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The case against No Contact


Tryingit
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I want to share this experience, because I see how much people struggle with NC, and how every piece of advice is avoid your ex like the plague.

 

NC, and the constant prohibition of having any communication with someone you actually want to talk to, or the active expedited murdering of an emotional bond/relationship, can be one of the most painful things you do to YOURSELF. It can create a psychosis and obsession, where you check their social media feed 1000x a day, all the while building frustration, bitterness and anger in yourself because he hasn't broken the ice and therefore he must *really* not care about you.

 

Not to say my experience mirrors everyone else's, but I have had relationships that ended and then disappeared off the face of the earth, and others that ended but slowly unwinded into friendships. The NC kind were MUCH more traumatic and painful, and created hatred in my heart for that person. The ones that survived into a friendship, and in some cases, a best friendship, I can say nearly left no permanent damage/scar. I just felt moved to post this, because I have achieved such a close friendship with an ex that we are now able to talk about our fears/insecurities regarding relationships/love in such depth that we both say it is "therapy." It's one of the most healing experiences of my life, because it has helped me see how much everything that went down between us was not personal and was due to each individual's mentality/issues/maturity and timing.

 

It's as hippie as it gets, but forgiveness is a lot more healing than forced foregetfulness.

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Not meant to be a statement for or against NC (I generally think it's a good idea, at the very least for the short-term, but I do think there's an argument to be had against insisting on any abrupt and dogmatic abstinence), but pretty much all of this sounds pretty healthy-- or at least not what I'd consider responsible advice to others to pursue.

Edited by j.man
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The no contact method of healing also should include not viewing their social media. Out of sight, out of mind.

 

Exactly. No contact means completely move on, no social media. Sure, this hurts worse, as I've been there! But what it allows you to do is ultimately move on, as the chemical attachments in the brain are allowed to heal.

 

What this does is, it creates a space in your life....a blank space, if you will, so that you can have an openness for the new person you're going to meet soon.

 

Maintaining contact, even if it's just continuous social media viewing, keeps that person top of mind, and we don't have the open space in our lives for a new person.

 

I'm not saying I'm always Ms. Perfect No Contact....lol, not by a long shot. After my recent breakup (6 months ago), I spent several months in "minimal contact", which I have to say did help me to detach. The minimal amount of contact we had, while broken up, allowed me to really start to see the forest for the trees, so I was really able to see him for who he was. We are finally fully No Contact now, and I have to say, I now feel an emptiness, sort of an abyss, a loneliness. Which is part of a breakup. What I'm missing now is actually chaos that was created in the relationship, but I'll get over that.

 

This being said, I do not think there is one set of hard and fast rules, and one shouldn't be chastised either way.

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Exactly. No contact means completely move on, no social media. Sure, this hurts worse, as I've been there! But what it allows you to do is ultimately move on, as the chemical attachments in the brain are allowed to heal.

 

What this does is, it creates a space in your life....a blank space, if you will, so that you can have an openness for the new person you're going to meet soon.

 

Maintaining contact, even if it's just continuous social media viewing, keeps that person top of mind, and we don't have the open space in our lives for a new person.

 

I'm not saying I'm always Ms. Perfect No Contact....lol, not by a long shot. After my recent breakup (6 months ago), I spent several months in "minimal contact", which I have to say did help me to detach. The minimal amount of contact we had, while broken up, allowed me to really start to see the forest for the trees, so I was really able to see him for who he was. We are finally fully No Contact now, and I have to say, I now feel an emptiness, sort of an abyss, a loneliness. Which is part of a breakup. What I'm missing now is actually chaos that was created in the relationship, but I'll get over that.

 

This being said, I do not think there is one set of hard and fast rules, and one shouldn't be chastised either way.

I agree completely. Minimal contact is also helpful. The only time I could see no contact being bad, is if someone is dealing with an immense amount of guilt and they need to get something off their chest. In which case send a final communication where you say everything you need to say. It's something I've done in the past that's helped tremendously. After that, though, no/minimal contact.

 

Agreed that method of healing will differ slightly from person to person.

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Tryingit, I absolutely 100% wholeheartedly agree with you!

 

However in some cases NC is necessary, at least for awhile, if the RL was "addictive," so you need time to break your addiction to each other.

