The Pros & Cons of No Contact Rule in a Long Distance Relationship
Having a long-distance relationship with your loved one is already tough as it is.
When you have to force yourself to wake up because it’s morning where they are at, and it is the only time that they have. When you have to ditch a friend’s birthday party because your significant other is coming over for the weekend.
You have sacrificed certain things to give time in communicating through the help of modern technology. Then all of a sudden, your partner asks for a no contact rule.
How would you feel? Should you say yes?
The no-contact practice is popular among couples who broke up. Some got their ex back and some bid farewell. But, does it work on long-distance relationships too? If the distance is daunting as it is, is no-contact even necessary for long-distance relationships?
As the receiving party, the no contact rule is quite a lot to take in. Often, you end up questioning your worth as a partner and asking what signs did you miss or have you been neglecting anything all this time?
The blame game starts, which only deepens the hurt of the long-distance relationship, and you are asked not to communicate at all.
But before we go further, let’s distinguish No contact rule from Ghosting. For some people in a relationship, these two can be interchanged or mixed, resulting in more confusion and misunderstanding between both parties.
Ghosting versus No Contact Rule
Let’s start with Ghosting. From the root word “ghost,” equates to non-existence. The other partner disappears like a ghost, completely cutting you off from their world without any explanation.
There are no signs prior and no attempt whatsoever to explain their side of the story. This is especially easy for long-distance relationships where the other partner vanishes completely. They either move address and change school or workplace, leaving you without any trace.
Ghosting is a break-up strategy that some people use to end a relationship. Which, more often than not, backfires big time.
The person who experiences Ghosting does not have any closure because of the sudden disappearance. On the one hand, the person who “ghosted” might have avoided the uncomfortable situation but, will be “haunted” for a lifetime.
Whereas, the No Contact Rule is when both parties agree to go through a period of no communication. The goal is to allow each other to find themselves and reassess their relationship.
The most biggest difference between the two is that there is a mutual agreement between both parties. Thus, the possibility of going back together is still possible. Other countries dub this as the “cool off phase” in a relationship where they stay in the middle between being officially together and separated — a not so “cool” place.
No contact rule is designed to let the other partner feel the consequence of their actions. To make them accountable and genuinely appreciate the things that matter most.
A way to temporarily relieve yourself from a toxic relationship as you objectively decipher whether you are still up for it or you are willing to let go.
The focus is not to bring them back and act as if nothing happened, but in finding your strength and identity to make you a better individual, and eventually a couple.
What are the “rules” in No contact rule
Before we go further in weighing the pros and cons of no contact rule, let’s first understand the “rules” behind the no-contact rule.
During the period you both agree on, there shall be:
- No phone calls ;
- no text messages ;
- no tagging of each other in social media ;
- no direct or private messages in the social media account ;
- no video chat ;
- no snail mail, if you are the classic romantic ;
- no “accidentally” bumping on each other in places you know they frequent ;
- no stalking on their social media account (for your own sake).
With these rules, certain exceptions will apply, such as emergency circumstances, if it’s a matter of life and death, legal matters, or when child custody and support are involved.
To all these circumstances, though, there are still certain restrictions like talking to each other ONLY concerning the exception. Meaning you can always talk about your child’s financial support ONLY. For any other issue, you should never communicate with each other.
How long should the NO CONTACT rule go?
On average, it should be four to six weeks, depending on your heart and mental status. Four weeks or 30 days should be enough to put your act together.
Within that period, there should be no contacting each other, aside from the exemptions listed above. Or else, you might yourself breaking the rule altogether.
What do you do when your partner contacts you first?
Despite your eagerness to reply or call them back, get a hold of yourself. Maybe you are ending the no contact rule prematurely that might lead to undesirable results in the end. The rule was established for a particular reason, perhaps because you are tired waiting for each other online.
Or, you fail to recognize small issues that have accumulated over time. It is best to find the answers within yourself first rather than succumbing to your feelings. Most notably, if the one who contacted you first is the one who initiated the rule.
Before jumping into the fire, look at it from an outsider’s perspective with an objective view. If your partner contacted you before the period is up, maybe it’s to fill a temporary longing that your absence has brought them.
Sure enough, they miss you. They miss you because they are used to having you around all the time. And, being alone gives them the loneliness that only you can address.
Now, if you are at the opposing end where you feel that you can’t take the distance and silence any longer, think twice. The fact that you are caving in could reflect on your ability to control yourself and make objective decisions.
