Why is no contact getting harder over time?

Savva Smith

Entrepreneur, Coach


Unveiling the Exact Reasons Why No Contact Strategy Gets Difficult Over Time


You will learn:

What truly makes no contact increasingly stressful with each passing day
A tried-and-true method to lessen the ache of separation while setting the stage for potential rekindling
The secret to transforming a seemingly insurmountable challenge of no contact into a stepping stone towards personal growth and healing
Have you ever heard that "no contact is the easiest way to recover post-breakup"? I've heard this one too, back in the day. What they never tell you is that it's considered the easiest way not because it's actually easy, but because the choices of recovery methods post-breakup are pretty limited. So, it's deemed the "easiest" because there aren't many choices or alternatives...which arguably suck even more.

Let's be honest, sometimes no contact really sucks. There's nothing more potent post-breakup than the sudden urge to reach out to your ex. Usually, it strikes either in the morning - when you wake up and the post-dream state of forgetfulness abruptly shifts to the shocking reality of "they left". Or, it can hit you in the evening, when you're entirely alone.

And yet, based on my experience, no contact, when implemented correctly, can expedite your recovery. It can make the process less painful and, if you really want it, it can even lead to your ex returning. So, why is it so difficult, and how can you ease the pain?

What exactly makes no contact so tough in your case?

Solitary person sitting on a bench by the seashore
Most coaches will suggest that your struggles during no contact could be due to:

1. The absence of your ex's company: You might miss the companionship, the shared moments, and the understanding that you used to have.
2. Nostalgia for their previous self: You might be holding onto the memory of who they used to be, rather than acknowledging who they have become.
3. Unresolved emotional ties: If you're still emotionally attached to your ex, it can make it difficult for you to let go and stop thinking about them.
4. Lack of closure: If there were unresolved issues or questions when the relationship ended, you may find it hard to move forward without the closure you need.
5. Loss of identity: If your identity became heavily intertwined with the relationship, you may struggle to rediscover your individuality, keeping your ex at the forefront of your mind.

And this might indeed be the case. However, it's vital to understand that these are the symptoms of a deeper underlying process:

When someone leaves us and breaks our heart, seeing them only agitates our emotions. Your mind still perceives them as your partners, but in reality, they've put up a barrier. This discrepancy is what hurts. Your conscious mind might understand that no contact is the right path, whether you want your ex back or not, but your subconscious is essentially trying to solve an impossible task: it believes you need to be near your ex for things to get better. But right now, you can't be. Why does your subconscious crave such proximity? One of the main reasons is the hormonal connection you both shared - your body yearns for another dose of dopamine and oxytocin. This doesn't mean the entire relationship was built solely on hormones, but these are fundamental elements that drive our lives - or can make it seem like torture.

When you pause interactions, your subconscious begins to accept the reality: for now, your partner has decided to part ways. It's a slow and steady process, and of course, it's painful. Hormonal withdrawal can be excruciating, but time heals this too. Our instincts are incredibly potent, and they resist letting go. However, sometimes, the only way to rekindle the love is by letting go. Your subconscious will eventually accept this fact. And then, you'll feel a whole lot better, that's a promise.

Throughout my coaching career, I've yet to meet a man or woman who has failed to recover. Their situations range from typical young love stories to marriages of 10-15 years with children. You've got this. But, is there a way we can ease the pain? Of course, we can, and there are multiple ways, depending on your situation, the severity of your heartbreak, and how your breakup transpired. But, here are some universal techniques:

Two simple ways to prevent pain during no contact

Contemplative brunette woman looking at her phone
1. Remove the reminders completely
Any reminder of them, be it their belongings, clothing, or photographs, can and will trigger a wave of nostalgia when you least expect it. One day you'll start feeling better, but the next day you stumble upon their T-shirt, and - just like that - you're back to feeling as if it's the first day post-breakup again, maybe even worse. You might think you've regressed, but you haven't, of course. So, if you haven't done this already, pack everything you have from them into a box, and give it to a friend, a relative, or place it in storage away from your home. Do it now to save your emotions later.

2. Do not monitor your ex
Keeping tabs on them will hinder your progress. Sometimes, it's even more damaging than physical reminders because it's like watching a movie unfold. They're doing things, posting photos, showcasing their seemingly perfect new life - and you're no longer part of it. Each time you view your ex's social media, it hurts, if not immediately, then certainly a few days later.

Your mind will start obsessing over the things you notice. Even harmless incidents can trigger your doubts. You may see someone on your ex's friend list and instantly become anxious. You find yourself wanting to take immediate action to win them back, trying to resolve an impossible task again that only causes pain.

If you're not one of these people, that's great. But if you are, there's no need for shame. Sometimes, the pull is too strong to resist. If it's difficult for you, a practical approach would be to remove them from your social media recommendations. I wouldn't suggest blocking them, as the desire to unblock them later might create unnecessary thoughts about them. These thoughts elevate their perceived value, and you find yourself anxious again. Don't let this moment of weakness stop you from being strong.

So, why do people revert to thinking about their exes and start checking their social media? It's because they haven't been advised by their coaches that the key to healing during no contact is to continuously work on shifting your emotional focus away from the past relationship. This holds true whether or not you want to get your ex back. Why? Because winning an ex back essentially means establishing a new, entirely different relationship. To achieve this, you have to erase the old relationship from your mind. This is the priority. It's not just about refraining from texting or calling your ex. It's about shifting your focus. It's about overcoming the withdrawal symptoms post-breakup, which are similar to addiction withdrawal.

So, how can we accomplish this? Because this is the key to a speedy post-breakup recovery.

The most vital, time-tested way to alleviate post-breakup pain

Man riding a mountain bike, speeding towards the horizon
The quickest way to break an addiction is to replace it with a healthier one. I understand that sometimes, post-breakup, you might not feel like doing anything. But even if it's hard, try to find an activity that will fully engage your focus and help you forget about everything else. If you think there's no such activity, keep looking. You just haven't found it yet. It should be something new. Not necessarily entirely new, but at least different.

For most of my clients, some form of sport works well. This can range from mountain biking, cycling, and hiking, to team games like basketball, or even extreme sports. For others, a new business venture has done the trick. It requires immense courage and effort, and it takes up a lot of your time. My personal recommendation is martial arts. You need to find something that will leave your brain with NO CHOICE but to think about that thing. This is key: Don't force yourself.

Instead, create conditions around you where the optimal choice becomes the only choice.

And if nothing else works, there's one surefire option: video games. They might not be the healthiest choice, of course, but they're certainly healthier than obsessing over an ex. Play them not just to forget, but to improve your focus, attention, and reaction time. Compete with yourself and others. Video games work because they demand all your focus and energy. However, I'd suggest this as a last resort.

This is the cornerstone advice, one that has consistently shown its effectiveness: don't merely try to survive your no contact. You're worth more than that! Embrace life in all its fullness.


Key Points

If you want to alleviate the pain, acknowledge that it stems from the emotional contradiction between your conscious understanding of the need for (maybe temporary, but still) separation and your subconscious desire to remain close to your ex. It's akin to addiction withdrawal, and you're dealing with a deeply-rooted instinctual urge to connect.
To speed up your recovery process, do all you can to shift your emotional focus away from your past relationship and engage in new, absorbing activities. Even if it's difficult, keep going and rely on the process.