 

That was true in my last LTR (six years) with my ex.

 

But since him, I've dated men and after we ended things, eventually became friendly again.

 

In late 2016 I dated a man who works in my building. We were very incompatible (him controlling, me independent) so I ended things but now we are very friendly towards one another, I consider him to be an acquaintance, we socialize sometimes after work with a group and when I see him around the building, we spending time chatting.

 

In fact I ran into him just today and we chatted for a bit, had a few laughs.

 

Another man whom I dated in May this year, and REALLY liked essentially ghosted me.

 

A few months later, he contacted me, we talked about why he ghosted, among other things.

 

He wanted to date me again but I have a bf but if felt good "clearing the air" and getting "closure" and we still text once in awhile, wishing happy holidays, happy new year and catch up for a bit.

Edited by katrina1980
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Yeah I think method of healing also really depends on the dynamic and nature of the relationship - not all relationships can even go into friendship, it's like impossible for them because there was no strong friendship there to begin with.

 

I just wanted to provide the contrarian view because there are so many people on ENA who are in so much pain from forced NC. It's not the only way toward recovery!

I've also never been able to will myself off the social media stalking - I become obsessive with NC.

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Yeah I think method of healing also really depends on the dynamic and nature of the relationship - not all relationships can even go into friendship, it's like impossible for them because there was no strong friendship there to begin with.

 

I just wanted to provide the contrarian view because there are so many people on ENA who are in so much pain from forced NC. It's not the only way toward recovery!

I've also never been able to will myself off the social media stalking - I become obsessive with NC.

 

Yeah I think what often happens with NC is that one or both will enter into this "longing" stage. Longing for someone is a very powerful emotion, often more powerful than love, because you are literally "craving" someone/something you don't have or can't have, which can feel quite intense!

 

This is why I think so many couples get back together. They break up, go NC, start missing each other, craving each other, "longing" for each other, so get back together only to find to same * happening all over again.

 

So they break up again, start longing again, rinse repeat.

 

Had they NOT gone complete NC, and perhaps faded away from each gradually, they would have never experienced that "longing" and perhaps even eventually became friendly or even friends like what you have with your ex.

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I think NC is essential when the relationship is toxic. One person cheats, or one person is a substance abuser, and the other person is co-dependent, or complicit, in the first person's offenses. In that case, NC needs to be maintained to help heal from that, and often, therapy helps.

 

In my case, I decided to go Minimal Contact rather than NC because each time I heard from him, it put a new notch in the "bad guy" column, as it really helped me see who he was. When you're with someone, it's hard sometimes to see just how bad they are, because it becomes your normal. Being away from him, but hearing from him occasionally, allowed me to see that this was not normal behavior, and the more stuff I heard from him, the more "not normal" I realized it was, if that makes sense.

 

So in my case, it helped me. People kept saying that it was hindering my progress, that it was keeping me stuck, keeping me bound. But it was doing just the opposite: each time I heard from him, I heard the exact same nonsense he said while we were together, only this time, I was going home alone, and it allowed me to really see what everyone else saw about him.

 

Those months of minimal contact allowed me to detach, whereas I'm convinced that full on NC would have kept me stuck.

 

Interesting topic, thanks for bringing it up!

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Yeah I think what often happens with NC is that one or both will enter into this "longing" stage. Longing for someone is a very powerful emotion, often more powerful than love, because you are literally "craving" someone/something you don't have or can't have, which can feel quite intense!

 

This is why I think so many couples get back together. They break up, go NC, start missing each other, craving each other, "longing" for each other, so get back together only to find to same * happening all over again.

 

So they break up again, start longing again, rinse repeat.

 

Had they NOT gone complete NC, and perhaps faded away from each gradually, they would have never experienced that "longing" and perhaps even eventually became friendly or even friends like what you have with your ex.

 

This is super true and very well said. I think it's analogous to a very strict diet lol. If you loooove cake (even though you know it's bad for you) and you go on a strict 100% no sugar diet, your odds of relapsing into a binge are super high. You also become obsessed with cake, dream about it, watch fudge videos online etc. Then you have a shame and guilt spiral as soon as you have the cake and remember how bad it made you feel and why you restricted yourself to begin with. Cue: yo-yo dieting and eating disorder! But if you appreciate cake for its good and bad, realize it's not healthy for you but you can enjoy it in moderation, you can live a normal life!!

