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No Contact and why and how to maintain it?


Coyote9

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I'm a brand new member here. I was in a 15 month relationship that ended badly (I came home to a note on the kitchen table after being out of town). She had been pulling away for months and had actually ended it 3 other times and then came back. Twice I iniciated the contact and once she did in those situations. With each "get back," her interest level decreased and mine increased....I should have never called her after the first break up! It's been 7 weeks of no contact now, and I'm quite certain she's moved on and will not contact me. Part of me still harbors hope (yes, I'm really that dumb) and I think wonders if no contact will eventually bring her back as it did previously after only a few weeks.

 

My question is this...when will I stop worrying about getting her back and start moving on? I know there's no time limit on this process, but I think I've been holding on to hope that NC would somehow cause her to contact me....any suggestions as to how to break through this denial would be appreciated! This pain in a pain!

thanks....

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Well Coyote9, Thats hard to say, I broke up with my ex over 7 months ago, I NEVER got over him, prolly my own fault, (but I believe myself, we don't have that choice) its really tough.....

 

Well to make a long story short, he came back, about 1 1/2 months ago, I was on NC the whole time, and I let him back, and he has once again put me in limbo basically... it sucks, I'm right back where I was at.... hurting.. not good.

 

One more thing I want to say, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it, and you might get some stuff you don't want either... some stuff that'll hurt even worse than the first time... I did.... he is playing games with me and its like opening an old wound. I don't know why he came back. Thinking I'd be better off right now if he never did.

 

Sandy

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Part of me still harbors hope (yes, I'm really that dumb) and I think wonders if no contact will eventually bring her back as it did previously after only a few weeks.

 

My question is this...when will I stop worrying about getting her back and start moving on? I know there's no time limit on this process, but I think I've been holding on to hope that NC would somehow cause her to contact me....

 

I've heard of that as a "strategy" ... I think it's game playing, myself.

 

The better use of NC is to let her fade from your mind to the point where the pain doesn't interfere with your life. It happens at its own pace. Take Sandyv's warning to heart though. Our feelings for someone is a lot like an addiction (it may be almost identical chemically) so be wary of any inclination to try to see if you can be just friends, or have contact on a limited basis.

 

Good luck.

 

Zack.

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I'm sorry to hear you're in pain again Sandy....and thanks to both you and Zach for the input. I am playing a game with myself I think still, hoping I can wait her out and somehow it could be better, even as my own experience with her over the last 6 rocky months of our relationship was a horrible back a forth that sounds a bit like what Sandy is experiencing....so I know better. This is withdrawl. At times the yearning is terrible. I find if I move around, walk, do something, that is will pass for a time. I have not been sleeping throught the night for weeks and have lost about 10 pounds. I've read enough to understand that's all part of the process. I was actually on another site for a time that basically was made up of people trying to get their ex's back. I found I too had hope and that wasn't a good thing for me to have given that I need to get over her and on with my life. It's funny what wisdom 20/20 hindsite affords....

Coyote

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Coyote - firstly, I'm sorry you're hurting and the note on the table scene is, to my mind, cowardly and cruel.

 

I think you're in the right place at the right time. Seems to me that somewhere between 2 and 3 months is when the real healing begins, if you really let it. If you want a quick kick in the rear about denial, there are a few folks on here who "specialize" in the brutal truth approach, LOL. I prefer the "love yourself above all" method of healing. Be kind to yourself, be your own best friend. Remind yourself of all the great things that make you who you are, and listen to what friends and family have to say about you. When you fall in love with yourself, everything changes.

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Sometimes focusing on the bad aspects of the relationship helps get rid of hope. Like it helps you realize that maybe you don't want that hope anymore. Or maybe you get proactive with the hope...

 

For me, I created a strategy to get them back. I did NC right away. Then I read lots of stuff on getting the Ex back and how to attract people. Then I realized I was putting in way too much effort for someone who wasn't worth any effort.

