So it happened…again.
The pang in your heart, the pain in your gut that tells you that you need to contact him.
It hits you randomly, as a lot of reminders of him always do – when you’re flipping through channels which watching TV and a random show pops on that you used to binge watch together; or when you’re driving and a song that you two used to sing comes on; or maybe your friends suggest having dinner at a restaurant you two had your eighteenth date.
No matter what the trigger is, the result tends to be the same: “I need to text him. I need to call him.
I want to tell him how much I miss him and want him back.
“This No Contact Rule is killing me!”
I totally understand this feeling, y’all.
The No Contact Rule is a struggle and let’s face it – the struggle is real.
Not being in constant contact with someone you spent all day, every day texting and/or calling just plain sucks.
There’s no other way to say it.
Quitting something cold turkey disrupts our perfect world, and since our perfect world involves our lovely exes, we take this abrupt end quite hard. Every day without contact does numbers to our psyche.
We get anxious and worried about the ex moving on and not wanting or needing us anymore.
For those lucky ones who have exes reaching out to them during their No Contact, or NC, period, they have to dance around the idea of whether or not to reply to them. No matter what the situation, the basic truth is that No Contact always starts off as a struggle.
How we choose to overcome it, however, is what we truly struggle with the most.
Some women are able to survive No Contact unscathed and hardly bothered, and by the end, they’re ready to pick up the phone and text that ex of theirs, making sure they know what they’re missing. But for the rest of us, it’s not that easy because it really feels like someone pulled the rug out from under us.
We aren’t just left heartbroken, but also defeated and devastated, our resolve a little weaker than other women. That’s not to say that we are weak, just that we haven’t found our inner strength yet. Allow me to elaborate with my own story.
Currently, I’m going through an indefinite NC with my ex after an unsuccessful texting phase, and an initial NC period that I barely got through. Notice that I said “got through” and not necessarily “survived.” See, I wouldn’t exactly say that I survived my first NC because, to be totally honest, I didn’t follow the No Contact Rule wholly and completely.
Let me remind you what the No Contact Rule is according to Chris and The Ex-Boyfriend Recovery:
[No Contact is] A period of time in which you ignore your ex deliberately in an attempt to make them miss you more and ultimately allow them time to erase any bad feelings they have towards you; while simultaneously providing yourself an avenue to emotionally recover and grow as an individual.
Deliberately ignored my ex? Check. Attempted to make him miss me? Check. Maybe. The verdict is still out on that. Allow him time to erase any bad feelings he has towards me? Check. Simultaneously provide myself an avenue to emotionally recover and grow as an individual? Uh………………….
See, I believe the reason many of us struggle with No Contact, why we are killing ourselves over it, is simple: We are all still obsessing over our ex-boyfriends.
For the most part, NC is not successful because the ex is still the central focus of this whole process, when truthfully, the focus should be on you. You, too, are “getting through” this No Contact, not “surviving” it, because you’re not focused on you.
As hard as it is, ignoring your ex and finding the courage to not reach out to him only seems hard because you’re putting so much stock in him. I’m gonna give you some tough love right now, and you probably don’t want to hear it; but you’re gonna need it if you want to get through this No Contact period, baby doll, so please don’t take offense when I say bluntly: Stop obsessing over him! I’m sure if you learn how to do this, like Gloria Gaynor famously said,
You will survive.
If No Contact is killing you, think back to why you started it in the first place. If you keep focused on both aspects of NCR (putting yourself first, then your ex), then the better equipped you will be to surviving it.
Stop worrying about if he will contact you, when he will contact you, if he is lurking on your social media. It won’t be helpful, I can assure you.
Put yourself first, in the center focus of this NC game. Let the focus be more on you and less on your ex. “How can I do that?” you might be asking yourself.
Well, I’ll share with you some of the things that I’m currently implementing on NC Round 2, with hopes that these tips will help you out.
Feel Your Feels… Then Move On
First of all, go through every emotion you’re feeling so you can allow yourself to move on from them.
Try not to hold in all your feelings or bottle up your emotions because that’s not always the healthiest thing to do. If you feel sad – cry. If you’re angry – vent to anyone or to yourself, even. If a random memory pops into your mind, think about it and then do something else. Basically, cry over your spilled milk and then clean it up because you’ve got other things to do, champ.
