Question: Yangki, I want to begin by saying this is by far the best relationship blog out there. I had to say that so that my next comment in taken within context.
Personally, I think that when emotions are high the chances of making significant progress with your ex is almost non-existent. Communication under these circumstances is likely to make the situation worse rather than better. It may be necessary to have a cooling down period. What do you think?
Yangki’s Answer: I agree 100%. In some situations, it may be necessary to take time to “cool off” before attempting to resolve an issue. But there is a difference between taking some time to cool off (or time-out) and “no contact”.
1. Me Vs We
The person cutting off all contact is only thinking about “me”. By erasing any and all lines of communication they are erasing any and all traces of the connection they have with their ex; they are erasing any and all traces of “us”– whether that’s their intention, or not.
The person taking time to cool off is mostly concerned about the relationship. They understand that their decision to take time off from trying to resolve an issue is not a decision to completely remove any traces of what is left of the relationship or even of their ex, but to preserve what is left of it. They care enough about the relationship to want to preserve whatever is left of the “we”.
2. Rules Vs Cooling down
The person doing ‘no contact’ has a set number of days for doing ‘no contact’. The person taking time to cool off is not counting “how many days in no contact” because to them it’s not about “no contact”. It’s about calming down their emotions so they can try to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
3. Disingenuous Vs. Genuine
The person doing ‘no contact’ has ulterior motives and hopes that by doing “no contact’ their ex will miss them and want them back. This is why they ask “Is my ex missing me?”, “Will not contacting my ex make them think of me?”, “How long before my ex contacts me?”. Someone cooling off is not concerned about their ex is missing them because cooling off isn’t about making an ex miss you.
4. Self-preservation Vs preserving the relationship
This is probably the biggest difference of all. The person taking time to cool off cares about how their actions affects their ex. They do not just cut the other person off and/or ignore any attempts by the other person to reach them because their biggest concern is preserving the relationship. They will do everything in their power to make sure that their actions do not damage what they are trying to preserve.
When I try to explain to men and women doing “no contact” or strongly leaning towards it the difference between “thinking about me only” and “thinking about the relationship”, some of them can not see the difference. They are so into “me” that they can not see how thinking of me only negatively affects a relationship (whatever is left of it).
It’s the ability to differentiate between “thinking about me only” and “thinking about the relationship” that separates the emotionally mature and emotionally competent, from the emotionally immature and/or emotionally toxic.
It’s the ability to differentiate between “thinking about me only” and “thinking about the relationship” that that separates a good partner from someone you should be weary about.
Most of the time, it’s the ability to differentiate between “thinking about me only” and “thinking about the relationship” that improves our chances of getting back together.
You should be dumped if you do not care how your actions affect someone you are in the relationship with. And your ex should not take you back if you do not care enough about “the relationship” (or the potential of one) to want to preserve whatever is left of the “we”.