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When NC can backfire on you


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I wanted to share this story about someone I have been seeing off and on since last Nov. Story line. :


- met in sept, he was dating someone, became friends, they broke up in oct

-showed interest since november, dated, but i held back. i wanted to get to know him better first, he is the person to jump right in, usually with people who are gone within 2 weeks

- broke up, made up, communication issues.


So about a month ago, he said that he needed a cooling off period with me, due to his own issues with life, and of course I had enough, went to LC.


Then LC came nothing... then almost NC. In fact, we have talked to each other a few times but until today, nothing of significance. He asked me why I had been not talking to him, I explained why, and he said, well since you haven't talked to me in a month, I figured that this was over, it was time to wrap things up and move on.


My heart drops.


You see, I went radio silence because I wanted to make a statement, one because I was very much hurt and bruised and while I never made him out as the bad guy, I did start to resent him. Not contacting him and talking things out, and yes we have had chances where he has basically said it was over made it worse. Lack of communication killed it, well has been killing it. By shutting him out, I may have lost someone not only someone whom I love, but has become one of my best friends.


In his own defense, he did say that he didnt want to try to work it out, I mean why would he want to with all of this drama and me not speaking? He did ask what I wanted to do, if I wanted to work things out, and I said that I did but I would not pressure with an unwilling person. I understood that I was once in his position in the beginning and understand the ball is in my court. He spoke out in feelings and frustration, I validated his feelings. He listened to mine and made me feel safer than before. We talked more, he is still on the edge and it may be over but the point is that we communicated. It had to start somewhere. He admitted that he still has feelings for me, and even last week he stated that he can't imagine his life without me. So again, time will tell. Either way, lesson learned. Communicate communicate and yes most of all communicate. If you can't, then any attempt at a relationship or reconciliation with someone will fail.

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Part of communication is not playing the blame game. Including blanket blaming yourself.


Someone asks for a cooling off period to "deal with life" and I'm backing off and leaving it to them for contact. They're the one who wants the break, and I'm sure not going to be "intruding" or forcing contact where it's unwanted.


So it seems communication is still a possible issue. You didn't "shut him out" IMO, he asked you to step away. When you did that, you're in the wrong?


Unfortunately, people tend to forget, we're not mind readers. Relationships without communication aren't relationships.


At the same time, if someone wants a reconciliation who has requested distance - they need to make it clear, and not expect the ex to "just know" that it's what they're really looking for.


And this

we have had chances where he has basically said it was over made it worse
just plain confuses me. Was this while you were in LC and talking?
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Oh dont get me wrong, I pointed that out clearly, and stated that I am not taking the blame in all of this. In the scheme of things, I know that this is a mutual issue and can be corrected. I agree, I did not shut him out and made this clear, I think though that by stepping back too far, I created disinterest. Lesson learned.


What I am suggesting is what you just said, a relationship without communication simply isn't that. I am not a mind reader, but there were other clues that he was reaching out, and I did not bite fully. It then caused a bigger rift.


To answer your question, that was during LC. I had responded when he initiated contact, was respectful towards him throughout but I guess what I wanted to just point out is that NC is not for every situation. It wasn't for mine, and I am grateful that this may be an experience to grow from.

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It really does depend on the situation. For example, if you keep contacting the other person and they are not reciprocating then of course you have to go NC...why contact someone who keeps blowing you off. Also, after a relationship ends, in many cases the dumper goes immediately running off to a new partner...so why communicate with someone who has run off with someone new. A lot of dumpers, despite immediately jumping into another relationship, still want to keep their ex on a string...I think NC from the ex is very appropriate in this case. There can be no reconciliation with someone who is with another partner so why bother keeping in touch with them.

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First, I'm sorry this is happening to you - it sucks. I can see why you are feeling the way you do but I agree with the other posters, he told YOU he wanted a "cooling off" period and then asks you why you had not been talking to him? What's that about? And then he just assumed that things were over, time to wrap it up and move on? And tells you during LC that it was basically over? Gheesh. Sounds like the guy was giving up too easily and putting the onus on you. This doesn't feel right to me. Yes, I acknowledge that both parties play a part in this complicated dance called dating and we are all responsible for our own actions. However...


If a guy told me he needed a cooling off period, I would take his words at face value and disappear. I would first ask him for the reasons when he announced this and would discuss it then and there. If he maintains he needs "space" or a "cooling off period" then, what I have learned is you give the guy space, space and more space. My lesson learned was that if a guy tells me this, it's because he wants to explore his other options because he is feeling trapped by the relationship. In fact, a guy (the one who brought me to ENA) DID tell me this, he said "can we just take a step back from the intensity?" but this was after he decided to dis-invite me on a vacation he had previously invited me on. So he disinvited me on a vacation and then suggested we continue to get to know one another without the intensity. It was up to HIM to make this happen, not me, since we were already "involved" and he initiated this "break". I did respond to his "friendly" advances 2-3 months later (we continued to see each other at work, not good for reconciliation) which entailed him calling me up to join him on social outings that were purely platonic. One time he even kissed me on the lips when he dropped me off and I called him on it. That freaked him out and he backed off again. Blah blah blah, I won't rehash the gory details....but it taught ME a lesson when a guy is backing off but still wants to spend time with me....and communicate with me but on HIS terms....it means he doesn't want to give up his other options.


I know every situation is different. Please don't kick yourself, if at all possible. He is the "initiator" in that he initiated the "break", which is what a "cooling off" period is. You had every right to feel bruised and to disappear. I am also of the opinion that too much communication in the early stages can ruin a relationship as it takes away all of the mystery and can be a relationship killer. Good luck!

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