Going No Contact After A Breakup: How To Make It Easier & More Effective?
One of the main issues that prevent people from healing and moving on sooner is that they cannot or will not stop communicating and reaching out to the one who broke their hearts.
They would come up with endless reasons and excuses to stay in touch.
“I think we could reconcile.”
“I believe we could be friends.”
And even when the relationship is truly over, they would still struggle to end contact.
If you want to heal and move on, you’ll need to separate from the relationship, not just physically, but also psychologically and emotionally.
And the best way to do that is to stop talking to your ex. This will give you enough space and allow you to heal properly.
Today, you’re going to discover how to make going no contact easier and more effective for your healing.
Ready? Let’s get started!
Why No Contact Works?
In a perfect world, we would break up with our head held high and a gentle smile, wishing our exes well – No hard feelings and no ill will.
However, our reaction in real life is anything but kind and rational.
Controlling your emotions can be the hardest part after a breakup. And while it is perfectly fine to fall to pieces, you don’t want to do that in front of your ex.
Crying, begging, or pleading with them to take you back not only doesn’t work, but it’s also hard for others to respect you when you show little self-respect.
Going no contact keeps your emotions under control and helps you move on faster.
6 Common Excuses That Are Keeping You Stuck
Grief can be tough and keeping contact might seem to alleviate the pain. But what it really does is postponing the inevitable. Eventually, you’re going to have to face our feelings.
You may be able to come up with a long list of reasons why you need to talk to your ex, but they’re really not reasons – they are excuses that stand in the way of moving on.
Below is a list of 6 common excuses that are keeping you stuck:
1. “We Could Be Friends.”
Even though many people seem to manage remaining friends with their exes, the truth is, trying to be friends with an ex is a losing strategy most of the time.
Even if the breakup wasn’t chaotic, you still need to spend time apart to break the couple’s bond and to work through your feelings. You need to let go of the couple’s identity and establish your individual one.
Once you’ve moved on and healed properly, you may get back later saner and more grounded with a better chance of being friends.
2. “I Need Closure.”
Believing that you must say things or ask things from your ex in order to be able to move on, is another excuse people use to reconnect.
But the truth is, you don’t need answers or explanations to find closure.
Closure should come from inside you.
You need to accept that some questions will never be answered, and accept that these answers don’t matter and aren’t likely to give you a sense of closure. It is your responsibility to accept that you may need to move on without answers or input from someone else.
3. “I Think We Could Reconcile.”
Even if you believe you will reconcile, going no contact is going to help you regardless of what happens later.
After going through a hard breakup, taking time apart will do each of you a lot of good. You’ll be able to reassess yourself and the relationship, figure out what went wrong and needs to change. Without taking time apart, it is impossible to do that.
If you ever reconcile, things are going to be different than before and you might make it work.
4. “I Just Need to Give His Stuff Back.”
One of the most “innocent” excuses people come up with to stay in touch with their exes is insisting on retrieving their stuff, or giving their exes’ stuff back.
If you ex has something that belongs to you, think about how important the item really is. Is it worth more than your sanity?
If you need to return items that belong to your ex, put it in a box and mail it without note or anything.
Exchange of belongings should take place within days after a breakup. Don’t let it drag on.
Gifts should be kept and not asked for, except for the engagement ring. If your ex paid for it, it’s best if you return it because it’s not a gift. It was given in contemplation of marriage.
Clearing up loose ends as soon as possible is important to move on and heal properly.
5. “What harm would sex do?“
Many people believe that continuing a physical relationship with their exes is totally harmless. Maybe you felt undesirable or lonely and reasoned that, after all, you know each other and what sex is like with each other.
Sex, no matter how fun it might look, comes with confusion and more complications. You might feel insecure and emotional. It might trigger some unpleasant memories. But even if none of that happens, you will find yourself postponing the inevitable – saying goodbye.
6. “We Run In The Same Circles.”
In some situations, no contact is almost impossible. If you, for example, share joint custody, work for the same company, are members of certain communities, you might not just run into each other, but actually have to speak to each other.
In this case, going no contact means that you only speak when it’s necessary. If you are co-parents, only speak about children. If you’re colleagues discuss work only. Have some boundaries and keep them very clear.
If you work together, agree not to say anything about the relationship at work. You don’t want your coworkers gossiping about you.
Being honest about your real intentions is going to help you stop making excuses to make contact.
How to Successfully Go No Contact?
Fighting the compulsion to make contact can be very hard. It might feel like breaking an addiction because that’s what it is. You were used to talking to this person every single day.
This is why you need to recognize that it’s not going to be easy but commit to the process because eventually, it will allow you to move on faster and meet the right one sooner.
1. Start Fresh
Maybe you have been contacting your ex after the breakup. If so, it’s important to forgive yourself, let go of any guilt and shame, and start fresh.
If you’re going to dwell on your mistakes, you’ll remain stuck. Resolve not to make any and commit yourself to the healing process.
2. Firmly Decide That You’ll Go No Contact
Firmly decide that you will not text, call, or e-mail your ex.
Decide also that you’re not going to check his Facebook page, Instagram profile, or any other social media account.
Resolve not to put yourself in places where you could “accidentally” run into your ex.
If you came up with an “innocent” excuse to contact your ex, don’t act on it immediately. Think it through and question how valid this excuse is and whether it is worth your sanity.
3. Have a Support System
Surrounding yourself with friends and family members you trust can help keep your compulsions in check. Make a list of friends and family who will be available to listen to you when you feel like you need to talk to someone.
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4. Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you feel good about yourself and stay committed.
Make sure you’re getting enough rest, eating right, exercising, and doing nice things for yourself.
How Journaling Can Help You Stay “No Contact”?
In behavioral therapy, keeping a detailed daily record of particular events or psychological reactions helps stop the undesired behavior. For example, if you want to stop compulsive overeating, it helps to keep a food journal detailing, not only what you eat, but also when you find yourself in trigger situations.
By looking at the patterns of this behavior, you can break the chain before opening the fridge to relieve your discomfort.
You can use the same technique if you’re struggling with going no contact.
In your journal, write down how many times you are communicating with your ex. Write down how you feel when your ex contacts you and how you feel when you make the contact.
Write about what is going on for you before the compulsions to make the contact come up.
Here are some questions to help you figure out what’s happening:
* What triggered this desire to call? Is it a specific thought? Memory? Question?
* What are you feeling? Lonely? Sad? Bored? Anxious?
* What are you expecting from the contact?
* Where are your expectations coming from? Are you operating from fantasy or reality?
* Are trying to alleviate your pain?
Journaling will help you shed light on the real reasons that are preventing you from going no contact and address them.
If you’re lonely, reach out to your support system. If you’re bored, engage in doing something you love. If your self-esteem is low, put a plan to work on boosting it. Affirm yourself and challenge your limiting beliefs.
Get Your Free Journaling Prompts
Put a plan in place to help you go no contact. A plan will help you stay committed and move on sooner.
You may need to experiment with different techniques before deciding which ones work best for you.
Maybe you need to go somewhere where there are no phones or computers. Maybe you need to leave your phone in another room or invite a friend over.
Maybe you need to take up an interest or a sport to replace the void your ex left you with. Perhaps meditation is your way to control your urges.
Make a list of things you can do when you are desperate for contact.
The key to healing properly and move on is to separate yourself from your ex. Continuing to seek contact or responding to contact will only keep you stuck and rub on your wounds.
If it’s not helping, don’t do it.
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Portions of this article were adapted from the book Getting Past Your Breakup, © May 2009 by Susan J. Elliott. All rights reserved.