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NC, NC, NC... hoo, boy! (mini-rant)


Daddy Bear
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i'm so sick of seeing this term i want to pluck my eyeballs out. when you use this tidy little euphemism, you're really talking aboout one of three things:

 

1) letting go of someone for your own well-being. i think that's entirely justifiable, even wise. so call it letting go, and move the hell on with your life! "NC" in this context implies an ongoing relationship with your ex, albeit in a convoluted sense.

 

2) ignoring someone who still wants you after you've lost interest. i can see the good in not wanting to get someone's hopes up, but what if she's suicidal? what about when his mother dies? is it truly conscionable to remain silent at times like these? and would it kill you to have the grace and magnanimity to say "happy birthday, and i hope you're well" once a year?

 

3) using "the silent treatment" in an attempt to attract someone who DOESN'T WANT YOU. how pathetic is this? mature human beings should not be stooping to this infantile level of passive manipulation, no matter what cool-sounding term they to apply to it. you can call a toilet a personal waste receptacle, but it still has germs on the seat.

 

is there ANYONE else around here who feels this same way? can i PLEASE get just ONE "Amen"?

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Good point.

I prefer "letting go" because "doing no contact" is ponderous.

 

One fellow here was clinging to the thinnest of hope and the guys were telling him to let go, let go, let go! It seemed more meaningful since he was suffering so much.

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I remember joining this site and for the first few weeks thinking 'What the f is this whole NC business?' until someone finally actually write out the words No Contact.

 

Yeah, I don't really get it. I think you can do it without meaning to, if that makes sense (as in, when one of my relationships ended we didn't really talk but I just didn't feel the need and I didn't want to get his hopes up) but I do think it's a bit strange to just 'Go NC' and stick that way regardless of the circumstances.

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A few points here:

 

1) You are really speaking about the semantics of "NC". Whether you call it "NC", "No contact", "letting go" or "moving on", etc. the underlying theme is the same...you're gone, assuming you don't have an ulterior motive to get back together by playing games of silence. Those are just simply wrong...so to your point #3...AMEN!

 

2) Personally, I prefer to think of it as disappearing myself..."letting go" is probably better though...maybe "letting go then disappearing" works for me...but in order to do this, you need distance I believe and the distance comes from not having contact with them...

 

3) I hate hearing people say "I've decided to initiate NC for a period of XYZ", or "I've been in NC with my ex for XYZ." While these also may be issues of semantics, the underlying theme here is that if this terminology is chosen, to "initiate" this "tactic", I think these people are playing games...silly, misguided games at that...and ones I wouldn't want to win anyway...

 

4) People do dispense the "prescriptions" for NC rather regularly (and heartlessly) without thinking nor reading deeper into the situation. Every situation is different, every person is different, and every history is different. Sometimes maybe it is best to not have contact with an ex, other times maybe that's not the best way to handle things. It depends I think...

 

5) Referring to your "Happy Birthday" comment. My ex sent me a birthday email this past year. It leveled me. I was not ready to hear this. So with that point, I disagree, because what you perceive to be a nice gesture, or "grace and magnanimity" can be perceived by the recipient as a stake through the heart. Today, I am very thankful she has never contacted me since...and continues not to do so...I never want to hear from her again...I can handle life, death, sickness, and health without her social graces.

 

6) Building on (5), we must remember that not being in contact with your ex might be just as good if not better for them as it is for you. It is a two-way street and even if they still attempt to contact you, your lack of responses and distance in the longer run might help them out too, even if this point is not seen at present. And it is very possible to hold love for someone in the privacy of your heart I think...

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For me, letting go implies the feeling of actually letting go of the past, the pain and expectations of reconciliation, not merely deleting unread messages and maintaining silence. To me it's the whole package.

 

I agree that it's improperly used as a panacea, and that it's a dull tool to force reconciliation.

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I think you are all totally missing the point of doing no contact. It's true purpose is not to get the other person back - it is giving the person who was dumped time and space to heal. It also is to allow the person who dumped them the opportunity to miss them and MAYBE come back. But ultimately the real reason for doing it is for healing.

