Why You Can’t Be Friends with Your Ex after the Break Up – And the No Contact Rule
Note from Alex: This is a guest post from Jamie. If you’ve been a follower of the How To Get Over Your Ex Girlfriend comments (450+ and counting!), you know who he is.
I think that this is an excellent article laying out a lot of important principles for doing just that – getting over your ex. I’ll now give the word to Jamie. Warning: Contains foul language. Yeah!
I believe this is an excellent blast to all the guys out there who are thinking they’d like to stay “friends” with the girl who dumped them.
The flow of the piece is this:
- You can’t be friends.
- You MUST neutralize the girl’s power over you.
- The most effective way to neutralize the power is a clinical approach that is based in large part on the “No Contact Rule”.
- What are some of the practical tactics that are involved.
- You’ll be better off for having taken these steps.
You could write a PhD dissertation about the no contact rule and getting over a girl. This, however, is designed to be a quick read that hopefully will give men (read: you!) a fast-acting shot of empathy and momentary strength from realizing that what they are experiencing is something experienced by mankind as a collective and therefore not insurmountable. Phew. Lets get on with it!
Post-break-up friendship with your ex: DON’T
In the immediate aftermath of a break-up, and especially when you’ve been the one to be dumped, it is im-f*cking-possible to remain friends with the woman who grenaded your heart – even if you have months and months (or years and years) invested in her.
While powerful, the desire to remain friends is knee-jerk reaction to your own fear of being alone, and to internal weakness and insecurity – which may be temporary – but that you still need to address.
HOWEVER, it is VITALLY important that you always maintain cordial relationships (if not friendships) with as many women as possible! B/c while the bar/club scene is nice, other women can be a rich feeder source for possible date material – and I mean dates w/ girls who you would actually bring home to mom, and not just bang…
Neutralize her power over you
Another thing to consider: the goal after being dumped is not so much to “forget” the ex as it is to neutralize her power over you.
The irony is that whatever power she has is only there because you give it to her by virtue of having made a mental leap in reconceptualizing your life as now only being able to exist if your ex is part of it.
Any human being should ALWAYS be engaged in a continual process of self-development and cultivation, so that you can be your best.
When you limit your insecurities by excelling at school or sport or in your career, you 1) become less needy and 2) become a much better partner for a woman who might actually deserve you.
The NO contact rule
Nonetheless, when you’re in the shit – like many of us are – and trying to get over an ex, you must be clinical and disciplined in your approach and have no contact whatsoever for some minimum period.
If you just texted her or checked her FaceBook or drunk dialed – that’s fine. It’s normal. It’s what we do. But right now, from this second, commit to not seeking her out in person or virtually for at least 24 hours.
And after those 24 hours pass, commit to another day; and another; and another.
If you’re mentally obsessing over her, every time you start focusing on her FORCE yourself to shift to something else.
Watching TV is not a very good distraction – reading a book is better. But hitting the gym or going for a run or skydiving is a lot more effective – because you shut down the part of your subconscious that obsesses over her – if only for 30min or an hour – and you get some peace.
A relapse is never far away, even after weeks or months – which is why you have to be clinical and disciplined. Delete her from your FaceBook and MySpace. Delete her from your mobile. If you have her contact details stored in your address book – delete them from there, too.
Yes, we KNOW that you feel like you’re dead without her and that you are physically hurting even – it is what it is.
But you have two choices – either be consumed by the hurt and pain and rendered totally impotent, or commit to putting into practice some of the advice given here with the expectation that if you can do the work, one day you’ll find tranquillity and return to equilibrium.
You’ll get through – and get better
And then the next time you become emotionally intimate with a woman, hopefully you have a more sophisticated perspective and will be better aware of what’s happening in the relationship on a daily basis.
Last thing – even though I said delete her from your FaceBook and MySpace and phone, etc., that (for me) is only so you can’t be an idiot and actually call or text her when you crack and your resolve momentarily weakens.
Don’t completely destroy the memory of her
If you were in a relationship for any significant amount of time, that person is always going to have been part of your life, and you can’t obliterate the memory of her as if you were firebombing Germany. It just doesn’t work.
You want to end up with just a black hole in your psyche for the time you were with her? Take all the “stuff” she gave you or that reminds you of her and put it in a box or boxes or whatever and get it out of your physical space.
I don’t think you need to throw it away (but then I’m a little sentimental), and you can save her contact information on a CD that you throw in the box as well; when you’re old a worn-out it’s actually nice to have mementos from the past as they become tangible reminders or triggers of memory from years gone by.
But when you’re knee-deep in hurt and pain and misery, lock that shit away as if it was radioactive. Because in a sense it is – you need to be a technician and shut down your irrationality and reptilian-response to wanting to get back with a chick who dumped you, devalued you, broke your heart, cast you aside…
And someday you’ll have gone through enough misery and suffering that her power over you will be neutralized and you’ll have a better understanding of not just your limits, but your strengths as a person. And your next relationship will be all the better for it.
Back to Alex:
Hope you enjoyed it guys! As always, comments are highly appreciated. What do you think? Girls are also more than welcome to join in :-)
Also, I highly encourage you to check out my book called “The Ex-Girlfriend Solution”. It includes everything you have ever wanted to know about getting over your ex and moving on with your life. It takes you right from the break-up to your new relationship, and it answers all the questions I get all the time, like “what to do if she wants to be friends”, “how to avoid being distracted by thoughts about her”, “how to fall asleep when I miss her” etc…
On top of that, there’s a big chapter on the no contact rule. Read more about it here!
(Both men and women can be victims of abusive relationships. If you are interested in helping others with this, you may consider pursuing a social work degree from Our Lady of the Lake University online.)