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No Contact Rule.
Asked Dec 4, 2006, 09:46 AM
Here is something I have found about the no contact rule. I hope it helps others as much as me.
So, you’ve had your heart broken, probably begged and tried to convince your ex to get back together with you and failed. Realising that staying in contact is causing you more pain than you can handle, you take the step of implementing this ‘No Contact’ (NC) that we advocate widely on the forum.
So what’s it about then? And what is going to happen?
Hopefully, most of the answers will be in this thread What is No Contact?
While a seemingly simple question, there are variations of what ‘No Contact’ can mean.
1) You tell your ex that you won’t be contacting them and that they shouldn’t contact you.
2) You don’t tell your ex anything, and just drop off the face of the Earth.
3) You don’t tell your ex anything, you stop contacting them…but still allow them to contact you and you reply. (potentially damaging)
In my opinion, the most effective forms of NC are 1 and 2. They allow you to heal, as the ex isn’t given any way of providing you with hope (bait) or potentially emotionally damaging information (who wants to hear how great their life is without you?)
When starting NC, it is up to you what you want to say to your ex. Most people seem to say something along the lines of “Don’t call me unless you change your mind and want to give us another try”. It might also help to let them know that the window of opportunity to reconcile (from your perspective) will not be open forever.
You also may want to tell the ex why your cutting them out of your life – tell them it is so you can heal and move on. And in reality that IS why you’re doing it……
Why implement No Contact?
First and foremost, you are removing the source of your pain (your ex) from your life. If they aren’t in your life, they cannot hurt you – it’s as simple as that. And while the loss of the ex from your life in itself is painful, the benefits far outweigh the initial emotional turmoil.
No Contact allows you to get back on your feet and start to feel confident in who you are again. Remember a time when you were single and happy? Well No Contact is going to put you on the road to getting back to that point.
Some may be reluctant to take steps to regain independence, but you are useless to anyone (including your ex if they want you back) if you are unable to be happy with yourself.
No Contact can also serve another purpose, and this is the one that (if you are seeking reconciliation) will probably be used by you as inspiration to keep strong in avoiding picking up that phone or sending that email.
And that is of course, to send your ex a wake-up call and perhaps make them second-guess their decision to end the relationship.
Will No Contact bring my ex back?
Perhaps, perhaps not. There is no fool-proof way to get your ex back…if there were, we would all be using it and would all have our exes back.
There has to be some desire to reconcile inside your ex – NC will not create that desire, but it may certainly bring any underlying doubts they have to the surface. That does not mean that your ex will act on these doubts…but you can be certain that NC will at the very least make them realise just what life without you is like.
Will my ex miss me?
To be honest, it shouldn’t matter – you should be doing NC for YOU. Having said that, it is always easier to stay focused on maintaining NC if you know that it is having at least some effect on your ex.
So, will they miss you? In most cases (unless you have become a thorn in their side), yes - absolutely.
For those who have exes that want to remain friends: Why do you think that is?
It’s because they want you in their life. Exes very rarely stay friends…so in effect, when an ex asks to stay friends they are essentially saying “I still want you in my life”.
They are not ready to let you go (yet), so by implementing NC you are forcing them to lose you right then and there. NC prevents the ex from using you to cushion the blow of the break-up….by weaning themselves off you slowly.
Without NC you can be certain that once your ex is back on their feet emotionally (helped there by you), that the ‘friendship’ that seemed so important to them at the time will be non-existent.
No Contact is a far better option than staying friends. Being friends causes you pain and allows your ex to heal more quick. NC causes your ex pain and allows you to heal more quick
Not exactly rocket science, huh?
When should I implement No Contact?
ASAP but you must be certain that you can stay strong and stick to it. NC isn’t a decision that should be reversed until you are completely healed. If you keep implementing NC and then breaking it, it sends a message to your ex that you are needy and haven’t got the strength or the conviction to follow through on your commitments. Using NC without being genuinely committed to it is a recipe for disaster – you will break it and look weak. And you if you try to use NC again, your ex will not be too bothered….because “You said that last time”.
That’s why NC should not be used as a ‘shock tactic’ – don’t expect to implement NC and for your ex to come running back to you in a week or even a month. If you use NC, you have to be in it for the long haul.
Will No Contact push my ex away?
If there is hope for your relationship, then no it won’t – it will make your ex think about their decision.
After a few weeks of NC, you’ll probably get worried and start deluding yourself with thoughts like “Maybe they’ve forgotten about me…and maybe they think I don’t still love them”.
If that’s the way you’re thinking, then how about considering this: If you have NC with your ex for a few weeks and then contact them to tell you that you still care…what message does that send?
It says to your ex “I implemented NC to move on and heal…and now 3 weeks down the track I haven’t moved on or healed at all.”