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I agree with avman about the whole point of no contact being for healing.

 

But sometimes it should be intitated by the person who left the relationship if the ex is constantly trying to get the relationship back. No contact sends a definitive message that the relationship is over. It may seem heartless but it is better than holding out false hope - and the sad fact is that many broken hearted people look for any tiny sign that their ex may want to get back with them. Even a friendly Happy Birthday could mean that person doesn't have a happy birthday because they spend it agonising over what that simple greeting meant. It can be the equivalent of ripping a bandage off a healing wound.

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I agree with DN.

 

On the FLIP side...I know someone right NOW who's "boyfriend" asked for space after dating for six months...yet he keeps calling her. I think it's selfish for someone to do this to someone. He wants distance yet expects her to be there when it's convenient for HIM. It doesn;t work that way. When you leave someone...or ask for a break...and you are granted that request, then have the courtesy to not jerk the other person around. It's hard enough to be told you may not even want to be in the relationship anymore.....and on top of it, having your emotions played with..is NOT fun or fair.

 

I think "NC" is a relative thing personally...and also it depends on the way the relationship ended. Some ex'es CAN be civil and live with an occasional "Happy Birthday"...or "How are you?" email....it all depends on what your expectations are from it.I also think it depends on maturity.

 

NC is NOT a religion. I think it IS over preached a bit too much sometimes.

I like the term "Let go" better I think

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I think you are also totally missing the point that we are talking about human psychology here. In other words, by giving someone a goal of No Contact with someone who has hurt them, it allows that person to OVERCOME natural things such as: denial that the relationship is over, and helps them break their bond with the person. If it was normal and natural to just walk away from a loved person without a second glance, then NC would not BE such a big hit. People doing NC should be encouraged since they are making the effort to overcome the source of their pain.

 

Stop putting down people who are struggling to overcome a painful period of emotional detox. Love, good or bad, is an addiction, much like any drug. You don't see recovering alcoholics belittled for counting the days and months since they've had a drink.

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frisco: points well taken. thank you for your excellent contribution to the discussion.

 

Dako: totally, dude.

 

I think you are all totally missing the point of doing no contact. It's true purpose is not to get the other person back - it is to the person who was dumped time and space to heal.
if you read my entire post, you'll see that i called this aim "entirely justifiable".

 

It also is to allow the person who dumped them the opportunity to miss them and MAYBE come back.
this would no doubt lead to false hopes in the dumpee in many cases, and seems to completely contradict the "true purpose" of NC as quoted in your other statement above, as well as the final sentence of your post--not to mention the entirety of DN's.

 

Even a friendly Happy Birthday could mean that person doesn't have a happy birthday because they spend it agonising over what that simple greeting meant.
yes, friscodj made the same point and i tend to agree with him. however, i do think that the phrasing of the greeting as i stated it in my OP is fairly unambiguous and benign, sending the clear and positive message "i don't want you, but i don't hate you." i suppose the effect such a greeting might have would depend on where the recipient was in the healing timeline.

 

i certainly hope that you and avman would both agree with me regarding the scenarios of personal tragedy as set forth in example #2. i can imagine only greater hurt for the "dumpee" and guilt for the "dumper" (two more terms that set my jaw on edge) should nothing be said at these critical times.

 

one more thing, to no one in particular: what is the logistical mechanism behind the implementation of "NC" to win someone back? if you announce your intentions beforehand, the target of your manipulations would surely not find it a very kind thing to do. if you say nothing prior to initializing the silent treatment, it seems to me that one of two things would happen: either the targeted ex would be relieved that you have ceased communication, only to be disappointed later; or, you would be hurting the feelings of a person who still cares about you in some measure and for whom you you claim to have enough love to want as a partner.

 

i'm sorry, but it just doesn't seem to add up.

