Objection 1: What about closure? What if …?
Unhealthy relationships and even more unhealthy breakups can drag on for years because people believe that the other person holds the key. This belief gives rise to the notion that there’s a sense of closure, that there’s a resolution at the end of the relationship, and that it’s been resolved. This could be resolving any questions the relationship might bring up or trying to understand the other person or all that happened in the relationship. It can be like trying to find 100% of the answers in the worst cases before we feel that we can end the relationship. We don’t realize that many people use the idea of seeking closure to avoid using their own judgement and engage in decision-making. This is because they fear making a mistake.
Closure means that you want to be certain that the relationship was not your fault or that you did all you could (which might include taking responsibility for the contribution of the other person or the whole thing). To be certain that the relationship will not work out and that they won’t change into someone better in a better relationship.
If you continue to engage in a conversation and want to keep the flame alive in your relationship, but you are not ready to let go of it because you believe it is what you need to get closure.
- How about if I played doormat a bit more? Perhaps they will finally realize how amazing I am. Let’s say I stand behind my man/woman.
- What if they don’t expect anything? They might not feel as pressured. What if they finish it and become The Ideal Man/Woman, for the next person.
- Perhaps I should have waited longer. We have only split up 57 times, and I have only given so many chances. But maybe I was a bit hasty.
You may find it difficult to hear me say this: People who don’t know their stuff, are hot and cold, and won’t be with you, either way, need to be toughened up. Big time.
How about if I played doormat a bit more? Perhaps they will finally realize how amazing I am. Let’s say I stand behind my man/woman.
You could be more accommodating and willing to do whatever it takes to please someone who doesn’t intend on ever becoming great. However, while you might communicate your gratitude and how you are there for them, the message you send is that you don’t have self-respect and have low self-esteem and they can treat you poorly.
What if they don’t expect anything?
They might not feel so pressured. Expectations are a part of every relationship. You are trying to lower your expectations in an attempt to reduce the disappointment. They expect nothing, and get the strong message that there is no limit to their freedom and that they can do whatever they want. This is not a happy-clappy world. People aren’t always doing the right thing. They won’t say “There, there.” He/she expects little so I’ll be kind to them.” You’ll only be considered soft-spoken. It is important to remember that people often expect nothing from us. This subconscious belief comes from our inability to believe in our value. They may expect disappointment if we expect too much. These people don’t know the difference between what a decent human being should expect and being expected to provide it.
What if I finish it, and then they become The Ideal Man/Woman(tm), for the next person.
Although I can only say “Who cares?” it is obvious that you care! It doesn’t matter how kind they are to the lady next door, or if they act like Miss Perfect with the next person. You don’t know if they really behave that way in their new relationship, and you can’t judge them based on their honeymoon phase. It’s not possible to hold on to someone hoping that you will be happy with them one day. Also, you can’t act like a squatter who refuses to leave a property. Get happy now. You should also be aware that these situations can reveal the incompatibility of values. This is because you have tried to move forward with the relationship based upon their characteristics and it doesn’t work. Even if they find someone who shares their compatible values, it’s their right to do so. You don’t have the right to demand or expect them to change their values.
Perhaps I should have waited longer. We have only split up 57 times, and I have only given so many chances. But maybe I was a bit hasty.
Conversations with someone you have been having trouble with, who has been sleeping with you when you like, disappearing, returning, making promises, breaking them, using you when you want, messing about with your mind, and unable to commit to you aren’t going to make any difference. They just give you an opportunity to find that tiny teeny-weeny nugget to justify a disproportionately high investment. Then they do it again.
You realize one day that you spent more time looking for closure than actually living and enjoying your relationships.
You can’t control the relationship, but you can control the impact you have on it. Plus, you can close the door without them having to. You don’t need them to be the one who closes the door for you. You must remember that they would not need to follow the No Contact Rule if they were seeking closure for themselves. You’re here because they want closure.
They won’t explain. They won’t match words and actions. If they do, you might tell them to keep going. Then they may decide to give up on you. They don’t have to give you ‘double closure’ because they aren’t Siamese twins. It is possible to close the door, and then slam it shut again when they push it open. This is the indicator of how successful the No Contact Rule is.
They must not attempt to open the door if they don’t get a response. The door should be shut, and not open to allow them to make whatever silly excuses they may have. Contact is not a finality, but a beginning.
You can close the door on a relationship with the No Contact Rule even if you don’t have a “conversation” or a major breakup. You can use the No Contact Rule to allow yourself to grieve, adjust your perspective, answer the question “How did this happen?” and reach a resolution that allows you to stand by your decision to end your relationship.
This relationship was yours too. You can answer the majority of your questions with your eyes, ears, and judgment. This is another side benefit of the No Contact Rule. Trusting yourself to assess the situation and then to make your own judgments can help you gain self-awareness.
