Do You Really Miss Your Partner? 4 Physical Signs That Lovesickness Is So Real
Peeling through countless photos. Listening to old voicemails. Staring at your phone waiting for a text. These are just a few of the things you may find yourself doing when you really miss your partner. The mental and emotional symptoms may be obvious ('sup, loneliness and longing) but did you know that your body can actually physically respond when you're missing bae as well?
It makes sense when you think about it.
“When we get close to someone, we form emotional attachments to them,” says relationship therapist Dr. Gary Brown. “They are the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about when you go to bed.”
Dr. Sherrie Campbell, licensed counselor, psychologist, and marriage and family therapist, agrees that it’s natural to feel a physical reaction when you miss your significant other.
“There is nothing more bonding than the feeling of being deeply emotionally connected to another person,” she tells Elite Daily. “They feel like such a huge part of who we are that when we're not with them it may feel like we're missing something. It has been shown in science that the more time we spend around another person the more our DNA becomes similar to theirs and vice versa, so when we're apart from them we aren't just missing them psychologically, but our very DNA is missing them physiologically.” In other words, in addition to feeling like your thoughts are consumed by your SO, you may even feel how much you ache for them in your body.
Here are just a few of the physical signs that you’re missing bae like woah.
You’re tossing and turning because you feel restless AF. No matter how tired you are or how little snooze time you got the night before, you can’t seem to fall asleep. Sound familiar? According to Dr. Brown, this is one of the top physical signs that you miss your boo.
And in fact, research supports this. One 2015 study conducted at The University of Florida showed that your brain can produce an excess of norepinephrine, a hormone that plays a major role in the “fight or flight response,” when you feel lonely. When that fight or flight response is activated, it can become rather difficult for your brain and your body to power down so that you’re able to rest. Another study conducted by social psychologist Lisa Diamond of the University of Utah revealed that couples who were separated for four to seven days experienced minor withdrawal-like symptoms, including sleep disturbances, as a result of an increase in cortisol (the stress hormone).
So yeah, if you feel like you’re longing for bae is taking a toll on your slumber quality, you’re probably not imagining things.
If it feels like your stomach is churning a lot more lately, that might be a result of missing your SO so much that it’s making you feel on edge.
According to Dr. Campbell, it’s totally natural to start feeling anxious when you miss your partner (especially if you don’t know when you’re going to see them again). This anxiety can take a toll on your stomach because your brain actually has a massive impact on your gut health (and vice versa). In fact, anxiety and stress can cause such symptoms as nausea, abdominal cramps, or heartburn. The term “lovesick” is starting to make a lot more sense now, right?
Increased Heart Rate / Blood Pressure
Another common physical symptom of longing for your boo relates to your circulatory system. According to Dr. Brown, you might actually experience changes in blood pressure when you're missing them.
As previously discussed, emotional stress can trigger your fight or flight response, because your body thinks you're in danger and is preparing to do whatever it takes for survival. And when you go into this mode, the adrenaline released can cause a spike in your heart rate and blood pressure. Pretty crazy stuff.
Are you struggling to concentrate on that reading assignment or work project? Do you get sidetracked and start scrolling through your boo's IG feed while watching a movie? The absence of bae may be to blame. Dr. Brown noted that missing your partner intensely enough can actually make it difficult for you to focus on any tasks at hand.
This is especially true toward the beginning of a relationship, during and right after the honeymoon phase. At this stage, you are so consumed with your relationship that it becomes your main focus. So when you’re deprived of your partner’s presence, you may feel even more thoughts cropping up when you’re trying to work on something else.
There are a variety of reasons why you may be missing your SO, and a variety of ways in which it can affect you — mentally, emotionally, and yes, even physically. Dr. Gary Brown suggests that one way to cope with these feelings is to start a journal to help you process your thoughts and feelings. He also advises seeking out support from family and friends to help you shoulder the load if it starts to feel difficult to bear. "Pain shared is pain halved,” he added.
Dr. Campbell recommends abiding by the old saying, “move a muscle, change a thought” when you’re missing your SO. “It could be good to hang out with or see friends you haven't seen in a while,” she says. “It's also a good time to catch up on TV shows you've been missing or doing things that you love to do.”
She also advised learning to appreciate time apart from your significant other.
“We get less alone time in life once we're coupled up, so take advantage of it,” she explained. “A taste of this makes you healthier and can only bond you closer to your partner.”
The bottom line is, lovesickness is so very real. In fact, being apart from your bae can trigger some serious withdrawal — and that can lead to a whole slew of physical side effects. Of course, if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression or you feel like these physical symptoms are interfering with your ability to lead a happy, healthy life, it’s a good idea to consult with a mental health professional about how you can best cope with these effects.
The important thing to remember is that it’s totally normal to miss your boo. In fact, however unpleasant these physical signs may be, they may be telling you that you have a pretty powerful romance on your hands.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!