How No Contact After a Break Up Really Works
No matter the amount of time you spent with someone you loved, and who you felt loved you, break ups hurt. They are painful. They are a literal and physical withdrawal - something that you felt was yours and safe, turned out to not be and now that something is away from you. Love and relationships do create a chemical, physical, emotional sort of addiction in us.
We love being in love, feeling love, and we love having a person to love and love us. It is really simple.
I have read that we love as children. Meaning that the part of us that exist in relationship with someone is that most childlike part - the part that wants to give and give, and the part that feels hurt and upset when they feel bad feelings like neglect, conflict, abandonment, worry. I have read about the many different forms of attachment - from anxious, to avoidant, to secure. And I have read about those five love languages and the importance of love maps and checking in with your partner.
All of this stuff goes out the window when there’s an abrupt breakup. It takes two to want to work on the relationship. When one leaves, the one that is left has a feeling of unfinished work, a feeling of longing to be seen, met, valued. And when there is this longing it can be hard to do the best thing. And that best thing is going no contact.
A person does not leave a person and end a serious relationship as a game. They do not do so if they have any sort of mixed feeling. And also, sadly, mixed feelings mean they are not all in anyway. So, trying to get them back is really not something the person that is left should focus on or try to do, despite the thousands of online videos, websites, and even professional coaching organizations set up to ‘get back your ex.’ It just is not wise. They left you once, they can do it again and it will always feel just as bad, if not worse.
So, the answer: go no contact. But, how does that really work? How does it feel?
1). No contact can at first, feel very hard, even mean.
After all, you loved this person and maybe they will miss you and realize their mistake. Guess what? They might miss you, but they’ve made a decision to have a life without you. Don’t give them the pleasure of knowing that you would take them back even though they have hurt you in such a bad and often cruel way. Being left abruptly is cruel, mind you. I have heard that couples can break up with a conversation, with mutual respect, with kindness. For many of us that sadly, is not the case. Don’t encourage or accept bad behavior. Let the person go.
2). No contact can feel briefly painful.
You miss this person. You had a life together. You had a routine. You had a history. You had special names and words and moments and ways of being. And wow does it hurt when all of that is gone. But, it is gone. Once you get through a few weeks of no contact, it gets easier. I promise.
Find other things to do. Of course focus on you. Your new life. Your self care. Reach out to friends and family. Take up a new hobby like yoga or art. Do anything that it takes to be healthy, happy, and whole on your own and to not reach out or want to text that ex. They are now your ex. What happened, happened. It is time to move on and be strong. And I promise, promise, promise you will be better than you have ever been after going through this experience.
If you were abruptly left, or if the relationship was toxic and ended in a toxic way, guess what? No, there’s no way to be friends. Don’t even attempt it. Don’t ask for it. Don’t fall for it. If someone wanted to be your friend they would have been better to you in the relationship and they would have worked with you to at very least give that relationship a respectful, mutual, and compassionate ending. Anyone who can disrespect you and then get back into a friendship with you is not a friend you really want. No contact is freedom from any drama. It is freedom to be actually free. And to actually move forward, not just move on.
3). No contact can feel temporarily lonely and surreal.
You had so much, so you think. The rose colored glasses always come on strong after a break up, missing the good times and not remembering the bad stuff that caused the ending of it all. But stay strong.
4). No contact can feel ultimately liberating and peaceful.
No contact is only no contact for a short time and then it simply becomes a way of life, it becomes normal. It becomes something you do not even think about because before you know it, your life is full of things that make you happy.
Your life is full of people who make you happy. Your life is full of you actually listening to you, checking in with your needs, and loving yourself in the best of ways. And yes, eventually your life is full of dating and meeting new people who just might turn into Mr or Mrs right.
Don’t rush it, don’t force it. Just focus on you and let the good things happen. Because they will!