The ex will again know that they can still have you if they want you…and even if they don’t hear from you for another few weeks, they won’t be overly concerned – the last few weeks hadn’t diminished your feelings, so why would the ex think the next few will?
Not a bad little (HUGE) security boost for the ex there, huh? Not to mention a huge step backwards for your good self.
How long will I keep hurting?
For as long as you allow yourself to. Remember, the ex is now out of your life – they cannot hurt you. So if you’re still feeling pain it is coming from within you – not from them.
It is perfectly normal to miss your ex, and by miss I mean that some days will be almost unbearable.
Go out, meet with friends (don’t talk about the ex!) or if it’s late at night think about the things you didn’t like about your ex…and even revisit arguments you may have had with them. If you have to think about your ex, think about the negatives.
Thinking about the good times is pointless – there is no possibility of having them back at the moment, and to dwell on what you once had is ultimately self-destructive.
Ideally, you should be doing your best to not think about your ex – do whatever it takes and keep busy. The less you think about them, the less you will hurt. Soon enough, not thinking about them will become normal.
What if the ex breaks NC and calls/emails me?
Two options: Respond or don’t respond.
If you have completely given up hope or don’t wish to reconcile with your ex – ignore the contact and keep ignoring any further attempts at contact. Easy.
If you are seeking reconciliation, then it depends on what the ex says when they contact you.
If they are calling for a ‘catch up’, politely tell your ex that you were serious about NC and that they must respect your decision. This call may come after a few days, a few weeks or a few months. Don’t get into any discussions about yourself and what you’re up to – keep it short, and make it clear to your ex that NC isn’t just a whim….you are serious about it. Remind them, if it comes up, that friendship is not an option.
Make it clear that you are respecting their decision to end the relationship, and now they have to respect your decision to end contact.
If you are seeking reconciliation, you also have every right to question your ex about their intentions if they contact you. Do so at the beginning of the interaction – there’s no point having a great conversation with the ex and getting your hopes up only to find out at the end of the call that nothing has changed. Save yourself the trouble and find out at the start - if their motivation for calling you is anything short of what you are after, terminate the conversation politely…but quickly.
Remove any photos and reminders you have of your ex from your life. Put them in a box and pack them away. You don’t need things like that preventing you from moving on.
Copy down your ex’s email address and phone numbers on a piece of paper, and put them in the same box. Then delete the email address from your computer and their numbers from your phone.
If you are strong enough to delete their contact details without writing them down, then do it! If not, do the above – it will remove the temptation to contact your ex (especially when you are out having a couple of drinks or at home alone in front of the PC ).
Stop talking about your ex with your friends. They’ll get sick of it, and it won’t help you one bit.
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Dec 4, 2006, 10:11 AM
This is really good advice : ) I have done the packing stuff into a box, and deleted the mobile no etc
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Dec 4, 2006, 12:41 PM
I like this advice 4answers, but where did you find it? Would you mind telling us your source please?
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Dec 4, 2006, 01:05 PM
Fabulous article. You have to be very strong though to keep it going. That is the only way it will work. I anyone can do this I think they should be very proud of themseleves.
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Dec 4, 2006, 02:57 PM
Nice one 4answers!!
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Dec 4, 2006, 03:23 PM
Wish I had read that the day after my ex said she needed space.
I didn't though. And I didn't find this place until it was too late.
I begged, cried, pleaded etc. uuuggghhhhh yuck!
It was horrible and I regret it so much and ultimately it just pushed her so much farther away! Sad!
That's why I implore people to listen to the advice here. It doesn't sounds logical at first but as we all find out it is pretty much all spot on the money!
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Dec 4, 2006, 04:06 PM
Originally Posted by Skell
You and me both Skell as you know...
Yet luckily, I don't think I did it too much a couple of times but I still did it and even once is bad enough but when you are the one left behind, it really, really hurts!
Yes, that was a great article, full of balance too..
Not just focusing on no contact as a means of getting an ex back but focusing on aiding the healing and acceptance.
Hat off to 4answers for finding it..
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Dec 4, 2006, 04:29 PM
The biggest mistake coming here is thinking the no contact is about winning the ex back. It is a common one and one I must admit I made myself at first.
But it isn't, it is about YOU and you alone.
Your right though, it really does hurt being left behind and you think that you need to prove your love again. Doesn't work that way sadly. Otherwise I would have won her back no problem the way I carried on. LOL!
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Dec 4, 2006, 05:05 PM
If I were completely honest Skell,
I am still not 100% free of getting the 'will she come back' completely out of my system but I think less about it and I don't think of no contact as a way to get her back anymore..
I have many people on here to thank for that.. and grateful to you all too.
There is a little devil back there sometimes (in my head) that says 'what if she did?'
I guess that is just being human.. and I know I bang on about how much No Contact is for focusing on you and I really believe what others have told me...
There will always be some thought process there at the back of the head, I think?
But I am a realist!
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