If you’re going through a breakup, it’s likely you’ve heard of the no-contact rule. While following this rule can be difficult and painful at times, relationship gurus believe that it is crucial if you’re going to move on. Keep reading to find out what the no-contact rule is and why it’s so important.
- What is it really? The no-contact rule is pretty self-explanatory: you simply cut off all contact with your ex after a break up. In other words, you go completely cold turkey. Paired Life explains that means no phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media interaction. It also means no “accidental” meetings, no contacting each other’s family and friends. And definitely no stalking, online or in real life! Why should you put yourself through the pain of all that? Read on to find out why the no-contact rule works.
- It pulls you out of denial. Firstly, the no-contact rule pulls you right out of denial. You can’t trick yourself into thinking things are fine when your ex has totally disappeared from your life. And you can’t tell yourself you’ll get back together, because you remove every opportunity you have to do that. While this is painful, denial won’t help you to move on. So you have to put a stop to it.
- It lets you feel your emotions. The relationship experts at Paired Life explain that feeling terrible is part of the recovery process after a break up. You have to feel worse before you can feel better. Those emotions are there, so it won’t help to suppress them. You need to feel them in order to move past them.
- It removes the temptation to call. Let’s face it: it’s very tempting to call the ex that you’re still in love with. Unfortunately, though, calling tends to put a stop to the progress you make in getting over them. The no-contact rule is about understanding that they’re no longer there for you to call. When you delete their number and block them on social media, the temptation for something that will jeopardize your progress is removed too.
- It helps you to keep a clear mind. The no-contact rule allows you to try and keep a clear head in those days following a break up when things can get a bit cloudy. Without reminders of your ex around, like their phone number, it’s less likely that they’ll be on your mind 24/7. It’s natural to think about an ex after a break up, whether you follow the no-contact rule or not. But it’s impossible to get them out of your mind when you are looking at their social media posts!
- It allows you to focus on yourself. The best part about the no-contact rule is that it allows you to focus on yourself. Without the lingering presence of your partner, you have the chance to finally reconnect with yourself. Now you get to put yourself first. You’ll start to find out what’s important to you and who you really are without your ex around to make it all about them.
- It builds strength. If nothing else, the no-contact rule builds strength. It goes without saying that the process is painful. So if you can survive it, you’ll prove to yourself that you’re stronger than you thought. Getting through the no-contact phase will likely give you a newfound sense of pride and confidence
- It stops you from embarrassing yourself. Following the no-contact rule can also stop you from embarrassing yourself. If you’re not reaching out to your ex, stalking them, or talking about them with mutual friends, it’s impossible for you to be rejected or called out.
- It helps you to move on. Ultimately, people follow the no-contact rule because it helps them to move on. This is the period where you mourn the relationship you have. It’s an integral part of the break up process that you have to face before you can move on.
- Times when the no-contact rule doesn’t work. According to Style Craze, there are two situations where the no-contact rule isn’t a good idea. The first is when you have children. You can’t cut someone completely out of your life when you share children with them. The second is when your ex genuinely reaches out with an apology and wants to start fresh: “If you are sure of their intention and want the same from your side as well, you may reach out to them keeping aside the no contact rule.”
How breaking the no-contact rule sets you back
You might think that texting him “just this once” is no big deal, or even that sleeping with him “for old times’ sake” won’t really set you back, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. After a breakup, it’s vital for you to give yourself the time and space the no-contact rule provides to do some healing. When you don’t, it never leads to anything good.
- It keeps you stuck in the past. When you don’t cut your ex out of your life — delete their number from your phone, stop following them on social media, throw their stuff away — you’re keeping yourself from moving on with life and staying stuck in the past. You’re holding onto a relationship that failed and that didn’t serve you. It ended for a reason and by refusing to move on from it, you’re never going to grow or evolve.
- It lets your ex continue to have power over you. If you keep going back to them or trying to keep them in your life even after your relationship is over, your ex still has power. They know they can text or call you and you’ll still be right there waiting for them, just like you were when you were actually together. This creates (or perpetuates) an unhealthy dynamic that you’ll always be on the losing end of. Why would you put yourself in that position?
- It keeps you from the good things that are meant for you. The longer you stay attached to your ex and all the things that remind you of them, the more you’ll be missing out on all the great things and people that life actually has in store for you. Think about it: you’re still texting your previous partner, knowing right well it will never go anywhere good, and in the meantime, your person could be passing you by because you’re not ready for or open to them. Do yourself the service of moving on. You’ll be thankful you did.