Before you jump in, let’s look further at the benefits and negative impacts of having no contact rule in a long-distance relationship before you make another move.
Pros and cons of no contact in a long-distance relationship
NO contact rule is one of those rules that is better said than done. Laying down the rules, from the length to its mechanics, is easy enough to make but harder to put into action.
Unfortunately, there is no batting average as to how many did make it through or not. Thus, entering into one is a risk in itself. Let’s dive in and weigh the pros and cons.
Finding your self-worth
During this time, your objective is not to find ways to get back to each other’s arms but to find yourself. Learn to value yourself as a person without him by your side.
Expound the alone time that you had started when you agreed to enter into a long-distance relationship. Without the regular phone calls or video chat, this would be the perfect time to finish all your to-do-list or even your bucket list.
You can’t give what you do not have. Thus, you must love yourself first and fill your needs before you can reach out to other people. Rather than locking yourself inside your room, feeling sorry for yourself because your partner is no longer in touch, go out and keep moving.
A distraction or an escaped goat that will make itself useful in the long run. Rekindle the passion that you once lost and become your best self away from another’s shadow. You will realize your worth and will never settle for anything lower than what you deserve.
Creating a New Perspective
Time away from each other will allow you to re-examine your relationship and even, your life as a whole. Is this the life you wanted? Do you see yourself with the same person in the years to come? Would you be willing to move to where they are or vise-versa? Is he/she THE ONE?
Without a consistent voice next to you, bugging, or even begging for your attention, you will gain a different perspective. You will be opening your doors to feedback and advice from other people.
Often, when you are in a relationship, you get blinded with what is happening in your relationship. There are things the outside world sees that you don’t. Their feedback could either wake you up or strengthen the bond that you and your partner have.
Once you have gained a new perspective on your relationship, clarity comes into play. Things become as clear as a mirror, where you use your head more than your heart to understand what is happening.
The decision lies in your hand, but the new sets of eyes you have will give you substantial evidence to realize if it’s worth fighting for in the end.
A break in your couple routine can be uncomfortable at first. Especially when you have been used to knowing their whereabouts at any specific time.
Putting your partner in the dark sparks curiosity, especially if they don’t know of anything that you might be doing other than talking to them. Let them be. Remember, absence makes the heart fonder.
Some people who have been in too many relationships, making it a habit, can find no contact rule daunting.
Especially if the partner is miles apart from each other, it is easy to fall into the trap of falling to the one closest to you. Even when the last partner could have been THE ONE, their mere absence becomes too much to handle.
You long for someone to share your emotions with. You succumb to a rebound relationship to fill in the gap. But then, realizing that the new one can never outdo your previous relationship.
Making you feel more miserable about yourself. And you, handling the no contact rule the worst way.
In relationships, even for long-distance ones, we share as much as we can to show that we are not hiding anything. From out of the blue, when the regular communication stops, paranoia can rule over you.
Not hearing anything from them can put you off guard. You end up expecting the worst, grieving over something that has not happened.
When one you expect too much, thinking that the no contact rule will get you back together in the end, you are in for a huge disappointment. Especially if the result is the complete opposite, you find yourself more confused and disappointed than ever.
Setting you up for another round of heart-wrenching break-up. Then, you will feel that your time and effort have all gone to waste.
What to do after the no contact rule expires?
Once the period is over, it is best to sit down and talk about your next plan.
In any event that your partner starts “ghosting” on you, wait for at least 90 days before taking initiating a conversation to “check-in” on them if they respond well and good. If not, then take it as a hint that it is time to move on.
The truth can be overbearing to make, but it just means your partner was not the right one, and the right one will indeed come at the perfect time. The decision lies on you.
As long as both parties are in agreement to find the best for each other, there is no rule that says it can’t be done.
Entering into a no contact rule, especially in a long-distance relationship, is no easy feat, although compared to those within proximity, putting it into practice can be more manageable.
But, the wave of emotions, from relief to anger to fear, are all the same whether you’re close by or not.
To save your heart from another round of heartaches, remember the objective of the no contact rule. The goal is to become emotionally and mentally stable to accept anything that can happen in your relationship.
This is a time to heal from the intoxicating relationship, the constant demands, and responsibilities you and your partner have shared. Toxic relationships might lead you two to hating each other.
Hating someone is not because you don’t love them, but because you feel like an outcast from the relationship.
You deserve more than that. The one who truly loves you will respect the person that you have become, beautiful and passionate. Make the most out of the experience. If he/she loves you, they will come back if they don’t, then maybe it was never meant to be.