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No Contact - The Guide


majord23

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So, you’ve had your heart broken, probably begged and tried to convince your ex to get back together with you and failed. Realising that staying in contact is causing you more pain than you can handle, you take the step of implementing this ‘No Contact’ (NC) that we advocate widely on the forum.

 

So what’s it about then? And what is going to happen?

 

Hopefully, most of the answers will be in this thread

 

What is No Contact?

 

While a seemingly simple question, there are variations of what ‘No Contact’ can mean.

 

1) You tell your ex that you won’t be contacting them and that they shouldn’t contact you.

2) You don’t tell your ex anything, and just drop off the face of the Earth.

3) You don’t tell your ex anything, you stop contacting them…but still allow them to contact you and you reply. (potentially damaging)

 

In my opinion, the most effective forms of NC are 1 and 2. They allow you to heal, as the ex isn’t given any way of providing you with hope (bait) or potentially emotionally damaging information (who wants to hear how great their life is without you?)

 

When starting NC, it is up to you what you want to say to your ex. Most people seem to say something along the lines of “Don’t call me unless you change your mind and want to give us another try”. It might also help to let them know that the window of opportunity to reconcile (from your perspective) will not be open forever.

 

You also may want to tell the ex why your cutting them out of your life – tell them it is so you can heal and move on. And in reality that IS why you’re doing it……

 

 

Why implement No Contact?

 

First and foremost, you are removing the source of your pain (your ex) from your life. If they aren’t in your life, they cannot hurt you – it’s as simple as that. And while the loss of the ex from your life in itself is painful, the benefits far outweigh the initial emotional turmoil.

No Contact allows you to get back on your feet and start to feel confident in who you are again. Remember a time when you were single and happy? Well No Contact is going to put you on the road to getting back to that point.

Some may be reluctant to take steps to regain independence, but you are useless to anyone (including your ex if they want you back) if you are unable to be happy with yourself.

 

No Contact can also serve another purpose, and this is the one that (if you are seeking reconciliation) will probably be used by you as inspiration to keep strong in avoiding picking up that phone or sending that email.

And that is of course, to send your ex a wake-up call and perhaps make them second-guess their decision to end the relationship.

 

 

 

Will No Contact bring my ex back?

 

Perhaps, perhaps not. There is no fool-proof way to get your ex back…if there were, we would all be using it and would all have our exes back.

 

There has to be some desire to reconcile inside your ex – NC will not create that desire, but it may certainly bring any underlying doubts they have to the surface. That does not mean that your ex will act on these doubts…but you can be certain that NC will at the very least make them realise just what life without you is like.

 

 

 

Will my ex miss me?

 

To be honest, it shouldn’t matter – you should be doing NC for YOU. Having said that, it is always easier to stay focussed on maintaining NC if you know that it is having at least some effect on your ex.

So, will they miss you? In most cases (unless you have become a thorn in their side), yes - absolutely.

For those who have exes that want to remain friends: Why do you think that is?

It’s because they want you in their life. Exes very rarely stay friends…so in effect, when an ex asks to stay friends they are essentially saying “I still want you in my life”.

They are not ready to let you go (yet), so by implementing NC you are forcing them to lose you right then and there. NC prevents the ex from using you to cushion the blow of the break-up….by weaning themselves off you slowly.

Without NC you can be certain that once your ex is back on their feet emotionally (helped there by you), that the ‘friendship’ that seemed so important to them at the time will be non-existent.

No Contact is a far better option than staying friends. Being friends causes you pain and allows your ex to heal quicker. NC causes your ex pain and allows you to heal quicker

 

Not exactly rocket science, huh?

 

 

When should I implement No Contact?

 

ASAP but you must be certain that you can stay strong and stick to it. NC isn’t a decision that should be reversed until you are completely healed. If you keep implementing NC and then breaking it, it sends a message to your ex that you are needy and haven’t got the strength or the conviction to follow through on your commitments. Using NC without being genuinely committed to it is a recipe for disaster – you will break it and look weak. And you if you try to use NC again, your ex will not be too bothered….because “You said that last time”.

 

That’s why NC should not be used as a ‘shock tactic’ – don’t expect to implement NC and for your ex to come running back to you in a week or even a month. If you use NC, you have to be in it for the long haul.

 

 

 

 

Will No Contact push my ex away?

 

If there is hope for your relationship, then no it won’t – it will make your ex think about their decision.

After a few weeks of NC, you’ll probably get worried and start deluding yourself with thoughts like “Maybe they’ve forgotten about me…and maybe they think I don’t still love them”.

If that’s the way you’re thinking, then how about considering this: If you have NC with your ex for a few weeks and then contact them to tell you that you still care…what message does that send?

It says to your ex “I implemented NC to move on and heal…and now 3 weeks down the track I haven’t moved on or healed at all.”

