No Friend, No Follow: Using the Old No Contact Rule in Our Socially-Connected Age

No Friend, No Follow: Using the Old No Contact Rule in Our Socially-Connected Age

Before social media, there was always a good chance that you could go months or years before bumping into your ex again or even hearing about what they are up to now, but these days it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay in the loop, even when you don’t want to.

Trying to adhere to a no contact rule is always going to be a challenge in such as socially-connected age, but there are ways to move on and not have any reminders of the past.

No Friend, No Follow: Using the Old No Contact Rule in Our Socially-Connected Age

Understanding what the no contact rule actually means

After a breakup, you might not want to have any contact with your ex-partner in the beginning, but there are some good reasons to suggest that it should stay that way and becoming friends rather than lovers, is not an option.

The no contact rule is not a new concept and is basically a piece of sound advice that has passed down through the generations and stood the test of time, despite changes to how our society works.

There are normally two distinct endings to a relationship, the first one being where you part on amicable terms and with a few smiles about the time you had together, but the other scenario is where there is plenty of sadness and even some anger.

The no contact rule is definitely going to be harder to stick to when you have parted on happy terms and you might already be enjoying your newly found freedom and therefore not that worried about whether you see or hear from your old partner or not.

However, if the breakup was a tearful and painful experience, it will not be so difficult to consider that the no contact rule is a good one to stick with.

The only way to disconnect completely

More often than not, it is generally the case that the best way to disconnect completely from your ex-partner and move on with your life, is to avoid any sort of contact with them whatsoever.

Having no contact at all will help to heal any emotional wounds that you have more quickly, as you won’t have to deal with any constant reminders of what you once had, by running into them in person or by seeing what they are doing on social media.

The more you maintain some sort of level of contact with your ex, the harder you are making it on yourself to draw a line and move forward with your life, especially if the relationship breakup was a difficult one.

The basic ground rules

There are several fundamental and definite rules that you need to stick to if you are going to successfully observe the no contact rule.

Calling your ex or texting them, for whatever reason, is not a good idea and should be avoided. The same reasoning applies to any other form of contact such as sending an email, leaving a note for them, or deliberately turning up at a venue where you know you have a good chance of bumping into them.

Show some discipline

Time might turn on out be a great healer and you might decide at some point in the future that you are so over your ex, that it doesn’t matter whether you have any contact with them or not.

That is good news if you have the emotional strength and ability to detach yourself completely from your past, but saying you are over someone doesn’t always mean that you feel that same way on the inside.

The best way to benefit from the no contact rule and be able to move on, is to be disciplined and set yourself a challenge to avoid any sort of contact for a minimum period of time.

The very minimum period of time to keep the no contact rule going is 30 days.

A month is barely enough time for emotional wounds to heal and feelings to change, which is why some people consider that observing a 90-day no contact period should be appropriate. Each broken relationship has its own complexities and circumstances, so set yourself at least a 30-day target to avoid any contact and then review how you feel before deciding whether to extend the period.

There will be some scenarios where it could turn out to be virtually impossible to observe the no contact rule, such as if you have children from the relationship, but at least if you aim to observe the principle and reasoning behind the no contact rule, it will give you an opportunity to move on, and avoid those regular social media updates.

Melissa Lawrence trained as a relationship therapist and is now a work-from-home agony aunt. She thinks that relationships and dating have become even more complicated in the age of social media and shares her tips and advice around the web.

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8 Comments

  1. My ex is the father of my children, so I have no choice. The truth is, though, we get along better now than when we were married.

  2. Great advice! It’s so hard to severe ties today with social media and I know a lot of my friends who have exes in the same social circles so it’s important to remember how distance can help

  3. I’ve been with my husband almost 13 years…before the dawn of Facebook. There are a few of my exes in my friends list, but obviously only ones that didn’t end on a rocky note.

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