The No Contact Rule FAQs, Facts and Q&A

What Is the No Contact Rule?

The no contact rule is a process in which one party completely disassociates from the other party immediately following the breakup of a romantic relationship. The disassociation includes termination of all forms of communication. The parties will not exchange phone calls, emails, text messages, instant messages, video messages, written letters, sign language, smoke signals, telepathic messages, dove messages, raven messages, or messages in a bottle.

What Is No Contact Lite?

No Contact Lite is a form of NC that a person uses if he or she shares a child with the other party. The person will have minimal communication with the other parent, and the content of the conversation will include only visitation plans, appointment times, and other information regarding the child.

Why Do People Do the No Contact Rule?

People implement the No Contact Rule for one of three reasons: to get their ex back, to force a specific relationship change, or to heal and rebuild their lives. Reasons one and two almost always result in an epic fail.

Does the No Contact Rule Work?

That would depend on the user’s motive and his or her definition of the term “work.” See previous answer for the effectiveness of different strategies.

Who Are You?

I am a psychology graduate who has personal experience with narcissists, codependents, people with various addictions, and people with various mental illnesses. I am also an abuse survivor and a former codependent who suffers from bipolar disorder and secondary OCD.

How Long Have You Been Doing NC? Why?

I have done NC for 353 days and 17 hours, 11 months and 19 days, or 30,560,400 seconds. Take your pick. Why? Hmm, well, because I was on a romantic journey to nowhere. I was working as a stunt double/placeholder/fill-in. I was giving and not receiving. My dreams weren’t being fulfilled, etc. and yadda yadda.

How Long Should I Do the No Contact Rule?

The word indefinitely comes to mind first, but if you just want to do it for self-healing, then three to six months should suffice.

When Should I Start the No Contact Rule?

When you feel like you can no longer breathe because of the pain that the relationship is causing you. When you have more bad times than you have good times. When your good times are so short that they don’t even matter anymore. When you realize that the last X amount of years of your life were pointless. When you feel like you want to die because you’ve been used and discarded so harshly. In other words, whenever you’ve had enough. You’ll know when that is.

How Should I Start the No Contact Rule?

You can do it using the Gangsta Style or the Graceful Sweetheart Style. Gangsta style means you don’t tell the other person anything. You just do it, and you like it. The Graceful Sweetheart Style is a compassionate method for a person who still gives a damn whether the NCed party will suffer.

Is the No Contact Rule Cruel?

Yes, it is.

Does the No Contact Rule Hurt?

Yes, it does. If you have a strong bond with the person, then NC will feel as if you ripped your own heart out of your chest, and set it on fire, and forced yourself to watch it burn. The flames will burn for months.

What Items Can Help Me With the NC Rule?

E-mail block lists and call/text blocking software will become your best friends during NC. Yahoo has the best email-blocking program because it sends the messages to oblivion. Oblivion! Not your trash folder—and not your spam folder. You will never see any messages from any party that you have on your block list. Dead2Me is my personal favorite Android app for blocking calls and texts. It’s a no-nonsense program that you can read more about here.

You may also want to read some self-help books although many of them will try to teach you how to “get your ex back.” I do not teach that here. You can read blogs and articles, and you can join NC groups. Many groups and pages exist on the Internet. Additionally, you will want to surround yourself with friends who will act as surrogates/supporters/motivators when you get the urge to contact or answer your ex.

Will I Get My Ex Back?

No, but what you will get is a person who loses respect for you every time you fail NC. You don’t want that kind of person in your life because he or she will just beg you back long enough to use you and abuse you again.

Should I Contact My Ex Again?

What on earth for? Of course you shouldn’t. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It just means that you need to think about why you’re doing it first. You could end up with an extremely embarrassing experience on your hands if your ex: has someone else, doesn’t want to speak to you, or doesn’t even remember who the plug you are. Then you’ve placed yourself right back into the “bent over” position to receive more pain or abuse. I say no thanks to that. Maybe you should, too.

What Do I Say After the No Contact Rule?

If you are the person who initiated NC, then the first communication will be difficult (if you must do it). You can probably say anything you want because the other party will think you are crazy no matter what you say.

If you are the person who has been NCed, then you can probably start with an apology. There must be a reason for which you have been NCed. “How have you been?” “I was thinking about you and…” “Sorry things ended the way they did…” Any of those phrases may open dialogue—and I emphasize the word may.

There is no guarantee that the NC initiator will want to talk to you, and you need to ask yourself why you want a response from this person anyway. If you’re ego tripping—just stop it. If you have some positive output—meh. Maybe. Just understand that there is a high chance that you will receive a rejection/no reply, especially if the NC initiator went through hell to disassociate from you.

Silver Linings Playbook: Best BP Movie Ever

I finally had the opportunity to see Silver Linings Playbook (from 2012, lol), and I have to say—wow. It was the best bipolar disorder themed movie that I have seen yet. I wanted to watch it months ago, but the viewing had a stipulation on it such that I would have to sign up for yet another premium channel from my cable provider. The bill is already high enough. Tonight I saw that it was on for an unstipulated viewing, and I stayed up late to watch it. Bradley Cooper is one of my favorite actors, and I’ve been a lifelong DeNiro fan, as well.

The story was a bout a bipolar man trying to get his life (and wife) back together after spending eight months at the funny farm. He was very non-compliant in the beginning. He did not want to take his meds. He did not want to go to therapy. He believed he was right when he attacked the man he attacked, etc. He seemed to have delusions and auditory hallucinations when he was full-blown manic and un-medicated.

In the midst of getting his life together and trying win this wife (who had a restraining order on him) back, he met another woman of the crazy persuasion. She never stated her illness, but her symptoms also pointed to bipolar disorder. They did discuss various meds in the movie. I laughed because I’ve taken them all myself, except for lithium. Sounds too metallic for me.

The woman had lost her husband to a tragic accident, and she had a depressed episode and then a manic one shortly thereafter. She had some hypersexual escapades and so forth. Anyway, I liked the chemistry between the two bipolar individuals. They definitely had their challenges, but they also had a special understanding with each other that some “normal” people do not have with bipolar people.

They got into many fights over who was crazier. That happens a lot among mentally ill people. Unipolar depressives sometimes think they are better than bipolars. Bipolars and schizophrenics snarl at each other. Even people with the same illness get snooty when they don’t exhibit the same symptoms as other people. I’ve been guilty of it myself, and I was very wrong when I did that.

This movie gave some realistic depictions of “the illness.” It did not sugarcoat the disorder one bit. It did allow the viewers to see the artistic and romantic sides of bipolar people, however. It showed the viewers that bipolar people can have beautiful, meaningful relationships.

Quite a few other illnesses were in the movie, as well. I am certain that Robert DeNiro’s character had OCD or some such. The main character’s married male friend was a closet loon, as well. Chris Tucker’s character had some issues, etc. I can always recognize folks with illnesses.

The movie was superb, and everyone’s acting was spectacular. I liked the ending very much. One could definitely obtain a large amount of education on bipolar disorder by watching this movie.

Now, I am going to bed.