The ex will again know that they can still have you if they want you…and even if they don’t hear from you for another few weeks, they won’t be overly concerned – the last few weeks hadn’t diminished your feelings, so why would the ex think the next few will?

Not a bad little (HUGE) security boost for the ex there, huh? Not to mention a huge step backwards for your good self.

 

 

How long will I keep hurting?

 

For as long as you allow yourself to. Remember, the ex is now out of your life – they cannot hurt you. So if you’re still feeling pain it is coming from within you – not from them.

It is perfectly normal to miss your ex, and by miss I mean that some days will be almost unbearable.

Go out, meet with friends (don’t talk about the ex!) or if it’s late at night think about the things you didn’t like about your ex…and even revisit arguments you may have had with them. If you have to think about your ex, think about the negatives.

 

Thinking about the good times is pointless – there is no possibility of having them back at the moment, and to dwell on what you once had is ultimately self-destructive.

 

Ideally, you should be doing your best to not think about your ex – do whatever it takes and keep busy. The less you think about them, the less you will hurt. Soon enough, not thinking about them will become normal.

 

 

What if the ex breaks NC and calls/emails me?

 

Two options: Respond or don’t respond.

 

If you have completely given up hope or don’t wish to reconcile with your ex – ignore the contact and keep ignoring any further attempts at contact. Easy.

 

If you are seeking reconciliation, then it depends on what the ex says when they contact you.

If they are calling for a ‘catch up’, politely tell your ex that you were serious about NC and that they must respect your decision. This call may come after a few days, a few weeks or a few months. Don’t get into any discussions about yourself and what you’re up to – keep it short, and make it clear to your ex that NC isn’t just a whim….you are serious about it. Remind them, if it comes up, that friendship is not an option.

 

Make it clear that you are respecting their decision to end the relationship, and now they have to respect your decision to end contact.

If you are seeking reconciliation, you also have every right to question your ex about their intentions if they contact you. Do so at the beginning of the interaction – there’s no point having a great conversation with the ex and getting your hopes up only to find out at the end of the call that nothing has changed. Save yourself the trouble and find out at the start - if their motivation for calling you is anything short of what you are after, terminate the conversation politely…but quickly.

 

 

Tips

 

Remove any photos and reminders you have of your ex from your life. Put them in a box and pack them away. You don’t need things like that preventing you from moving on.

 

Copy down your ex’s email address and phone numbers on a piece of paper, and put them in the same box. Then delete the email address from your computer and their numbers from your phone.

 

If you are strong enough to delete their contact details without writing them down, then do it! If not, do the above – it will remove the temptation to contact your ex (especially when you are out having a couple of drinks or at home alone in front of the pc ).

 

Stop talking about your ex with your friends. They’ll get sick of it, and it won’t help you one bit.

 

 

 

I hope this helps some of you – it was actually quite therapeutic to write.(Majord - Day 3 NC )

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What happens if you run into them in passing? I suppose just politely smile, maybe say hello, and keep going??

 

Absolutely OCD. There are always going to be cases where some people bump into the ex.

 

When responding to any contact, or if it is a chance meeting, the key is not to be rude. Don't ignore them, but at the same time do not enter into a long dialogue with them.

 

Your above suggestion is perfect - polite and friendly but also letting them know that you're not looking to 'catch up'.

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Great tips Major,

 

I have been strict NC since she broke up with me 6 weeks ago. No phone calls, no e-mails nothing. The only thing I did was wave to her and her Mom from my drumset at church.

 

Your post proves NC is the way to go. There is no downside from it. I am acutally finding NC easy. Yeah, it hurts like hell. I miss her, and still wonder if she is with someone else. But I do know that contacting her, would not help me at all. You know she isn't going to say. "Wow, I am so glad you called me". I miss you so much, I love you". Oh, you may get a little crumb like "I missed you" but what will that do. That will just get you back in their web, and set you back.

 

NC has made me do a lot of self-reflection. It made me realize that I shouldn't have to grovel for love. I deserved to be loved just as much as I love. I am the prize. And if she is going to get back with me, she is going to earn it. My heart is a gift, and it won't be given away that easily.

 

With that said. I still have my moments. I still wonder, if she thinks of me. I am sure she does, but how often. Is she having the time of her life without me with someone else, or is she home crying regretting her desecion. I may never know, but I do know every day I am gaining more control of my emotions. Every day the pain lessens. Every day I visit this board and realize that I am not alone.

 

Brilliant post.

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this was class, im sure it will help a lot of people including me. I think i will have to always refer back to this.

I was the dumper because he was married. So in a way it feels as if i was dumped. He is still calling me and i must admit, that i have been speaking to him - but only when he calls me. (Its true - this doesn't help). So, ive made the decision to change my number(?)