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Coyote - firstly, I'm sorry you're hurting and the note on the table scene is, to my mind, cowardly and cruel.

 

I think you're in the right place at the right time. Seems to me that somewhere between 2 and 3 months is when the real healing begins, if you really let it. If you want a quick kick in the rear about denial, there are a few folks on here who "specialize" in the brutal truth approach, LOL. I prefer the "love yourself above all" method of healing. Be kind to yourself, be your own best friend. Remind yourself of all the great things that make you who you are, and listen to what friends and family have to say about you. When you fall in love with yourself, everything changes.

 

I know there's no exact time table. One of the things she said in her note on the kitchen counter was "this was not meant to be, I don't love you as you say you love me, I don't want to see you or talk to you." Fair enough. I guess I always have an idea that breakups can be mutual and not full of drama and pain, but they usually aren't. I work with this woman, although I have no reason to see her if I am careful and avoid places and times coming and going from the office. When I hear others talk about her or about things she involved in in the workplace, I'm of course of and yearning. The fact is, she didn't treat me well at all the last few months of the relationship and didn't ultimately leave until she had someone else to chase.

 

So you are right, it will fade, if I don't feed the flames with contact or getting stuck in my head in euphoric recall moment from the past or a fantasy about a future reconciliation.

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Yeah Coyote, I'm in a worse place than I was when I first walked away, I'm going through extreme withdrawal I guess basically. I have been reading up on this stuff, and apparently... yes, love can become a chemical kind of addiction, its true... and I got my fix for a month and a half... now I'm a total basket case.... so be careful ok?

 

Don't go where I did, it hurts, and it can be deadly also....

 

Sandy

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Hi there,

 

First off, do not use NC as a hope to get back with your ex. If the relationship failed, then it means you guys weren't compatbile. It's not meant to be. Let go and move on.

 

I remained friends with one of my exes for 10 years. He and I both had a hard time letting go, because we have a deep bond, but due to our lifestyles (he joined a cult), I chose to let go and move on.

 

What you need to realize, what I should have told myself 6 years ago, when we broke up, "Do it cold turkey. If it's not meant to be, let go. You can truly love somoeone, but it doesn't mean they're right for you. Let go and save yourself the heartache."

 

Other than trying to be mature about it, how I cope (other than realzing what I needed to):

 

1. Remind yourself over and over about the things about your ex you found were a turn-off.

 

2. Replay the images of your ex that made you cringe.

 

Replace those "happy" memories of your ex by all of the memories associated with her as being a turn-off. You'll eventually get repulsed enough and start to think, "Why did I even give the ex a try?"

 

Hope this helps!

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I've heard of that as a "strategy" ... I think it's game playing, myself.

 

The better use of NC is to let her fade from your mind to the point where the pain doesn't interfere with your life. It happens at its own pace. Take Sandyv's warning to heart though. Our feelings for someone is a lot like an addiction (it may be almost identical chemically) so be wary of any inclination to try to see if you can be just friends, or have contact on a limited basis.

 

Good luck.

 

Zack.

 

Hey I found this the other night, kinda sums everything up:

 

 

Addicted to love

Biochemically, falling in love is pretty much like getting simultaneously smashed on low-dose speed, E, and heroin. That's because most of the recreational substances we indulge in work on exactly the same brain bits that love does. It all comes down to what love does to a couple of chemicals in your brain: dopamine and noradrenaline.

Dopamine and noradrenaline are neurotransmitters - they get released from nerve cells, switch on other nerve cells that are sensitive to them, and then get reabsorbed. (Complicate that by a factor of about 40 zillion and you're somewhere near the reality of how the brain works, because by switching on nerve cells in the brain, these chemicals control everything from hormone release to mood, anxiety and blood pressure).

