There’s a reason so many relationship experts, including myself, recommend the No Contact method when you first break up with a partner. That reason is simple: it works. It might sound too good to be true but it is, and I’ve got hundreds of happy client couples to prove it.
No Contact is the practice of stopping all communication with your ex after a breakup. This thirty-day-long process is designed to do several things, all aimed at achieving one of two outcomes: either a) resolving conflict and creating the right environment to rebuild your relationship or b) healing after your breakup and moving on. Whichever one of these is the ultimate outcome doesn’t really matter; the process will help you do both at the same time.
In its most basic form, the No Contact rule states that you should not contact your ex for 31 days after you enforce the rule–and no cheating! Texting her two days in means that you are breaking the No Contact rule and will have to begin again from the beginning, so it’s best just to stick to the rule in order to get through it as swiftly as possible. Do whatever it takes—remove her number from your phone, unfriend her on Facebook, ask a friend to keep an eye on you—to make sure that you do not contact her.
Why do this?
There are several reasons.
First, you’re protecting your dignity. No one is graceful when they experience heartbreak, and unfortunately, you’re no exception. Whether you get drunk and inappropriately text her at two in the morning; you call her out of the blue to beg her forgiveness; or you send her an angry email detailing every way you feel she’s done you wrong, nothing good can come of being in contact with your ex when your emotions are running high and you don’t have the perspective of time to help you see things more clearly and logically. You also won’t be tempted into breakup sex—a sure fire way to complicate matters and drive emotions sky high! Take a look at my article “3 Ways to Cope with a Breakup” for more quick and awesome ways to survive and thrive during this difficult period.
The second purpose of the No Contact rule follows on from the first: it will allow you to process your thoughts and emotions and make a mature and levelheaded decision about your relationship. Do you really love her? Do you want to be with her? Or are you just scared of being alone? Taking this time to ask yourself such questions will help prevent you from making the mistake of a knee-jerk reaction that might mean you’re committing to someone you don’t really love or who doesn’t love you.
The third purpose of No Contact is that this time allows both you and your ex to reset to a neutral emotional state. With four weeks of no contact behind you, you’ll be able to speak to each other from a place of mutual respect and, hopefully, generosity—keeping each other’s best interests in mind, as well as your own.
Fourth, it gives your ex time to miss you, which is a huge factor to winning her back! Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the opposite is true too: if you continue to hound her each day asking for a resolution or wanting to have long and emotional discussions about what went wrong, the likely outcome is that you’re going to exhaust her and push her away. Respect her space and give her some time to be alone—and to feel alone. If she likes the feeling of being without you, then as much as it sucks in the short term, it’s best for you both to stay apart in the long term. If she does miss you, then half the work of winning her back has already been done, and you just have to let her come to you and do your part to work things out. Nine times out of ten, she’ll wonder why you’re not contacting her and initiate the contact herself before the 31 days are up. When you find yourself at this point, take a look at my article “How to Re-initiate Contact After No Contact” to make sure you nail the next stage of your make-up.
Ultimately, by enforcing the No Contact rule, you’re demonstrating to your ex that you respect her feelings and her need for space, you respect yourself, and you respect your relationship too much to compromise it by doing something stupid and emotional. It demonstrates maturity, independence and self-confidence in a time when you need those qualities—or at least the illusion of them—the most!