Question: I’ve read many of your articles and answers and I think n/c if used properly is way more powerful than you give it credit for. When I broke up with my girlfriend April 09 I went straight n/c for 4 months. No texts, no email, no letters, no phone calls, no asking friends how she was doing, no checking her Facebook page, no information, no anything. It was very difficult for a while but it got easier with the passing of time.
Then out of nowhere she texted me! She wanted to talk and see if we can work things out. This week she again decided she needs to figure out if I am the one for her. I’m letting her do what she wants but I’m going back to n/c. I’m confident that she’ll contact me again. No Contact is hard but I believe it works well. I’m sticking to n/c.
Yangki’s Answer: I understand where you are coming from, and that my stand on “no contact” goes against the advice out there.
Almost everyone else out there is advocating emotional distancing and defensive detachment, I am advocating emotional connection, communication and healthy attachment because at the end of the day, it’s all about how your ex feels about you and about the relationship that persuades them to come back.
I tell my clients: Before you do anything ask yourself: “Why am I doing this?” “Why am I behaving this way?” “How does my behaviour make my ex feel?” “How do my actions right now help/hurt me later?”
What has this got to do with ‘no contact’? Everything.
There is the right reason and wrong reason to use no contact, if you must use it at all.
The wrong reason is to use no contact as a strategy for getting back your ex.
Not only is it wrong because it’s not about love, but about trying to trigger the fear of rejection and/or abandonment in someone who already has these fears and likely to act on them. How would you feel if someone uses your own insecurities against you? Would you feel it as “love”?
Even when your ex comes back because they felt rejected and abandoned, they will leave again because the reason they returned was not because of you. They returned because of them – their fears, their insecurities, their issues.
It’s also wrong for you trying to get your ex back because what you are doing is shutting all the doors, windows, vents, chimneys (all access your ex would use to get to you), and then sitting by the door and checking the windows and vents hoping that your ex will burst open and come begging you to take him/her back. Good luck with that.
My experience over the years is that when someone says “I had to do no contact”, they are telling me their situation is most likely hopeless. By the time “no contact” is the only option, the relationship is most likely too damaged to try and get back together. People in relationships that were generally good and healthy, and people who had a no “too much” drama break-ups see no need to cut off their ex. Almost all of them maintain some level of contact, even those that don’t intend to get back together. There is just no need for abruptly ceasing all communication. If contact ceases, it does so naturally, over time. Not by a forced “no contact rule”.
But it gets worse — and many people doing “no contact” don’t even know this.
“No contact” damages the very foundation of a relationship. It takes away emotional security; that trust that you will always have your ex’s back no matter what.
What it does instead is create anxiety, distrust and power-play. Things that not only hurt your chances of getting back together, but damage your relationship.
Don’t just take my word for it. Do a Google search and see how many people actually heard from their ex, how many of those got their ex back, and how many of those sustained the reunion beyond a few weeks/months.
You said yourself that you got your ex back using NC, but in the same breath admit that you broke up again after a short period of time. Now you’re back to NC. Why go though all that pain just to break up again? It doesn’t make sense unless one is addicted to high stress and misery.
If you have to cut contact every time you break up, you might as well cut your losses and move on (see my article: The TRUTH About No Contact No One Tells You)
The right reason (if you must use no contact at all) is for you to distance yourself from your ex so that you can move on — move on to a relationship with someone else.
Use no contact only for your own emotional health, and only if you really need time and space to heal and see things from an outsider’s perspective. Sometimes it’s good to give each other a little space but realize that it’ll not necessarily make the other person want to come back into the relationship. It may even make them realize they’re better off without you. That is, they get used to not having you around and that becomes their new normal. You coming back to their life interrupts the new normal, and people in general do not like uncertainty. How can they be sure you will not be gone again?
This is just my humble opinion based on years of experience reuniting couples. But when all is said and done, it’s your life, your decision. You do what you believe is right for you.
Just don’t ask me, “Should I do “no contact”? How long should I do “no contact?”, “What do I say to initiate contact (after NC)?” “Where do I go from here?”
If you feel completely stuck after “no contact” or your ex does not respond after several attempts to re-establish contact, chances are you may have done too much damage to the relationship by doing “no contact”. So before you go “no contact” ask yourself the important question, “How do my actions right now help/hurt me later?”. It’s called self-awareness.