 

I just know whether broken up or while dating, anytime I'm playing the "Game" of forcing myself not to respond or to have no contact, I ALWAYS end up MORE obsessed and eventually cave and run back.

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To add to my last post, I've had one or two men I've dated insist on NC. After a few dates, if I found I'm not "feeling it" enough to want to continue dating, but still wanted to remain on friendly terms, I've texted them and they were quite snooty and rude even!

 

One guy said after I texted, "what do you want"!!? I said "just saying hi, thought we could at least be friends, seeing we'll probably be running into each other occasionally."

 

He texted back "I don't want to be friends, I wanted to date you, I have enough friends!"

 

I didn't respond, so that was that. Now when I see him, he ignores me. Geez!!

 

If I ever stopped dating my bf and started dating other guys again, I won't ever propose such a thing again!

 

I mean the nerve of me, wanting to remain friendly with a guy I once dated! lol

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This is super true and very well said. I think it's analogous to a very strict diet lol. If you loooove cake (even though you know it's bad for you) and you go on a strict 100% no sugar diet, your odds of relapsing into a binge are super high. You also become obsessed with cake, dream about it, watch fudge videos online etc. Then you have a shame and guilt spiral as soon as you have the cake and remember how bad it made you feel and why you restricted yourself to begin with. Cue: yo-yo dieting and eating disorder! But if you appreciate cake for its good and bad, realize it's not healthy for you but you can enjoy it in moderation, you can live a normal life!!

I just know whether broken up or while dating, anytime I'm playing the "Game" of forcing myself not to respond or to have no contact, I ALWAYS end up MORE obsessed and eventually cave and run back.

 

Great analogy!!

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Great post! First time I have seen someone speak what I was thinking about NC. When I do go NC or block someone it is (for me) an act of aggression, and generally means the person has done something awful (abuse, cheating) to me or someone else. If we end on (relatively) good terms, I have found it easier to let go and forgive when I don't go NC, and instead just let things fade gradually.

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This is super true and very well said. I think it's analogous to a very strict diet lol. If you loooove cake (even though you know it's bad for you) and you go on a strict 100% no sugar diet, your odds of relapsing into a binge are super high. You also become obsessed with cake, dream about it, watch fudge videos online etc. Then you have a shame and guilt spiral as soon as you have the cake and remember how bad it made you feel and why you restricted yourself to begin with. Cue: yo-yo dieting and eating disorder! But if you appreciate cake for its good and bad, realize it's not healthy for you but you can enjoy it in moderation, you can live a normal life!!

 

I just know whether broken up or while dating, anytime I'm playing the "Game" of forcing myself not to respond or to have no contact, I ALWAYS end up MORE obsessed and eventually cave and run back.

 

People do tend to dole out the "No contact. None whatsoever. The minute you get dumped is the last interaction you should ever have with your ex" advice in a "one-size fits all" way. However, for many people I think it's the only thing that will ever work in order to get over the ex. For others it probably only breeds more obsession. To use your cake analogy, some people just can't do moderation and are best off to never touch cake, while for others having a piece here and there will keep them sane.

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When I do go NC or block someone it is (for me) an act of aggression, and generally means the person has done something awful (abuse, cheating) to me or someone else.

 

Well, with the guy who insisted on NC, I don't think I had done something awful, I certainly didn't abuse him and we weren't even exclusive so obviously no "cheating," but I suppose for some people simply not wanting to date them anymore constitutes (in their eyes) some egregious action that warrants never speaking to them again!

 

Their prerogative of course, whatever gets them through. lol

 

In all seriousness though, I sort of understand it, although could have done without the rudeness.

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To add to my last post, I've had one or two men I've dated insist on NC. After a few dates, if I found I'm not "feeling it" enough to want to continue dating, but still wanted to remain on friendly terms, I've texted them and they were quite snooty and rude even!

 

One guy said after I texted, "what do you want"!!? I said "just saying hi, thought we could at least be friends, seeing we'll probably be running into each other occasionally."

 

He texted back "I don't want to be friends, I wanted to date you, I have enough friends!"

 

I didn't respond, so that was that. Now when I see him, he ignores me. Geez!!

 

If I ever stopped dating my bf and started dating other guys again, I won't ever propose such a thing again!

