Learn why the no contact rule is your most important strategy for making a clean break after a breakup and getting on with your life as soon as possible.
If you’ve been following this series of articles, you’ve already learned how to decide if you should try to get your ex back, how to get your boyfriend or girlfriend back if you TRULY want to, and how to identify if your ex is trying to get back with you. In this article we are going to talk about the No Contact Rule and how it works.
What Is The No Contact Rule? The rule is, at its core, has a pretty simple guiding principle: Focus on yourself, and avoid your ex. Rarely is a piece of advice as clear as this is. The No Contact Rule states simply that when a relationship is over, break off all contact. That’s NO contact. Not the odd text message or phone call – NO contact. There are some stipulations to this. Obviously if you are leasing an apartment together or have a joint bank account, some contact will be required to sort all that out. We’ll get to that later. Why Is The No Contact Rule So Serious? Breakups are hard, and as the person being broken up with, you’re probably going to feel like you’ve lost a part of yourself. The two of you had a history, and your lives were intertwined in a myriad of ways. It’s natural to want to cling to some of that, either via casual conversations, the odd meet-up, or in more extreme cases, the occasional nostalgia-screw. Every time you reignite this connection, you’re moving further away from reestablishing yourself as your own complete person. The No Contact Rule is serious because the problem it’s solving is serious, and drastic action is required. A Time To Work On Yourself After a breakup, it’s normal to go through a mourning period. (We all do that) That might mean lying on your bed buried in tissues, hitting the gym to regain that killer body and your self-esteem, or calling your friends over for those all-night bitch-fests about how all relationships are terrible.
After a while, though, you’ll get motivated to get on with life. The No Contact Rule will force you to focus on the positive and not dwell in the past. This is a great time to: • • • • • •
Reconnect with friends Hit the gym Join a team Start an activity you’ve been putting off Get out and make new friends Study something
The Goal Of The No Contact Rule If you’ve decided that you need to get over your ex, then the no contact rule is your BEST friend. Cut off all ties, do all the things listed above, and turn yourself into the happiest, most successful form of yourself that you can. If, on the other hand, you really do still love your ex, the no contact rule can also help you. We’ve already talked about what NOT to do to get an ex back, and now we’re going to add this to the list of strategies that CAN work. By focusing on yourself and not dwelling on your ex, you’re really showing them how awesome you are. They broke up with you for a reason, and by being your awesome self, you may convince them to re-assess their reasons for leaving. The Power Of Decision Etymology, the study of the origin of words, is a fascinating way to learn about our language. The word ‘decide’, for example, is usually used to mean ‘pick something’. But the origin of the word is much more permanent. The original Latin word decisioliterally meant ‘a cutting off’. In other words, when you decide on A over B, you are cutting off the possibility of B completely. That’s the power of a decision. It’s not a 60/40 choice, it’s a 100/0 decision. The No Contact Rule is THAT powerful a decision. In a way, it makes things easier. Rather than accommodate the occasional contact and constantly judge whether or not the latest encounter was OK or not, you already have your answer. You’ve decided on NO contact, and have effectively cut off all possibility of ANY contact.
How To Follow The No Contact Rule Lay it out there – Tell your ex that you don’t want to have any more contact. Make sure there are no outstanding reasons to legitimately talk to each other (like possessions at each other’s places, bills you’ve both signed, etc.), and simply tell them that you want to avoid any contact. This is important because it frames the future of your relationship and you’ll be able to refer to it if something comes up. If there ARE these kinds of connections, get them sorted out as soon as you can, and then implement the rule. Delete from Facebook – You don’t want to be cyber-snooping, and you don’t want them to be either. It’s passive, sure, but it’s not adhering to the 100% cut-off that we’re looking for. No phone calls, no matter how casual – No, don’t call them on their Birthday or any other time. If
they call you, remind them this isn’t appropriate and end the call as soon as possible. Don’t gossip with friends – If your mutual friends are likely to report back to your ex about what you’re up to, explain to them this should stop, and don’t mention anything about your ex in conversation. With any other contact, do your best to nip it in the bud. Re-state that you want NO contact and remove yourself from a situation where contact is inevitable. Have Faith In The No Contact Rule You’ve made a DECISION – now stick to it. Your whole life is waiting for you out there, so be proactive and positive about moving on. Don’t live with one foot facing backwards or you’ll never get anywhere. Move forward, taking whatever lessons you can from this failed relationship, and smile at the endless possibilities that are out there. Is The No Contact Rule Forever? Depending on your relationship with your ex, it’s possible you’ll want to contact them eventually. Maybe you two really can be good friends, or maybe there’s a chance you’ll get back together. So no, you don’t have to live your life constantly looking over your shoulder to see if you’re accidentally going to bump into your ex. Indicator #1 – You no longer want your ex back. If you’ve made the break, got on with your life, and truly don’t have lingering feelings for your ex, you can back off the rule. Think of it this way: If you bumped into them on the street, would it feel awkward because of your past relationship, or would it feel exciting, as if you were meeting someone new? If the answer is the latter, then you’re good to go. Indicator #2 – Your ex tells you they want you back. If they break the no contact rule and tell you they still have feelings for you, you have a real issue to deal with and all bets are off. If you’ve decided that you never want to be with them again, then stick to your guns, tell them again that you don’t want to hear from them, and keep being awesome. If, on the other hand, them coming back is your dream come true, then the rule no longer fits the situation and you’ve all but won your ex back.