Feel your feels and then move on.
But how do you do this? How can you go through your emotions and just carry on like you never felt that way? Let me tell you what I did. Personally, I am a very emotional person, so I go through a lot of emotions in a day. Can you imagine what I was going through the first week of my breakup? It was terrible! When I got so tired of the emotional turmoil, I decided to write my feelings out. I’ve been told many times by friends how therapeutic writing is for the mind and soul.
Even though I was advised to do this during any point of heartbreak or depression, I never did it. To actually write my feelings? I couldn’t bring myself to be that candid. But this most recent breakup shook me so much that I felt like I truly needed to get my feelings out. The easiest way for me to write my feelings out and not succumb to texting my ex before NC ended was to dedicate a journal to my ex.
By doing this, not only was I able to get my feelings and frustrations out, I was also able to get the ex out of my head when he clouded it and distracted me in my NC.
A lot of my entries were written like I was texting him about my day, how I felt, what reminded me of him. For days when I was lazy, I made voice notes instead, and pretended I was talking to him.
Trust me: This emotional release will be healthy for you, even if you have to do it multiple times a day. Think of it as a detox – Once you clear your mind of all that is blocking it mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, the lighter you’ll feel and the more you can focus on doing other things.
Speaking of other things to do, here’s another tip: Keep busy. I’d like to warn you that of course keeping yourself busy right after a breakup can be rough on you in the beginning, and understandably so. It can be draining your energy, but it’s better to keep yourself moving that sitting alone in your room, wondering what went wrong for the millionth time that week.
Many women probably will admit that the worst times of the day after a breakup is when they’re left alone with their own thoughts.
But if you try to put yourself in constant motion, you’re forced to focus on other things. You can reconnect with the kind of person you were with your family and friends, and get to know them all over again.
Make plans to do the things you did with them before your ex monopolized all your time (and we can be honest here; we know the ex monopolized all of your time.)
Delve into the interests you set aside in favor of your ex’s interests, or venture out and find new hobbies.
Mine was being shoddy at Calligraphy, in case you were wondering (you probably weren’t.)
- See the movie you wanted to see.
- Take that cooking class.
- Even date – but only if you feel ready to.
I wouldn’t want you to throw yourself at another relationship unless you’ve taken care of yourself first.
And ladies, don’t be afraid to unplug yourself from social media for a while.
I know it’s hard to do it for many of us whose phones are basically their right hand (I’m guilty of it!), but unplugging for a while off every kind of social media can help you stay focused.
After my ex and I broke up, I obsessively checked Instagram to see if he posted, what pictures he liked, and always wondered if he was looking at my profile. I knew it wasn’t healthy, but I kept checking it every five minutes until it he deleted me off his “Followers” list.
That’s when I knew I had to stop checking my social media religiously. It wasn’t helping me focus on me.
And look, you don’t have to do this for a long period of time, either. You can unplug for an hour or two, a few days, or even a few weeks if you absolutely need it.
But once you’re ready and you’ve got your mind cleared, your focus centered, jump back in that social media game and use social media to your advantage, not at the mercy of your ex’s.
Another way I stayed focused during my first NC period was by being active in the Ex-Boyfriend Recovery Facebook group.
I know it sounds like shameless plugging, but hear me out.
This group saved me at my lowest low.
When I couldn’t open up to my family and my friends were sick of hearing me sing along to Adele to nurse the pain, everyone in the group provided me with the support I needed to carry on.
Chris and Jennifer Seiter, as well as all the active members in the group – everyone consoled me when I posted my frustration. And when I returned the favor and helped console others, I found myself reflecting on my own relationship and what I was doing.
It was then that I looked at my own recovery period, how I handled/was handling it, and if I needed to re-evaluate anything.
Because everyone was at different stages post-breakup – fresh from heartbreak, just getting over NC and anxiously preparing for the texting phase, or already back with their exes and sharing with others what helped their process – not only did I do a self-evaluation on my progress, I also found that helping others distracted me from my own situation. If you get a chance to join the Ex-Boyfriend Recovery Facebook group, I highly recommend it.
These ladies are there when everyone else in your life just doesn’t understand why you’re still upset.
They’re your #squadgoals, and they’re there for you, babe.
