The No Contact Rule...from Baggage Reclaim

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2005
The No Contact Rule...from Baggage Reclaim
Sat, 09-22-2012 - 8:27pm

The No Contact Rule means that you have to go cold turkey but you put yourself in the driving seat, create your own closure, and you start to control the relationship that you have perceived as uncontrollable. It is an exit strategy and trust me, you will use the No Contact Rule if you truly want to exit a poor relationship and want to get back your sense of self.

In Part 1, I explained what the No Contact Rule is, why we avoid it, and some tips to get you started and in this post I am giving some guidance on when to apply the rule.

How do you know if you need to apply the No Contact Rule?

No contact is a pretty harsh way to cut things off but it’s increasingly needed because of the type of dating habits that both men and women are adopting. As women, we seem to love being with men that are disconnected and unavailable for relationship duty, and who can’t commit to being with us…and can’t commit to not being with us.

If you are experiencing any of the following, you need the No Contact Rule (NCR) for your sanity, nevermind anything else:

You have no endings. You have a number of ‘ex’ boyfriends that call you up to get nostalgic, get the lowdown on whether you’ve moved on, and also to get busy with you. As a result, you’re not technically finished with a lot of the men in your past.

Can’t break, won’t break. When a man keeps popping back up in your life, despite having nothing more to offer than when you dumped him (or he exited) and despite your insistence to stay away, he does anything but.

You won’t let go. You’re one of those women that hopes too much. You haven’t cut the contact because you think he’s going to turn from a cockroach, into a frog, and then eventually into a prince. You think you’re chasing and holding out for a man that’s playing hard to get, when in actual fact, he’s not trying to be caught…

When they pull The Friend Card. Many men lack the balls to live with the feeling of knowing that they’ve behaved badly, so they throw you The Friend Card so that they feel like less of a sh*t than they really are. It is a gateway into your life and if you haven’t gotten over him and broken the emotional tie, it sets you back and prevents you from getting over him and moving on.

You have exchanged the ‘girlfriend’ role for the booty call one. Never take a demotion in the hope that it will enable you to get a promotion!

He blows hot and cold. Blowing hot and cold is Mr Unavailable’s (emotionally unavailable guys) way of controlling the relationship, keeping you at a distance, and keeping you in check, but when he blows hot, it’s not because he wants you, it’s just because he’s balancing things out so that he can keep you on ice for a bit longer.

You have a low self-esteem, bad dating and relationshiphabits, and are struggling to let go of old feelings.

Don’t use the No Contact Rule to:

Break off a relationship for the first time. Do the decent thing woman! Unless the man is downright crazy or abusive, the first time you guys finish, a bit of an explanation wouldn’t go astray!

End your marriage. The NCR is not for marriages. Not only do you need to stay in touch for your divorce, but it’s a pretty nasty way to end a relationship with someone you were prepared to legally bind yourself to!

Playing games. Ladies, ladies, LADIES! Stop playing games because it will backfire, you will bite off more than you can chew, and you will falsely impact on the relationship. Pulling the NCR to test if he’s interested is childish, plus, if he is emotionally unavailable, he will blow hot and then blow cold when he’s comfy putting you right back to square one.

Is the No Contact Rule permanent?

It is as permanent as you want it to be, but the golden rule is that you can only restart or accept contact when you are completely over him and have moved on. I suggest making it permanent for men that add little value to your life. There is no point in keeping contact for ego’s sake, as it will be mostlyhis ego that gets massaged.

At the bare minimum, the no contact rule should be enforced for two to three months. For men that tend to disappear and then reappear when it suits, take the longest period of time that they’ve ever disappeared for and add a month.

Think of it like giving up smoking – It’ll hurt in the short-term and you’ll be tempted to light up a few times in the first few weeks, but after a while, you feel better than you expected and time is disappearing.

Move on ladies and learn to let go! If you had to do the NCR in the first place, it’s in recognition of the fact that he didn’t treat you well, he didn’t respect your previous wishes to leave you alone to get on with your life, and he didn’t respect your wishes when you said ‘I’ll call you, don’t call me’. Now why would you want to be friends with someone who can’t follow basic instructions but still expected to slip back into your life when it suited, and hope that you’d break him off a piece?

In Part 3, I will put the definitive list of the best ways to cut the contact, including some suggested by readers. If you have any suggestions or real life tales of cutting contact, don’t forget to include them in the comments box.