I hear from so many people who are struggling with this rule.
What is the “No Contact Rule”?
Simply stated, after a break up or during a rough patch in a relationship, the two people involved aren’t allowed to contact each other for a certain amount of time. It could be weeks, months or even years in which they avoid any and all contact.
I’m not a rules type of person—what applies to one person doesn’t necessarily apply to another.
Unless someone is in an abusive relationship, please throw the no contact rule out the window.
It’s the biggest bunch of horsesh*t in the dating and relationship game ever.
If we’re using it to manipulate another person into contacting us, then we need to recognize what we’re actually putting ourselves through in the process.
Not only is it completely inauthentic and therefore the results will reflect it, but we are putting ourselves through a lot of over the top anxiety, obsession and pain. Think about how much focus is on the other person when we cut off all communication, we can’t help, but think about them even more!
Strategizing and manipulating don’t make a relationship happy and healthy.
The person we want to wake up, and have on our doorstep will not show up there of their own free will.
The wake-up call we feel they need is actually about ourselves. We want to have it our way. We’re not concerned with how this other person feels or why they make their choices. We just want what we want and sometimes we don’t even know why!
We’re in fear of losing something, which usually has to do with some false belief we have about our worth and relationships.
What if we’re using the no contact rule to get over someone, to create distance and give us time to heal?
Unless we spoke our truth during the relationship and are at peace with ourselves, implementing a no contact rule will make us feel bad.
We’ll feel worse.
Any rule we create, which causes anxiety within us, shifts the focus from moving forward to staying stuck right in resistance, not acceptance . Our focus should be on getting clear with ourselves and what we want to create in our lives now.
If the relationship is over, it’s not to say we should be in constant contact with an ex-mate. It’s to understand that if we are implementing a rule to keep us from contacting someone then we haven’t dealt with ourselves.
When we’ve been authentic and honest with ourselves and the other, without blame, we naturally move on, no rules needed. I don’t need to remind myself to not contact my ex, because I’ve actually said and done everything I needed to for my own well-being without blame.
Unfortunately, many of us haven’t been truthful with ourselves or our estranged partner.
We let questions go unstated, allowed real emotions to not be shared and perhaps, tried to keep the appearance up that crappy behavior is okay—so we don’t have to leave. All, because we’re afraid of loss, abandonment and losing the small source of validation we receive in an inauthentic relationship. It’s what we know.
I tell my clients who come in pain from not stating things that are true, to go ahead and tell the person. State it, but not so they get their ex to admit responsibility or alleviate their pain, it ‘s to share their truth without an agenda.
No contact is a rule and like other rules we use to take care of a problem, it creates a whole host of new problems. These issues take us away from connecting to ourselves, so we keep doing the same things over and over in each relationship with more pain each time.
What can we do besides enforcing the no contact rule?
1. Get to know the places we let ourselves down in the relationship.
How were we not showing up authentically? Where didn’t we speak our truth and act from the core of who we were? The clearer we get on our why, the more responsibility we can take and this gives us more control over our emotional state.
2. Stop focusing on what the other person is or isn’t doing.
Why do their actions reflect back on us? What meaning are we giving someone else’s choices to have about our worth? Realize, if they move on or don’t come running, it’s about them. Why would we want to force someone into being with us? Love is not attachment.
3. Realize we have no control over others, no matter how much we think we do.
We cannot control someone else and if we believe through not contacting them that we gain or lose control, we’re looking in the wrong direction. Wanting validation from this person, no matter how we try–will never fill the void, only we can validate ourselves.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: JF Gornet at Flickr