What A Guy Really Means When He Says He Misses You, According To A Guy

Out of all of the three-word phrases that you can say to someone, “I miss you” is probably one of the two or three most important. It’s probably not the most important, but it’s close. The problem is that much like “I love you,” its true meaning is up for interpretation. Depending on the context, tone, and a bunch of other factors, a guy can mean a lot of things. Here are a few possibilities.

  1. “You said it first and I don’t want this to be awkward.” If you said, “I miss you” first, he’s probably going to say it back. It’d be super awkward if he didn’t, right? I mean, a guy would be all kinds of silly if you said it and he didn’t reciprocate or something similar. The problem is that he may not mean it. If he says it back real fast, almost like a reflex, it’s less likely that he means it. However, if he pauses and absorbs the fact that you said it before saying it back, that’s usually a good sign. Of course, you could just wait to see if he’ll say it first.
  2. “I want to see you.” This one seems kind of obvious, right? If a guy misses you, then of course he wants to see you. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s pining for you and would cut off his arm to see you right now. Depending on the nature of the relationship, maybe he just wants to hang out or hook up. Admittedly, the words “I miss you” are almost always a nice sentiment. Just don’t jump to conclusions about them being deep and meaningful.
  3. “I’m jealous.” Jealousy can manifest in a lot of ways. Sadly, saying “I miss you” can be one of them. If you spend a night with the girls or go out of town without your boyfriend, he might send tell you that he misses you. However, be careful because he could just be secretly jealous or resentful that you went somewhere without him. In these situations, it can be more of a complaint than anything. He’s upset and his ego is bruised and he thinks saying “I miss you” will make you feel guilty for leaving him behind.
  4. “I miss sleeping with you.” Yes, it’s a tad cynical, but “I miss you” can be a form of a late-night booty call. In his defense, if he has certain needs and you’re not around, there’s no doubt that he misses you. It’s just that he misses the specific part of you that sleeps with him. Thus, he’ll say “I miss you” to put the image of the two of you cuddling late at night in your mind. I’m not saying it’s the worst thing in the world, but a late-night “I miss you” text or call can get you thinking about it, potentially setting up a booty call or some sexting.
  5. “I’m not ready to say ‘I love you.'” Under the right circumstances, saying “I miss you” can be a gateway to saying “I love you.” It’s probably the next best thing, right? If a guy hasn’t been in love before or is worried about rushing things, saying “I love you” can be a big step to take. Not all guys are bold enough to go through with it. However, with the right tone, “I miss you” can send the same message. A lot depends on the guy and the setting. But under the right circumstances, “I miss you” translates to “I love you but I’m not actually ready to say it yet.”
  6. “I miss the idea of you.” Is it an ex-boyfriend saying “I miss you”? Well, then this one applies to you specifically. Of course, you should miss someone if you had a long relationship that ended, but that doesn’t mean you need to tell the other person. This can be a common tactic used to get back together with an ex. But saying that to an ex is clearly a loaded statement. Odds are, a guy just misses the idea of you or he misses being in a relationship. It might not mean that he genuinely misses you. It’s also not a good enough reason to get back together with your ex.
  7. “I’m trying to manipulate you.” Again, sorry for the cynicism, but “I miss you” can be a powerful phrase. Crafty and manipulative guys with bad intentions know this and use it to take advantage of women. They know that saying it can play with your feelings. It’s usually a way of buttering you up to get something that they want before breaking things off. If you sense that a guy is a little sketchy, don’t believe him when he tells you he misses you.
  8. “I genuinely miss you.” Thankfully, yes, there are occasions when saying “I miss you” means that a guy genuinely misses you. Guys do occasionally mean exactly what they say. However, if a guy actually misses you, he’ll tell you specifically what he misses about you. In fact, if you want to check, rather than saying “I miss you too,” ask a guy what he misses about you. If he doesn’t have a good answer, he may not mean it. Granted, not all guys are always super articulate.  However, a guy being able to tell you specifically what he misses about you is one of the few signs to know he means it.
Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.