Somehow, through all of its actions, dopamine regulates our mood. At the extremes, it's responsible for Parkinson's disease (not enough dopamine) and the symptoms of schizophrenia (a tad too much), but generally it just makes us feel good. Noradrenaline works by triggering the release of adrenaline, the hormone that gets us ready to fight or run. As well as the always delightful heart palpitations, blushing, and butterflies, noradrenaline gives us the drive to enjoy life.

When it comes to love, we each produce our own hit of speed to get things going - phenylethylamine (PEA), a kind of amphetamine that releases a flood of dopamine and noradrenaline and all that goes with them. As well as in the minds of the love sick, PEA is found in chocolates, but in levels so small they probably don't explain our addiction to the stuff. It's also a close relative of methylenedioxymethamphetamine - thankfully shortened to both MDMA and ecstasy. The big biological drawback with ecstasy is that it kills parts of some nerve cells - making them swell and burst. Nasty stuff. As well as PEA, lovin' action gives us a hit of our very own version of heroin - endorphins. These babies have the same pain-killing, pleasure-delivering properties of their cousins heroin and morphine, without the risk of overdose, AIDS, imprisonment, ajax or life-ruling addiction … They all work in the same round-about way: by stopping the things that stop dopamine and noradrenaline. The difference is that the hit you get with heroin is as big as you like - and generally much bigger than you're used to. So your brain shifts up a gear and won't respond to the lower levels of your own endorphins; without heroin you don't get enough dopamine and feel sick (… and run the risk of overdose, AIDS, imprisonment, ajax and life-ruling addiction …).

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This is almost exactly what I am going through. She left right after new years and came back three weeks later. Its been 5 weeks now, and two weeks of strict nc and nothing. I think mine found someone else (95%) sure. But like you, I am holding on to false hope. Its the worst feeling in the world. She blamed me for everything and pretty much pulled away back in January. But like a dumb ass, she convinced me that it was all my fault and we tried again. She distanced herself further and then this happened. It hurts man, it hurts.

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Hi Coyote,

 

I've been reading this forum for a year, but this is the first time I've ever posted anything. I'm posting this because your story is very similar to mine except that I'm about a year ahead of you on N/C.

 

I dated my ex off and on for about 23 months up until she ended it. During that time I left her a couple of times and she always initiated contact with me. I went back to her both times because despite her negative game playing, I was very attracted to her.

 

During the last period of time we were together I fell in love with her, but she started to pull away. Then, one day she just stopped answering my calls and texts, etc. No note, no explanation, no anything, just silence. As you can imagine I was just crushed. It has now been almost exactly one year to the day since I last talked to her.

 

Looking back, I would say it was about 2 months before I started feeling better and not in pain all the time. It was around then that I stopped missing her constantly and not having nightmares about her and I started being able to concentrate on other things like work. I would say that in the months that followed I just slowly started missing her less and less until now I have entire days when I don't even think about her at all. However, I still have times when I miss her, but it's not as intense and it doesn't last as long. It helps a lot that I've been dating a new person for the last 7 months.

 

As far as thoughts of getting her back goes, at first it was all I could think of. My original plan was to do the N/C thing for a while and then initiate contact, but I found that the longer I go without talking to her, the less appealing that sounds. Once I got over the initial shock, I think my pride and self-respect took over and they won't let me talk to her. About 2 months ago she relayed a message to me through a mutual friend, but I ignored it.

 

That's about it. I believe that constantly reminding myself about how bad she jerked me around has helped me the most to avoid contacting her. I'm somewhat amazed that she hasn't tried to call me, but I'm glad she hasn't. I'm not sure how I'd handle it if she did. I know not talking to her is the right thing to do, but it's still, even after a year, not easy to do. It's like she cast some sort of magic spell on me and I hate it!

 

I hope my story helps you, Coyote.

 

The pain does go away eventually and life goes on...