 

I mean the nerve of me, wanting to remain friendly with a guy I once dated! lol

 

I'm far more friendly about it but that's pretty much the stance I take with any woman who dumps me. "Not interested in friendship; contact me if you ever change your mind about things."

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I'm far more friendly about it but that's pretty much the stance I take with any woman who dumps me. "Not interested in friendship; contact me if you ever change your mind about things."

 

Would you go so far as to completely ignore her though when running into her? Same social circle and all.

 

That's what I don't get. Why the attitude? Not you, just some guys. We had only had a couple of dates!

 

Okay you don't want to be "friends" I get that, and after that incident, I decided a "friendship" probably wouldn't work anyway, but to go out of your way to completely ignore when seeing her out somewhere?

 

Can you explain the rationale behind that?

 

Okay I dumped you after a couple of dates, no sense in getting all pissy about it. Again not you, just some guys.

 

I recall one guy approached me in the parking lot of Ralphs supermarket. Chatted me up, asked me out.

 

I turned him down (nicely) and he proceeded to yell at me right there in the parking lot! LOL

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Would you go so far as to completely ignore her though when running into her? Same social circle and all.

 

That's what I don't get. Why the attitude? Not you, just some guys. We had only had a couple of dates!

 

Okay you don't want to be "friends" I get that, and after that incident, I decided a "friendship" probably wouldn't work anyway, but to go out of your way to completely ignore when seeing her out somewhere?

 

Can you explain the rationale behind that?

 

Okay I dumped you after a couple of dates, no sense in getting all pissy about it. Again not you, just some guys.

 

I recall one guy approached me in the parking lot of Ralphs supermarket. Chatted me up, asked me out.

 

I turned him down (nicely) and he proceeded to yell at me right there in the parking lot! LOL

 

I got dumped once by a woman I still work with. I ignored her for a while as much as possible while still doing my job. Was there some butt-hurtness behind that? Yeah, there was. I admit it. There was a sense of "you don't get to dump me and then have me still be friendly with you. That's not how this works. I have my pride." But I also was legitimately just trying to get over her.

 

I will admit that once I let myself be friendly with her again I actually felt better about everything. But I had to be ready for that.

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I got dumped once by a woman I still work with. I ignored her for a while as much as possible while still doing my job. Was there some butt-hurtness behind that? Yeah, there was. I admit it. There was a sense of "you don't get to dump me and then have me still be friendly with you. That's not how this works. I have my pride." But I also was legitimately just trying to get over her.

 

Okay fair enough and appreciate the honesty. We all handle things differently in our own way.

 

Personally, I try to not get butt-hurt about these things. Even with the guy I really liked whom I dated in May, he had made plans with me for the weekend but then suddenly and without warning ghosted me. Yeah that stung!

 

But when he contacted me a few months later I was open to talking to him, hearing him out and to this day we remain friendly.

 

I will admit that once I let myself be friendly with her again I actually felt better about everything.

 

But I had to be ready for that.

 

Again fair enough. :D

Edited by katrina1980
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I got dumped once by a woman I still work with. I ignored her for a while as much as possible while still doing my job. Was there some butt-hurtness behind that? Yeah, there was. I admit it. There was a sense of "you don't get to dump me and then have me still be friendly with you. That's not how this works. I have my pride." But I also was legitimately just trying to get over her.

 

I will admit that once I let myself be friendly with her again I actually felt better about everything. But I had to be ready for that.

 

 

And that's just it. Sometimes we have to put ourselves first

 

I agree that it's not a catchall and sometimes it's thrown around haphazardly but a good majority of the time if someone's posting on here because they want to remain 'friends' with their ex they're typically looking for an excuse to keep that person in their lives because they don't want to be forgotten.

I think for most people you had a romantic relationship with, there's always going to be that spark there so connecting and sharing and becoming BFF's to me, bad idea. Aquaintances? Sure, much more safe, but BFF? Nah that's risky.

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I've never felt dogmatic about ''No Contact''. I actually have a major aversion to the term...and how it's thrown around as the one-size-fits-all method to ''healing''.