No Contact Is A Necessary Evil
So now that I shared with you how to stay focused during your NC period and other activities you can do to keep you on track, I want to share with you some specific benefits to NC that I’ve noticed from my own experiences, as well as others.
While there are benefits, yes, I cannot help but say that No Contact is a necessary evil. It’s evil because you’re forcing yourself to stop talking to your ex cold turkey, but it’s necessary because it’s it will do so much good for you.
It’s good for you because it allows you to take a step back and look at who you are, post-breakup, because you’re definitely a different person than you were before you were in a relationship.
You’ve spent months, maybe even years with this person who you’re currently missing and pining for.
And while I’m sure many of you have maintained your own independent identity in the relationship, the truth is you were always identified as a couple, a team, a unit, like “Mike and Christine” or “Jackie and Jamie.” For me, it was “Janell and Kris.” When Kris left, Janell was on her own and needed to learn how to be alone again.
Even though I’d be alone a long time before Kris, I’d forgotten how to live alone again without him.
I forgot how much I liked working out in a gym versus getting my workout by practicing my golf swings with him. I forgot that I didn’t actually like watching Bleach, his favorite anime, because I was more into Sailor Moon. I’d forgotten a lot of things because I was part of “Team Janell and Kris”, that “Team Janell” barely existed.
When I rediscovered who I was pre-Kris, I started to feel like my old self again.
And that’s a lesson everyone eventually has to re-learn, post-breakup, because so much of your life were a part of theirs.
Re-learning who you are during No Contact is essential because, like the rule says, you need to recover emotionally in order to fulfill the next part, which is growing as an individual. This part is a term that Chris coined for us, and that we in the EBR group embraced wholly, known as being the “Ungettable Girl.”
Doesn’t Sandra Bullock look so #boss in this scene of Miss Congeniality?
When I think of being an Ungettable Girl, or “UG” for short, this image immediately pops into my mind almost always. Sandra exudes confidence and a type of impenetrable aura that makes you just want to be like her.
This is the kind of confidence you need to be an Ungettable Girl.
I just want to make that clear – being ungettable is not to say that you have to go through a total body makeover and look sexy in a bodycon dress, ladies. And it’s totally okay to want a makeover to feel UG, as well. No shame zone here! Heck, I went blonde during NC!
But being UG is more than physical appearance.
It’s about rebuilding that confidence that was most likely destroyed when your ex left.
And when you’ve built that confidence back up again, you’re setting yourself further down the clear path of recovery.
Re-Evaluate Your Value In The Relationship
The last benefit of the No Contact Rule is that you get to re-evaluate your priorities.
At this point, if you’ve allowed yourself to recover emotionally and to grow as an individual, it shouldn’t matter how long your NC period is before you break it….JUST KIDDING, Y’ALL!
Stick to 21-45 days, or Chris will rebuke me!
But seriously, if you’ve allowed yourself time to recover and grow, you’ll realize that by not contacting your ex throughout the entire NC period, you give yourself time to re-evaluate your value in the relationship. You will also see that NC allows you to look at parts of your relationship that you could make changes so that you don’t make the same mistakes once you’re back together with your ex.
Maybe through NC, you’ll learn at that point that getting your ex back isn’t your priority anymore.
Maybe you begin to realize that you don’t want your ex to miss you that badly. Maybe you’re ready to move on to greener pastures, date the other fish in the sea because now you’re a badass woman whose confidence cannot be shattered easily.
You may not have seen this right of the bat when you started your NC period, but that time really does put your wants, needs, and priorities in that relationship into perspective so you can reflect and hopefully build a better one the second time around.
I know, it may be killing you not hearing from your ex. And it’s tough to feel better about yourself after feeling rejected and broken up with, but don’t lose yourself in that sea of negativity.
Once you stay focused on accomplishing the No Contact Rule in its complete, two-fold process, the stronger you become.
And if you didn’t know it already, you are strong.
The No Contact Rule wasn’t implemented to make you hate your life, and its intent is never to make you feel bad about your ex not wanting you.
It exists to remind you that no matter how you’re feeling about the breakup, only you can start the process to help you be whole again.
Others can help you along the way, and your ex can take you back, but it’s up to you to make sure you survive in the end.
And yes, you will survive.
(This was a guest post written by Janell Agcaoili)