I’ve received many comments and emails asking if “limited contact” is the same as “pressure-free contact” (which I advocate in my eBook Dating Your Ex). I thought it best to write a brief article to explain the difference.
First of all the two are not the same.
1. Quantity vs. Quality
Limited Contact (LC) is about quantity. The assumption behind “limited contact” is that if you contact your ex just the right amount of times, they’ll think you are not needy and clingy and will want to come back.
NOT TRUE. People don’t fall in love because of how many times you contact or not contact them. People fall in love because of how they FEEL communicating with you. If contact with you does not make them feel how they want to be feeling, low or limited contact is not going to make them want to come back.
Pressure-free contact is about quality. The focus is NOT on “number of contacts” but in the “effectiveness of communication”.
Some people need many contacts or constant communication to FEEL that feeling (of safety, closeness, importance or excitement), and some people need just a few emotionally powerful words to FEEL that they are in love. So, instead of putting all your energy trying to get just the right number of contacts, pressure-free contact allows you to work with the needs (safety, closeness, importance or excitement) and communication style of your ex.
2. Doing Vs. Being
Just like “no contact”, “limited contact” is about how long you can sit on your hands to stop yourself from picking the cookie you are not supposed to be eating. It doesn’t say you have the mental toughness to not pick up the cookie, it says you are “trying too hard”. This can help if you have no “self-control” and have a tendency to get anxious and go off contacting someone needlessly. It may make your ex feel less overwhelmed with your number of contacts, but it still doesn’t get you closer to your ex emotionally.
Meaningless “Hi, how are”, “Hi what’s up?’ “Hi, how is your day?” every few days or once a week and “I’m doing fine”, “My life is good”, “I’m on my way to the gym” etc. replies every few hours or days is just that… meaningless and emotionally shallow!
Shallow gets you as far as shallow does. After sometime, you run out of things to say and contacts become further and further apart. Next thing you know, you are panicking and over-contacting again.
Pressure-free contact is focused on the energy you emanate and is sensed by your ex. I think it was Anthony Robbins who said ” The quality of your communication equals the quality of your life”. If you don’t have a quality life, no matter how “perfectly” you time your contacts, the quality of your communication will always be poor. That’s the bad news.
The good news is: “quality of life” means different things to different people. For some people it means you are going to so many parties and having great fun. To others is might mean you are doing very well financially or your career is riding high. And to others it might mean, you are growing more spiritually and maturing emotionally. Because you’ve dated your ex before, you have an idea (hopefully) what “quality of life” means to him or her. If he or she can sense through the energy in your contacts that your life is in line with what he/she considers “quality of life”, you are making headway — in big strides.
3. Calculating Vs. Flexible
Limited contact is focusing on a particular outcome. That is “I’m doing 1+1 to get to 2”. There is a lot of fear, anxiety, and worry there. You not only spend a lot of time, energy and emotion trying to figure out how to do it “perfectly”, you also also spend just as much time, energy and emotion second guessing yourself and beating up yourself for your “mistakes.”
The real smacker is that you can’t get it “perfect” every time. And because you keep making “mistakes’ (which you will, because you are human), you conclude that things aren’t working and walk away — or muddy it up some more (with desperate pleas, emotional outbursts, over-reactions etc).
Pressure-free contact implies just that – no pressure to get the desired result. 1+1 might get you 0, 1.5 or 3 — and that’s okay. You take that into consideration and make your next move based on what is happening as things unfold. Instead of always trying to get the result you want, you operate from a place of transparency, openness and trust (self-trust and trusting the goodness of the other), and let things add up how they will.
There is no fear, anxiety, and worry because you are not busy scaring yourself with what might happen if you don’t do things “perfectly” or torturing yourself for what you didn’t “do right”. Your times together are relaxed, easy and more fun — in a very natural way. Even if there is someone else, there is no fear, anxiety, and worry because you are not jumping up and down screaming, “choose me! choose me!” but allowing your ex to “choose you” (on his or her own free will).
4. Ineffective Vs. Effective
Low Contact is like showing up at work exactly when you are supposed to, but doing absolutely no work. You check in and sit back waiting for the day to end so that you can show up again tomorrow – on time as expected.
Showed up alright, but achieved ABSOLUTELY nothing!
Pressure-Free Contact is about moving things forward at the pace that is comfortable to your ex. It’s about achieving results!