No Contact Rules

By susanpeabody 05/25/18

If you end a toxic relationship and have a hard time letting go or consider "no contact" as a way to speed up the process. Hanging on gets you no where.

No Contact Rules

The legal definition of NC is a “Cessation of all contact between partners . . . and a permanent ending of all contact between affair partners and the people surrounding them.” But for our purposes, NC is the act of removing yourself mentally and physically from someone for the purpose of self-healing. NC is not a tool to try and win back someone or reconcile.

1. No talking in person: The relationship is over. This means that you do not engage in talking to your ex. So often we feel obligated to “say one last thing” or convince someone, through the act of verbal communication, that he or she should not leave. But a break up is a break up because at least one person does not want to be in the relationship. This needs to be respected. Professing your love, your hatred, anything else does nothing productive. It will make you look bad, plain and simple. Not only that, but silence is communication. It is saying, “I no longer wish to speak to you.” This is VERY hard for some of us. But remember, NC is a gift you give to yourself so that you can heal and become healthy. Remember to focus on your goals. Write them down. You want to learn a healthier way to live and to be.

2. No sex: Sometimes we use sex as a manipulation to win back your ex or to simply feel close via physical contact. But when the relationship is over, so too are the fringe benefits. Sex after a break up is just sex. And oftentimes it’s degrading. NC means no sex with your ex or with any random stranger or friend (for the purpose of inciting jealousy, or simply to move on quickly). Sex without love strips you of self-esteem and dignity. You are worth more.

3. No phone calls or e-mails: So often we have “one more thing” we need to say, or we want closure. Or we just want to make that connection or hear their voice. The object of NC is to separate yourself from your ex so that you can heal or stop the obsessing. Don’t call or leave messages after hours, or call his or her relatives. It will do absolutely nothing positive. When the relationship is over, so is the communication. The exception is if you have children together.

4. No texts: One of the hardest things to avoid in today’s world is the text message. It has become a relationship backbone. Don’t text your ex and don’t respond to his or her texts. Delete them as soon as they come in—as hard as that may be—because once you read them, you’re hooked and often feel compelled to respond. Sending texts is counterproductive to recovery and healing.

5. No letters or packages: Don’t send back old memories, letters or notes to his or her door. It crosses boundaries and pushes your ex away even further. And when you get no response from this, it devastates you. Pack the stuff up and forget about it or put it in the trash.

6. No instant messaging: This can drive you crazy if you are both on line and he or she does not respond.

7. No contact from a distance (stalking): When you are obsessed over an ex, you tend to go to great lengths to see him or her just to be near them after a break up. This includes going to their favorite places, planning to bump into them, looking for their car, watching them leave in the morning and more importantly, driving by their home to see if they are there (or who might have parked a car in their driveway overnight.) This behavior will do nothing but help you find the painful clues you have been looking for but didn’t really want to see. This is stalking. It is highly counterproductive to recovery, not to mention dangerous, and could get you in trouble.

8. No cyber stalking: Perusing social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and, even eBay, Craigslist or Googling, in an attempt to learn more about your ex and “see” what he or she is up to. This does nothing but harshly remind you that he or she is no longer yours. Delete their profile or block them. No good can come from this.

9. Do not reply: One of the hardest acts of NC is not responding to pings, emails, phone calls, texts, etc. Believe that if they contact you, you are more worthy than this relationship. A ex contacting you can be a trap. You think he or she must love you. How can you not respond to that? You think it will be rude not to respond. You feel it might hurt his or her feelings. Remember, you have a right to place a boundary and not let certain people in. You have the right to not pick up the phone or reply to a text. It’s called discretion. Responding to pings, emails, phone calls, texts, or any attempt by your ex to contact us are not NC.

10. No contacting your ex’s friends and family: Sometimes you rationalize NC by thinking, “If I’m not directly contacting him (her), I’m safe.” So, you continue to forge bonds with friends you shared while dating. But contact with his or her friends, family members, co-workers, is not NC. Asking what he or she is up to in not NC. . In order to recover your sometimes need to put shared friends on the back burner for a while too in order to heal.

11. No excessive fantasizing: “No Contact” can be mental and emotional as well as physical. What’s the point in following all of the above rules of NC, only to spend your whole day dreaming of the ex? The idea of NC is NO CONTACT, but some people simply cannot let go and so they continue the relationship in their minds. This can go on for years (known as torchbearing). Practice thought-stopping. Keep your mind active and busy. Remember that your heart, mind and body are sacred places and also need to experience NC in order to heal.

Breaking up is not easy but it can be done and if you are not getting your needs met then it is time to move on. If you are really addicted and need help here is a message board with other men and women struggling with the same problem. It is a free resource.

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