By Sana Shaikh

BHMS and Yoga Trainer

06 May 2022
Medically reviewed by
Dhanashree Padhye
MA (Psychology)
Table of Contents

You can never get enough of the way a human mind works. We tend to take what we have for granted without regret. There are times when the reason for this action is that we are habitual to something happening or someone being around, and we know that they won't just leave. Further, the behavior of justifying our action adds to this and worsens the situation making the other person think of themselves as the victim or being too easy for you.

This is exactly where the No Contact Rule comes into play.

It comes under Social Psychology.

Is It Really A Getter?

There are many definitions to the No Contact Rule as per situations and preference, not all being accurate, of course.

No Contact Rule precisely is defined as the time period in which you discontinue any kind of communication with your former partner in an attempt to provide space to both sides to think the status over and get time to invest in yourself.

In simpler words, you distance yourself from your ex in every possible way and tackle your urges to contact him for a time period to see where it all went wrong and what has to be changed, if anything.

No, in most cases, this method does NOT get you back with your former partner as you end up realizing you were too good for them. (Rhoades, Galena K.,Kamp Dush, Claire M.,Atkins, David C.,Stanley, Scott M.,Markman, Howard J.)

The Boyfriend Bonfire

If you are a F.R.I.E.N.D.S fan, you would be familiar with this term. The burning of dinner reservations with Nokulule Oon Taah and Rachel throwing in Paolo's alcohol remains escalated the event.

Suppose you have no idea of the above context. In that case, boyfriend bonfire is a made-up cleansing ritual done by some women in which they burn the memories of their ex-partners such as their photos, clothes, gifts, etc., to break the bad boyfriend cycle so that they meet loving, caring, gentlemen ahead.

This is one way of tackling the urge to communicate with your ex after you have decided to cut off all forms of communication with them.

The Brains Behind No Contact Rule 

The psychology behind this step is that our mind gets habitual easily. Your former partner must have gotten used to your sweetness, your caring nature even when he did NOT deserve it. This is why he took it for granted. He believed that no matter how harsh his approach gets, you will always go crawling back to him. He grew addicted and habitual unconsciously to your caring behavior and response.

When any addiction or habit is abruptly ended, the person is left with a big question mark. When you apply the No Contact Rule, you abruptly cut off all communication with your ex; this leads them into a whirlpool of questions as to why it all stopped?

"You have changed."

Here comes the classic dialogue from a manipulative partner when you apply the No Contact Rule. They would blame you for leaving. They would victimize themselves to make you stay. Know when to back out. Once you apply the No Contact Rule, they are not allowed to contact you anymore. This includes showing up at the doorsteps and calling at night because that is when they'd feel bored, which they would interpret as lonely.

This would be your test to maintain your application of the rule—the most challenging task to keep going. You would encounter feelings of guilt, the urge to go back, and so on. This is because just like he got habitual to your caring behavior, you got habitual of giving. You justified your actions to yourself and kept giving, even when you had reasons not to.

The moment you break this rule, you lay an impression on him that you are too gullible to leave. This would lead to more manipulation in the future.

What Is In It For You?

It is stated that a breakup after an intimate relationship could have a similar effect to that of a drug addict being refused drugs or suffering a withdrawal.

With the No Contacts Rule, you refrain from being in touch with your former partner, to whom you had grown habitual and in a way addictive. This crumbles you up in discomfort and creates urges for you to ping them just once.

With the mention of No Contact Rule, you can NOT allow yourself to do the following:

  • Texting them even if for closure- You might feel an urge to ping them once, perhaps sending and unsending the text. This would give them a chance to interfere with your life by a simple initiation of why you texted them, and there is no denial.
  • Stalking them on social media- The worst you could do is block, unblock and block them or stalk them to see how they are doing in life. This would swoon you mentally and emotionally.
  • Calling them with an excuse to mistakenly dial- This is an old trick that would only leave you doomed all the way back into toxicity. There is no way out of this. Once this mistake is made, all the efforts you put in for you will be washed off.
  • Sneaking a peak of them or visiting them- Do NOT sneak around expecting a glimpse of them. You are only showing off your gullible end, which is not well-accepted. Instead, it would show your former partner how vulnerable you are, and you could be an easy approach.
  • Being at their routine places in the hope to "accidentally" bump into them- Keeping track of their schedule and wandering in the area where they 'might' be present only to initiate a 'surprising' conversation will leave you emotionally drained.
  • Knowing about them through your friends or their friends- It shouldn't matter how they are doing in their lives. It never mattered. All that matters is, "How you doing?" 
  • Posting "obvious" status, posts, etc., dedicated to them- Posting heartbreak status, "throwback to when I was myself" pics, won't bring them around. Instead, you are giving out a signal showing you are dependent upon your partner, and that would make you easy to manipulate, easier by those toxic friends you never knew existed around you.
  • Removing or changing profile pictures to blank- This is the most obvious way of letting everyone know that you are either sad or depressed. This makes you and your emotions exposed to everyone around you.

