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 advice on “no contact” goes against the advice out there.
The difference is that while most encourage emotional distancing and defensive detachment, I encourage emotional connection, communication and healthy attachment. At the end of the day, it’s not how well you do “no contact’ that persuades your ex to come back. What will persuade your ex to give things another try is how well you connect, communicate and emotionally bond.
“N0 contact” does the very opposite of connecting, communicating and emotionally bonding.
1. “No contact” communicates the wrong message about what you want
I tell my clients: Before you do anything ask yourself: “Why am I doing this?” “Why am I behaving this way?” “How will my actions right now help/hurt me later on?”
If your actions are the opposite of what you want, chances are they will hurt you later on.
- If you want your ex back and behaving like you do not want him/her back, you are hurting your chances.
- If what you want is closeness but behaving like what you want is distance, you are hurting your chances.
- If what you want is to show your ex that you still love and care about him/her but behaving like you wouldn’t give a rat’s ass, you are hurting your chances.
- If you want to show your ex that you have changed, but acting like the same old passive aggressive, manipulative, cold hearted, angry and vindictive you, you are hurting your chances.
2. “No contact” takes away your control of the situation
Who has more control of a situation: someone who reacts from emotion or one who responds rationally?
Someone calmly tries to resolve it or the one who walks away from it?
Someone who is trying to repair a broken bridge or one who burns it down completely?
When you cut off all contact you are reacting to rejection in a very unhealthy way; burning down the bridge you may later on need.
It’s like shutting all the doors, windows, vents, chimneys (all access your ex would use to get to you), and expecting your ex to burst open the door and come begging you to take him/her back. Good luck with that.
3. “No contact” damages the very foundation of a relationship; trust
No contact as a strategy to get back your ex is designed 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 insecurities against you? Would you feel it as “love”?
Once you use someone’s fears against them it will be very hard for that person to trust that you will always have his or her back no matter what.
The fear that you will use their fears and insecurities against them will make your ex cautious and unable to fully open up emotionally. Even when your ex comes back because he/she felt rejected and abandoned, he/she will leave again because the reason he/she returned was not because of you.
So before you do “no contact” ask yourself: “Why am I doing this?” “Why am I behaving this way?” “How will my actions right now help/hurt me later on?”
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 with someone who was good to you, and whom you probably still care about – or even love. If contact ceases, it does so organically and not by a forced “no contact rule”.
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.