Everyone who has ever been through a break-up (aka as anyone who had a somewhat normal existence on this earth) has probably found themselves pondering the million pound (because #englishrosiee is back in the green and pleasant land and has been told to stay away from all Americanisms) question : ‘How best can I get over this relationship?’. There are plenty of options I suppose. They do say the best way of getting over one man is to get under another. Then there is the ‘Virgin Inactive’ approach to life as I like to call it, which involves spending your life hating on the opposite sex. You could become a social recluse; resigning yourself to living in PJs, wallowing in self-pity and smashing donuts into your face forevermore. Hit up the gym and get that revenge body you’ve always wanted and make him regret ever letting you go. Or you could just drink yourself stupid every night, numb the pain for a bit and then drunk dial the one that broke your heart.
No No No No No!! Don’t do that. That’s the worst possible thing you could do, according to the internet. So lets talk about it. The No Contact Rule. If like me, you’ve never heard of something so revolutionary here is a brief synopsis. The No-Contact Rule is pretty self-explanatory really. In essence, it states that following a break-up you should cease communication between you and your ex for a certain period of time (most sources say a minimum of 3 weeks). And No Contact means just that NO CONTACT. So NO calls (drunk or otherwise), NO Whatsapps/Gchats/Skype messages, NO ‘accidentally’ bumping into your ex at the gym (cos naturally you know their schedule), NO Facebook stalking (although that’s a tricky one – if noone knows you did it, did it really happen ? Just don’t let the finger slip and LIKE anything on their profile!) and NO asking mutual friends for information either. Sigh. That’s a lot to take in.
At the grand old age of almost 33 (yuck!), I’ve been through my share of make-ups and break-ups and I honestly say I’ve never attempted such a thing, until recently. As I said, the idea is really quite revolutionary. It’s not that a No Contact approach was never brought to my attention, it’s just nothing I a) felt the need to do or b) felt I could do even if I tried. To be fair, the whole thing makes a lot of sense. Everything about the No Contact period giving you the opportunity to get some perspective and realise that you are able to function alone. It might also allow you a bit of breathing space to consider whether the relationship or any relationship whatsoever, is what you want out of life. It also gives you and the other party time to miss each other and that’s a good thing I suppose if you hope to rekindle things somewhere down the line.
Logic vs. Love
Sure, it makes all sorts of logical sense. But life is not always about doing the logical thing. I have friends that can almost treat a break-up like a business deal (and to be fair, I’ve done the same with lesser encounters). You know you break up one day, to the left to the left everything he owns to the box to the left, throw him out of the house and don’t even wait for hi uber to arrive before you slam the door. And BOOM! that’s the last you’ll ever see of him. Yay! But there are also more significant relationships where cutting ties isn’t so simple. Those where your ex has to return to the scene of the crime within 10 mins of the break-up to make sure you are capable of driving yourself to work because your eyes are so full of tears from all the blubbering. The times you care enough about each other to check in and see that the other party hasn’t drowned in a pool or their own tears (or vodka). When such dynamics come into play, how exactly do you implement No Contact?
Arbitrary Time Frames
Also, a word of arbitary time periods. Why set ourselves the challenge of going silent on a person for a set number of days, weeks or months. Isn’t this just yet another childish approach to dealing with what should really be a grown-up problem? It just reminds me of when people say silly things like you should wait X, Y or Z minutes before texting a guy back because god forbid anyone would want to be enthusiastic about anything in this age of ‘playing it cool’. Isn’t life too short to playing these silly waiting games.
If you’ve truly come to terms with the fact that a relationship is toxic and doing you no good (and honestly, this realisation often doesn’t just happen overnight) the cut all ties and walk away with the intention of NEVER talking to them again. But if you still see yourself having some sort of future with the person don’t allow some arbitrary time frame set by the wise people of the internet determine if you pursue happily ever after. Because who knows, while your busy torturing yourself playing this No Contact game the love of your life could potentially be getting themselves some something something elsewhere.
(Mis)communication Much ?
My middle name should be gobby. I have a big mouth and I often say things without thinking which gets me into trouble. That said, everyone witters on about how communication is a key factor in successful relationships. This to me is exactly what the No Contact Rule stands in opposition to. Going silent on someone just leaves room for speculation or over-thinking, which has the potential to way more damage. You may thinking that you are making them sweat when in fact they’ve interpreted your silence to mean that you couldn’t care less and so have made it their mission to get over you in any way that’s humanly possible.
I guess the danger of implementing this No Contact Rule is the same as that when you decide to take a ‘break’ from your relationship. Before you follow this path, you should question your motives and what you are hoping to achieve. You also need to be prepared for the fact that these things often have a habit of backfiring – you may think that by not communicating with someone you’ll make them miss you, when in actual fact it might make them realise that life is just sooooo much better without you incessant bitching and moaning.
Of course, I’m not one to advise anyone on this whole No Contact thing. After all, I still contact when I need insights, fitness advice or just the odd bit of banter. That said, while it makes so much sense theoretically, I don’t see it as the magic pill that’ll solve all your relationship woes. Honestly, it is somewhat immature and risky. As is the case with everything, the No Contact Rule has its downsides and I think it’s important to consider the potential damage that going silent on someone could have especially if you intend of patching things up somewhere down the line. As I said, I’m gobby, I like talking. So I’ve always felt communication is better than silence. So talk it out, say what needs to be said, talk till the cows come home (unless like me you find yourself to talking to a brick wall at times). And if you get to the stage when you are done chit-chatting and you still haven’t sorted stuff out, then be ready to know you did your best without leaving room for endless amounts of miscommunication.
OK Rinsers, tell me are you a fan of the No Conact Rule? Has it ever worked for you? How long would you go without talking to an ex? And how long would you wait to hear from someone before accepting your fate and moving on ? Or do you, like me, think this is a childish approach to life and opt for talking it out as a better way of dealing with your relationship problems? Go wild in the comments below.