What Is The Need Of No Contact Rule?

The primary need is for you to realize your worth. When in a toxic relationship, we tend to grow emotionally and mentally dependent upon our partner, perhaps because we are shaped into doing so.

The No Contact Rule is needed for you to heal yourself and earn your trust with situations and self-image. You gain a perspective and get time to work on yourself in terms you wish to. In addition, you gain enough strength to decide whether to head back or move ahead. Such steps could be taxing if you haven't thought it through. The sole way to get this done is by working on yourself and realizing what you are worth and what it is that you need. No Contact Rule helps you get face to yourself.

Does The No Contact Rule Actually Work?

The success rate depends upon how and where you apply this rule. If your focus is to get back with your toxic ex, this rule will probably NOT work.

However, if you are willing to give yourself time, get closer to yourself, overcome the addiction of relationships, and become independent, without a doubt, this rule will work for you.

This process includes a lot of time with yourself, i.e., letting your emotions out. You could take this time to grieve, deviate your frustration upon a 'hit me,' binge-watching with a mug of hot chocolate, and shopping your worries away.

You discover yourself in a new way. Things you didn't know about yourself before would come face to you now. In that context, the success rate of the No Contact Rule is above 90 percent. This means that during this time period, you realize your worth and become mentally and emotionally independent. 

How does it turn out for you?

  1. Detox environment- You will feel empty and lost for the first few days since all that was keeping your mind occupied has suddenly vanished. But with constant effort and proper maintenance, you feel yourself being relieved. You'd learn to appreciate the minimalist things in life which you were too occupied to bother about. You would get plenty of time to look after yourself, transform yourself the way you like!
  2. Priorities- You would eventually start setting your priorities straight. You would learn to start putting yourself first. You will develop a calm tone of nature where the societal drama won't affect you as easily as it used to. You'd prioritize efforts over any said words. Actions would be what you would believe in, and you would no longer be gullible to predators.
  3. Moving on becomes easier- Once you establish your worth and get face with your real self, it becomes relatively easy to move on. 

Mind you, during this time; you might get constant distractions from your toxic friends, ex, and mutual. But make sure you head straight on your path. Compromising at times like these could prove to be extremely harmful to your mental and emotional well-being.

  1. Saves you the drama- When you become self-aware with the experience and step ahead along the lines of moving on, you are least likely to fall for the wordy drama that your partner plays to manipulate you the next time. You would save yourself the time and effort that you put into a relationship. 

How Do You Know If It's Working?

There would be noticeable changes in your former partner that would indicate that the No Contact Rule is working. Your ex shall start acting differently as if cut off of a supply of drugs.

  • Ping!- You would definitely get an annoying amount of texts once you distance yourself. Do NOT give in. They are only missing you because they are either bored or you blocked out on the affection they got used to taking advantage of.
  • Threat- If and when you do not respond to your former partner's texts, they might try threatening you to get back with them. Do NOT be scared. Just know that the rule is working, and you have taken two steps away from them, which is frustrating for your ex.
  • Promises- This one is widely known. "Oh, I swear I will never hurt you ever again." "I promise you to treat you like the prince/princesses that you are." "I love you. Would you not give me a second chance? For the sake of love?" "You loved me when I was bad, but you won't when I say I've changed?" Do NOT fall for this. They just want you back to step on your boundaries once again.
  • Behavior- Your ex might try to treat you the way you had treated them. This is just a short-term effort. This is done to get you back with the person so that you are left to be vulnerable all over again.

Why do they do so, you ask? Your former partner must have put in a lot of effort to be with you in the first place. Seeing the way you treated them and tolerated them, they tend to know your vulnerable side and not make an effort to go for someone else that easily because you are already known to that person. The affection they show while you are blocking them out could just be a trap. If they could NOT treat you well while you were with them, there is no way you will turn their heart around now.

How Long Should Be These No Contact Periods?

The duration of No Contact Rule depends upon the type of breakup or rough patch, duration of the relationship, cause of the breakup. Another factor that influences this is how desperate you have been ever since the breakup.

The average duration begins from 21 days of complete cut-off. However, if the breakup has been traumatizing, the minimal duration could extend from 60 to 90 days.

One thing to be kept in mind during this is that the method should be followed consistently without any loops and breaks. Interruptions in the process will lead you back to square one.

Try different activities and distract yourself from disturbing thoughts and feelings about your ex. (Sprecher S, Felmlee D, Metts S, Fehr B, Vanni D.)

Stepping Out…

No Contact Rule is a pretty straightforward way to eliminate toxicity from your life. Although in most cases, it can NOT get you back with your ex, there are fair chances you might never have to indulge in the "relationship drama" over and over again.

No Contact Rule makes you emotionally independent and brings you closer to your true self, making you realize what you are worth.

Keep in mind that if your ex never made an effort to keep you, they do NOT deserve you to put you back through it again. Do NOT get distracted by their short-termed sweet talks. You are worth much more.

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