 

I had previously been not picking up for weeks, but then i did and back to square one i go.

 

This post really sent things home for me, things i already knew but didn't want to accept.

Im tired of looking lame and weak, that is not me.

 

Thank you x x x

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Major23, your post is excellent. Covers a lot of the finer details in enacting NC that a lot of people have questions about. Sometimes I wish NC could bring back our ex's, because then there would be more happy people on here. NC is a good thing since it helps us to heal from our breakups and move on to bigger and better things in life.

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What happens if you run into them in passing? I suppose just politely smile, maybe say hello, and keep going??

 

OCD

OCD,

that's exactly what happened to me last night! I had to walk past her at a trade show, she kept her back turned so that she didn't have to talk. As I slid past her, I politely tapped her on the shoulder, said hi, how are you, she said the same and kept walking and talking to others. I felt, at the very least, that if I'm speaking to everyone that I knew there, that I should be polite and say hello. Nothing more. Nothing less. I posted this last night and everyone here has been very supportive of how I acted.

 

Hope it helps you.

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NO CONTACT ANONYMOUS

 

 

1) We admitted we were powerless over this person and our lives have become unmanageable

 

2)We come to believe a power greater than ourselves (No Contact) can restore us to sanity.

 

3)We make a decision to turn our will over to No Contact...as we understand it.

 

4)We make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

 

5) We admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

 

6) We become entirely willing to let NO CONTACT remove all those defects of character.

 

7)We humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings.

 

8) We make a list of things we have done wrong, and become willing to make the necessary changes in our lives to fix them.

 

9)We make direct amends to people we have harmed wherever possible, except when to do so would cause harm or injury to them or others.

 

10) We continue to take personal inventory, and when we are wrong, we promptly admit it.

 

11)We seek through prayer or meditation to improve our conscious goal of NO Contact as we understand it. Praying only for healing and our will to to carry that out.

 

12) Having a "spiritual" awakening as a result of these steps we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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"...but you can be certain that NC will at the very least make them realise just what life without you is like."

 

Even if they have a new BF/GF? U think that NC will help them realize what life is like without U if they're out with there new relationship having fun, etc.?

 

-Solo34

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I think our first barrier to doing NC is that we put a time limit on things. Remember, it only ends when the time is right. Try very very very very hard to accept it will be longer than you expect or might turn into a permanent thing. Don't put a time restraint on it and say "well if i dont' talk to them for a week, all will be fine"

 

Rome wasn't built in a day

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Thanks Enolaton, I just hope that my love is stronger and greater than this new guy shows her...It's been quite some time, she left on Oct. 28th, and I chased until Jan, 4th. I heard she had a new BF on Feb. 13th. I think they been 2gether 4 quite some time already before I heard about it. It's almost been 4 months 2 the day...so I'm thinking they've been 2gether almost that much time. All I can do is have faith in the love that I showed her, but of course, I'm thinking that this guy is "better" than me at all that I showed her, etc. I know NOTHING about the guy or who it is, and I don't want 2 know. That's the reason why I asked if she is even thinking about me or missing me. It's been over a month now (which isn't long enough, especially if the relationship is going good as I think it probably is.) since I reached 4 her. I'm not going 2 do it, either. It's on her...the ball's in her court.

 

-Solo34

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Solo...

 

My ex and I have been broken up for about 5 months now, and she was with some new dude after 2 or 3 weeks. That relationship is now over, so I hear, after 3 months, but you know what? It doesn't exactly make me feel any better that she is single now, and she STILL has made no attempts to reconcile with me... yes, she has begged and pleaded to be my friend, but, I finally went NC. Just telling you how I felt... think about it...

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Your above suggestion is perfect - polite and friendly but also letting them know that you're not looking to 'catch up'.

 

Thanks Major, I just have mixed feelings...angry, hurt, etc...sometimes it feels like I should tell her that...but I haven't and perhaps shouldn't. I need to be the better person; happy go lucky! It's weird how some days I'm almost happy it's over and I'm moving on, then there are those days where I'm upset, angry, sad, hurt and can't believe what happened.

 

I'll stick to the plan if the next time I see her, just be polite, nice, happy...that's the best move I think...Thank you.

 

OCD

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Solo, naw, I'm just simply saying that whether or not she is with someone, it doesn't make a difference how I personally feel about my chances for reconciliation. If she is with someone, I would say she is definitely comparing the new guy to me on some sort of level, but at the same time, her being single still doesn't mean anything to me, cause she hasn't made any attempts at reconciliation with me.

 

Basically, whether or not our exes are with someone else, they are not currently making any attempts to reconcile with us. That doesn't mean they're not thinking of us though. It's most probably just a rebound relationship. We gotta just keep truckin' along...

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