It’s a universal truth: Getting over a break up can be very, very difficult. You’ve been with someone for a significant part of your life, you gave your heart, and you are all, you’ve shared a journey, and to end things and to separate yourself from the life you once shared can feel so hard and sometimes even downright impossible!
Keep in mind that this isn’t the case. Getting over a breakup is possible, and healing is something that you’ll be able to attain. There are many ways to get over a breakup and a broken heart. And according to relationship gurus, one of the best ways to do so is to implement the No Contact Rule. A lot of people have attributed this to being able to get over many a breakup. Which begs the question: Does no contact work?
Before we delve deeper into that, let’s first establish what the No Contact Rule is. Whether your goal is to get over your ex or even get back together with them eventually, no contact means going cold turkey. It means a clean break from your ex after breaking up. The No Contact Rule essentially means precisely what it says: NO CONTACT.
When you are in that no contact zone, you should have ZERO contact of any sort with your ex:
- No calls
- No texts
- No social media messages (on Facebook, Instagram, etc.) or liking or commenting on their posts
- No planning or staging “accidental” meets or run-ins
- No replying or answering when they try to reach out
- No going to places where he may go
- No social media stalking! This may not technically fall into “interaction.” However, you’ll still be seeing them, and what they are up to, so you’ll know, and they’ll be on your mind, and also that’s just torture and self-sabotage for you.
There is no set or official time period for the No Contact Rule. It varies in every situation. Just know that when you feel the slightest painful twinge at the thought of your ex, then the No Contact rule should probably still be in place.
Now that we’ve established what it is let’s circle back: Does no contact work? Let’s break down this tried and tested way to get over a breakup.
7 Reasons No Contact Works
Many reasons have been shared as to why the answer to that question is yes. Let’s go into some of the most significant factors that tell us no contact really can work in getting over break ups:
1. It helps to ease the post-breakup suffering.
Breaking up is hard to do. They’re emotional, and they’re painful. They can get harrowing and very distressful. Right before and during a breakup, both parties have most probably gone to the ringer and back many times before finally ending the relationship. And for many people, the pain and suffering do not end when the relationship does. The heartbreak is still there, and it will take time to heal. Even being in contact with them will not help ease any of the heartbreak.
Having a No Contact Rule can help you to focus on yourself and your healing. It allows you to be able to slowly pick up the pieces and regain your sanity, and let your emotions settle. Not having any contact with your ex will help the pain not be triggered back up again and brings you to the first part of the healing process and on the road to recovery.
2. It gives you time for you to be able to heal from your pain.
As mentioned above, breakups bring with them a whole world of hurt and heartbreak. These things take time to heal. You can’t expect to wave away the pain magically. This is the time to turn your attention to yourself and do something that will help you feel better, little by little. And this time may not seem like a big deal, but it is crucial for you to honestly and truly heal.
Also, this time of healing is important because, during this time, you are still in a lot of pain. You may be prone to making decisions that won’t help heal, especially if you are still in contact with your ex.
3. It keeps you both from inflicting more damage to your relationship.
Listen, yes, you may have ended things. But for a while, you still shared something special. And who knows, down the line, there may be a chance to still stay in each other’s lives as friends, or maybe even find your way back to each other. But this won’t happen if you two get sucked into what they call the negative breakup loop, where you stay in contact and keep on fighting and circling the drain and all sorts of horror.
All of that resentment and ugliness and hurtful words and actions will continue to chip off, little by little, what good was left from what you once shared. And this will create even more of a wedge between the two of you. By practicing the no contact rule, you avoid doing even more damage, which is always a good thing.
4. It gives you the chance to become the best version of YOU.
Post break up, as you are working towards recovery, your main focus should be on becoming the best version of you. You won’t be in contact with your ex, which means you’ll be distancing yourself from the negativity that also has a tendency to drag you as a person down. Instead of being in a place where you will continue to be affected and surrounded by pain, establish the no contact rule, and work on building yourself up again.
Remember your worth, and reinforce your value. Regain your power. These are the things you should be trying to achieve while you are in the no contact zone. This will be good for your future in general, and hey, it will also show your ex how great you are. They will notice the positivity, and they’ll realize what they lost. You’ll also draw new people in with your positive energy.
