During the No Contact period, you should avoid initiating any sort of contact with your ex. No calling, texting, Snapchatting, Facebooking, Instagramming, etc. You may be tempted to text or call in the middle of the night when you’re feeling alone and vulnerable. Or if you have a bad habit of drunk texting and you had a few too many drinks. Whatever the case, you must restrain, there's a lot to gain from successfully completing the No Contact period.
Doing No Contact provides you time for:
While you have a lot to gain by doing the No Contact period, you also have a lot to lose by skipping it:
The breakup happened because your relationship suffered from one or more of these issues. Most of these issues can be resolved with weeks, if not months, of work on improving yourself. Doing it right requires lots of focus and determination.
Keeping contact with your ex is a big distraction. You might lose motivation if your ex doesn’t notice or seem to care that you’ve started to self-improve. Or worse, they tell you not to try or to give up. Even if you’re not trying to get back with your ex, their opinion may still have a strong influence on you.
If you were emotional about the breakup, your ex might suspect there’s a hidden motive behind everything you say. For example, if you try apologizing soon after the breakup, they might think it’s just a ploy for getting back together and that you aren’t really sorry.
After doing No Contact, you’ll come off as more genuine. Your ex will assume enough time has passed for you to have really reflected on the situation and not be influenced by the emotions that clouded your thinking right after the breakup.
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You'll find yourself constantly trying to figure out what your ex doing or who they're talking to. Whatever information you discover won’t make you feel any better. In fact, it will make you feel worse. Especially if you're prone to overanalyzing.
Analyzing new information will make you feel productive, but in this situation, 99% of the time over analyzing your ex's every move doesn't help at all. At worst, overanalyzing will create a dangerous feedback loop of anxiety, which leads to more overanalyzing, which leads to more anxiety, and so on.
Sometimes people need to lose someone before realizing they took them for granted. If you're always in contact with your ex, they won’t ever feel like they’ve really lost you. By doing No Contact, you'll spend enough time away from them that they'll begin thinking about all the things they still like about you. Once they make that realization, they'll start missing you.
Every time you contact your ex, you’ll have a glimmer of hope they’ll miraculously take you back, but when they don’t, you’ll feel the pain of rejection once again. With time, your naive optimism will fade away and every interaction with your ex won't feel like a mini-rejection.
Humans evolved to make quick, accurate assessments of their "mate value". One way we've evolved to determine our mate value relative to other individuals is by measuring who desires who more. If someone is obsessed with you, but you couldn't care less about them, you'd subconsciously conclude that your mate value is higher than theirs. Meaning, you have a good chance of finding a higher value mate, while they have a better chance of finding a lower value mate.
If your ex is over you, but you’re not over them and contacting them frequently, they will think they’re higher value, and therefore, should spend their time pursuing other higher value mates.
Since you can’t be an emotional wreck when talking to your ex, you do your best to keep your cool. But it won’t take long before your ex unintentionally says something hurtful while you’re caught off guard. You’ll lose your cool before you even realize it. For example, if you’re having a friendly conversation with your ex and they casually mention their upcoming Tinder date, you might freeze up or resort to insults. You’d be better off not trying to keep your cool in the first place. If you can't genuinely play it cool, then spend more time in the No Contact period.
Many people think their ex is more likely to see other people if they aren’t in contact for too long. Although it may seem to make sense, the exact opposite is true. Giving your ex too much attention provides them with validation and emotional support that makes them more confident to start dating again. If you make your ex think you’re always ready to take them back, they’ll have even more confidence. With you as their “backup” plan, they hedge their risk of being alone. And if you act like you’re cool with the breakup, even if you’re really not, they’ll feel less guilty about seeing others.
If you could’ve worked out the relationship's issues in a conversation, you probably wouldn’t have broken up. If talking it out didn’t work while you were together, it definitely won’t work right after the breakup. You need time to reflect and gain new perspectives on the relationship and its issues. You might realize why your conversations never went anywhere, possibly because you made false assumptions about how your ex felt or you communicated your feelings poorly. Without taking the time to see things more clearly, not only will you waste energy, but you’ll also make your ex believe you’re less likely to change and reaffirm their belief that breaking up was the right decision.
If you’re not happy with the breakup, and you continue to contact your ex, they’ll know you’re disrespecting yourself. Keeping in contact with them will mean compromising your standards for how you’d like to be treated by others. Hearing your ex talk about how they’ve moved on and/or seeing other people will hurt you, but you continue to talk to them and play it cool because your fear of losing them is overpowering. Your ex is likely to figure out that you lack the confidence and pride to move on. They might still enjoy your company or being friends, but they’ll lose some respect for you at the same time.
Read more on the subject here.