 

Jeff

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It is indeed a powerful biochemical withdrawl that we go through, even if we can't really tell others about it that haven't or aren't experiencing it themselves. One of the things I have found most helpful in those times when I feel the most yearning and hopeless is to read journal entries from previous relationships where I've been dumped. It's the same exact process, there's nothing special or unique about this particular woman that dumped me in April for the last time, it's only the most recent experience which makes it painful. When I read stuff from 5 or 10 years ago that I've written, I realize that, within a period of months usually, I move on and the pain recedes. Now I don't really feel anything for those 2 or 3 people that over the years I thought I'd never get over after they broke up with me.

 

I want get smarter about how I get into relationships and about the sorts of red flags that we all see but choose to ignore early on. That's the real lesson in this situation for me. When someone loses interest, for whatever reason, chasing them, emoting more, giving more doesn't bring them back to where they were previously, it simply causes them to run away faster.

 

I appreciate the honesty and authentic experience that people share here. It's helpful to not be alone with this stuff that, in the moment, seems like it will never get better. We all know it will.

 

I will try to focus on the negative feelings as was suggested, although anger can take on a life of it's own, even though I know that's part of the process too...

coyote

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Thanks Jeff....I just read your post here and our stories are very similiar. I know what you mean about the "spell." I've even changed the route I travel to work so that I won't see her car (we live close together and work near each other so would often drive together when we were dating). I happened to see her car today at 50 MPH as I neared the office....I felt an absolute panicked feeling that caused me to actually accelerate away from the scene....silly, maybe even dangerous. I think I know the feeling of self preservation that you speak of that kicks in about 2 months out. Even though I think about her all the time still and wonder if I'll see or hear from her, I don't want to see or hear from her or about her for that matter. I appreciate knowing your experience and that it does get better, if we take care of ourselves. Ironically, for the first year I dated this woman, like you I was not in love and was very objective about all the reasons why it couldn't work in the long term. There's something about chasing the back that's walking away, as irrational and stupid as that is. She ended up with all the power in the end, whereas for the first year, I could have taken it of left it. We were not a good match, period. Time to take the fragile ego out of the mix and let it go!

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Wow Jeff,

 

That is exactly like my story. Jeff, Coyote, and I have all joined the club of "they pulled away and then they were gone". I would like to hear more about your story Jeff cause I can't stop having dreams about this girl. Did she completely dissappear too?

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For many of us, there does seem to be a very deep psychic connection with our ex's. The more ambiguity or loose ends that were left when they left (as in behaviour and words that don't match up or in Jeff's case and in mine, very little information as to why they left), the more overtones of feeling like we're caught in some sort of emotional vortex as we try to make sense of it all, and finally decide we can't. What causes someone to be pull away and be so secretive and dishonest about that process, maybe even with themselves? NC is the key to beginning to get over it rather than under it I think. Our ex's cannot ever provide us with explanations about why they did what they did that make sense. It's best to simply let go as best we can.

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Hi Tray,

 

Sorry to hear you're a member of the "club" too.

 

To answer your question, yes, she completely disapeared and it's probably for the best. The way I see it, anything other than the ex really wanting to try to work things out is an excercise in futility. I know it's hard at first to leave so many questions unanswered, but what is the alternative?

 

Sure, you could spend countless hours trying to find answers to every last detail about what happened, where is she now, why did she do this or that and why does she feel the way she does, and it's natural to feel that way at first, but ask yourself: What will all that accomplish?

 

If you really think about it, the only thing that matters is that it's over and it's time to move on with your life. I know it's easy for me to say this now, but it's really our best option. Sure, you can and will be hurt and sad and all that stuff, but the sooner you can admit to yourself that they're really gone and that there's no magic bullet to "get them back", the better off YOU will be. And that's where the focus should be: On you and healing yourself.

 

If you want to obsess and feel sorry for yourself (and who doesn't in the face of these unfortunate circumstances?), keep it to yourself and leave them out of it! That's the way they want it and if you truly love the other person, then doing what they want (even if it hurts), is the best way to show your love and respect--(even if you think right now that they don't deserve it). Remind yourself if you have to, to always maintain respect, especially for yourself. That's the key to a healthy and quick recovery, (while at the same time one of the hardest things for most people to do).