 

I get it though. Space is incredibly liberating...and necessary most of the time. It's so much better when the person you're now ''avoiding'' understands why it's necessary. An emotionally intelligent human will understand your need for space if you make it clear why you need it. They'll support you, even if it's hard for them. It'd be cool if we could be kinder to one another in times of heartache. Maybe this is inconceivable if the foundation never allowed for kindness to begin with. But if you were fortunate enough to be a part of a relationship that enjoyed levels of trust, kindness, love (the kind without opposite)...then I don't see any reason why those things can't be possible during separation. Usually both people hurt (maybe to different degrees), so recognizing that is just one more act of loving kindness. Sweet! It's still gonna hurt...but at least the person you shared time with is still supporting you in some way.

 

Probably sounds idealistic...and absurd if your relationship really sucked. But then, if it was so awful, that can be wonderful fuel for moving on. I made it out!! Sweet!!

 

I don't think forgiveness is a hippie thing. It's probably one of the most critical aspects of healing. An unwillingness to forgive (nothing saying forget here...not to be confused) indicates deep resentment. It's a seed of hostility that doesn't need to be nourished. Bitterness, resentment, anger, confusion...these things aren't meant to live in our bodies. They come...we release them...and then we get on with life, grateful that we're not being poisoned by our own inability to release difficult emotions. If you can't forgive, there's a part of you that is holding on. And that part of you hasn't healed. Maybe it's a small part. But I've seen enough evidence in life to suggest that even the smallest seeds of bitterness carry into our future relationships.

 

Let it go!!

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Sometimes NC is forced because the other wants no part of interacting with you. Aka, the silent treatment.

Hurtful but sometimes people need space, need time to think, to breathe, or they are just selfish and using it as punishment. I'm not a big fan of NC, but when it's a toxic relationship, It's 100% effective. Its the only way to break free forever.

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I got dumped once by a woman I still work with. I ignored her for a while as much as possible while still doing my job. Was there some butt-hurtness behind that? Yeah, there was. I admit it. There was a sense of "you don't get to dump me and then have me still be friendly with you. That's not how this works. I have my pride." But I also was legitimately just trying to get over her.

 

 

Krankor if this was a girl you were having a "relationship" with, for lets say a few months or longer, your reaction is totally understandable. I would, and have, reacted the same exact way!

 

In fact, after ending a RL that lasted longer than a few months, I have no desire to be "friends" with any of my ex's. I'm not angry at them, I just don't see any reason to be friends with them.

 

I was referring more to only having a few dates, and then deciding I wasn't "feeling it" so stopped dating him. Told him nicely I enjoyed meeting him but didn't wish to pursue further.

 

With the guy I mentioned earlier, we know the same people from a group we were both members of so knew we would be seeing each other on occasion. That is why I wished to remain on friendly terms.

 

Acquaintances at most, as I am with the man I dated in late 2016 who works in my building.

 

I am not "BFFs" with any man, regardless of whether we've dated, that particular dynamic has never worked for me.

Edited by katrina1980
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I don't think forgiveness is a hippie thing. It's probably one of the most critical aspects of healing. An unwillingness to forgive (nothing saying forget here...not to be confused) indicates deep resentment. It's a seed of hostility that doesn't need to be nourished. Bitterness, resentment, anger, confusion...these things aren't meant to live in our bodies. They come...we release them...and then we get on with life, grateful that we're not being poisoned by our own inability to release difficult emotions. If you can't forgive, there's a part of you that is holding on. And that part of you hasn't healed. Maybe it's a small part. But I've seen enough evidence in life to suggest that even the smallest seeds of bitterness carry into our future relationships.

 

Let it go!!

 

This entire passage is so very well said, and exactly my attitude and how I choose to live my life.

 

I've been through hell and back too, especially in my last LTR, but hold no resentment or bitterness towards him whatsoever or ANY man, even the man who ghosted me.

 

Like you said, forgiveness (NOT to be confused with forgetting) is extremely healing.

 

I won't ever date the man who ghosted me again, won't ever forget how he just disappeared, and don't trust him (at least in that regard), but he had his reasons; I forgive him and as such am able to remain on friendly terms with him.

 

Bitterness, resentment destroys. It festers away inside you, like a poison infecting your entire being, your soul.

 

I read some of the posts on here, mostly from guys tbh (sorry guys) and it's just so sad. The bitterness, the utter hatred of women.

 

It's just seeping out of their pores. Again very sad.

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