By the time your ex asks you not to contact them, it’s because they think and believe that contact with you has become disrespectful, threatening or toxic.
But sometimes exes ask for “no contact” because they:
- Are hurting and want to protect themselves from further pain;
- Genuinely believe that some time apart will help them see things more clearly (if they need you back or should move on);
- Are trying to “forget” you and feel that cutting off contact and staying away from you will help them forget you faster.
- Have been pushed to the limit by you being needy, angry or pushy, and need to get away from it all.
But there are also those sadistic exes that think it’ll make you miserable and miss them, and the ones just following a ‘rule” because it does not require critical thinking, personal responsibility or effort… I am not even going there… !
When your ex still genuinely cares about you (may be even still loves you) but still thinks it’s best to have no contact for some time, don’t freak out. Don’t fight it. Don’t try to talk him/her out of it. Don’t keep contacting him/her just to annoy him/her. I am talking about the “I’ll blow your phone to teach you a lesson” juvenile reaction.
Even if you want to stay in contact, even if deep inside your heart you know that staying in contact is your best chance of getting back together, granting your ex his/her wish is the only option you have.
It’s important to be very clear here.
1) Your ex asking you not to contact him/her for some time is not doing “no contact”.
Doing “no contact” is when you initiate. When they initiate it, it’s not “no contact”. Not contacting your ex out of respect for what they have asked for is a “loving” thing to do.
2) Giving your ex “space” he or she hasn’t or didn’t ask is doing “no contact”.
It has nothing to do with respecting your ex’s wish since they didn’t ask for “space”. It’s something you decided on your own, most likely out of fear of coming across as needy.
Two different things, two different driving forces.
The driving force behind respect for what your ex has asked for is love. It’s based on the principle that if you love someone, you don’t force your will on them. You let them exercise their free will and right to be themselves. When you do this, they in turn will respect you for not trying to force your will on them.
The driving force behind ‘giving your ex space’ he or she hasn’t or didn’t ask for is fear. You do not know how to stay in contact with someone who isn’t giving you what you want when you want, so you avoid them in the name of “giving them space”. When you do this, you are proving to them (one more time) that you just don’t know how to balance closeness and interdependence (healthy attachment).
Two different driving forces, two different outcomes.
One inspires respect. The other raises questions about your motives at best, and relationship worthiness at worst.