoon.”

This message is specifically for your significant other. It can be suggestive or romantic, but it clearly lets them know they are being missed

P.S. It’s okay if you like to be the big spoon 🙂

Final Thoughts on How to Tell Someone You Miss Them 

Telling someone you miss them without coming across as clingy isn’t easy. But with messages like a code word (“Always”), “I saw you got the promotion,” and sending a photo with a short message, you can easily get the point across that you miss them.

And the recipient of your message will feel warm and fuzzy inside.  If you are worried that you are too clingy or affectionate to an unhealthy extent, check out our guide on how to be less needy in a relationship.

And if you want more articles about relationships and messages, be sure to check out these blog posts:

how to tell someone you miss them | how to say i miss you without saying it | how to tell someone you miss them without saying it
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