This will be a very beneficial time in your life. You will get to know your feelings, needs, and expectations. Not only will you be able to meet them better, but you will also be able to build a more fulfilling relationship with the people you learn from. This is possible without their assistance.
Objection 2: What if they get in contact?
People who follow the No Contact Rule often make the error of spending a lot of time worrying about whether or not their ex will contact them and then waiting for their response. This takes more energy than it deserves. You are making the ex the center of your life, even though they are technically not there. Accept the possibility that they will attempt to contact you, but keep your eyes on your needs. Worrying about whether they will make contact or how you’ll react to them making contact is like worrying about your health and your ability to stay focused on your needs. Worrying is like feeding a goldfish. It doesn’t know when it’s full, so it will continue to overfeed you. Stop feeding it too much.
- You don’t have to be in touch with them just because they try to contact you.
- You don’t have to reply or answer just because they call/email/text you.
- You don’t have to accept them just because they show up at your door.
It is possible to believe that only those who are worthy to be dated, in relationships, and worthy of love are the ones who will get the object of your affections back to you. If the person you are cutting it off believes any of these things, they will not be in touch. But.
- They no longer exist in the same circumstances they were used to.
- Making contact with them might help to start a new cycle. For example, they may be asking you why you haven’t left your wife/when they plan to change/why you don’t understand what they did to you.
- They have found someone who will allow them to do what they want.
- They think there will be severe negative consequences for having pranked you so badly the last time you spoke to them.
There could be many reasons someone won’t or won’t contact you. But it’s like trying to figure out how long a piece is. Always remember that getting in touch doesn’t mean you are destined for love. Contact is their way to test if the door remains open. It is your job to let them know by your actions (or lack thereof) that the door is closed.
Objection 3: But what about the unpredicted?
People worry about bumping into their ex, or receiving a call from an unknown number and finding out their ex. However, the No Contact Rule is not broken. The No Contact Rule is all about minimising the chance that your ex will contact you or you, but it cannot be controlled. This is about not engaging in unnecessary conversations and cutting off your own side of the bargain.
Sometimes contact can be necessary or unexpected. If you have children, work together, or need to complete paperwork, it is possible to do these things together.
It’s possible to drop off your children or discuss a school issue without having to sleep together. Discussion. It is possible to be civil and professional without having to do the same things as in your marriage. You can even finalize paperwork and discuss a property issue without engaging.
You may like the same places, but you should take the high road. Until you are stronger, avoid going to places you might meet. You are creating unnecessary pain and possibly creating drama. You might think it’s ‘your bar,’ but you really need a ‘your life as well as a ‘your sanity.
Preparing for the unexpected is key. I discuss these topics throughout the book. Because even with the best of intentions, it’s possible to block contact and not make any. Then you might randomly bump into your ex at the supermarket. It’s important not to interpret the unexpected as a sign that you have to engage or even drop your pants.
Objection 4: But what about when we didn’t have a relationship?
It would surprise you to see how many people end up in situations where they have to “break up” with someone with whom they don’t really have a relationship. Apart from the Friends With Benefits and booty calls, there are many situations that need the No Contact Rule, even though they are not related.
- You adored this person and tried to get close to them.
- They realized you were married, so you turned away. But they continue to pursue you and remind you of how they are married.
- Because of your romantic feelings, you are unable to maintain a friendship that was once genuine.
- After spending years obsessed with a “friend”, you finally realize that friendship is not something you want.
- They are flirty and spend a lot of time with you. You even seem a little jealous that you have been on a date. But when you ask them about the relationship between you two, they claim you’ve misunderstood him/her. You haven’t misunderstood anything, other than the fact that they are trying to mess with your thoughts and feelings.
- You had a conversation with them on a dating website. They don’t want to go anywhere, but they love emailing you for an ego boost and it’s difficult to separate.
- They called/email/text you but never go beyond that. You may have lost touch with them after you brought up the topic of what was happening between you. It’s all very confusing or even game-like.
- You have a crush on someone and they don’t reciprocate. It’s difficult to get over what feels like rejection.
- These are just a few examples. The reason you will want to end contact is that you have become emotionally invested in them, chasing their validation and attention, wondering if they’re wrong or what you can do to make things better.
This may seem excessive because it can make you feel like you are ending a relationship without any kind of agreement. You can also use No Contact to keep your sanity in check and protect yourself from falling for any illusions. The distance you create will allow you to move on to other people who are available to you.
The No Contact Rule can be a great tool to bring you back to reality if you are prone to fantasy.
Trust me, I have heard many stories of people who spent years waiting for someone they didn’t want to become. All because they believed that something was going on or that their feelings would be reciprocated. They realize they have been emotionally investing in a fantasy, and that it is not what they want. It only happens when they put distance between them.
The No Contact Rule allows you to reconcile any illusions with reality during this period. You can avoid any negative effects caused by their actions or your interest. It will allow you to be happy with your self-esteem and both your feet on the ground.