 

I'm sorry if this all may sound a little harsh, but it's what I keep telling myself and it's worked for me for one year. Granted, it hasn't made my ex come running back to my loving arms, but if, by some miracle she ever did at least she'll see that I'm in a better place than when she left me and that I'm not sitting around wasting time feeling sorry for myself!

 

Bottom line, being able to move on fairly quickly shows that you have a lot of self-love and self-respect and that's something everybody (including the ex), finds very admirable and desirable.

 

I agree with Coyote, it's best to simply let go as best we can...

 

The real question then becomes, how can we see all this coming and avoid it in future relationships?

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Wise words....ironically I would have told you the first year of this relationship that I was doing it differently. I was, what I didn't pay attention to was who I chose in the first place. Someone with a long history of running from intimacy and every man she's ever been with. I have a question for you Jeff (or anyone else for that matter). I've read a bit about the grief process and understand it works exactly the same way for people who have actually lost someone to death and to a breakup. One of the phases is anger...and that's one, two months in, that I haven't experienced much of, at least not at her. My anger has been directed at myself and my own past actions and the denial that was so powerfully keeping me from seeing what was really going on in the months prior to the last breakup. How has anger figured into your process in the past year and how have you dealt with it?

Coyote

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No contact is to give you time to heal. For you to do things that you would like to do for yourself which is supposed to help you take your mind off the situation. Thus the time it takes is never known, it varies from person to person. Do what it takes to keep you busy and it will all fall into place. You will know when the time comes to forget and forgive.

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Coyote,

 

Ragarding anger, I think you sort of answered your own question. You are experiencing anger in the form of anger towards yourself. I think that the fact that you aren't blaming her shows that you are taking most of the responsibility for your break up. This can be a healthy way to look at things as long as you don't get too down on yourself and let it depress you. By taking responsibility for your mistakes it will help you to learn from them so you may not repeat them next time with someone else.

 

I personally experienced anger at myself and at my ex both, and I still do occasionally for that matter. My anger towards my ex was directed at her right away because of what I perceived as the cold-hearted way she ended it. It was only later, after I started to calm down that I analyzed "things" and started getting angry at myself for being such a chump. I look at myself now not so much as a chump, but as a fallible human being who did the best I could at the time. In other words, now I cut myself some slack. If this ever happens to me again, hopefully I'll do better based on what I know now.

 

Sometimes when I think about the ex I still get angry at her, but it doesn't last very long, (I cut her some slack too). One time, recently, I started fantasizing about trying to get her back, but the more I thought about everything that happened the angrier I got at her and it stopped me from doing anything. It was sort of like, " I'd like to contact her, but I'm not going to give her (or some other choice name I may call her), the satisfaction of letting her know I still want her!!! So in this way my anger has helped me to stay focused on the big picture which is moving on with my life.

 

If you're thinking that maybe there's something wrong with the fact that you're not particularily angry at your ex, forget it! Everyone deals with this kind of thing in their own way. The most important thing is to stay focused on moving through your grief and getting on with your life.

 

Maybe try starting a journal where you record all your daily feelings toward your ex and keep track of roughly how much time you spend thinking of her. That way you can look back a few months from now and see how you're progressing. It may help you to realize by reading your old journal entries how much your pain and negative feelings have subsided. And, if you have fallen into any bad habits like obsessing too much over something, you will recognize it in your writings.

 

Another thing you can do is make a plan on what you will/would do if your ex contacts you. Try to figure out how you would handle it and what you would say to her if you happened to talk to her or run into her. This is always a very real possibility and it helps to have a well rehearsed plan if you should see them. That way you'll be better equiped to handle the rush of emotion that is sure to bombard you and tends to make one act in all sorts of silly and regrettable ways. In my experience this will also help you feel that you are somewhat in control of the situation at hand.

 

Hope that helps! Good luck.

