We all know that one of the worst things you can do after you get dumped is to keep in touch with your ex. If you don’t know this, it could be the source of all your pain at the moment. But don’t feel too bad, it is one of the most common mistakes that individuals make after breaking up. Just remember that if you continue to stay in contact, you are making things much worse – that has been proven time and time again.
Okay, so you know that you have to break off contact, but how long should you stay away – and what really constitutes “no contact?”
First, let’s talk about why you need to stay away.
You need to limit your exposure to this incredibly traumatic experience for your own piece of mind and mental health. As long as you keep going back, the nightmare is never going to end and the emotions are not going to subside (in fact, they are likely to get worse).
You are going to be continuously second guessing things, beating yourself up, working yourself into an emotional frenzy every moment of the day because you are still involved with your ex and the situation. If you are texting him/her, you are going to feel even worse when you get no response. If you see your ex getting on with their life, you are going to feel as though you have been deserted by the one person in the world you felt a special bond with. Are you going to hang around, wondering where they are and what they are doing every minute of the day? Why would you put yourself through that kind of pain? Well, for the simple fact that you can’t let go. In your mind, if you break off contact, you’ve lost them for good.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
You want a complete break because you need it emotionally and you have to show him/her that you are not going to beg and plead for them to take you back. You are going to show strength and courage by not giving in to the usual desperate behavior most of us are guilty of after a breakup. If you can do this convincingly, human nature will make sure that your ex is going to see you in a different light. We all want what we can’t have and if you are not there for him/her, they are going to start missing you like crazy. Well, in most cases anyway. In short, you are going to get a little of that psychological power back.
But is staying away really enough to reignite those feeling? Is it enough to make them start feeling attraction towards you again? Is it enough for them to really want you back? Yes, it can be, but there is no guarantee. The thing is, you have no choice. If you don’t take a break, there is very little chance that you are going to be able to salvage anything at all. In fact, you are likely to make things a lot worse.
So, basically, you have no choice in the matter.
How long should you stay away?
Okay, so the big question is how long should you stay away? While there is no shortage of advice when it comes to breaking off contact with an ex, you should take things with a grain of salt and question everything. You’ll notice that the time period varies greatly depending on who you are listening to. However, it is really down to your ex and their personality type. And don’t forget that it is not only about them. You have to think of how long you need to get over the emotions so that you can function again.
Generally speaking, you should give yourself a few weeks off. That is a good starting point and then you can see how things go after that. Are you still emotional? Is your ex warming up to you or do you still sense a coldness? You are going to have to rely on your gut instinct here.
While you are away, make sure that it is a real “no contact” period. This is where most people make their mistake. If you want it to work, you have to really break off contact. Do not text or phone them, make sure that you are not in a situation where you are going to run into them. Make sure that you limit the temptation as much as possible by finding other things to occupy your time.
If you are having a hard time staying away, you could always make choices that will help you (force you) to keep away. Take a vacation for a few weeks if that is something that you can do. Get rid of your cell phone for a few weeks so that you aren’t always tempted to call or text. Having the ability to contact your ex in the palm of your hand can be way too tempting. Adjust your schedule so that there is no way of running into him/her. It takes a bit of planning, but if you are serious about making it for at least a few weeks, you’ll find a way.
In the event that you do see your ex during this time period, make sure that you stay neutral. You don’t want to look at though you are trying to avoid them. Make sure you look happy and resist the urge to mope around. You have to look as though you are over it and you have moved on.
When you feel that enough time has gone by, don’t suddenly start texting them and phoning them – that is going to look odd and they are going to suspect it was all an act. Instead, just relax and get back into your routine. Go about your daily business – don’t worry about bumping into your ex – it is going to eventually happen. The key to making this work is patience – it has to look natural.
Of course, things could go a lot faster if your ex starts making an effort to contact you. In fact, don’t be surprised if they suddenly start wondering where you are and sending messages after a few days. It is simple human nature to want what we can’t have and if you are not available, there is a very good chance that they are going to start missing you.
On the other hand, you may have to wait a while before you are able to re-establish contact. You will know when you are ready, but sometimes it is going to take more than mere weeks. Sometimes you are going to have to wait months before it feels right to contact him/her. Bear in mind that you don’t want to wait too long or you are going to lose your ex for good. The strong feelings they may have had for you could diminish given enough time. In other words, you are going to have to strike a balance between not giving in too soon and waiting too long. Your mileage may vary.
Listen to this message about getting your ex back:
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