The No Contact Rule — 12 Reasons Why It Works
If you’ve ever gone through a breakup, chances are you’re already familiar with the no contact rule.
Breakups aren’t fan — that’s pretty much Relationship 101. This is a person you’ve been in love with for a significant amount of time. Maybe you’ve started visualizing a future together.
Now that everything has turned sour, you have to readjust to a life without them.
If you still have lingering feelings for your ex, that makes things even more complicated. Now you have to go through the whole “healing” process, which can be devastating as you vacillate between moving on and getting back with your ex.
The best thing about the no contact rule is that it isn’t limiting. Whether you want to get back together with your ex or you just want to move on, breaking contact is a good way to achieve your goals.
More importantly, it isn’t focused on your ex, so much as it is focused on you. Breakups are challenging and can be incredibly physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. It’s very easy to get swept up and to forget your own needs as you work through your feelings after the separation.
So, whether you’re trying to get back with your ex, or perhaps trying to heal your heart and move on, you can always pursue no contact and achieve the results you desire.
But what does the no contact rule actually entail?
This is very important, because in the throes of post-breakup emotions you could end up trying to weasel your way out of full on radio silence. When we say no contact, we mean it.
No direct contact via text, email, or phone calls.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but just in case you need a reminder: you are not allowed to initiate any contact through any of these options. No excuses, either. Just drop everything.
No messaging via social media platforms.
Maybe we weren’t clear enough: no contact! Don’t go through Facebook or the direct message systems of social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or even LinkedIn. Don’t even try and use the comments, either.
Stop visiting your ex’s social media accounts.
Yes, this technically isn’t direct contact, because your ex won’t know that you’ve been browsing. Nevertheless, it keeps you informed and apprised of your ex’s life, and that isn’t going to be healthy at all during this stage.
No “accidental” meetings by going to his usual places.
Avoid your ex’s local grocery store, and don’t even try to visit your ex’s favorite bar. For this to work, you need to make sure there is zero contact between the two of you. Engineering a meeting isn’t going to help.
Don’t respond to your ex’s messages.
When your ex initiates contact — and they will, because no contact works — you need to hold out. Don’t give in immediately. Responding will invalidate everything you’ve done. Stay strong!
Enough talk: let us tell you why the no contact rule is highly successful. Here are 12 excellent reasons why it’s the best — perhaps only — option after a breakup.
#1 – You can’t make things worse.
The thing about breakups is that they don’t happen out of the blue. Every relationship has its weaknesses, and when its flaws overwhelm the good, there’s no reason to go on.
It is human nature to try and patch things up immediately, especially due to the heightened emotions after the separation. You want what you’ve lost, and for most people that means trying to fix things even though the other party isn’t willing.
If you take this route, you’ll annoy your ex and probably display the worst traits that they already hate the most. You’ll be sabotaging any possibilities of getting back together.
By cutting off contact, you minimize any chances of offending your ex and making the situation worse. Staying away from your ex for the time being means you have a better shot at repair later on.
#2 – You will stop obsessing over your ex.
We know: the last thing you want to do after a breakup is stay away. It is human nature and completely understandable. This is doubly true if you didn’t want to break up in the first place.
But obsessing isn’t a good idea. First of all, it will make your ex uncomfortable and unhappy that you can’t give them the space they need. If you’re constantly in their space, they will grow to hate you and you’re torpedoing any chances at reconciliation.
Second, obsessing isn’t good for your mental health or your emotional well-being. You can’t give yourself the chance to work things out internally if you are constantly thinking about your ex and following their every move.
This is why it’s very important to stay away from their social media accounts for the time being. If you see them out and about and moving on, it’ll devastate you and this isn’t ideal. You don’t and shouldn’t have to wallow in misery.
#3 – Distance gives you clarity.
You’re in a very vulnerable state after the separation, and nostalgia can be a real traitor. Now that your ex is gone, all you can think of are the good times. You don’t see the problems you had. Instead, all you can focus on are the happy days you spent together.
When you give yourself some distance and step away from the situation, you can gain a lot more clarity. You see the problems that your relationship had, and you realize why it failed. You need to see this information with as much objectivity as possible, and you can’t achieve it if you’re unable to distance yourself from the breakup.
By stepping back, you can also see if the relationship is worth saving. Nostalgia will say yes, you do. That isn’t necessarily true.
It is possible that other emotions like fear and loneliness can sabotage your objective assessment. Taking a breather can be a very valuable opportunity to see the situation with fresh eyes.
#4 – You will remember who you are.
The thing about relationships is that you pour so much of yourself into them hoping to intertwine your life with a chosen significant other. In the process, you can sometimes compromise parts of your personality.