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Coyote,

 

Another thing you can do is make a plan on what you will/would do if your ex contacts you. Try to figure out how you would handle it and what you would say to her if you happened to talk to her or run into her. This is always a very real possibility and it helps to have a well rehearsed plan if you should see them. That way you'll be better equiped to handle the rush of emotion that is sure to bombard you and tends to make one act in all sorts of silly and regrettable ways. In my experience this will also help you feel that you are somewhat in control of the situation at hand.

 

.

 

I know there are times, especially at night, when I awaken almost in a rage over what happened. I think, because I still have a glimmer of hope she'll come back, that my anger gets sidetracked. I think it's the key in some ways because when I can finally feel it then I'll know I don't care about her coming back and I can let go. Your last statement here is really good, as I know, even when I've seen her driving past a couple of times the last few weeks, that I'm an absolute mess. I did a hang up phone call last time I saw her like that. I have a business luncheon at the end of next week, and while it will be obvious to everyone that I'm skipping it because she's there, I don't care, I'm not ready to sit in the same room, albeit a very large room and even look at her. Maybe that's going overboard with NC but I know from my past experieces in breakups that any contact puts me right back at the bottom of the hill. Part of me wants to go, be cordial, and show her I've moved on, which of course would be a lie. That's likely my ego wanting to show her I have regained some power. NC is a better way to do that at this point. Thanks again for your insights Jeff.

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Hey, no prob Coyote.

 

I think not going to the luncheon is a good idea. If you go you'll end up just feeling like crap all over again. Better to wait a while until you really have moved on, then you'll be much better equiped emotionally speaking.

 

Also, I don't know how many people will read this post, but now that I have the chance I just want to say a HUGE THANKS to all the people who have contributed to this forum to make it what it is today. Back in my darker days I don't know how I would've made it without all the wisdom I gained by reading all the great posts by so many wise, kind and understanding people. Trust me, this forum helps a lot more people than one may think. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there reading this stuff who never post, but whose lives are touched in a very positive way.

 

I don't know what else to say but for another simple THANK YOU TO ALL!!!

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Egos get involved when there are breakups unfortunately. The reason people here talk about no contact is that it's the best way to really move on and not play games. I always question my own motives instead of hers, because I can't know what motivates her at this point. What I know is that I'm not ready to be around my ex at all so I avoid her, even in places that I went before. It's about my peace of mind, not my pride at this point. You can play games forever and of course nothing changes and you end up in even more pain.

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Jeff, I want to thank you again for sharing your experience. I can't believe you waited a year to write here and felt very encouraged that my story related to yours. In the isolation that so many of us face after a breakup, it truly is a lifesaver to have people such as you who not only relate to the experience of others but help us all with what you share from your own story. You have a lot of wisdom and I hope you'll share it with others here from time to time. You certainly helped me a lot today!

 

One of the things I've been unable to do much since the breakup was to really cry about it. I have felt so many of my feelings were just jumbled up and made me feel irritable, sleepless and distracted, but not particularly deeply sad or like I had really been able to let go at depth. As I came to understand at a level I'd been hiding from myself until today, that she truly is gone and it is the best for us both, I was overcome with emotion after I got home from work and actually cried...it felt like a dark sludge was breaking loose from way down deep. I feel much more at peace this evening as a result I think. This is a process that seems to have a life of it's own. In some ways, this has seemed like the longest 2 months of my life, and yet it's only two months and I can already see the changes that are making me more resiliant and clearer about who I am and what I want. Thanks again!

 

 

Coyote

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NC for 4 weeks? That's really great. How did you do it? Weren't there times when you felt like if you didn't see or talk to him that you would go crazy? I've never been good at NC but had to slowly wind it down. Lessen the contact until there was none. Ive been seeing this man that we both decided that he needed to tend to some other personal business before we could go further and neither one of us is good at no contact. We both love each other and want to know how the other one is. I wish I was better at it but I'm trying.

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