5. It gives you time and a chance to regain perspective.
When you are post break up, your perspective, thoughts, and emotions will be muddled up. You’ll be all over the place, and you’ll have difficulty seeing things. Breakups happen for a reason; you may have played a part in it, your ex may have done stuff that you don’t deserve, things may just not have been working, and a separation may be for the best at this time. All of this, you won’t be able to see unless you step away from everything.
Applying the no contact rule will allow you to take a step (or many, many steps!) back from the drama and the hurt. Only then will you see the break up for what it is and realize the good that it can do for you at this point in your life. When your ex is distanced from you, they may also regain perspective and see better where they went wrong.
6. It leads to a better future for you.
You are ex if your ex for a reason. The break up happened for a reason — or even many reasons. Once you regain your perspective, you’ll be able to start on a road to a future that is much better than how it would have been otherwise if you stayed in the toxic place you and your ex were at before.
Whether or not that better future will be with your ex or without in the long run remains to be seen. But at least, either way, you know you are on a much more positive journey than before. And that can be nothing but good, ultimately, not just for you but for your ex as well.
7. It allows you to be able to take back your power.
In a lot of breakup situations, what happened leading to the break up is that all the power in the relationship shifted to one partner, chipping away at the personal control of the other partner. This is not how it should be in a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship consists of both partners with equal personal power, and there are balance and harmony, and respect. When all that is disrupted, when there is an imbalance, a relationship usually falls apart.
This becomes the cause of a breakup or a contributing factor. Now, post break up, having a no contact rule in place lets you realize that imbalance. It lets you see the power that you have lost, the self-esteem that has been affected. And all of this will help you to regain the personal strength and self-esteem that being in that relationship took away from you. Being empowered and confident again and placing value on yourself will also lead to better, healthier relationships for you down the road, whether it be with your ex or with other people.
2 Reasons No Contact Won’t Work
Sadly, while there are numerous reasons why no contact can and does work, it’s not always the case. There are instances when the No Contact Rule isn’t the way to heal or move on from a relationship that is no more. Here are some of the biggest ones:
1. It’s difficult for you to stick to the no contact rule / You and your ex’s lives overlap or are entangled
While the no contact rule can be very useful and is an ideal way to heal and get over a breakup, it’s not always what will work. It always depends on the situation, and sometimes a person may find it hard to stick to this rule. You may find that you are not well equipped to go cold turkey from your ex because it just adds to the challenges you are trying to handle. Or, because your lives have become so entangled with each other, or they overlap because of social circles, or work, or even because you have kids, then it becomes nearly impossible to stay away and not be in contact with them.
These things happen. But rather than thinking, ok, so I can’t make any contact rule, try to implement a modified no contact rule instead. While not precisely cold turkey because circumstances won’t allow, at least limit your contact to only the very necessary. This way, you’ll still be able to give yourself the maximum space from your ex that is possible. There may be other options other than the no contact rule that will work better for you and your ex.
2. The break up was not all that bad / You or your ex or both may not have meant it.
When couples split, there are varying degrees. For some, it’s very serious and final, and a break up is needed for both partners because of all the negativity and hurt and damage. But in some cases, it’s a simpler matter of fighting and fussing and having hurt feelings that lead to one or the other calling things off — when what they truly need is some space—a breather. Emotions sometimes escalate to the point of saying you’re throwing in the towel when you need some time apart.
Once this time apart is there, the pair is able to cool off separately, and clearer heads and hearts will prevail. In cases like these, then rather than an absolute no contact rule, maybe just giving each other some time away from being in a relationship together is all you need to mend what you have.
The No Contact Rule can be very helpful in helping you get over a breakup. In many cases, it’s even the driving factor to getting you on the path to healing and becoming whole again after a broken heart. But yes, in some circumstances, it may not be the best choice. Does no contact work? Well, the way to learn if it will work for you is to try it. It will help you towards a path to a better life, whether with someone else down the road, or with your ex eventually, or on your own. At the very least, you’ll be able to focus on yourself, and you’ll have removed yourself from a situation that isn’t good or healthy for you. And your heart will be much happier because of it!