I’ve been writing about dating, relationships and break-ups for a long time. And one thing I’m always asked about is the ‘no contact rule’. Should you do it? Who shouldn’t do it? What will the outcome be? Will you ever stop sniffing the t-shirt your ex left behind and crying? All very valid questions.
Now, as rules go, I’m as aware as anyone that no contact won’t work for everyone. If you have kids, for instance, you gotta communicate. No speakies in this scenario probably won’t benefit anyone.
But you could and probably should try the no contact rule if…
– You were dumped but he/she keeps coming back and giving you false hope
– You broke up because you’re not right for one another but can’t stop texting / tweeting each other
– You broke up, are trying to be friends and finding you keep – oops, falling into each other’s underpants
– You got cheated on but are wondering if your ex can change
– You feel like it’s impossible to move on because your ex is in your group of friends
– You’re friends with your ex and that’s fine but you can’t meet anyone that is equal to him/her or better
– You were dating a narcissist or were in an abusive relationship
Of course, the list above is limitless. There are literally HUNDREDS of possible scenarios in which you could put the no-contact rule into practice and benefit from it, in time. And by that I mean, you’ll feel freer. You’ll have more personal autonomy to make the choices that are best for YOU. You’ll feel stronger and more empowered in your life. You’ll stop thinking, ‘I will never love anyone like I loved him/her’ and starting thinking that maybe, actually, there might be someone better round the corner.
No contact, when you stick to it, can be MAGIC for helping you take the leap from sad and stuck to someone who’s strong, happy and rocking their single life.
Why? Because it gives you distance. It gives you a goal to work towards. It gives you time to heal, on your own terms. It gives you time to think, to assess and to process what went down and why. And it gives you perspective, rather than the rose-coloured glasses many of us insist on wearing after a split.
How to do it?
1. Remove the person from your phone, your social media accounts, your Whatssup – any app or means you have to contact him or her.
2. Resolve to not contact that person, see them or speak to them for a period of time (I recommend 3 months, to start). If you’re in the same friendship group, this might mean missing a few get-togethers. No biggie. It’s for your mental health.
3. Fill your calendar with stuff. Gym visits. Meet-ups with friends. Festivals. Movies you want to see. Keep busy!
3. Keep track of how you’re going and how you’re feeling. Reward yourself at each milestone with something special – a night out with friends, a new gadget or piece of clothing you’ve wanted for ages, a mini-break. I guarantee as the months go by, you’ll start feeling better and better.