It's no secret that breakups suck. Big time. No amount of ice cream, reruns of Sex and the City, or doting friends can ultimately distract us from that achy breaky feeling in our hearts. In truth, the only thing that can truly solve a breakup is time. But, that doesn't mean there aren't proactive steps you can take now to make yourself feel better. One of the best ways to do so, in our opinion, is to implement the no-contact rule.

What is the No Contact Rule?

Many snacks. Crying nervous woman lying in her bed surrounding by snacks while feeling awful after breakup

The No Contact Rule is a popular method of getting over your ex that states that you should have absolutely no contact with them, whatsoever. The theory behind the No Contact Rule is that by limiting your contact with this person, you are limiting their power over you; this will ultimately aid you in getting over them.

Bye, Felicia!

Why Should I Participate in the No Contact Rule?

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You should participate in the No Contact Rule if you want to get over your ex, if you feel like you'll never be able to find anyone better than your ex, or if you know you deserve better, but don’t know where to start. In short, if you’ve gone through a breakup, you should participate in the No Contact Rule.

Cease All Forms of Contact Cold Turkey

Broken Heart Sadness Frustration Flower Leafs

One of the first rules of starting No Contact is that you need to cease all forms of contact cold turkey. This means no phone calls, no text messages, no emails, no Facebook messages, no Instagram messages, no likes, no pokes, no carrier pigeons...NOTHING. Essentially, this person no longer exists to you.

While ignoring your ex may seem daunting, especially if you're used to spending every second with them, just know that you are doing this to help yourself. It’s important to note that No Contact does not have to be permanent. No Contact is only meant to be implemented while there are still feelings lingering on your end. Once you no longer care about the breakup, you can initiate contact again. But like, would you even want to? Ew.

Block, Unfollow, and Disengage

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Obviously, social media has made the No Contact Rule more challenging. In order for No Contact to be effective, you really need to be your own advocate and not lie to yourself. Even if you aren’t calling or texting your ex, there are other sneaky ways of making contact.

Hint: Looking at their Instagram stories or posts, checking their Venmo history, or scouting their Spotify playlists still counts as making contact. Yes, really! Now back away from the computer...

In order for the No Contact Rule to be effective, you really need to block, unfollow, and disengage with your ex on all forms of social media and any platform. This also may mean temporarily blocking and unfollowing or muting some of your mutual friends. If you were to see your ex looking happy in one of your mutual friend's posts, that would likely upset you and set you back. Therefore, no forms of contact. Ever. Period. Nada. Kay? Kay.

Live Your Life

Happy young people partying on roof with drinks. Multiracial men and woman enjoying on terrace.

So, like, what are you supposed to do now? Some people may wonder what they're supposed to do during the No Contact Period, especially if they're used to spending all of their time with their ex.

Well, this is the time where you get to live your new life!

Spend time with your friends that you neglected during your relationship, pick up all of your favorite hobbies that you stopped doing, focus on your mental health, and watch all those cheesy rom-coms that your ex conveniently hated.

You need to live your life, and live your life with the expectation that your ex is no longer going to be in it.

Process the Breakup

Young depressed man sitting at table with mobile phone in cafe looking down being unhappy with breakup.

Use this time to process your breakup. Circumstances may dictate that you never receive closure, but that's okay. Because at the end of the day, closure can only come from within yourself.

Why?

Well, we can never truly know what was going on through an ex's head when they did something that we didn't agree with or that ultimately led to the demise of our relationship.

We’re huge fans of journaling as a method to process feelings; processing breakups are no exception. Take some time to journal about your experience in the relationship, and how your feelings may or may not have changed over time. Take some time to reminisce on the good times, and take some time to let go of the fights and disagreements the two of you had. It’s time to heal, and that can take anywhere from a short time to a long time. It’s okay to feel sad that things didn’t work out between the two of you. Remember, just because the relationship didn’t work out doesn’t mean you had a failed relationship.

Prepare for Breadcrumbs

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One pitfall of the No Contact Rule is that you can only control yourself. Therefore, people should expect to receive breadcrumbs from their ex.

What is a breadcrumb?

Well, a breadcrumb could be defined as any sort of contact that your ex initiates. The breadcrumb could have to do with something logistically relevant, definitely. Or, the breadcrumb could be your ex trying to elicit a response from you. Or, the breadcrumb could be your ex reaching out because they’re bored and don’t know where else to turn. Blech!

Either way, you are still upholding the No Contact Rule if you do not contact them back. Resist the urge to engage with them, because it likely will not give you the satisfaction you seek. For example, if your ex reaches out about grabbing some of their clothes, you may be tempted to respond because you’re so excited to hear from them and are hopeful that you can get back together.

But what if your ex simply was reaching out because they wanted their clothes back?

Then, you’ll be devastated and get your heart crushed all over again (and will have to start the No Contact counter once more)...

Therefore it's important to not respond or engage with your ex when they reach out, so you don't get your hopes up and can stay strong….and that brings us to our next bit!

Stay Strong

Successful woman raising hand in success gesture over pink background

At the end of the day, you need to stay strong if you truly want to get over your ex. The No Contact Rule is only a means by which you can achieve this, but it actually does work.

We’re not going to lie—the first period of time without contacting your ex will be excruciating. But then, you'll wake up and realize that you feel a little bit better. Then the next day you wake up and feel even better. Day by day, things will start to improve. And then, one day, you’ll wake up and realize that you no longer even care about your ex.

How empowering is that?

Time is our best friend when it comes to getting over a tumultuous breakup, but the No Contact Rule makes it so much easier.

So to summarize, break-ups suck. But, you can get some satisfaction out of knowing that, no matter what happens, no matter how much (or little) your ex reaches out to you...you can maintain your dignity and ego and know that you’re on the pathway to a healthy relationship.

On to bigger and better things!

Related Reading

  1. Get Down With the Sadness: Our Fave Breakup Songs
  2. 7 Ways to Reboot Our Hearts After a Breakup
  3. 9 Ways We Self-Sabotage Our Relationships
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