Falling in love can feel intoxicating. When you’re head over heels for someone, it’s easy to want to spend every second with them — even if it means you ignore all your other responsibilities. Since it’s typically not possible to be together 24/7, you may find yourself daydreaming about your boo while you’re at work or off doing your own thing. But is it healthy to miss your partner all day? It really depends on how these feelings are affecting your life.
Say you’re in a meeting, and you’re supposed to be taking notes on a brand new project. Or maybe you’re cramming for a midterm that could play a major role in your semester GPA. As much as you’re trying to focus, you can’t stop wondering when you’ll see your partner next. What are they up to right now? Are they thinking about you? And why can’t you get them out of your head?
First of all, there’s no “normal” amount of time you should be thinking about your partner daily or wanting to see them, according to marriage and family therapist Nicole Richardson. As long as you’re happy and excited about the relationship, you’re in a good place. “In a healthy relationship, it would not be surprising to think about your partner several times throughout the day,” Richardson says. “In times of stress, it would also be common to think about them even more.”
Thinking about your partner can be a good distraction from the pressures of everyday life. Science has proven that even picturing your partner’s face can help you feel more joy and contentment, and that love literally has a healing effect on the body. So it’s no wonder your mind wanders to the very thing that makes you happiest!
It only becomes a problem when it starts to sidetrack you from your to-do list. “‘Too often’ may be when you are distracted and struggle to complete tasks,” Richardson explains. As fun as it is to daydream, it can start to get in the way of things you actually need to get done. But that threshold is different for everyone, and if you’re able to miss your partner simultaneously with living your own life, go ahead and do your thing.
If missing your partner is distracting to you, don't fret. Richardson assures that these intense feelings of separation are usually short-lived. “Often, our partner becomes our best friend,” she says. “It is especially normal to miss them in earlier stages of the relationship, and it can make it fun and exciting to share your day with them when it's all done. Over time, this typically relaxes.” When you first develop feelings for someone, your brain literally releases chemicals that feel like you’re high on drugs. Your mood spikes, your emotions are everywhere, and when your partner isn’t with you, you’re thinking about them every minute of the day.
But these feelings don’t last forever, and the longer and more established your relationship is, the more likely you’ll be able to fall into a chill routine. “That doesn't mean you stop missing them during the day, but the intensity typically fades a bit,” Richardson explains. You can look forward to seeing them again without these intense feelings of being apart.
To allay your separation sadness, Richardson suggests checking in once or twice during the day to let your partner know you’re thinking of them. Depending on their work schedule, they can hopefully do the same for you. And if it’s super important to you to stay connected during the day, tell them how you feel! “If you find that you are expressing that you miss them more during the day, that could be because they are more preoccupied during the day, or simply that they don't express themselves in relationships the same way,” Richardson explains. Talk about your shared expectations for communication so you can breathe easy knowing you’re on the same page.
Missing someone is a sure sign that you care about them, and as long as it’s a manageable feeling, it’s nothing to worry about. If it’s distracting you from your day-to-day life, try setting clear expectations with your partner about how often you’ll talk. This way, you can look forward to your next conversation without feeling like you’re unbearably out of touch.