Being in a relationship can be a beautiful thing and a curse; you grow to become so attached to them that you start to miss them uncontrollably when they’re not with you. When you desperately miss someone, you might find it hard to focus on yourself and your work, and you end up just thinking about them all the time.
Missing someone is necessarily a bad thing. When you miss your partner you come to realize how much you care for them and how they’re such a big part of your life. There are many reasons why it hurts to be away from your partner, the most important one being that it’s because you deeply care for them.
We will list 12 other reasons why you might be feeling anxiety when you’re away from your partner or why you might be feeling lonely when your boyfriend leaves. There are actually many scientific reasons for why you might be feeling the way you feel, so read on to understand why it hurts to be away from your partner.
If you’ve ever wondered, “Why can’t I sleep when my partner is away” or “Why do I get anxious when my partner leaves,” don’t worry. You’re not alone. It’s perfectly normal to miss someone you love.
However, if your anxiety about your partner being away is getting in the way of your daily life, then that’s a cause for concern. If you find yourself obsessively thinking about them all the time while neglecting your own work, health, and obligations, you might have separation anxiety.
Psychologists classify separation anxiety as an anxiety disorder as it disrupts your daily functioning. Even though it is a cause for concern, it’s definitely not a cause for panic and is a relatively easy situation to overcome. Getting treated by a psychiatrist is the best way to overcome this anxiety.
Why it hurts to be away from your partner- 12 possible reasons
Separation anxiety is an extreme case. However, sometimes missing someone can feel like you’re hurting physically. Here are 12 reasons why it hurts to be away from your partner:
1. It’s your hormones
That’s right, you heard it. Sometimes you are your own worst enemy. Studies have found that when you’re with your partner, your body produces more oxytocin and vasopressin, two hormones that stimulate the reward center in your brain.
When you’re away from your partner, these hormones are produced in lesser quantities, so your body feels like it’s going through a withdrawal, very similar to a drug withdrawal. Because of this, you might feel more lethargic and subdued, making you feel the physical symptoms of missing someone you love.
2. Anxiety can make you feel more stressed
If you’re a generally anxious person, then over the course of your relationship, you might’ve grown to think of your partner as a comforting presence. But when they’re no longer by your side, your anxiety could flare up more frequently than usual, and you end up thinking about your partner more.
This could be why it hurts to be away from your partner because you no longer have that comforting presence to ease your anxiety. In situations like these, try to engage in more self-care activities than you usually would.
Try to find other objects, animals, or people to be comforted by and slowly you’ll grow to be less dependent on your partner for mental wellbeing.
3. Social pain can manifest physically
You might have heard the term ‘heartache’, but did you know love can literally make your heart and body ache? When you experience any kind of social pain, including the pain of not being close to your partner, your brain thinks it’s experiencing physical pain.
Studies have found that when you’re upset about your relationship and feel emotional pain, the same physical pain centers in your brain that light up.
Because both physical and emotional pain triggers the same regions of your brain, you might experience the feeling of heartache. So if you ever wondered why it hurts to be away from your partner, now you know you can blame your brain for it.
4. Your childhood attachment style matters
As surprising as it may seem, your attachment style to your primary caregiver when you were a child can influence your attachment style to your partner as an adult.
So, say your boyfriend moved away and you miss him, but you also feel angry at him and are refusing to talk to him, that could be how you responded to your parents whenever they left you for a short period of time.
The example above is just one type of attachment style, called anxious-avoidant. There are two other attachment styles: secure attachment and anxious attachment. This concept explains why different people experience different emotions and anxieties when they’re away from their partner.
5. You feel a little lost when your partner is not around
One of the reasons why it hurts to be away from your partner is because sometimes they take your sense of self with them. With your partner not around to give you advice or do things with you, you can feel a little unsure about everything, which can make you feel anxious and sad.
The best way to get around this is to take baby steps. Try doing small things by yourself and slowly work on overcoming your fear of doing things by yourself. Remind yourself that you’re fully capable of doing things on your own. You will still miss him, but for all the right reasons.
6. Pushing them away only hurts you more
Being away from someone you love can be nerve-wracking. It’s only natural to feel sad when you’re not with your boyfriend. But sometimes these feelings can lead to anxiety, insecurity, and guilt for being angry at your partner.
These negative emotions can cause you to push your partner away, consciously or subconsciously. Pushing them away, however, only makes you miss them more, and you end up hurting yourself in the process, which will make you push them away even more.
It can be hard to break away from this cycle. This video provides great information on how to stop giving in to this anxiety that makes you distance yourself from your partner-
7. You’re bringing your previous trauma into the equation
One of the main reasons people feel anxiety when away from their partner is because they tend to obsess over whether their partner is cheating on them or not. This could be because your past long-distance relationships ended poorly or your ex cheated on you.
It can be difficult to not project these insecurities on your current partner, but try to remember that these situations are completely different. Your current partner and your ex are completely different people, so don’t let your past baggage get in the way of your present.
8. You’re not spending quality time when you are together
Separation depression is a thing but it’s even more pronounced when even during the time you spend together you feel disconnected from your partner. This can be because when you are together you’re not connecting in meaningful ways.
A good way to improve the quality of time you spend together is to engage with each other meaningfully. Try to avoid watching TV or being on your own phones; instead play board games, relax and update each other on your life. This can ease your emotional stress by a lot.
9. Your sudden life change might be making you extra stressed
If you’re suddenly missing your partner more than ever, then think back to what changes in your life have occurred suddenly. Because of these changes, you might be instinctively trying to get more of your partner’s support than usual.
But because he’s not with you, you might get sudden bouts of insecurity where you question why it hurts to be away from your partner, especially when you haven’t been feeling this way for a long time.
There’s no way around it. You might be entirely too dependent on your partner for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. This is, of course, not uncommon but can still lead to outbursts like “I hate being away from you!” or “you don’t care about me!”.
These accusatory remarks are nothing more than an expression of your codependency. This can be hurtful for both you and your partner. So instead of giving in to arguing this way, try to rationally reflect on your feelings.
When you’re with your partner, your brain tends to be more stimulated and active because of the social interaction and feelings of happiness and contentment. However, the absence of your partner can have the opposite effect, and that could be why you feel sad when you’re not with your boyfriend.
Taking the time to go out and interact with people and engage in social activities can be a great way to energize yourself and feel more alert and productive.
How do you deal with being away from your partner?
Being away from your partner can be a rough experience. While there are many self-care and self-help strategies you could use, like journaling, going on a vacation alone, or immersing in a hobby, a better way to overcome separation anxiety is to go to therapy.
Psychologists or therapists can help you understand the root cause of what’s bothering you. Based on this, they will be able to guide you in a self-development plan so that you can feel less anxious or depressed when your partner is not around while also promoting healthy relationship behaviors.
When two people miss each other a lot, it can have physical and emotional effects on a person’s well-being. Taking the time to connect with your partner meaningfully, engage with other friends and family, and focusing on yourself through self-care strategies can reduce your emotional stress and anxiety about being away from your partner.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.