It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with a breakup you will need to recalibrate. Figure out what you’ve lost and what you’ve compromised and you need to remember who you are as an individual.
This is a very important step, whether you’re looking to reconcile with your ex or you want to move on. See, the real you is the person your ex met and fell in love with. If you’re looking to reconcile, finding yourself may be the key to getting your ex to fall in love with you again.
Now, if you’re looking to move on, finding yourself is just as important. You want to strengthen your footing as you navigate single life again, and you can’t do this if you’re still in that relationship mindset.
#5 – It makes your ex face the real consequences of the breakup.
Let’s say your ex initiated the breakup. You’re devastated, because you don’t want to split. If you keep showing up and begging for another chance, your ex won’t feel the full brunt of the separation.
See, you keep coming around and the relationship isn’t really kaput. Your ex is still in constant contact with you and you’re not really apart, in a manner of speaking.
Until you break contact, your ex won’t have to come to terms with the real impact of the breakup. They won’t have to go through the loneliness and the emptiness of the separation.
We’re not saying you want to punish your ex by cutting all contact, because that’s not a healthy mindset. Instead, what you want to achieve is for your ex to realize what your presence meant to them. Without cutting off contact, the full reality of the breakup won’t sink in.
#6 – Begging is unattractive.
No one thinks clinginess is sexy. If you want your ex to miss you, the best option is to cut contact and go AWOL for the time being.
See, coming around and trying to get back with your ex non-stop isn’t cute. You will appear clingy, sad, and pathetic, to be honest. That’s not the image you want to project!
More importantly, if your ex needs time away from you. If you keep showing up and begging for another chance, you are telling them that you’re not listening and you don’t respect their needs and wants. That’s a terrible message to send, especially if you’re looking to reconcile down the line.
#7 – You get a fresh start.
Take this time apart from your ex to work on yourself. This is true, whether you want a reconciliation or not.
See, being in a relationship usually means that you fall in a comfortable rut. For a lot of people this can mean that you’ve let go of your looks, or you’re so relaxed that you no longer make an effort to seduce your ex. These aren’t good, especially if you’re trying to get back on the saddle after a separation.
Refresh yourself and take this opportunity to get a new start. Get a haircut, hit the gym, or maybe just get a relaxing day at the spa. Your ex needs time away from you, so why not spend that time trying to improve yourself? You need to practice self-care, and there’s really no better time.
#8 – You regain confidence.
Remember what we said about finding yourself? Time away from your ex is important if you want to find your footing.
When someone breaks up with you, it can be devastating and a serious blow to your ego. It’s a rejection after all, and no one really enjoys that.
With time away from your ex, you now have the opportunity to reconnect with yourself. Figure out what you really want and who you really are, and that mentality will bring you closer to a more confident approach to life in general.
#9 – It shifts the balance of power.
When you’re the only one who wants to keep the connection, all the power is in your ex’s hands. You are at a disadvantage.
Once you cut off contact, however, you show your ex that you’re not in that vulnerable position anymore. This will put you on even footing, and will lessen the power disparity.
After all, if your ex thinks that you are hell-bent on getting back together, then clearly they hold all the cards. Showing them that you are not weakened or reduced to begging is the first step to changing the balance.
#10 – You now know how to improve the relationship should you get another go at it.
The first time around, clearly you made a few mistakes that led to the breakup. We’re not saying you’re the only one at fault: relationships fail because both parties made some errors.
With some time away from the situation, it becomes a lot clearer and more objective. You are able to see your failings and you can now decide the best method to improve things, should you get another opportunity with your ex.
It’s a very good way to make sure that you’re not going into a reconciliation blind. Otherwise, you’ll be subject to the ugly on again off again situation that really doesn’t benefit anybody.
#11 – Your ex sees you in a new light.
Your ex knows you as their former lover, and that can mean a lot of baggage from your failed relationship. With time apart, however, your ex will now have the chance to see you again in a different light.
Perhaps they’ll see the person they fell in love with all those years ago, before you both got comfortable and complacent. Maybe they’ll see a whole new individual — someone interesting and enticing.
It sounds funny, but this new you can definitely have a new opportunity to seduce and woo your ex, should a reconciliation be in your game plan.
#12 – You will grow as a person and an individual.
We’ve said it a few times: breakups are hard. However, the silver lining here is that breakups also give you the opportunity to learn and grow. By cutting off contact with your ex, you are giving yourself the opportunity to recoup, assess, and improve.
Whether you reconcile with your ex or not, there’s no denying that this is a chance to be a better person overall.
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