Keeping it Real

Why the No Contact Rule is Necessary after a Break-Up

The initial stage of a breakup is where we are the most venerable.

Breakups are hard. We can end up feeling empty, desperate, or like we have lost a piece of ourselves.  And sometimes we will do something foolish to get it back. Many recent dumpees have an excruciating tendency to focus all of their energy on their ex. What is he doing? Who is she with? What can I do to get him back? How can I make her love me again? This is a natural, understandable response to heartbreak, but it is not healthy.

What is No Contact?

The No Contact Rule is as severe as it sounds. Disconnect from your ex entirely. Do not see your ex. Do not call your ex. Do not text or email your ex. Unfriend your ex on Facebook and unfollow him or her on Twitter. The only way to begin the healing process is to take a clean break; cut the cord and do not attempt to remain friends.

Yes, the No Contact Rule is harsh and extremely difficult, but it will pay off in the end. The No Contact Rule typically speeds up the healing and moving on process, especially compared to those who attempt to remain friends.

Will The No Contact Rule Help Me Get My Ex Back?

If you are wondering whether or not the No Contact Rule can help you get your ex back or not, there are a few things you should know:

1) Yes it can, but

2) That is not the point. In fact, it rather defeats the purpose.

The No Contact Rule is a cut-all-ties way to stop focusing on your ex and begin focusing on yourself and your healing process. You shouldn’t use the No Contact Rule solely as a method of winning back your ex. Recent dumpees can often slip into a state of desperate begging and pleading for a second chance. The No Contact Rule teaches you to regain your sense of self-worth, to raise your rock-bottom self-esteem, and to learn to love yourself.

Nevertheless, the No Contact Rule can sometimes have the (fortunate or unfortunate) side effect of making your ex miss you and want you back. If this happens, be careful; stay in No Contact until you have recovered, no matter how much your ex wants to see or talk to you. After you have healed, you will be stronger, and you can decide what to do.

Be aware that your ex partner’s newfound feelings might not be genuine. People want what they can’t have, and that could be at play here. When you start to move on, your ex may regret their decision to end the relationship, but that does not mean that the decision was wrong.

Every breakup is different. There are no hard and fast rules regarding whether exes should stay exes. Sometimes a period of no contact can do wonders for a couple who are meant to be together, as long as there were no serious problems that cannot be overcome. For example, misunderstandings, money problems, family interference, and long distances can force a great couple to break up. If it was meant to be, two people can find each other again.

But if any of the following were involved, you should genuinely consider the relationship as over for good: cheating, another man or woman, betrayal, excessive lying or secrets, lack of love or respect, abuse (mental, emotional, or physical), controlling or possessive behavior, or a severe lack of trust or honesty.

How Long Should You Go “No Contact”

How long you should stay in No Contact mode is entirely dependent on each situation. It could take you a few weeks, a few months, half a year, or even a whole year to move on. The point is that No Contact should not end until you have completed the healing process. In some cases, No Contact should never end. Yes, forever is severe but sometimes it is for the best.

If your ex tries to get in touch with you, ignore them. It’s not petty; you need to learn not to be available at the drop of a hat, which is something recent dumpees tend to struggle with.

If you have mutual concerns to deal with, such as joint bank accounts, joint mortgages, or a shared car, deal with these issues as soon as you can and then begin No Contact when everything is settled. If it is too painful, ask a friend or family member who you trust not to make a scene to deal with any necessary communications for you.

Are There Any Exceptions to the No Contact Rule?

There is one glaring exception to the No Contact Rule, and in this instance going no contact would cause more harm than good. If you haven’t guessed it already, a different approach entirely is needed if there are children involved.

In these cases, you need to maintain “emotional no contact,” which means that you remain civil for the sake of your children, but you also maintain a sense of professionalism and restraint. Treat your encounters as you would a business meeting and don’t enter into discussions about your relationship or the breakup. Your encounters should be as brief as possible, without alarming your children.

Why No Contact Works

No contact prompts you to disconnect with your ex on an emotional level. It won’t come immediately, but the period of longing, obsession, and hoping for a reunion will go away on its own in time if you strictly follow the rules of no contact.

At first, you might be thinking about your ex all the time and check your phone to see if he or she text or called you. This is OK and perfectly natural at first, but you will notice that the amount of time you spend thinking about your ex diminishes gradually over time. You might not notice a difference on a day-to-day basis, but measure it from one month to another, and the difference will be huge. Every No Contact survivor can attest to this.

A Word on Social Networking Sites

Unfriending and unfollowing on social networking sites is vital to moving on. How many times a day do you check your ex’s profile page? It is understandable that you want to know what your ex is doing, especially if the breakup was abrupt and unexpected because as a couple you probably did know how he spent his day. But the ease of access to other people’s personal information on social networking sites can quickly escalate into “Facebook stalking.”

For your own sake, you need to avoid putting yourself through the pain of seeing something that you wish you hadn’t, especially if there is a new man or woman in your ex’s life.

Conclusion

Everyone who has been through the No Contact system and moved on will tell you that the moment you get over your ex is not a big, abrupt, explosive moment. It is a quiet, subtle, and gradual process in which you simply realize that the hold your ex used to have over you is gone. Going no contact is the most effective way of moving on from your ex because it allows you to focus on yourself and re-build your damaged self-esteem. – Amy Crutcher