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Stop putting down people who are struggling to overcome a painful period of emotional detox. Love, good or bad, is an addiction, much like any drug. You don't see recovering alcoholics belittled for counting the days and months since they've had a drink.

i beg your pardon; it appears that you have missed something important:

 

1) letting go of someone for your own well-being. i think that's entirely justifiable, even wise.
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Bently,

Once again you've started "trouble" and sparked some good dialog about a term that gets bandied about so freely it becomes vague. We all apparently have our own take on NC. One member even has a sig that states that "men respond to no contact."

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Hmmmm... comparing an alcoholic to someone recovering from a breakup, while certainly debatable...still not quite the same. There are Physiological reasons a drunk craves alcohol. A person coming off alcohol can DIE because of the bodies reaction to NOT drinking. A person NOT calling or contacting an ex, is NOT going to have these reactions...UNLESS they are off the deep end, or have serious emotional issues.

 

An alcoholic also does NOT do NC with alcohol with the intention of drinking again in afew months, or with the intention of ignoring it if it crosses their path..they do it because their life DEPENDS on it.

 

I think SB's post was NOT to berate anyone..but to point out that the reasonsings for it make no sense. You are either in contact ..or YOU'RE not. Using it to hurt someone who no longer cares is pointless.

Simply put: Move on comepletely...or admit that you're still interested in getting back together, and do the things necessary to make that happen.

 

It's pretty simple.

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I think you are all totally missing the point of doing no contact. It's true purpose is not to get the other person back - it is giving the person who was dumped time and space to heal. It also is to allow the person who dumped them the opportunity to miss them and MAYBE come back. But ultimately the real reason for doing it is for healing.

 

Many times the "dumper" hurts as well. I think it is for everyone's good really, even though that point may not be seen initially.

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Sb, I disagree. Correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation, but the point of your post seems to put the practice and following of NC in a bad light (and you DO draw difference between NC and #1).

 

As for the alcohol analogy, lady bugg let me explain more of what I meant:

 

The Ex is NOT the addiction. The feelings you have for your ex, is the source of addiction. The problem is, your ex was the wrong person for whom to have those feelings-- the feelings themselves are not the problem! When you are weaning yourself off your ex, you are NOT weaning yourself off something you will never experience again (love emotions and attachment). You are weaning yourself off someone who was not a stable person with whom to share such feelings. You are getting "over" having those emotions for the wrong person. You may experience these emotions again with a different person, and then it might be more appropriate to have them. There is a MAJOR difference. In this way, a person who causes you emotional harm IS the same as another drug who does. You are weaning yourself off the wrong person, but you may experience the same feelings for another person again (hopefully the right person this time).

Not to sound snippy or anything, but the neurochemicals associated with emotional love ARE the same ones used for other chemical addiction (ie alcohol). So, I stand by my original statement. I think it helps "recovering lovers" to have something to focus on, to have peers to relate to (after all, isn't that the point of this board?) during their efforts to recover from a bad relationship and have the courage and right frame of mind to welcome another, more healthy one.

But just because a love is unhealthy does not mean you feel it any less, which is especially why NC helps so many people get over bad love.

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Correct me if I'm wrong in my interpretation, but the point of your post seems to put the practice and following of NC in a bad light (and you DO draw difference between NC and #1).

i already did correct you, and still you misrepresent my position by attempting to create a distinction between NC and one of my three given examples of it; no less, the one that i defended entirely. i don't think a third go at telling you how i feel would serve either of us any useful purpose.
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I agree that NC is a phrase that seems sometimes to be used too quickly. Particularly when the problems that caused the split in the first place have not been addressed and both partners would be willing to give the realtionship another chance if they were.

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OK, SB, so you just hate people REFERRING to the same exact thing by calling it "NC" instead of one of your THREE long definitions? Hmmm, so according to you, anytime I want to express what I mean, I should state the definition for 1 of your 3 numbers (even though none of them might apply for the reasons I am doing NC). Very efficient, indeed. What exactly is the point of your post then? Are you suggesting we say "letting go" (even though that doesn't merit the psychological benefit, and it just semantics, as frisco mentioned)?

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