Breakup 101: The No Contact Rule

Breakups are shit. Unless you didn’t actually want to be in the relationship in the first place, whether you’re doing the dumping or being dumped it’s going to be shit. However, today I bring you glad tidings of great joy in the form of a lil sumsum I discovered following my own horrifically painful long-distance breakup a few years ago. Somewhere in between crying on my floor and running away to Indonesia I decided to google some variation of “wtf do I do”, and amongst the inadequate floods of “exercise” and “get a funky new ‘do”, there it was. The No Contact Rule.

Buckle up, friends. This is it. The Holy Grail of post-breakup tactics. To explain it very minimalistically, you ignore your ex completely for a month whilst pimping yourself out and getting your shit together, simultaneously creating enough distance for yourself to see things clearly and giving them time to miss you.

When you're stuck in a sadness haze the last thing you want or are in any way equipped to do is make a definitive choice about whether or not you ever want to go back there, so having a course of action that works equally towards both possible outcomes is a frickin godsend. That's the beauty of the No Contact Rule; whether you want to get over your ex or get them back, you do. the same. thing.



THE BREAKDOWN:

You break up, you're hella sad.
It's okay to be hella sad. Cry on your floor for a bit. Watch The Lion King. Formulate a plan as to how you will find and marry Cole Sprouse without having to become super indie. Whatever gets ya through. But...

DO NOT TALK TO YOUR EX. AT ALL. ON ANY PLATFORM. FOR ANY REASON.
Do not like their insty pics, do not call them when you're drunk, don't even super subtly tweet about the situation alongside poingnant song lyrics and a tactful snake emoji. They will know it's about them. Everyone will know. Honestly just unfollow/mute them on everything because odds are you're going to feel physically ill whenever something pops up, and you don't need the temptation of a knee-jerk response. Also don't stalk them in person. This is an option that I didn't personally have, but being super real I imagine if it had been available to me I probably would have taken it. Soz.

If they do talk to you, ignore it.

Genuinely do not acknowledge them in any way.

Leave. it. alone.

Seriously don't talk to them.

For at least a month.

30 full human days.

And when I say ignore them if they talk to you I mean it.

Focus on self-improvement and doing things that make you happy.
Essential. None of the ignoring matters if you make zero progress personally, because if nothing else you'll still be in exactly the same state you were when the relationship ended, which was probably not your best. For me this month consisted of pulling an Eat, Pray, Love and fleeing the country whilst also conveniently getting hotter because I was too sad to eat solids. Wouldn't recommend being so upset that your body shuts down as an ideal method of weight loss, but we're looking for silver linings.

Craft yourself into the best NEW version of you.
Doesn't have to be drastic, just tangible. Be productive, focus on things you're good at and look really bangin in your instagram photos. This way even if you don't get back together you've upgraded yourself so you can just upgrade them as well.

Use the time to evaluate whether or not you really want to go back there at all.
Distance doesn't necessarily always make the heart grow fonder, and genuinely assessing the situation is the most important step of this entire process. This part varies entirely from case to case, so there's absolutely no further input I can give ya.

Once the month is up and you feel like you're ready, talk to them.
Ain't nothin' gonna change if no one makes a move, and I wouldn't leave it longer than 45 days in total because if you do decide you want to get back together you want to reconnect before your new separate lives have completely solidified. You want to both have chilled and regrouped, but not have completely readapted to life without one another.

Alternatively, if the time ends and you find yourself feeling sassy n free, don't feel obligated to go back. Revel in your progress and prance off into the sunset as Little Mix plays jubilantly in the background.

In my eyes this is the perfect post-breakup game plan, because it gives you a full month of distance to decide what you want to do moving forward, you aren't going to make things WORSE and using that month to grow as a person on your own puts in you in the best possible position for either route you choose to take from there. I'd also recommend doing some googling into the psychology of what goes on in the other person's head during those 30 days because it is VERY interesting.

Speaking from personal experience, the breakup that inspired me to uncover this gem was far too complicated to be used as an accurate case study for literally anything, but I have implemented some form of this tactic several times since then, and can confirm it often works a bloody treat. As long as you actually. follow. the rules.

Bless us all. x0

3 comments

  1. I really wish I'd done this when my ex broke up with me at the beginning of April! I ran away to the other side of the country 2 days later for a bit but we still messaged occasionally and honestly it was the worst thing I could have done. 2 weeks later I eventually blocked him on everything and took time to myself and I healed so much better and could think clearly better too. We got back together a few days ago which hopefully isn't the biggest mistake ever but I so wish I did this in the first place, deffo would have made the first 2 weeks easier xx

    http://www.taintedblues.co.uk

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    1. THAT'S SO EXCITING! People getting back together is low key my favourite thing so v positive vibez your way. And legit, my natural instinct even before I knew this was a thing was to cut off contact immediately and I'm so glad I did. Made things harder in some respects but good god would it have been so much worse if I hadn't. xx

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  2. The hardest thing is to keep in NC when you know the guy is just using you, but you remember him from school as being a really nice guy. An allusion that keeps coming back because he knows you have real feelings for him. I wanted a friend/lover, not just a f&*% buddy who only comes around every month or so. I've gone into NC a few times, but failed the last two. This time, I will be strong and not break to be "polite" answering his calls and emails. So hard being mean, even when I know it is the only way to end this sad connection.

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